Part 4, project 2, research point, foreshortening

The first image featuring significant foreshortening that came to mind was this one, a 1914 advertisement by Alfred Leete repurposed for the war effort:

Lord Kitchener
via Wikipedia accessed 6th August 2019

Those eyes and that hand and finger pointing directly off the paper into the face of the observer must have felt like an absolute imperative. Such a powerful image with nothing fancy in the text – a statement, a command, and a patriotic rationale aimed at people with the lowest literacy and appealing to their sense of duty.

Other instances, at least of clever rendering of perspective, include anything on a ceiling meant to be viewed from below and painted at very close quarters from unnatural angles. Michelangelo’s Sistine chapel is the obvious one:

sistine chapel
via Wikipedia accessed 6th August 2019

But there are also those remarkable street paintings that depict gaping holes where there are none. [I found these by using the search term ‘holes painted in streets’]:

street art
via google search

These images are daunting and so I thought the best place to start might be an idiot’s guide where the objective is very stylised drawings so that I might get the hang of how this kind of perspective works.

This is the first practice run which is (almost) based on a figure from the video but at a less extreme angle. I seem to have lost his neck and stiffened up his shoulders. Charcoal pencil and stump blender.


I had better neck clearance in the second one. Pastel, blend, charcoal pencil, and HB pencil.


Thinking about these techniques and after doing some other drawings of hands with mixed success, I slouched in front of my mirror to see what I could do. Ignoring the perky face which seems to have too much prominence, I’m really quite pleased with the rest.  I can’t recall now whether I made the first marks with my right hand or not but I know I made the later ones with my dominant left.


This is a resource I can come back to, and should, many many times. Drawings to copy


Top is the Lamentation of Christ by Andrea Montegna c 1480. I was drawn to the colours and the perspective first before realising the context. There seems to me to be something very contemporary about both the palette and the drawing in that the bold colours and very rounded forms of so many of the figures in classical art. Perhaps Montegna took a more realistic view of death and painted it as he knew it to be rather than a dramatised and colourised version that might have been more popular.

The second is one of the drawings available for practice copying, many of them in a da Vinci palette. I traced this one through the cartridge paper, getting a rough sense of how the shapes are arranged into triangles and tubes. I’m not sure I could do it (yet) without that guide.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.