Decemboobs 2015, Days 5, 6 and 7

At the end of the first week of Decemboobs 2015, an annual drawing challenge aimed at cartoonists because cartoonists are a bit notorious for not being too great at drawing convincing breasts, I did three not-very-good drawings in a row.

Day 5:

Drawing of activist Chelsea Covington throwing a ball on a beach, while dressed in swim boxers and a hat.
Activist Chelsea Covington throwing a ball on a beach, while dressed in swim boxers and a hat.

What I wrote about this at the time:

Again, we had visitors over so this ended up being the only piece of art I did today. Luckily, I had planned my subject in advance. And I knew I was going to work faster and not look for perfect reference. In fact, the subject’s right hand wasn’t visible in the video still I used at all, which is why it’s even cruder than the rest of the drawing.

This time around, I wanted to use a video reference and luckily, I found this via my Tumblr dash: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=613vuoNchPw&index=1&list=LLVI-gTq0TMLvUIhYXiH0zBQ . Topfreedom activist Chelsea Covington throwing a ball on the beach while bare-chested, videoing herself to show how few people actually respond or notice. I think it helps that her beachwear is about as ungendered and unsexualized as you can get.

We are taught from an early age to spot the differences between male and female bodies. However, in many contexts, the differences are slight. I have another video reference lined up that will explore this further.

This being YouTube, it’s no surprise that the video is gone.

Day 6:

Rough impression of a scene from a video showing nude oil wrestlers at Burning Man.
Rough impression of a scene from a video showing nude oil wrestlers at Burning Man.

What I wrote about it at the time:

This is not going to be my favorite drawing from this month-long challenge, but I thought drawing a scene from Naked Oil Wrestling At Burning Man would be worth a try. What struck me the first time I watched is was that despite everyone being nude, it was unexpectedly hard to see if there were men or women having a match. Not, obviously, impossible, but with the sumo-based positions that everyone took, the visible difference between male and female bodies was reduced. And the shadows did weird things, making the breast of the woman on the right look pasted on.

Or it was the quality of the video! It was OK as long as the images were moving, but as soon as I paused, the figures looked tiny and blurry. On the still I took, I had no idea where the left arm of the woman on the left actually was and I had to guess at it. I also ended up filling in the faces with generic cartoon faces in my style.

This was fun to do and possibly educational, but it wasn’t the sort of conditions in which I can make the best possible drawing. Tomorrow I’ll draw from a high-quality photo again.

The video is on Vimeo and still exists.

Day 7: Running through Corridors

Digital drawing of two nude women running through a corridor that is painted in Sanatorium Green.
Two nude women running through a corridor that is painted in Sanatorium Green.

What I wrote about this at the time:

Yeah, you know that feeling when you look at where your work has got to and you realise that either you should have stopped working on it a long time ago or you should double down and spend another five hours turning it into a proper painting. I’m gonna do neither, but just quit right here.

I had the reference image ( https://www.deviantart.com/p11oto/art/Free-101787300 ) in my DeviantArt favorites for years, and it is something I could actually use as reference in a comic – the odds that there will be a scene in AbĂși’s Travels in which two nude women are running down a corridor in the next six months are considerable.

Have you ever noticed that photos of people running never look like you expect? The woman on the right runs reasonably like you would see in a book teaching you how to draw bodies in motion, but even in the photo, the woman on the left looks very stiff; only the blurring and the bounce of her breasts and hair provide cues as to her movement. The drawing is even worse – I didn’t replicate the blur but exaggerated the bounce, out of desperation more than anything.

And yeah. I simplified the background. A lot.

Better images are coming, I swear! It turns out that daily drawing challenges are really good for helping me develop but the first week is always shaky.