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The next two pictures demonstrate what you have to look for when using foreshortening and perspective on the human body. Below are two figures lying down on a surface with their heads towards us and their feet away from us.

Figure Lying Down Foreshortened

The man is lying on his back and his head appears very large in comparison with the rest of his body. Notice how the shoulders, arms and chest are the next biggest part of the body and how the legs appear quite tiny, with the feet sticking up and looking almost too big for the legs.

The second figure - of the girl lying on her front - is similar in proportion but, with her arm stretched out towards the viewer, her hand looks unusually large in comparison with the rest of her body. You will no doubt have noticed that I have used the patterns on their clothes to emphasize the disproportion: the striped pattern on the man's chest and the horizontal stripes on the girl's back are the kind of trick that can help your attempt at this sort of foreshortening.

Man Lying Girl Chest

These next two images demonstrate the same kind of foreshortening, but from the opposite end of the body. Here you see a girl lying on her back with her feet towards you, and subsequently the feet and lower legs appear large, the upper legs and hips less large, and the upper torso and head quite small. The arm extended towards the viewer has a large hand and a much smaller arm in comparison.

The man lying with one knee bent, again seems to have enormous feet, large legs and a reduced upper body and head. Notice how the underside of the chin is prominent in both cases. These drawings were done in ink and wash.

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Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Learn to sketch by working through these quick, simple lessons. This Learn to Sketch course will help you learn to draw what you see and develop your skills.

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