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 578 - Punching toys in the boobs

Apr 11, 2022

5 likes, 5 comments

BANES RETURNS! …to talk about boobs with the rest of us. The topic of the discussion this week was brought to us by Tantz's newspost on the 2nd of April about bosoms and how their shape and size doesn't matter. In the crusade against “sexualisation” in comics people tend to focus too much on big or “unnaturally shaped” boobs, but the truth is that any type of boobs can be fetishized and by reacting against one type you just cause a new form of exclusion.

Episode 577 - The Agony and the Ecstasy.

Apr 4, 2022

4 likes, 3 comments

Creation is a process with a lot of ups and downs: Agony and ecstasy! The easiest way to think of it is a simple inverted parabola- you start of feeling good about your idea and its potential. As you work though you feel worse and worse about it till you get to the nadir of the curve, then things turn around and you start feeling better and better about it as it finally comes together and you finally manage to finish it!

Episode 554 - Return of the Living Dead Halloween Special

Oct 25, 2021

4 likes, 0 comments

This year for Halloween we've decided to do another commentary! It's of the 1980s Zombie movie “Return of the Living Dead”. It's extremely 1980s in style. There are zombies, punks, yuppies, electronic music, toxic waste… It's quite an entertaining, quite comedic, nihilistic cold war zombie film with very good effects for the time that really hold up today. Even the gore is tasteful. I am NOT a fan of horror in any way, Banes and Pit lobbied hard for this movie… but even so it was not a bad film. The zombies are animated by a man made chemical contaminant, which is quite an 80s theme in of itself. They're not contagious like modern zombies, there's no infection or outbreak to contain. The problem here is that they're virtually indestructible because of the chemical that animates their flesh, they're also fully intelligent and fast moving, this makes the zombies far more menacing and scary than any modern shambling brainless decaying infected version.

Episode 532 - Fixing art to make it less sexy?

May 23, 2021

4 likes, 0 comments

Tantz made a great newspost about this little trend of “fixing” people's art to make it less sexy, as if there was something wrong with sexy art. I think worst about it though is the implied moral superiority of the “fixer”. They're judging the art as non-realistic and “bad” (because it's sexy), and they set about “fixing” it to gain some sort of social kudos, slimming busts, increasing the girth of the figure, making their pose less provocative etc… I think the exercise would be perfectly fine if the context and the attitude wasn't one of “I judge this art to be BAD because it's sexy, I am fixing it to make it non-sexy and that will make it better! And you will all agree that the original was shit and I have improved it!”.

Episode 526 A return to Mary Sue!

Apr 12, 2021

5 likes, 3 comments

Mary Sues are always a fun topic! There are some misconceptions about them though… Mary Sues aren't all female, they can be any gender. Being super powerful or super popular or super pretty etc doesn't equal a Mary Sue, not even if your character super stands out next to all the others, those things ONLY indicate they might possibly be one. What equals a Mary Sue is a character that doesn't have to struggle very hard for anything, a character that is almost universally admired, and or loved (even by the enemy), a character that masters hard skills with ease and ends up teaching the teachers and beating the masters, a character that's destined to succeed and does in spite of internal story logic… All these things and more can add up to make a Mary Sue.

Episode 501 - Horrorcast

Oct 19, 2020

6 likes, 6 comments

We are the Pretty Things That Live in the House! We all dressed up for a Halloween themed cast today! You can see our weird looks in our Patreon video ($5 and up subscribers). Pitface was a yellowfaced corn vampire with amazing teeth (very midwest), Banes was an old, oooooold terrifying baldy vampire, Tantz was a beautiful, big eyed doctor vampire, and I was an 18th century Vamp (Lestat/Varny), with a face messy with the blood of my victims! And I had in rubber fangs held in by chewing gum, just like a REAL vampire, because the denture glue didn't hold in my good fangs… it just filled my mouth with disgusting glue that stuck all over my teeth XD

Episode 500 - Celebration!

Oct 12, 2020

7 likes, 16 comments

Finally we got to the five hundredth Quackcast! Wow! That's so many. We've been doing these for 10 years now. That's a long running podcast! To celebrate we invited our DD members aboard. We had a great fun time, lots of laughs and a really good chat. We even had time to introduce special cotributions from the people who couldn't be live with us. I'm making our exclusive patreon video of this week's cast free for all to view! Just click on the youtube link bellow.


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