View Full Version : Non-map Archer illustration beef - Or whatever else fires you up.

02-05-2011, 11:07 PM
(Feel free to post whatever pushes your buttons in this one)

Ok, straight up

/rant ON

I've been rolling around the net for a while now checking out character illustrations and what not. I totally know how hard it is to draw the human body's anatomy. Talk about a son of a gun... Anyway, what blows my mind is how many people screw it up drawing an archer. For crying out loud, why can't people figure out where the bowstring goes? I am stunned how often I see a fantastic illustration gone totally wrong because they fail to understand the mechanics of Archery.

Now, maybe this only bothers me because I used to do some archery back in the day, but it seems to me a simple thing to walk through in your mind. If nothing else check a reference photo.

I've seen images with rangers holding the arrow backwards, I've seen people holding a bow with the string on the outside of their arm.....there is absolutely no way that works!

In one instance I saw a character sneaking along holding a bow with his arrow on the wrong side of the string, in other words he was screwed because there was no way he could use it to any effect. Nobody sneaks into danger like that!

Now, I will be the first to admit that I'm not good at doing humans. I have little practice and no background in how to do them. I just draw by looking at what I'm after. I just can't believe that someone would spend all sorts of time doing a masterpiece and screw it up drawing in the sting of the bow incorrectly.

I don't know but it seems to me this is something a high school artist should have learned. How are professionals screwing this up?

/rant OFF!

PS. It's entirely possible that I've just had a bad week, but I can allow for a lot of things. This one just sticks in my craw. Grab a stick, put a sting on it, grab another stick and fire it across your yard and you will know everything you need to know.

02-06-2011, 12:22 AM
I know how you feel.
When I was a kid I used to draw the moon in lots of my pictures.. I used to have clouds behind the moon cuz I thought it was cool. Now that I'm a older and a bit wiser I know that clouds will never be behind the moon.
More to your point though.. I stopped watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer after an episode where she was sword fighting with her index finger wrapped over the top of the guard.
Also when people hold a Katana like a baseball bat...
I am now going to go through my tokens of archers and make sure I made them all right. :)

02-06-2011, 01:26 AM
When your own personal expertise points out goofs like this, use it as a reminder that the REST of what you see and read may be just as (in) accurate. When you're feeling charitable you can remember we're all ignorant, just on different subjects. I like trains, know steam engines well, how they're put together, how they work. Can't tell you how many illustrated kids' books I've cringed at, whose pretty locomotives not only couldn't work, their wheels as illustrated Couldn't Even Turn. I'm an engineer - I am sometimes horrible to watch a movie with. My wife could care less that spacecraft don't stop dead in space when they stop boosting, or whatever. But I can't let it go.

Yes, people should do their homework. I know I feel compelled to. I surely still get things wrong - no so much from lack of prep, as BAD prep. "T'aint so much what you don't know, as what you do know that ain't so."

Lately when I see stuff awry that doesn't directly impact me - I mean, if I didn't pay somebody to do the bad job, or them screwing up doesn't wreck my car or poison my food - I repeat to myself what I think it was Lewis Grizzard said. He was a humorist, sometimes a newspaper columnist, and because of that tenuous connection to the profession of journalism, one day a lady cornered him in public and ranted shrilly on and on, giving him down the road for every real and perceived evil of the newspaper industry. He let her wind down, and eventually got her to pause, at which point he reminded her, "Lady, it costs a quarter".

02-06-2011, 05:02 AM
LOL, that's great! And I'm sure I do or will blow someone's gasket on something I draw bassackwards. It does make me wonder if I screw up anything like that myself and am just not aware of it. Hopefully not, but probably so. I'm sure when I find it I'm going to cringe.

Don't worry too much Devin, if I did find one in something you did I will just let you know. I'm surprised that where I've seen these errors nobody else in those communities ever says anything. If I was a regular there I would point it out so they could fix it. I just don't want to walk in as an unknown and start busting people's chops.

