Our 5th graders tried self-portraits with a twist. They drew themselves falling through space and learned about foreshortening in the process.
Foreshortening is an optical illusion that is created when you draw the part of an object that is closest to you larger than the portion that is farther away. This is actually just a form of perspective, but sometimes it is difficult for beginners (including adults) to see and draw.
To do this project you need a large sheet of paper, at least 18" by 24." This is because the artists will be life size! Well, at least their hands and feet. Each artist will need the help of another artist to start this project. Begin by standing on the paper (placed on a hard surface), somewhere near the bottom edge and having your partner trace your feet. Now the hands, with fingers outstretched, will need to be traced. The hands should be placed somewhere near the outer edges and above the feet.
After everyone's hands and feet are traced, the artist now draws in the arms, legs, body, and head to create the illusion the the body is further back in space that the feet and hands. The image will appear to be falling towards the viewer!
Once the basic drawing is done, it is time to fill in the details, including the pattern on the bottoms of shoes and the wrinkles in the fingers. Color in the clothing and other details, while making any adjustments to the body proportions to make the illusion work.