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About Deviant Member Kyle TwilightMale/United States Groups :iconwomen-of-bioware: Women-of-Bioware
A great power is unleashed here.
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Racks View: New Horizons by NICELabs

It's looking really nice so far, Niceman! Is that the new science lab they put up on Daz3D's online store? I've added it to my wishlist...

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Racks View: New Horizons by NICELabs
It's looking really nice so far, Niceman! Is that the new science lab they put up on Daz3D's online store? I've added it to my wishlist, but have to wait and see for now before making any new purchases. The new one looked very Mass Effect in design, much like this one. Placement of the girls is pretty good, with each spaced out really nice. My only suggestions might be to have the Captain's other arm raised up, like she's making some final adjustments to the drone rather than it just hovering over her hand. For the girl looking out the window, I might suggest having her lean forward a bit, with her hands pressed against the glass or on the table as she looks around wide eyed at the alien world before her. This would add that sense of wonder you hinted at in your description. The only other thing I have might be to check the lighting inside the room. You're getting good shadows off the outside lighting, but the girls aren't casting shadows, even though it looks like the lighting is turned on. I'm afraid I'm still figuring that out myself, but I know Daz3D has some glow shaders and lighting effects. (If I remember correctly, you use Poser, and I'm not sure how lighting works with it.) All in all, it's a really nice piece, and the girls are visually distinct in both outfits and features.
Today, I posted up a drawing I did on Sunday of my Dad for his viewing.  He died one week ago, around 9:30am.  It's been pretty rough for those of us he left behind, but he passed away peacefully in his sleep, which is how he wanted to go.  We'd been through the slow route, with two Grandfathers and an Uncle who passed due to cancer, and my Grandmother's slow decline with liver problems.  Time has gone by so fast at times, and dragged on at others.  I felt bad for ducking out on my relatives for a few hours to do this piece, but I wanted to get it done before he was cremated.  The print out I did for the funeral I sent home with my Uncle.  He was the middle child of three brothers, and the last one still with us.  The day after the viewing, my Uncle, three cousins, and one of their sons (Not sure if that's cousin once removed or nephew.  He calls me Uncle Awesome because he gets to play video games when he's down.) all went out to play a round of golf in Dad's honor, but it had been so long since I played combined with how little sleep I'd gotten since he passed that the less said about my score the better.
I urge anyone reading this, take some time and go see or visit with your loved ones.  You never know when the unthinkable will happen.  Cherish those times with them, and celebrate their life.  There's no way to ever be ready to lose them, but never take for granted a chance to tell them how much you love them.
Dad001small by kyletwilight
Dad001small
Today marks the one week anniversary of the last time I got to speak to my father. I want to take a quick moment to thank all the family and friends who came and helped support us with food, cards, flowers, donations to charities in Dad's name, monetary offerings, or simply just being there. There are truly no words to express how much all of these have meant to us. For those who first heard about this with this post, I offer my apologies, as we tried to contact people from our contact lists privately rather than a mass post for security reasons, and many people got overlooked by our being scatter brained as we tried to make arrangements.
Dad hadn’t indicated any pain or anything, and our conversing was the same as every morning. We discussed if there was anything I could think of that we needed from the store. We spoke a bit about whatever was on the news at the time. I told him I loved him haphazardly, and that I’d see him later as I headed out the door. I realized I had forgotten a couple of games I was going to trade in, and went back inside for them, to which he joked, “That was a short trip.”
That was my Dad to a tee. He always loved to laugh, and was quick with some bit of humor, whether it was politically correct or not. He loved to entertain, making visits special when family and friends were over. We used to joke about how bad his cooking was as it used to be that you needed a spoon to eat his eggs. Until my Mom’s back prevented her from cooking, he’d never really cooked much. He’d taken over kitchen duties, making them his own by creating new recipes by experimenting with new spices and sauces when fixing things like hamburgers and steaks.
Dad never gave himself enough credit. He was a mechanic first, his love of cars and motorcycles taking so much of his time. He often griped about how so many of the new cars required computers to work, and how difficult it was to change simple thinks like headlights and the oil now. He definitely preferred the old classic cars before computers started running everything, yet also embraced the new technology as he marveled at how easy things were to diagnose. He always said he wasn’t creative, borrowing techniques on how to do things from articles and tutorials he’d seen, yet he was an inventor at heart. So often, if a part didn’t fit right, or if he needed something specific that he couldn’t find a good, cheap version of what he needed, he would figure out a way to build it, and often build something more suited to what he needed than what he could have bought.
Family was everything to him, and he considered his friends and friends of his family just part of his extended family. So many times he would invite friends to spend holidays with us because he knew they couldn’t be with their own family during that time. They weren’t just friends of the family. They were additional brothers and sisters to swap stories and memories with. When my nieces and nephews had their friends over, they were just additional grandkids to spoil. If he knew someone enjoyed a particular food or recipe, he’d go out of his way to make sure it was there if he had forewarning that the individual was going to be there.
If he was on the golf course playing and bumped into a group, he’d strike up a conversation and ask if they wanted to play with him. Those fellow golf players on the course were his brothers and sisters in arms, and he enjoyed offering the knowledge. He was as much a teacher as his father had been to those who enjoyed the sport, sharing jokes and enjoying the company. He supported his love of the sport in so many ways, and was a big fan of the “First Tee of Lexington” which supports young players as they learn about the game.
If someone needed help, even if he had to put his own projects on hold, he was there. Very rarely would he ask for help himself, but when he did have to hire someone, he was adamant that he was going to be right in there with them as they worked on whatever he needed done. He loved to learn about new construction and tools, just as he enjoyed sharing his own knowledge and experiences there as well.
He threw himself into joining the local volunteer Fire Department after we moved to our Kentucky home, serving in all capacities until he started recognizing that he couldn’t handle the heavy stuff. He gracefully handed off his turnout gear to a younger member who needed it, helping out with the fundraisers and working on keeping the trucks running and helping with traffic control until my Mother’s condition reached a point where he wasn’t able to attend or respond to calls as regularly as he would have liked. He was a firm supporter of the department, right up until he was notified they had kicked him off without telling him.
He was part of the Patriot Guard, but was never able to ride with them due to timing. That meant so much to him as while he served in the Air Force as a mechanic during Vietnam, he never felt like he was a real veteran since he wasn’t in combat situations. He wanted to do his part for those who he thought were the real heroes who deserved recognition by showing support for their families, and also was a big supporter of the Wounded Warrior project.
I wish I had grown into half the man he was. I’d give nearly anything just to hear him get after me about forgetting one of the garbage bags while gathering up trash on trash night. Of having my sound turned up too loud on the speakers of my computer while playing a game or watching a movie. Of just hearing Dad say my name one last time. My Dad is gone, and I don’t know if anything in the world will ever be right again. 
Since that final morning, one verse of the song “The Living Years” by Mike and the Mechanics www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGDA0H… has been repeating in my head over and over. “I wasn’t there that morning, when my father passed away. I didn’t get to tell him, all those things I had to say.” For those still reading, I want to urge everyone to take an hour or two out of their schedule. Those of you with parents, go to them. Sit and talk with them. Listen to and revel in their past memories, even if they’re ones you’ve heard hundreds of times before. Tell them how much they mean to you. For those who have lost parents, reflect on those long lost stories, of the happy memories you shared together. Of the lessons they taught you. Life always seemed like Dad would always be there, but your loved ones can be snatched away from you so quickly and when you least expect it. 

