Rat Creature (ratcreature) wrote,
Rat Creature
ratcreature

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how to draw female comic characters (according to Wizard)...

brown_betty asked for examples "to illustrate the exactly how and why female comic characters are illustrated differently than the male." And I thought, really, what's better to illustrate these things than the books teaching the style in the first place?

A while ago I posted some scans from Wizard How To Draw series on drawing female superheroes (here and here), and I thought I'd post a bunch more from the first book of the series on "How To Draw: Heroic Anatomy".

There's 19 large page scans behind the cut...Collapse )

ETA (11 April 2010): Thanks to LJ's new comment option I can now freeze the post without deleting previous comments. I'm sorry I'll be missing out on some interesting comments, but I'm sick of getting offensive, sexist drivel dumped in my journal in a years old post.
Tags: books about comics, comics, comics: how to draw, comics: meta, drawing, drawing books, scans, scans: drawing books
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This came up under a search for "how to draw comics". I really shouldn't google stuff like that, even when I'm desperate.
I'm amazed. This drawing style thing frightens me. I thought manga-style was unrealistic enough, but nooooo.... It's like they used barbie and ken dolls as a reference. Then added weird shit. Why do only the men have muscles? For male superheroes to be believable they have to be muscled up like, I don't know, a bunch of gorillas tied together, whereas the female superheroes apparantly don't need to be believable, just 'cute'.
Ah, don't get me started...
Needless to say, when I finally get around to drawing my webcomic properly, I won't be paying any mind to any of this. I can only hope it's some cruel joke you made up. Please tell me that's the case?
You have read US superhero comics right? Anatomy like that really gets published. I merely bought the book and scanned some pages. I didn't manip anything. Invest $19.99 and you can see for yourself.
Hah, three pages of hate and ranting, though yes most of it is justified ranting and hating.

I don't know about it all, like one of the entries stated, it is just fiction in the end. You choose to be bothered by such things.

I am an Art Student studying to be an animator. I tend to draw like this here and there since I like the various styles and I grew up with Comic Books so it kind of spread to me and my drawing abilities. But, I do try to do more believeable anatomical drawings then alot of the Comic Art anatomics since I have to learn to draw in all possible ways being an animator and a drafter/Illustator.

I stopped reading comics last year but, I do remember one comic staying sort of true to the right anatomical positions of both Male and Female bodies and that was "Ultimate Fantastic Four." Or at least, I thought they did, my Artist's eye has expanded since then being in my first year of Art School and all.

But yeah, I do see the problems with it in the end, but I don't find it so extremley sickening. But, that could just be my whole point of view on this being an upcoming male art student. <_<;;
See, the thing is, I like superhero comics. I collect superhero comics. I wouldn't do that if I didn't get things I like out of them or didn't enjoy some of the art. I would have stuck with reading and collecting European comics and American independent comics, like I did for the first two decades of the comic collecting I indulge in. I mean, I have avoided superhero comics for many years because I thought they would all suck, because I thought that superhero comics were the comics for stupid teenage boys (also they just aren't such a dominant genre here). Then some fellow fans pushed superhero stuff at me, and it turns out I like them after all, and they are far more interesting than their image. But I would like them even better if art styles and portrayal of women I enjoy was more common. So I post about what I like and dislike with other fans and not least to show that the fan audience for superhero comics isn't all teenage boys ogling T&A or something like that.
Well, fair enough.

And I thank you for this, Rat, I forgot to say that originally, because I actually wanted to collect all the Wizard Magazines I found these in just incase I wanted to use them for drawing resources later.

As it goes, I know some people who like this style and they've been wanting me to draw them in styles like this stuff, especially the girls(I found it weird but whatever), but I had either never collected these or lost them.

So, I thank you for posting them up, even though it was more to just talk about the inabilities of Marvel artist to draw real people right or create a discussion on the matter or whatever.

