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Thread: Non-map Archer illustration beef - Or whatever else fires you up.

  1. #1

    Default Non-map Archer illustration beef - Or whatever else fires you up.

    (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.
    “When it’s over and you look in the mirror, did you do the best that you were capable of? If so, the score does not matter. But if you find that you did your best you were capable of, you will find it to your liking.” -John Wooden

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  2. #2


    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.

  3. #3
    Guild Expert jbgibson's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
    Alabama, USA


    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".

  4. #4


    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.
    “When it’s over and you look in the mirror, did you do the best that you were capable of? If so, the score does not matter. But if you find that you did your best you were capable of, you will find it to your liking.” -John Wooden

    * Rivengard * My Finished Maps * My Challenge Maps * My deviantArt

  5. #5


    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.
    Last edited by Gamerprinter; 02-06-2011 at 06:20 AM.
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  6. #6
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    St. Charles, Missouri, United States


    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.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)

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  7. #7
    Community Leader Gidde's Avatar
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    May 2009
    Michigan, USA


    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

  8. #8


    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.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

  9. #9


    @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?)
    “When it’s over and you look in the mirror, did you do the best that you were capable of? If so, the score does not matter. But if you find that you did your best you were capable of, you will find it to your liking.” -John Wooden

    * Rivengard * My Finished Maps * My Challenge Maps * My deviantArt

  10. #10
    Community Leader jfrazierjr's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    Apex, NC USA


    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.
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