NO KILL I (glockgal) wrote in glockart,

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Hands Tutorial
Computer Coloring Tutorial by cathybites

Okay, as I was trying to prepare for this tutorial, I realized that trying to show how-to's of foreshoretening is hard. So, I've pared my goals down to basically just showing how it's used, how often it's used and some small tips and tricks to create dynamic figures.

1) If I don't stress it enough in other tutorials, I'll stress it now: PRACTICE. Lord, it took me ages to figure out how to do it, and I'm still no where near being confident with it.
2) This is my version of accomplishing foreshortening. There are other methods, some technical and some...technical. I use a lot of estimation and trial and error. And crying.
3) You must have a decent grasp of anatomy and figures before doing decent foreshortening.
4) As always, feel free to ask questions, add tips and tricks, correct me if I'm wrong. I'm learning as much as you are.


What is foreshortening? It's the process you use to successfully translate a 3D figure onto a 2D canvas and still make it look like it's 3D on paper.

Basic stuff--

-- Foreshortening and perspective go hand-in-hand.
But! I still say you can do a pretty nice
foreshortening without yet perfecting perspective.
Because I suck at perspective too.

--Foreshortening also is combined with limb alignment.
*Read ani_bester's explanation!
* See fools_trifle's visual example!

-- Foreshortening is awesome. Ok, this
isn't educational, but! It's true! It makes
drawing-time fun and happy. Practice and



One technical thing I have to mention, is the
key of getting well-placed lines. Yes, foreshortening
can be accomplished without them, but lines give illusion and that's what foreshortening is all about.

The animated example on the right shows how lines can aid foreshortening by creating the illusion of lots of land-gap between the trees.



Foreshortening can also help you create really dynamic, high-action poses (above). You can take full advantage of crazy poses and twist your people in all sorts of ways. And if you know your stuff, then they look kick-ass doing so.

However, it can also be used for more mundane things - folding arms, drinking from a cup, sitting down. These sort of actions are more likely to appear in fanart (ie, Harry Potter fanart), so it's always important to know in everything you draw.

Foreshortening does not only apply to full bodies either. It is used when drawing heads, feet and, of course, hands.


When trying to wrap your head around foreshortening, there are two main techniques to keep in mind: blocks and circles.


One way to view the human body is in blocks. I'm sure you've all heard this before, and it's true, especially when it comes to applying foreshortening. Once you see bodies as little building pieces, you'll understand how a leg muscle should curve or the perspective that an arm should be raised.

Each limb cylinder is tilted in a certain way, and when you build the body and clothing (optional, of course) around them, you adhere to the curves each cylinder tilts to. Does that make sense? Check out the animation to see what I mean.

If you look at the elbow bend of the left arm (the one closest to you), for example, both the foreshortening of the forearm and the sleeve that folds around it conform to the curve of the tilted cylinder.

Watch each of the joints to see how the eventual clothing folds curve around them. They correspond to the curve! (hopefully!)


I am a huge fan of thumbnails, outlines and rough sketches before going on to the detailing and clean copy. Therefore, when I do foreshortening, I draw a lot of circles. Or rather, ovals. The ovals sort of 'slice' the limb cylinders at key points so I can get an idea if I'm placing the arm high enough and foreshortening it properly.

These circles are purely for rough use only, although clothing folds can also abide and follow their curves. I find circles fantastic, actually, for making sure your random clothing folds look natural and believable.


And now to apply the methods! Via my nemesis friend,

I Have Mutant Powah! - showing foreshortening of the arm, hand and head. The shoulders are FAR too slim, and if I was actually finishing this, I'd either broaden the shoulders or shrink the head.

Snobby Snob - showing foreshortening of the head. Of course, doing portraiture from any angle is a whole different story.

So Lazy - showing foreshortening of the legs. I put color to indicate the separate cylindrical leg parts, and how the jeans would curve around it.

Are You Talkin' To Me? - showing foreshortening of the torso, arm and legs. Circles, circles circles!

Anyway, I hope that's some sort of help, and pelase, if you have questions or confusions, please feel free to ask.

Yup, shoes too!

Tags: tutorial
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