I am about to paint a new pet portrait of, Kodos, the cat. The owner and I selected a photograph with a unique, dramatic pose. This photograph is a perfect example of the artistic device: foreshortening.

During the Renaissance in Florence in the 1400’s a new technique of painting called foreshortening was first used to present dramatic perspective. Up to this time painters were not concerned with realism in art. Painting did not have the depth that we have now grown accustomed to.

As a pet portrait painter I am constantly using techniques to represent three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional surface in a way that looks natural and realistic. Foreshortening occurs when an object appears compressed when seen from a particular viewpoint. The effect of this perspective causes distortion. Foreshortening is a particularly effective artistic device, used to give the impression of three-dimensional volume and create drama in a painting.

Give me your feedback as I paint the portrait of Kodos.

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