Figure in Perspective – Foreshortening

Posted on 2012/03/01 at 14:53 by daarken 14 Comments

In a previous video Daarken talked about drawing the figure in perspective using head measurements, but measuring is only half the battle. Knowing how to draw a figure in perspective while creating depth is important and something that can easily be done if you use overlapping forms. In this video Daarken talks about identifying overlapping forms from photo reference and how to create them with either line or shapes.

Photo Ref

14 Comments on "Figure in Perspective – Foreshortening"

  1. Judy · 2012/03/02 at 01:31 · Reply

    Of course it helps a lot. I am taking life drawing and the last class was foreshortening. My drawing looked like those parts of the body belong to another body :( But I continue practicing and I will apply this new tips you’re teaching here. Thanks so much :))

  2. Judy · 2012/03/02 at 01:58 · Reply

    Oh Daarken I forgot, I am subscriber of ImagineFX and I was so happy when I saw the cover of this month was the drawing of my teacher :)) “Create a strong sense of action” I learned a lot from those tips you gave us. It was really, really nice cover and the video too. Thanks!!

    • daarken
      daarken · 2012/03/02 at 09:59 · Reply

      No problem, I am glad you liked it!

  3. Dustin Burdick · 2012/03/02 at 10:30 · Reply

    Good video. I’ve had teachers discuss this stuff before but not quite as coherently, so this video definitely gives me a new way of thinking about things. Always useful. Thanks!

  4. Mathias · 2012/03/02 at 15:02 · Reply

    Simple and immensely instructive – thanks Daarken, really appreciate it.

    I just did some foreshortening tonight in my comic, and it’s something that I really struggle with, would a good way of training it be to simple draw on top of foreshortened pictures like you showed and then trying to do it from imagination/memory after or would there be a better way of practising it do you think?

    • daarken
      daarken · 2012/03/02 at 15:58 · Reply

      Personally I would avoid tracing. I dunno, I am just the kind of person that feels you should try to draw from observation instead of tracing. You can always look at other comic artists or other pencil/line artists to see how they handle it. Looking at animation might be a good idea too. After that I would try to practice from photos or from life.

  5. Johnny · 2012/03/03 at 11:20 · Reply

    Can you talk about drawing from life vs drawing from a picture. I’ve been learning to draw from picture to practice. I kind of feel like I have been wasting my time. Is this why I can’t draw from my imagination?

    • daarken
      daarken · 2012/03/03 at 14:18 · Reply

      No, the reason you probably can’t draw from your imagination isn’t because you are drawing from photos instead of life, but because you haven’t built up your visual library enough. It can take years of practice before you have the ability to draw from your imagination. The reason I always suggest drawing from life over photos is because photos tend to flatten out a bit or cause distortion. Plus in real life if you can’t understand something, you can move around the object and see it from a different angle and really understand what the forms are doing. I also think that lighting tends to be better in life. Also, photos are static, so people tend to stick to their photo ref more than if they were working from life. So in that sense photos tend to make certain decisions for you. That doesn’t mean studying from photos is bad, I just think that for the most part working from life is better. If you don’t have access to working from life, then photos are completely fine. I would just suggest finding photos with good lighting.

  6. martin · 2012/04/01 at 05:19 · Reply

    makes so much sense to me.

    this site is so underrated..

  7. Pete · 2012/04/18 at 07:47 · Reply

    Awesome video! was just wondering why do you use the size slider and not brush settings for size?

    • daarken
      daarken · 2012/04/18 at 09:13 · Reply

      I do that because I usually work on my tablet pc, which does not have a keyboard. I had to find a way to use shortcuts without the use of a keyboard.

      • Pete · 2012/04/18 at 11:16 · Reply

        cant you buy yourself one of these gaming pads and connect it to your tablet pc? Hah it was about them in the imagine fx magazine which you did the cover for with the barbarian warrior guy.

        • daarken
          daarken · 2012/04/18 at 13:38 · Reply

          I have one, I just don’t want to use it with my tablet pc. The point of having a tablet pc is portability, so I don’t like having a lot of other devices attached to it.

  8. Abel Oroz · 2012/08/15 at 04:25 · Reply

    I was always taught about foreshortening like thinking of masses rather than contour lines. In the girl example, the knee “sphere” would overlap both the thigh and calf ovals – something in those lines.

    One problem I seem to have is my lack of retention. I have done nearly a thousand hours of life drawing, understanding the anatomy and to the point that I do foreshortening in life drawing even easier than static poses, but when I have to draw it from memory I’m screwed. Every mass seems to disengage from the joints. At work I eventually have to have pose reference nearby to be able to do it as if I was having a model :-/

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