I have saved em' up and printed and started drawing my friends the other night, I would post up the results but I fear I wouldn't know how at this point.
Wizard helpfully collected them into books, so if you really find them useful you could get those. BTW, in case you missed them, there's also scans of the sections on comic drawing I actually liked from this series, which I posted in other entries. *g* Like this chapter on pacing:
http://ratcreature.livejournal.com/150271.html#cutid1
or this on dramatic tension:
http://ratcreature.livejournal.com/150344.html#cutid1

TNX

Anonymous

December 26 2006, 11:27:20 UTC 11 years ago

i just wanted to say thanks for posting this and that i found very useful the information. I think that most of the female drawings where exactly what men think of sexy but i see lots of comments written by girls that seem to be against beauty. Women are all the same, when they find a girl that's better than her, the first thing they do is to point out the bad things of the other. Remember that drawings in comics are not intended to be as real as a picture, they are cartoons and that the artists of wizard showed how to draw based on their own style, if you don't like the way an artist draws, just learn the basics and find your own style.

thanks again for posting it :)
Well, personally I don't think superhero comics are the appropriate place for images that work just as porn for some of the male, heterosexual parts of audience, while costume and bodybuild make no sense in terms of the character, powers, plot or just basic anatomy. Why not go for porn directly then for wanking, where there's no need for outfits and people to make sense? I'm not against beautiful women, I'd even love to see more women I find hot in comics, I just don't go for the broken spine type myself.

Re: TNX

brown_betty

11 years ago

Re: TNX

Anonymous

10 years ago

....

Oh for the love of god. I read a few of the comments here and...a little bit vitriolic, aren't we? Yes, female comic book characters are oversexualized (and become lesbians in amazing numbers). Of course, do you ever see a skinny nerdy guy being the hero of a comic? Comic books are geared toward males of a certain age. That doesn't mean chicks don't dig em (obviously, since I'm bothering to type this). And there's eye candy for girls too (See: any well-drawn issue of Nightwing). But whining about how upset it makes you that some man draws women in oversexualized, posed ways is a waste of time. Grow up, move on, realize that a MAN drew this guide, and therefore, no, there won't be an sultry men, there won't be an sexually appealing men.

I am so sick of feminists whining about how men liking idealized females is horrible for the female population and how its a huge step back and all comic fans should be annoyed. I like comics. I know that female characters will often be shown with large breasts and/or perfect physiques. You know what? I really don't care. I enjoy comics for their stories and characters. If you don't like comic art, don't look at comic art. No one is forcing you.

Thats what I have never understood about people. Why do you feel like you have to post these things on livejournal, just to piss off people and provoke feminist rants? I can't say for certain how many people here actually spend their time reading comics--I really haven't the faintest, because I just stumbled in from google and decided to write a rant--but I would say that most of them obviously wouldn't voluntarily have looked up this material.

But thanks to Livejournal, its presented in a format where they can look and bitch all they want about something /no one/ is forcing them to look at.

So here's a female comic fan saying...just get over it.
See considering that I spend a large amount of money on comics I'm going to bitch about comics just like any other comic geek who also doesn't "get over" whatever s/he doesn't like, as is obvious in every comic forum, blog, zine, whether written by male or female comic geeks. For me to say what I like and don't like is part of being a fan. Nobody finds it odd if comic fans complain about, say, the return of Spidey's black symbiote costume instead of just not bothering to buy the comic anymore as soon as a black costume is on the cover. It's not like anyone is "forcing" them to buy a Spider-Man comic after all. Why should obnoxious, sexist drawing styles be any different? I mean, obviously nobody bothers to complain about things they're not invested in in the first place.

kagechikara

11 years ago

napthia9

11 years ago

kagechikara

11 years ago

napthia9

11 years ago

anthegreat1

11 years ago

ratcreature

11 years ago

ratcreature

11 years ago

Yes, you're right. Very interesting techniques. I think after I saw them it's possible I'll try to paint somethink like these ones.
The level of overblown "outrage" I see here is more cartoonish and exaggerated than any of the T&A cited in the original post. I swear- if this sort of thing is where you're spending your precious outrage, then you're either wasting it or you've got way too damn much of it.

