Perhaps the theory of foreshortening is most easily understood if the figure is enclosed in a box divided into equal units along the back. When the box is stretched out with the feet in the foreground, the units grow smaller as they recede from the viewer. Therefore, the general rule is to make the viewer see the parts of the figure closest to him as larger, or oversized—almost exaggeratedly so. The most common completely foreshortened pose is the lying figure observed from above. From this position, the closest dimensions appear much larger than the more distant ones; it is necessary to always respect the figure's appearance without trying to correct its apparent deformations that make this kind of pose interesting and give it meaning.
In reclining figures it is common for some parts of the body to be foreshortened. In this case, the foreshortened arm looks oversized and appears to be reaching toward the foreground of the drawing.
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