02-06-2011, 06:18 AM
I hope your post is not pointed at my Yojimbo (non-map archer illustration), as I did use an actual yabusame archer photograph to base my illustration - so I know its correct. Although from evidence on yabusame festival photos, these archers drew the bowstring behind the head, not adjacent to the eye such as would be for western archery technique.

In yabusame the traditional target used in practice is a folding fan as that is the size of the human face. Rather than torso shots, yabusame precision archery is meant to be exclusively head shots, as the face was the least armored part of an opponents defenses in battle. And they were also trained to fire long distance also at folding fan targets. Yabusame is about precision archery while on horseback at a full gallop.

I know that Japanese archery techniques differ from European style archery techniques.

02-06-2011, 07:03 AM
Try being on the River Police. :) My biggest pet peeve is shoulder spikes - you'd stab yourself in the head the first time you raised your arms.

02-06-2011, 08:12 AM
Mine (ok, one of mine) is zombie-apocalypse movies where all the lights are still on everywhere. I work for a power company, so that drives me up a wall. For the record, there would be no electricity in a zombie apocalypse ;)

02-06-2011, 12:04 PM
Yeah, but a pitch black movie is kinda boring to watch. Apologies to Vin Diesel (but how does an ecosystem containing only two organisms evolve when the predator is incapable of approaching the prey? Seriously.)

I don't know that I've ever noticed a string problem in an archer illustration. I've seen more than enough, though, where the archer is drawing back the arrow itself instead of pulling on the string. I've not done any archery, though, so I am not as likely to notice as someone who has.

I almost said something, GP, about your Yabusame archer, since it didn't look like what I'd remembered from seeing competitions, but I figured classical technique might differ from the modern. I was curious as to whether you'd made the bow asymmetrical, but since you hid it behind the horse's neck I couldn't tell.

02-06-2011, 12:55 PM
@GP - Nope it wasn't you. Besides, if I saw something like that here I would just mention it. Also, our forum here is more about maps so I'm even less likely to be critical of other drawings/sketches seen here. If I had remembered your post I would have mentioned that I wasn't talking about it. On the other hand, I bet I made ya look :)

@Ascension - That's a good one. I'm all for postponing reality but pwning oneself by raising your hand is just silly.

@Gidde - I never thought of that but then I don't watch much horror movies, afraid I'll get nightmares. :)

@Mid - Kinda like how Snoopy does push-ups? (leans on his nose and raises his arms up and down?)

02-06-2011, 01:08 PM
So... any chance of a few links? I would be interested in what you might consider great artwork ruined by poor posture or bow mechanics. I ask because I don't really think I can ever recall seeing such.

02-06-2011, 02:33 PM
Well, first I'd have to go back and dig for them since I did not bookmark any. Second, I'm hesitant to point out someone's error when I didn't try to help them out first.

What I will promise to do is be a little more up front with folks when I see this and as nicely as possible point it out so they have an opportunity to correct it.

If I do happen to come across another one I will send you a PM.

02-06-2011, 03:03 PM
used to have clouds behind the moon cuz I thought it was cool. Now that I'm a older and a bit wiser I know that clouds will never be behind the moon.
I think that's cool, too. (BTW, a Flash developer for one of my friends just put clouds behind the moon -- ignorantly, not for effect. It was pretty sad.)

I also like crescent moons with stars inside. Same principle.

02-06-2011, 07:40 PM
rotfl...clouds behind the moon??

02-06-2011, 09:41 PM
@Mid - Kinda like how Snoopy does push-ups? (leans on his nose and raises his arms up and down?)

No, I've seen a few images where the archer is gripping the arrow's butt and pulling on that instead of having fingers hooked over the string. I can only imagine that if you were to do that with a wooden arrow that you'd either split the sucker in half, or just break off one side of the nock.
Like so: http://fc08.deviantart.net/fs28/i/2008/150/4/f/Kagome_Bow_and_Arrow_by_Shaboygen.png

02-06-2011, 11:01 PM
I guess if you were in space looking towards the earth clouds could be behind the moon :)

@Mid - Oh yeah, that won't work.

