Foreshortening is an interesting concept, and is something I’ve found quite difficult. Foreshortening, which was developed during the Renaissance, can be defined as the following:
“to shorten by proportionately contracting in the direction of depth so that an illusion of projection or extension in space is obtained” (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/foreshorten)
I had a couple of attempts at this with pencil, where I positioned myself on my bed, with my feet facing a mirror. I chose to do this in the evening, with simple soft lighting from the side of me.
I’m not sure what I found most difficult about this: drawing myself, or trying to capture the distorted shapes of foreshortening!
I then had a go at sketching my housemate as he stood looking at his phone:
This was an interesting exercise, and although I have not been all that adventurous in my use of mediums, it has helped me identify a few things in particular that I need to work on!
Research – Artists who use foreshortening to create a particular effect
I looked up a couple of artists that I was aware of having done a lot of work with figure drawing, including some experimental and challenging poses.
Although this name came up in my research, having looked through his work, I did not find it appealing to me. Schiele was influenced heavily by Gustave Klimt, and a lot of his worked looked very distorted. The artist did a lot of work with self-portraits, many of which I accessed on the following website: https://www.egon-schiele.net/
Some of his paintings did make me think of one of the exercises I tried in a life drawing session last weekend, in which torn newspaper was used to build up a picture of the model:
Saville’s work intrigues me, as I have come across some of her work previously using charcoal. My tutor also suggested researching Saville’s work in Part 1 for her use of charcoal.
The work that I looked at on the Saatchi Gallery’s website (http://www.saatchigallery.com/artists/jenny_saville.htm) consisted of her oil paintings of a range of either obese or distorted and foreshortened models. Both Prop and Propped interested me, as the drawing of the knees is something that I often find difficult in life drawing, yet in these works Saville has used tone to capture the knees coming towards the viewer. This is something I am trying to work on through observation, and life drawing sessions. Other works that I found interesting were Saville’s charcoal drawings, such as Time (2010), Mother and child (after the Leonardo cartoon) (2009) and the more recently created Ashes (2016-17), as these were all large charcoal drawings, that to me looked really bold, but also gave a suggestion of movement by building up layers of loose lines and shading. I viewed all of these images on ArtNet (http://www.artnet.com/artists/jenny-saville/3).