Drawing Basics: A Foreshortening Exercise

This helpful drawing exercise for drawing faces appeared in the fall 2006 issue of Drawing. If you have trouble seeing and drawing the nose close to the eye when you are drawing a head, be sure to try this exercise.

by Dan Gheno

Drawing by Dan Gheno, Skull from Above.
Skull From Above
by Dan Gheno, 2006, graphite, 4 x 5. Collection
the artist.

Purge your mind of preconceptions when drawing the head from an odd angle—the face is barely visible when the head is seen from above.

If you have a difficult time seeing and drawing the nose close to the eye, try this exercise: Find a photo of a foreshortened face; draw it freehand, concentrating on the eye-nose relationship; then trace the photo and compare the two drawings, noting where you may have inadvertently increased the eye-nose distances in your first drawing. Keep repeating the exercise with other photos until you conquer your habits of distortion.

To read more features like this, here's our free eBook on drawing people.

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