Foreshortening

It is impossible to draw the human hand accurately and artistically without an understanding of foreshortening, the overlapping of forms seen in spatial recession. Because there is scarcely any hand position which does not involve some form seen in deep space, in order to achieve a three-dimensional rather than a flat effect, it is important to see and understand advancing and receding forms. A difficulty often encountered is the problem of retaining the hand's rhythms, its flow, and its sense of unity when drawing it from angles of deep foreshortening. Because forms are seen one in front of, on top of, or behind another, or not clearly seen at all, there is a tendency for them to look bumpy, segmented, and abrupt. Principles such as overlapping, interlacing, spiraling, and tonal contrast to achieve depth are given here as aids to learning to draw the hand as a dynamic, alive volume moving in space.

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