Added 1 new A* page:If you've been reading for even just a little while, you know that I like to draw pretty funky perspective stuff; you could probably also guess that I don't draw the vanishing points and plot it all out pretty and geometrically with straight lines on a grid so it recedes from the eye in perfect optical correctness and so forth.|
Nope, I eyeball and freehand it: way more fun and--the thought occurred to me after a conversation with a friend of mine this evening--in a way, I think it may actually be more accurate--not optically or geometrically, but experientially, which I think is actually a word.
What am I blabbering about, you ask? How could I, heathen that I am, suggest that all those Renaissance Italian dudes had it wrong? Well I'm not, exactly. But let's take a more recent example, namely Frank Frazetta, whose work I mostly like and have talked about. Here are some examples of foreshortening by Frazetta:
(Full versions here and here.)
Now, I think Frazetta eyeballed his foreshortenings too, but I'm pretty sure his are much more geometrically accurate than mine. But correct as they may be on a technical level, how much depth do you feel from the arms of these figures? Do they really feel like they're coming out of the viewing plane toward your eye? Well, a *little*, but there's also this nagging feeling of "why are her arms so short"?
And I think the answer to why this doesn't exactly work is that it isn't in 3D; we aren't seeing it stereoscopically, where our depth perception would confirm that yes indeed they are coming at us; the fact is, foreshortening, unless the object is right in your face, is in reality usually pretty unimpressive--the scaling between her fore and aft hands there, for instance, is minor--and we need some depth perception to make it work.
Not to mention that to make a zippy drawing that the viewer is really going to feel, you often need to stretch reality just a bit--not so much that the viewer notices it consciously, perhaps, but enough to make the impression you want on a jaded audience.
So that, at least, is my excuse for being sloppy with perspective and foreshortening. For instance, the recent page 11:32 was pretty much drowning in it:
Comparing the lengths of her shin and arm there will yield some pretty frightening results, and if you try setting this up on a perspective grid I'm sure you'll find just how horrific the so-called perspective there is, BUT I'm pretty sure that you're at least, upon first glance, in no doubt that the figure there is kinda pointing your way feet-first.
Playing fast and loose like that with proper drawing techniques is at least some of the reason why I flub things up in monstrous ways on occasion; if you were unfortunate enough to see that page for the first few hours after I uploaded it, for instance, you'd have been confronted by a woman whose arm was probably five feet long. Here's an amusing animation of it! (It took me two tries to "correct" it; the shortest one is the final one :P):
So that's fun. In fairness to Frazetta--who I do think was a fantastic artist, and whose work has been a great inspiration to me--he usually avoided tangling with significant foreshortening, preferring to arrange his figures neatly along one or more planes perpendicular to the viewer, in classic illustration/cartoon fashion, which enables you to get the strongest, most instantly recognizable silhouettes--just going to show that, contrary to what Marvel Comics may have drilled into my brain as a kid, you CAN get really dramatic images without putting your viewer's eye out with dramatically exaggerated foreshortening. But it's too late for me; I'm usually just not happy drawing without *some* kind of ridiculous attempt at foreshortening--or at least perspective in the broader sense--in there somewhere.