Foreshortening- trial

To practice drawing foreshortening, I place a mirror at the end of a mattress and draw what I see in the mirror, as suggested in the manual.

First a few quicker trials using the “coil technique”, drawing a coil that gets thicker or thinner in space to feel the three dimensionality of the limbs.


I am using a rather numb pencil to avoid getting stuck in detail.

This is an A4 drawing with 3B pencil:


I think the stretched out leg got somewhat too long, and the hand too big ,but to my own surprise I captured the pose clearly.

Here another trial on A4 with a charcoal pen:


So the foot close to the mirror appears much bigger than the head that is further away. Again- far from perfect, but the pose works.

I seem to have a problem sketching lightly though. I started off both very light and there is something I really liked about them- but then continued too long til the outlines got too clear- something to pay attention to. Here are the light beginnings:

Another trial with white chalk on black paper:


I am getting a feel for the foreshortening with the mirror. Time to explore this in other poses.

I take a look at foreshortening in yogaposes. These drawings are from photographs, so easier to get the proportions right of course. I decided to sketch on newspaper. (  Turned the house upside down looking for the Indian ones from one of my yogajourneys which would make sense for yoga poses, but as I couldn’t find them, I use these pages in Arabic because I like the letters… hoping the meaning is not too off subject)

Bhujapidasana in black biro pen:


I quite like this insectlike creature, but think it is unclear if you don’t know the pose, so I decided to add some Conte colour:


This wasn’t such a great idea- now it got too much of a cartoon.

Another trial with Paschimottanasana- forward bend:


Obvious foreshortening with the huge feet reaching towards the viewer.

For the research section of the same topic, I have just been looking at Jenny Saville’s work, and what is missing here in my trials is interesting cropping- something to look into next!


2 thoughts on “ Foreshortening- trial

  1. Wow your drawing is really taking shape! This looks quite difficult to do yet the way you have got the lines flowing on your sketch on black paper is really good. I’ve never tried this cool technique but I certainly will now


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