What is foreshortening and how is it comparable to perspective? (in art)

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What is foreshortening and how is it comparable to perspective? (in art)

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Foreshortening is just a property of linear perspective. When artists draw in linear perspective, they intentionally distort the distances between points/lines (such as the sides of a cube) to become shorter as the points move farther away from the observer. That distortion of points moving ‘closer’ together as they get farther from the observer is foreshortening. This mimics how we see things in the real world and makes drawings look like they actually have real depth (despite, ultimately, just being 2D images).

Things have a length, like your arm. If you look at an arm held out to the side you see the entire length of the arm.

If someone is pointing at you, you see their hand. The arm may be entirely hidden behind it. Their arm is still the same length, you just don’t see it.

So foreshortening is drawing a thing at the direction and length that you see it based on its position, instead of drawing it at its full length.