After drawing this seagrape leaf from three angles, I have a more intimate acquaintance with its shape, edges, parts, and personality. Tracing the textures of the stem or petiole and attempting to follow the stiffness of the leaf blade builds a memory that stays with me long after the drawing is done.
The top leaf is easy, seagrape leaves are essentially a circular shape. The second from the top is the same leaf drawn from the side, and so the challenge begins!
Foreshortening is what happens when something in the picture plane is moving toward you, and shapes become distorted. See how the leaf changes when the edges thrust forward?
Drawing these three-dimensional shapes onto a two-dimensional piece of paper takes some practice. First, I squint my eyes as an aid to flatten out what I'm seeing. Next, I look for the shapes I readily recognize.
Foreshortening doesn't have to be a mystery, try using these tips and see if they take the challenge out of distorted shapes. Turn that left-brain chatter off and get back to basics. A good, solid structural base drawing can free you to explore line, texture and color.