Anatomy ad­vice

Anatomy ex­pert Chris Le­gaspi pre­sents his tried and tested strate­gies for achiev­ing ac­cu­rate fore­short­en­ing in fig­ure draw­ing

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Fore­shorten the fig­ure.

Us­ing good ob­ser­va­tion and sim­ple strate­gies, achiev­ing pro­por­tion­ally ac­cu­rate per­spec­tive can be sim­ple and fun. I first see the fig­ure as sim­pli­fied geo­met­ric forms. The most use­ful form for de­scrib­ing per­spec­tive is the cylin­der, be­cause it’s both round and straight in char­ac­ter. As such, it’s ideal for de­scrib­ing the po­si­tion of a form.

Po­si­tion is where a form is in three­d­i­men­sional space. The keys to po­si­tion are di­rec­tion and eye-level. Di­rec­tion refers to which way the form is mov­ing, while in terms of eye-level, I can ei­ther be above or be­low the form.

The pri­mary tools I use to achieve per­spec­tive are ta­per­ing cylin­ders, cross­sec­tions and over­laps. A ta­per­ing cylin­der both mim­ics the nat­u­ral forms of the body and also sug­gests per­spec­tive. Cross­sec­tions are the curved lines that seg­ment a cylin­dri­cal form. If my eye-level is be­low the form, then my cross sec­tions will curve up, and vice versa. The ex­cep­tions to this rule are when the form moves to­ward or away from me in per­spec­tive. In ei­ther case care­ful ob­ser­va­tion of the di­rec­tion is the key.

I use over­laps to achieve deep per­spec­tive. I’ll of­ten ex­ag­ger­ate ex­ist­ing over­laps or some­times cre­ate my own. This gives me one more layer of depth that re­ally helps to push the il­lu­sion of fore­short­ened, three-di­men­sional form.

Chris is keen to share his knowl­edge of art the­ory. You can see more of his work at www.freshde­signer.com.

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