Decemboobs 2015, Days 1 and 2

Between 2015 and 2017, I took part in an annual drawing challenge started by a French comic book artist, called DecemBoobs. It was intended as a way for cartoonists to practice drawing realistic breasts; this is something that many cartoonists apparently struggle with. While a number of other cartoonists took part, many just drew cartoons of conventionally attractive women. I was one of those who looked for a diversity of body types to draw, and also included trans women and non-binary people as subjects. This year, the challenge isn’t happening; I have moved on to a different event called Fatvent Calendar and will start posting results from that on this blog soon.
I posted the drawings from this and other art challenges in a few places including Tumblr and DeviantArt; these days, I feel like neither of these sites are good for preserving the material I’ve posted there, so I’m going to move them over here.

Day 1:

Sketch of a nude woman, based on a 1938 movie still.
Digital sketch based on a still from the 1938 “Documentary” The Exposé of the Nudist Racket

What I wrote about this at the time:

Decemboobs, Day 1

This is day 1 because I didn’t hear about the Decemboobs challenge until this morning. I’ll do Day 2 today still.
This first sketch is based on a still from a 1938 documentary, The Expose of the Nudist Racket that someone on Twitter referred me to. This film is in black and white and consists of footage from an American nudist resort or park, with no interviews and only voiceover mixing straight reportage and commentary in a very free form. I don’t know enough about the state of the documentary form in that era to know if that sort of thing was typical of the time. In any case, it’s probably the earliest of its kind to be about nudists, and is notable for having no airbrushing or clever camera angles to hide all the bits that prudes insist be hidden.

Having said that, it’s not very good. It’s very male-gazey and there were some highly inappropriate jokes in it at the expense of one of the subjects, the lady in the sketch – the only fat woman in the entire film. I hope the fact that her body is memorized here, presumably long after her passing, makes up for that a bit.

Digital sketch made in Sketchbook Pro. The Expose of the Nudist Racket can be seen on Vimeo. The Decemboobs challenge is on Tumblr.

Day 2:

Digital sketch of a nude woman, based on a Tumblr photo
Digital sketch of a nude woman, based on a Tumblr photo.

What I wrote about this at the time:

Decemboobs, Day 2

Well, this should establish some sort of baseline. This looks like a quick sketch, but it’s not. Not really. It took far longer than a sketch like this should and if it had been a ten-minute pose, I’d have been screwed. But this is what I can currently do with photo reference.

I’ve mentioned before on my Tumblr that I like images of human bodies framed by rock – if a photo has a combination of these elements, odds are I’ll like it even if it’s not a masterpiece. So when I saw this photo on my Tumblr dash this morning, I thought that it’d be good for Decemboobs. Several of my comic characters including Neive and Aleas have body types similar to this lady.

But man, do I suck at drawing faces from life. And that arm gave me a lot of trouble until I changed the angle from what was in the photo.