"Art is about the only occupation in which people can do what they please without consulting their neighbors." William Morris Hunt

Distortion in Drawing
© 1999 Nita Leland
Sometimes you may want to change the proportions of a subject to create a special effect. Making random changes isn't nearly as effective as changing the proportions on a grid, because the distorted elements still have correct relationships. Make a grid of same-size squares on your original. Then on a support that is the size of your final drawing, make a grid changing the spacing of the vertical and horizontal lines, as shown in the sketches. Transfer your lines from the squared-off grid to the distorted grid one space at a time, recording the elements found in each space to fit the correspondidng space. The result will be an altered appearance of the subject, whether a portrait, head or still life. Try this for yourself on different subjects.

For more examples of distortion see The New Creative Artist. pp. 73. Also see my caricature by Susan Moreno.

distortion grids

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