Friday, January 31, 2020

The Never-ending Foreshortening Challenge

1/28/20 Wedgwood neighborhood

As she was demo-ing her process for measuring and drawing an artichoke’s bracts, our instructor talked about the challenges of foreshortening. She has been drawing and teaching drawing for decades, yet foreshortening can still be a challenge. Even now, she must fight what her brain is telling her is true so that she can draw what she actually sees.

I met this news with some dismay: Even after decades of practice (and certainly no evidence of struggle in her work), foreshortening continues to be a challenge! No wonder it is still difficult for me.

Cars are my favorite subject to practice foreshortening, since I encounter them so readily, often parked at funny angles. If one is sharply foreshortened, it’s a bit easier to simply draw a sliver of its side. The three-quarter view I attempted in this sketch is by far the hardest for me. It’s a continual battle with the brain that insists that the side of a car must be wider than its front.

This is what I meant when I said a few weeks ago that even if plants are not of primary interest to me as subject matter, I know that focused drawing practice of any subject matter is informative for and can be applied to any other subject matter. Artichokes, cars . . . the challenges are the same.

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