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Kid's Art Project - Free-Fall Foreshortening

Updated on September 6, 2015

Kid's Will Fall for this!

Foreshortening is one of the most challenging things to learn as an artist. This project makes learning immediate, fun and easy! One thing I teach my adult drawing students is that when a finger is pointing at you and you want to draw it, start with an oval, as it is the closest shape to you, then work backwards. In this case, as the figure (or self portrait), is falling, the bottoms of the feet are pointing straight up at you, so this is what we will start with. This is also a great way to discuss texture (bottoms of the shoes), overlapping and expressions.

This project can be modified for various age groups, depending on whether you let kid's draw in the body portion, or you have it pre-cut prior to assembling. Also, depending on the materials you choose to use, it can be varied easily for older children as well. I like to use oil pastels for the shoes, because it gives a realistic rubbery look. You can choose to use oil pastel throughout the entire project, or for a more challenging project, switch to tempera paint.

Materials You Will Need:

  • A white sheet of paper for the background (11" x 17" or larger) This is optional, some kid's preferred not to have a background.
  • Flesh colored construction paper
  • Hair colored construction paper
  • White sheet of paper for the shoes
  • Construction paper for the body
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • oil pastels, or crayons (for very young)
  • * optional Colored pencils for older kids to draw in the body on the background paper

How to assemble your falling person:

  1. Trace both the left and right shoe onto a sheet of white paper using a pencil
  2. Trace the hands onto a sheet of flesh colored paper using a pencil
  3. Draw an outline of the face (smaller than the hands ) onto flesh colored paper using a pencil
  4. Draw the hair onto colored construction paper, using a pencil - remember, if you are falling, your hair would look like it was falling too!
  5. Draw the body onto a sheet of construction paper, look at the samples below . The body will be just a torso with shoulders and part of the pants. (*A variation on this, would be to allow older kids to DRAW this part onto the background white paper and later color it in using colored pencils )
  6. Looking at the bottom of your shoe, use the oil pastels and color in the pattern/texture you see.
  7. Look at your hands, use the oil pastels to draw in information or lines on your hands onto the hands you've already traced.
  8. Draw in your face. Imagine what you would look like if you were falling and what your face would be doing. Its fun to look in a mirror and try out different expressions. For example, if you would be scared, your eyes would be really big and you might be screaming!
  9. Cut out all of the parts, shoes, hands, face, hair and *body
  10. Glue them down in this order: *body, face (overlapping the neck area), hair (overlapping the face a bit), hands, (overlapping the face and the top of the body), and shoes, (overlapping the hands)
  11. Color in the clothing
  12. If you haven't already, and would like to, glue your falling foreshortened person onto a sheet of paper, which can also be drawn on to show where they're falling to, or from!


I think these look great when they are outlined at the very end in black oil pastel or marker

And, remember: Art is a practice. The more you make, the better it gets!


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