Episode 584 - Drawing gender

May 23, 2022

We start off with the idea of talking about art techniques, tips and tricks we've mastered and could help people with but the cast turned into a discussion about drawing male and female characters- also trans, androgynous, etc. There's an art to representing gender in imagery! It's super important to remember that the way we see gender in art is mainly culture based rather than an innate biological reaction and the perception of gender in art is different according to your cultural background. It's basically a visual language that everyone learns, but as an artist you have to learn to actually “speak” it, and that's not as straight forward as you think.

Topics and Show Notes

A rough example of of how culture based our perception of gender in imagery is:

- In most Western art the “male” is the default. We take for granted that a figure is male in art unless it's augmented in some way, the most basic version is the stick figure. These are men. To make a female stick figure you add long hair, a dress or boobs. Some or all of that, it doesn't matter. And this scales up to other representations. A natural, more realistic depiction of a female person won't always read as a woman in art unless they are “feminised” in some way, i.e. a prominent bust, removing angles and lines and adding soft, rounded features, featured lips, larger eyes, thin waste, wide hips, long legs, large thighs, styled hair, thin neck, large head. And doing any of that to a male figure is a way to “feminise” them or blend their gender.

-In comic art from places like Japan and Korea it's the opposite somewhat, especially manga. The female form there is more of the default. Male characters involve a lot more augmentation to create a “masculine” effect, sometimes bordering on caricature, as can happen with female characters in Western art. A generic male manga character would typically read as more “feminine” if dumped straight into a western context.

In times past the focus was more on primary (genitals), or secondary (beards, boobs etc), sexual characteristics, i.e the Venus of Willendorf (a very female form) and male figures with disproportionately sized penises. While early Egyptian sculpture is pretty androgynous in his regard, male and female are not well differentiated, the main focus is on the build - eg. men having slightly broader chests. Early Greek sculpture even more so with simple abstract forms representing “humans”. Much later on this changed into a more separated, codified style: men being heavy, muscular, bearded, women being soft and slim, with youth of both sexes being more androgynous. Interestingly genitals were very diminished in this art, penises were small and flaccid, while vaginas were never depicted.
Though it was a different story with the art intended for more secular, “common” consumption, which could show pornographic scenes (mainly 2D). Art featuring Satyrs or Priapus massively exaggerated the genitals for deliberate comedic effect. For them focus on genitals didn't indicate masculinity or femininity so much as comedy, stupidity, shame, or porn.

Basically gender in art isn't about genitals or genetics, it's all culture based and you need to learn the visual language of your audience to make yourself understood by them, as well as to confuse them or subvert their expectations!
What trouble have you had when depicting gender? I always run into issues myself. I make my women too angular and my men are too slim.

This week Gunwallace has given us a theme to Gyor - Charged up, magnetically accelerating into clean, sweeping, panoramic electronic tones, momentarily overrun by a furious chaotic electric discharge, only to return to serenity once more.


Topics and shownotes

Links

Featured comic:
Gyor - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2022/may/17/featured-comic-gyor/

Featured music:
Gyor - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Gyor/ - by Tuxie, rated E.


Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
PitFace - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/PIT_FACE/
Kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei/

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Episode 581 - David's always right

May 2, 2022

4 likes, 0 comments

David's always right - Introducing Hpkomic! Hpkomic has been with DD since the earliest days, he's a comic artist, writer, English teacher, and podcaster. He even participated in the second comicbook challenge that Platinum held way back in the day when they controlled DD, and came second! He was part of many community events, like the Drunk Duck Civil War (the DD answer to the comic book Marvel Civil War) and DD VS Comic Genesis, which was the DC Vs Marvel of Webcomics! In fact he has the oldest post on this version of the DD forums! After the site was fully deleted at the end of 2005, he was the first person back who commented with an offer of help to get things back online again. Bonus points if you can find it.

Episode 576 - Retro Adventure heroes

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3 likes, 0 comments

Retro adventure heroes are an interesting and unique sort of hero. The trope was revived and crystallised by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg with Indiana Jones, but it had existed long before then and continues to persist now in many forms. They're not without their problems But I like these characters. I love their outfits, their competency, intelligence, self sufficiency, and their penchant for exploration and discovery.

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5 likes, 1 comment

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Episode 570 - Hair!

Feb 14, 2022

4 likes, 0 comments

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Episode 567 - Fairies, the Darkmatter of the supernatural

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3 likes, 1 comment

Pit and Tantz join me to talk about about fairies, fae, Faery, Fair folk, Yokai, and all that good stuff. They're like the dark-matter of the supernatural world: they're not really gods, demons, monsters, or ghosts (though sometimes they are al of those sort off…), they generally fill the spaces between. They exist in a lot of cultures all over the place. They can be naughty spirits, elemental creatures, or animalistic, but generally they're quite alien and unknowable. This discussion comes from Tantz's newspost on Saturday.

Episode 565 - Lady Barbarian

Jan 10, 2022

3 likes, 2 comments

“The Girl Boss in the sausagefest” Pitface and Tantz chat are here to chat with me about the subject or lady Barbarians: What they look like, where they originated, why they originated, what they mean, and the logic behind them. They're often overshadowed by their male counterparts (e.g. Conan), and often dismissed as simply an erotic male fantasy, but they've been around just as long and they've also had just as much of a role to play in the traditional “barbarian” mythos as the male versions. Sure, the sexy versions are abundant, iconic, and visually striking, but they're not the be all and end all!

Episode 563 - Merry Christmas

Dec 27, 2021

2 likes, 0 comments

Merry Xmas from everyone here at DD, but most especially Tantz, Banes and me, Ozoneocean! Pitzy is away for a while on family business, it's the time of year and family comes first. Tantz is at home with her pretty Christmas tree in cold Athens, Banes is snug and warm in his place in snowy Canada, and I'm sweating my bum off in Perth Western Australia as the temperature gets close to 44C (110.66F), but I dressed up like an exotic santa anyway hahaha! Which I tried to draw but lost confidence in my skills because it's SOOOO bloody hot and I can't concentrate so I posted screenshotted pics from our Patreon video instead. I AM MELTING!!!!!! We have no particular topic this time, just a Christmas chat. It's mostly Tantz and I because Banes had to rush off to work, dedicated fellow he is. How did you spend Christmas? Was it hot there too? Cold? Did you actually get a white Christmas? I would LOVE a winter Christmas.


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