Yes, comic book women are often drawn sexualized, and extremely stylized. If you don't like it, don't buy it. Or even better- make some of your own. Surely you've got more intelligence and talent than any of these 'chauvenist' artists- and there just *HAS* to be a huge untapped market out there that's begging for drawings of fat women in realistic poses!
You created this account just to leave this message? Wow, you must feel really strongly about the oppression of straight white men. If someone doesn't defend their right to have even comic women presented as sexually available, it's just like they're emasculated.
I was looking for drawing techniques on the web and found this site,great scans by the way. Now,I had to create an account just to post this cuz I'm so pissed off at reading most of the comments I'm about to puke.
1-Same darn stuff i say always,girls(and some strange guys) are SOOOO offended by sexism,yet female comicbook artists are like, how many? mmmmm let me think....non-existant maybe?
2-Besides the obvious dumb statements by some artists,the thing here is how to draw super heroes,not how to draw people that dont make you feel bad about yourself.
3-Sexual behavior is a private matter,why do people has to always shout and scream their sexual preferences and their obviously biased opinions towards anything at every chance they get? WE DONT CARE.
4-It's a how to draw something tutorial,not a United Nations congress,did it helped you with your drawing skills? yes? no? whatever? move on.
5-Everyone's a critic when hidden behind their Pc's.
Sorry you had to create an account, I had to to anonymous commenting off because spam on LJ has gotten really frequent recently.

As for your comments, lots of comic readers would prefer their heroines to look different. I read superhero comics, I pay plenty of money for superhero comics, and I enjoy lots of things about them (otherwise I wouldn't buy them after all), but I'd enjoy them even more if they were less sexist. I have no idea who this "we" is that you speak of, but obviously a lot of people do care or this post wouldn't be the one in my LJ with the most comments.

Also, there are plenty of female comic artists, so many in fact that they have whole organizations, like Friends of Lulu. Not as many as professional male comic artists but far from non-existent.

I have no idea what you mean with your "sexual behavior" comment. I mean, these comics are public and not even rated as adult or anything, and the "sexual preferences" are kind of screamed at me as a reader, but that doesn't seem to bother you, only when people talk about the comics in their blogs? That makes no sense. Unless you think only heterosexual guys have the right to talk about sex or make their preferences visible?

As for useful stuff to improve your drawing skills you could check out some of the other posts with drawing book scans in my LJ, some of which I found actually helpful, or check out some general drawing guides, Andrew Loomis anatomy books for example have been out of print for a while but are available for free online, for example here:
http://fineart.sk/index.php?cat=1
:D I hope they die.

Honestly, part of me thinks this is more hilarious than insulting simply because I think these guys are lonely virgins who have built up, in their minds, this ridiculous expectation of how awesome sex will be if/when they get it, and the female they picture this with has progressively become more insane looking.

This is why I like Joshua Middleton... some of the covers look posed and such, but the comics, like NYX? They don't always look "feminine" as these guys put it. Kiden isn't that ridiculous image of grace when she attacks a classmate. At least Middleton, in the sequential art in NYX anyways, realized that just because it was a comic didn't mean that all women were sexy, the same shape, or wore make up. Hell, he had women looking frumpy, girls with baggy clothes even though they surely could have been wearing "sulty" painted on clothes, girls fighting and not looking like princesses as they did so, girls doing drugs, and boys who were considered attractive and NOT the size of a damned semi!

This just suddenly makes me realize how much I appreciate it when a man can draw a woman who slumps her shoulders and doesn't wear mascara heavily enough to pull her to the bottom of a pool should she fall in.
Yeah, it would be nice to see many different bodies in more comics, for both men and women. Frankly it would make it also easier to recognize characters, especially out of costume, if they didn't all look like standard mannequin doll with different haircolors...
It never fails to surprise me how people can explode on this site. Man, people might thumb their nose at DeviantArt, but I've never seen vitriol like what you just got! (And I only read the last PAGE of comments!) Man, you have my profound sympathy and apologies.

I myself think it's cool that you've posted this... even though I'm six months late... and I'm adding this to my memories.

