Weekly Photo Challenge: Forward

Like Michelle of the Daily Post, who meandered along ancient stone paths, I was drawn to some old stones for this week’s picture for the theme: Forward.
This pen and ink drawing from my sketchbook is of the Ulmer Münster, a Lutheran church in Ulm, Germany, which I visited with my son several years ago. The church was started in 1377 and finished in 1890. It is the tallest church steeple in the world (530 feet), and has 768 steps.

Church at Ulm, Germany, pen and ink with watercolor, 6.25" x 5"
Cathedral at Ulm, Germany, pen and ink with watercolor, 6.25″ x 5″

As an artist, forward means creating the illusion that a subject is closer to the viewer in the picture frame than other objects. There are several ways to create this illusion:
1.) The subject in the foreground is usually lower down in the picture frame with objects further away appearing higher and closer to the horizon. Note how the feet of the man with the blue shirt are off the bottom of the picture, but the feet of people further away in the crowd are above his waist, some even at his shoulder level.
2.) The subject in the foreground is usually bigger than similar subjects further away. Again, compare the size of the man in the blue shirt with people further away, or the sizes of the windows in receding buildings.
3.) The subject in the foreground is usually rendered in greater detail while objects further away are lacking in details and may only be suggested, as in the spires on the steeple.
4.) Subjects in the foreground may overlap other objects, pushing them further away visually.
5.) In colored pictures, objects usually tend to lose color, becoming grayer and lighter as they recede.

12 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Forward

      • Basically the same concepts as yours; one image in front of the next; more detail and color in the foreground/less as it recedes. making the background dreamy, light and airy supports the items in the foreground. the push-pull of a larger image in the middle ground and smaller one in the front usually looks ‘wrong.’
        since i’ve switched to the more-graphic style, i don’t have those options as often, though i usually apply a touch or realism, which brings those items foreward.


  1. I like this drawing very much. My very first drawings were with pen and ink, and from a quill type pen, I went to a rapidograph which I used for years. I enjoy the clarity of your image.

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