We Look at Them Enough... So Why Can't We Draw Them?
Breasts. They are everywhere. Floating, bobbing, jiggling, drooping, pointing, teasing, taunting, terrifying...
They are everywhere. Floating, bobbing, jiggling, drooping, pointing, teasing, taunting, terrifying...
Breasts have been known to induce confusion in some, inspire discomfort in others, and cause the rest to flee in fear or disgust. Who gets panicked by these, you may ask? Women, mostly. Some men, to boot. But why would a set of human glands be something frightening? How could they, designed for feeding children, and a leading cause for horny (mostly-)male eyestrain, be seen as something scary?
Easy – when they are drawn badly.
Women of comics, both print and online, constantly find themselves literally strapped to deformed lumps of flesh that all too often defy gravity, physics, and/or the basic tenets of human physiology. No other part of the human anatomy seems to get so mutilated in comics as the breasts, no matter whether the artist is trying to draw semi-realistically, or just drawing stick figures.
The biggest problem is, oddly enough, not usually one of size – though many webcreators do certainly seem to endorse the idea that bigger is better, as evidenced by their more-than-a-mouthful-is-still-not-enough approach – but rather one of positioning and shape.
Often, poor cartoon women are practically gasping for air, trying to keep their head above a sea of supple skin; their breasts are drawn so close to the head that they seem attached directly to the neck, like two nippled testicles hanging below an unimpressed stalk. Imagine trying to swim with two pontoons constantly battling for surface rights with your mouth. Picture bending over to pick up a penny, and knocking yourself out.
Contrary to what you may think, this is NOT why they are labeled knockers by some.
If it's not the cancerous neck growth ailment, then it is more likely than not a case of Triple-S: Surreal Spheres Syndrome. Perfect circles, bountiful and cornerless geometric shapes whose formulaic roundness would make Euclid or Hilbert proud, these scary skin-balls are too spherical to even pass off as silicone or saline. Ignoring gravity and the laws of physics, breasts like these stubbornly retain a shape that just doesn't look natural on a woman, much less a drawing of one. Think about it – for breasts to be that round all the time, they would need to be a true solid's solid, likely a mineral or metal, else they sag or shift one way or another with movement or time. Imagine the bulky framework that would be needed to support such pop-up book constructs! Goodbye skimpy superheroine outfits! So long slippy sauna room bathtowels! Seeya slimming one-piece swimsuits! Hello girders and mortar!
Let's not forget those poor unfortunates who are cursed with disaligned nipples – pointing every which way but magnetic North, natural thermal regulators skewed unnatural, perked-up pink peekers pasted out of whack and out of place. It is not uncommon for one to notice these pokey protrusions playing a game of Ring Around the Mammary from panel to panel, finding new and inventive places from which to salute the world of slavering men – men too wrapped up in their Nubian Servant Fantasy Lands to realize that they are ogling a morphing freak worthy of Sideshow status.
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So what drives artists to willingly mutate what so many of them seem to be so obsessed with, anyhow? Since most artists who are guilty of this crime against chestal areas are, in fact, male, wouldn't you think that they'd have seen enough of them in movies or books or magazines to be able to offer a better facsimile?
Could it be that they actually DO read Penthouse for the articles?
Perhaps the problem stems from comic books themselves. One only has to take a look at your local comic shoppe to see the sheer number of monster breasts practically LEAPING from the shelving walls, wanting to smother us in their flaunted freakish flesh... and these are drawn by people we label as professionals, no less! It's possible that this is an unconscious reaction to the current entertainment industry trend where most hopefuls, wannabes, and even grizzled veterans are willingly letting themselves be ripped open and stuffed, mutilated to help increase their "star power".
Or maybe it's just that all those misguided male artists aren't realizing how this is the IDEAL opportunity, the one PERFECT EXCUSE for us to sit there and stare at some man-magnets, under the legitimate pretense of STUDY!
Seriously, guys! Can there be a better excuse for salivating all over your favorite female body bumps than to be doing so in the name of art? In the name of self-improvement? Go around and look at all sorts of magazines or TV shows or websites (or, dare I say it... REAL women you know!), sit there with your sketchbook, and draw draw DRAW from reference until you can sketch out a pair of breasts in seconds not-so-flat! Make sure you're thorough in your research, too – don't just stick to silicone D-cups and cheesy porn poses, but look around for all shapes and sizes, in or out of all sorts of clothing... Learn the variety, build yourself a palette, a repertoire of breasts, so that all your comic strip girls DON'T look like they're cast from the same impossible brassiere mold.
Heck, if you're not sure if it's okay for you to do this, don’t just take my OWN word for it – look at these tutorials offered up by... *GASP* – women! If the women themselves are telling us in so many tutorial words that it's okay to stare, for a good cause, then by God, why are you all sitting there still reading this? There's intensive studying to be done, consarnit!
And speaking of studying... where's my wife? I suddenly feel the need to practice my own life drawing skills again. I'm all about the constant improvement of one's art ability, don'tcha know.