I still worship Kevin Maguire, though. At least his women in street clothes look like women in street clothes, and not women in body paint.
Well, most comments just had issues with some of the drawing styles Wizard advocates, so not really aimed at me.
I don't know a lot about most of the artists in these tutorials, except for Turner. Most of the examples shown would probably be used for a cover. If you read his books you'd realize that the lead characters are mainly powerful women: sara pezzini, aspen matthews, grace, and kiani all have their own books now and they usually have a weaker or normal male sidekick or boyfriend that they often have to protect. There are some sexy poses in the interiors, but for the most part they are actors in the story. None of his characters are promiscuous, and are alone for the most part. If you get on his message boards posting drawings of nude or sexually explicit characters they are deleted, and if you repeat you will be banned.
I am an amateur artist, and I know the reasoning on a couple of the points raised. Drawing people in skin tight spandex is easier to draw than a person in baggy clothes or clothes with a lot of wrinkles. When you have to draw multiple pages of the same character day in and day out you use shortcuts to make your job easier. And a lot of times the character is being viewed from above or below or in an unusual pose. That huge male character is definitely an exception, not the rule. Maybe five percent of characters are drawn like that, and usually to show that they are very strong. There are a couple of muscular female characters...She Hulk is the only one coming to mind, but there are a couple more I know. Wonder Women is starting to get a little more muscular. A lot of artists use photo reference to help get poses for their drawings, so if it looks like a victorias secret model or si swimsuit model that's probably where it came from. As far as drawing a beautiful character over a normal character, if you spend 8 to 14 hours a day drawing a character they better be interesting to you. Human beings are sexual beings, and if that makes men cavemen don't expect it to change any time soon. Do you date guys with a big beer gut, hairy back, shabby appearance or do you move on to the next guy? I don't know how that Balent guy got in the book because there are a ton of artists way better than he is, but remember that he is on a strict deadline, so that may be his way of getting his artwork done on time. Better to suck and have a job than to be the best artist ever and unemployed. Turner owns his own company and about twenty five percent of his employees are female. The number of females working in comics is growing, and I've noticed there are a few doing the drawing.
Also, please realize this is a small portion of that book. There's plenty of how to draw men, (not really sexy) buildings, vehicles...etc. This is also a compilation of what topics wizard readers asked about and wanted covered.
Well, I have seen the whole book, and actually three others of this series as well, and while naturally the quality and tone varies a lot (as is the way with compilations) and I found several chapters helpful on comic related topics (and I partly scanned and discussed those too in my LJ, so it's not as if I set out to misrepresent Wizard or their book series, like, I liked the chapters on pacing from the graphic story telling book quite a lot, as I said here and here), they are explicitly sexist in many places not just the chapters dealing with women, though especially those. For example Frank Cho's chapter on how to draw effective covers from Wizard's "How To Draw: Advanced Techniques": "VIVE LA DIFFERENCE!
You also can't use the same pose for guys and women--and women are much harder to draw covers for. With guys you just have to convey power to make the figure work, while with women, you have to emphasize their, y'know, curvaceous nature. It's almost like a swimsuit-issue pose--you have to emphasize their curves, yet at the same time reflect their power as well.
[...]
SKETCH APPEAL
Drawing a cover is mostly just trying to come up with a strong pose and trying to build upon it. It's kinda hard when you're drawing girls, because you're trying to come up with a strong, dominant pose, yet at the same time make it very sensual and sexy. I was just playing around with various poses, and for whatever reason none of 'em were sexy enough for me."


