When an artist foreshortens, she makes an object appear closer or a distance shorter than it is, to create a sense of depth in a painting or drawing.

To foreshorten is to create a kind of optical illusion simply by making lines shorter or angling the perspective in a certain way. It's a technique used in art and design, but it's also a phenomenon you may observe in the world: "The angle from which she's looking foreshortens the mountain, making it look closer." This word dates from about 1600.

Definitions of foreshorten
  1. verb
    shorten lines in a drawing so as to create an illusion of depth
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    type of:
    make shorter than originally intended; reduce or retrench in length or duration
  2. verb
    reduce in scope while retaining essential elements
    synonyms: abbreviate, abridge, contract, cut, reduce, shorten
    cut, edit, edit out
    cut and assemble the components of
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    dilate, elaborate, enlarge, expand, expatiate, exposit, expound, flesh out, lucubrate
    add details, as to an account or idea; clarify the meaning of and discourse in a learned way, usually in writing
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    bowdlerise, bowdlerize, castrate, expurgate, shorten
    edit by omitting or modifying parts considered indelicate
    concentrate, condense, digest
    make more concise
    capsule, capsulise, capsulize, encapsulate
    put in a short or concise form; reduce in volume
    make smaller or shorter
    type of:
    decrease, lessen, minify
    make smaller
Word Family

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