Sharpening my visual thinking: Foreshortening

February 6, 2019 | 3 Comments

A lot of people use their lack of understanding perspective as a barrier to sketching (especially buildings). While having a working knowledge of perspective should be a goal of every sketcher, it’s only one part of a bigger skill set. These skills also include drawing from observation and learning to sight measure.

If somehow you missed it, I’m currently doing a re-run of my SketchingNow Foundations course and this week we are looking at Measured Setup. I have been filming lots of bonus videos (more advanced applications of the Foundations concepts) and on Wednesday I shared the foreshortening game I play all the time. It involves guessing the width of a long side of a building (or other object) in relation to its short side and then checking with some sight measuring. I find that it really trains my visual thinking and in turn makes my quick sketches more accurate. This page shows some thumbnails from the exercises. I absolutely love doing little sketches like these – it’s the architect in me!

Note: If you have enrolled in Foundations previously, all the bonus videos are available to you for free – just go to the classroom and you will find them. If you are interested in Foundations… It’s a self directed online course which you can join anytime and it’s designed to give anyone (even beginners) the essential concepts for sketching on location.

And finally, a huge thanks to anyone who is actively part of the re-run – I’m having a ball! What a fantastic bunch of sketchers we have in the classroom – keep it up!



  • Margi Rohde says:

    Liz, I’m doing the re-run and loving it! Your additional videos are super helpful. Your fore-shortening game is so much fun and I’m astounded at how far off I am so much of the time. Thank you for your incredible generosity in sharing so much wealth with u, helping us to become more satisfied sketchers!

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