Like last year (
Decemboobs, final evaluationWhen the call for participation in a drawing challenge focused on breasts arrived on my dash, I thought, "sure, I can do that easily" and so I joined. Turns out I was wrong about that: I missed 8 days out of 31 and the quality of the work I produced was very uneven. I still had fun most of the time, and it's allowed me to chip away at problems in my art and hopefully helped me become, like, a 0.1% better artist.
My favorite pieces from the project:
Decemboobs Day 29: Olivia Campbell by ReinderDecemboobs Day 30: Silhouette by Reinder
These are the ones where I think I was "on" on the day I drew them. The other ones, meh. I think the fact that my quality is so inconsistent is as big a problem a
), I am collecting the best artworks of this year's Decemboobs
challenge. I was surprised to find I'd made fewer entries than in 2015; however, I'm happy about the quality compared to last year. Most entries were better than the best entries from last year, and the ones that were bad, I at least got some useful practice out of it. This is good, because practice results in incremental improvements in how I draw, e.g. folds in clothing, eyes hands, noses and so on.
My favorites from this year:
That's over half the total number of entries so it's been a pretty good month.
I just went over the things I learned last year and I followed them pretty well - all my discoveries from then still check out in the new drawings. I did fall in the trap of constructing images too much, but I'm not really sorry about that. As a cartoonist, constructing is a big part of what I do, or it should be, because using reference for every single panel just bogs you down.
New things I learned:
1) Nostrils are negative space; draw the flesh around them and the shape of the nostrils takes care of itself.
2) On a prone torso, breasts behave like blancmanges
3) Plus-size models are more fun to draw; and
4) You know, drawing these images may well make me a better person. I approached drawing the nude body of a bodypainted trans woman with some trepidation, because while I have trans friends and support trans causes, I was still uncomfortable with the idea of looking at a woman with a penis especially while she's exposed like that. But as I went on drawing her, I realized that I could get used to drawing bodies that were a step away from the normal expectations society has imprinted on me as it has on most other (cisgender, heterosexual and otherwise privileged) people. And also that this woman was awesome! Confident, beautiful, charismatic - someone I'd very much like to get to know. Also, she's out there doing a body paint event and I'm not, so that alone makes her a lot cooler than me.
That last one, that's pretty fundamental. It gets to a big part of why I do art and why art exists. It's one thing to push back against mediocre talent and lack of ongoing practice to develop your skills, but given how time-consuming and often frustrating it can be, it's well worth for me to consider what I do it for.
I did 5 drawings that were based on selfies or showed people taking a selfie. I think selfie culture is actually very beneficial for the same reason: you appreciate your own body as it is and show it to the world. Individual selfies show how people want to present themselves; collectively they show the world who people really are. Having said that, drawing from people's selfies is a lot harder than drawing from professional model photos or even journalistic photograps (go back to the full gallery and ask yourself which is which).