What Is Foreshortening?

As you begin your artistic career, there will be many methods and techniques you will have to master. One of those techniques is foreshortening. Foreshortening is something you will use in every artistic piece, from simple drawings to watercolor paintings. Here, we discuss everything you need to know about foreshortening.

What is foreshortening?

Foreshortening is an artistic technique used for perspective. It creates the illusion that an object is receding into the distance by making an object shorter than it is in reality.

Think of it this way: when you extend your arm straight out in front of you, you will notice that your arm looks shorter than it is when you hold it horizontal to your chest. Your arm didn’t actually grow shorter, it just appears that way because it’s extending further away from your field of vision.

We do the same thing with objects in our painting. We make them appear shorter so it seems like they’re extending back towards the background of your painting. This is how we give perspective and dimension to 2D objects.

How do you use foreshortening?

In order to use foreshortening, you will use perspective lines. These are lines that extend from a single point on the horizon line, called the vanishing point. Perspective lines will help you determine the size of your object as it recedes from you into the background. Once again, the further your object recedes into the distance, the shorter and smaller it will become.

Foreshortening can be a tricky concept to master. It can help to have someone by your side, guiding you through the steps. That’s why Creative Ventures Gallery offers a wide variety of classes and workshops to help you better understand and utilize foreshortening. Contact us today to sign up!