Or the fact that in the book on character creation, in the archetype section the chapters are Super Men, Super Women, Acrobats, Costumed Vigilantes, Brutes, Vixens, Armored Villains and Sidekicks, and the only chapter with examples from both genders is the one about acrobats (by Adrian Alphona, who draws Runaways). So you have "Super Women" (and some great ramblings about breast size under the header of "Rack 'em up" I shared my joy about that here), and "Vixens", but no examples in vigilantes or sidekicks, which even in actual superhero comics aren't uncommon for female characters. So the books do worse than the actual comics.
I don't see what the big deal is...this goes out especially to those whining about the big muscular character...you're looking at a damn book based on comic book art of course you'de never see someone that muscular in real life so just stop being so damn narrow minded...and as someone said previously not all characters look like that...so you guys (and ladies, since the ones in this thread are so damn sensitive) mean to tell me that if he put a section on how to draw Optimus Prime from Transformers and told you that a sense of realism should be achieved when drawing this, you'de completely bash him as you're doing now? Those whining over that probably don't have much of an imagination...and as for the so called "sexist" attitude you guys and girls think he's portraying you too need to realize that the majority of comic book female super heroes look like that (the slender, curvy, sleek, sexy aspects of the female character)...if you ask me he's doing a lot of women justice by drawing them like that, and sure you bash him for drawing women that can bend in almost impossible positions, but it's a fuckin superhero, not even real to begin with...and also, I'm pretty sure if most of you tried to reenact such poses you could pull it off. So all in all, open your damn minds, and stop being so hard on this guy when he's just trying to show you something which a large portion of comic book artists do as well...I sware you people of this thread are more sickening than the actual post itself...really, and I love people, but DAMN, come on...
If most of you did try to reenact such poses you probably couldn't pull it off because you're too busy bashing artists instead of getting in shape...and if you look at some of the high fashion model magazines you can see where this style came from...think outside of the box!
Actaully, I couldn't pull off those poses because they're physically impossible. I tried arching my back to the degree that comic women usually do, and it cut off my ability to breathe, making me dizzy. I've got an idea, why don't YOU try, since you're obviously such a paragon of human fitness? Remember, you have to thrust out the chest AND the butt at the same time. Otherwise, it's not "sultry" enough.
Well this is something. No one is forcing anyone to read THIS, rather than pick up a comic book. When I read this and responses to this, I felt my own type of RAGE. (funny that word is used) The way I draw my female characters is actually quite different than what you see here. With that being said, Turner is an ass but while Tuner is an ass he is a professional ass. When I browse the web for female artist, the portrail of women is actually kind of what you see here. Then again, If they or even you saw my drawings you'd say "That's a femine looking man with female clothes on) I draw tooo realist (ex: realizing gravity, small athletic breasts, female sized muscles and tones, various sizes/shapes, different races..) And surprizingly, Women were offened by my art, they asked me where are CURVES? hair, lipstick, etc. Hearing this made me feel crushed, then I see this and now I'm confused, what DO people want?
Well obviously different people want different things.

I want the way female characters are drawn have some measure of anatomy/realism/plausibility fitting with the chosen style, and the body type and clothing of a female character be plausible for that character, tastes and occupation, rather than just being justifiable solely as visual porn, unless it is a porn comic. I have no problem with porn comics, if someone wants porn poses above all else they should just buy a porn comic that is to their liking rather than demanding that superhero comics should function on porn principles rather than action-adventure ones with some eyecandy as extra. I get the concept of eyecandy, but actually I think that the drawings should serve the story in a comic.

I want the fighting and standing poses of women in comics fit with a plausible movement rather than look completely artificial just so that both tits and ass are displayed for optimum effect. Choosing a pleasing angle is one thing, I like eyecandy as much as the next person, but to make jumps or merely bending over look utterly bizarre is something else.

Personally I'm turned on by androgynous somewhat butch women, so I certainly wouldn't mind those, but I wouldn't complain about normal looking largish breasts on a heroine either (unless every woman in a comic comes with large breasts while male characters are allowed to have different types of bodies rather all having to be "standard heroic basic"), as long as they still look like breasts or maybe even breasts in a push-up bra rather than huge balloony things attached in an implausible manner to the chest looking worse than a freak accident of cosmetic surgery gone horribly wrong. Just people looking different from each other rather than mannequins with different wigs and clothing would go a long way (and often often a bad one at that).

I'd like women to have actually recognizable faces and facial expressions rather than having all the same face only once with blond and once with red hair (to a lesser extent that's true for male heroes as well), if for no other reason than to being better able to follow the plot.

Re: Um..

shidoikarji26

11 years ago

Re: Um..

ratcreature

11 years ago

It could be worse. Well I did buy Bulleteer for views on Morrison's metal text and the story is actually good. Even with the pencils. Its not HORRIBLE art as people call it, Maybe its because I dont think like my peers do. I have my own of cute/beautiful/etc and while Bulleteer's ok, she's not my type
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