02-07-2011, 10:20 AM
Amazingly, her fingers do not actually appear to be gripping anything at all there. Well, can't be sure about the thumb since it's not visible. But it doesn't really resemble the thumb draw (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mong.jpg) thechnique either.

03-11-2011, 06:25 PM
rotfl...clouds behind the moon??

I was just replaying Return to Castle Wolfenstein and noticed this:


Definitely not an isolated error.

03-11-2011, 07:01 PM
ha!...well I played through that game TWICE and I have to say I never noticed it...but then I was far too busy killing Nazis- in fact when I ever got cornered I would say "hey Nazi, have you noticed that the clouds are going behind the moon...?" and they would die laughing. :-D Great game, one of only 3 games I ever replayed. Half Life, Unreal 2 (I was 'forced' to do that though, not by choice), Castle Wolfenstein and most of Far Cry.

03-12-2011, 06:14 AM
lol... just reading through this thread shows all the stuff that tics people off. So, I'll just turn some of those on their head. For instance, I loooooved playing Elite on my old Commodore 64, fantastic game.. then came Elite 2.. and somehow the creators decided that space travel should be more realistic, so now, when you turned the engines off - the ship didn't stop rather it continued in ludicrous speed... meaning all spaceduels were between small spots 2x2 pixels - the original dog fight feel all gone *sigh* ... oh and Giddes talk about light where there should be none... I'm typical anoyed with darkness where there should be light ... like the doctor examining a corpse in semi darkness, just to add "ambience" to the scene... *lol*... or people walking around with their flashlights and nobody even checking if there is a functioning lightswitch somewhere... *lol*.
And concerning Buffy holding a sword wrong - well, I can forgive her anything ;)

I think that in normal polite forums it would be fine to point out obvious errors, but if I was new in a forum I'm not sure I'd start out by pointing out errors as well... but you could always use the sandwich method - say something nice / critique / say something nice :)

03-12-2011, 01:12 PM
I feel I should point out that wrapping the index finger over the guard is a legitimate technique, particularly where your opponent is not also wielding a sword. It gives a bit more point control in exchange for a loss of power. In the event that you want to use such a grip against someone else who does have a sword, there are historical examples of broadswords with a ring designed to protect the finger, and many basket-hilt fencing blades are designed such that you can wrap your finger around the crossguard but still be protected by the basket. I have a replica of such a blade in my closet, in fact.

Anyway… I probably wouldn't have noticed the moon thing in Wolfenstein if this conversation hadn't been so fresh in my mind.

My wife recently pointed out that any given scene in CSI in which a technician is examining a car with a music montage, that that is the show's sex scene: strongly back-lit, close ups on the hands gliding across the surface, the music, intense facial expression. So that's evidently why they look at the car in the dark. As for the rest of the lab, I suspect that they spent their entire budget on fancy computers, so they didn't have anything left to replace the light bulbs as they blew one by one.

03-13-2011, 12:02 PM
@Midgardsormr - Ok, now just so you know I think your wife is right but it's also very funny because if my wife had told me that, the next time we went out to the car I would say, "Hey baby, check this out" and start gliding my hands along the leather seats and so on while making eyes at her. Hehe, it would be hard to keep a straight face though. If she's a Mike Myers fan you might even add, "Does that make your horny? Does it?" :)

03-13-2011, 12:34 PM
No, I've seen a few images where the archer is gripping the arrow's butt and pulling on that instead of having fingers hooked over the string. I can only imagine that if you were to do that with a wooden arrow that you'd either split the sucker in half, or just break off one side of the nock.
Like so: http://fc08.deviantart.net/fs28/i/2008/150/4/f/Kagome_Bow_and_Arrow_by_Shaboygen.png

Thumb ring, with a slightly awkward, but doable grip. A girl in my archery club back in high school shot with a grip like that using a thumb ring while partly holding the nock. The instructor yelled at her about it, told us all how she was doing it completely wrong, and that she would have horrible accuracy. She put five arrows in the bulls eye, and told him to shut up.

The real error is that the bow string doesn't line up with the arrow.