I'm leaving the ability to sell prints not to make money, but in case family or friends want a professionally done print or other item of the original drawing.
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Today, I added an article/rendering of my take on the Milo Manara Spider-Woman cover.  As an artist, just about every time I see one of these articles I'm put immediately on the defensive because said articles almost always de-evolve into several points.

Power fantasies:
First up is always the sexualization of women and the power fantasies of men.  Yes, I'm more than willing to admit that women are often sexualized in comics.  No, every single piece of art of a man is not a "power fantasy."  The second this argument comes up in an article as justification for said article, you've lost me as an artist because you've immediately put me, an artist, on the defensive by claiming everything I and my fellow artists have ever done or will ever do belongs in only these two categories.  Yes, it is a common theme for one person to be the "power" and the other to be the "objective."  That doesn't mean that every piece of art has the male in the "power" position, nor every female in the "objective" position.  Nor does it mean that artists don't recognize that fact.  Joe Jusko has a quote on the back of one of his trading card sets from the 90's about how odd it is that cavemen are always portrayed as ugly, hairy things like they are in the museums when it comes to artwork, but women are always the modern, perfect hair archetypes in fantasy art rather than resembling their prehistoric counterparts. 
While the reversal of roles is not as common, it is out there and these arguments never seem to cover them.  Often, it's because people discredit them due to excessive nudity or sexual situations.  Two examples of this I can think of are Budd Root's Cavewoman and Jim Balent's Tarot. 

Cavewoman's Meriem is a strong and fiercely independent female character who manages to also retain a fair bit of feminism.  She grew up on her own in prehistoric times after her Grandfather was killed by dinosaurs after they were transported to the past by his invention, she grew up without the need for modesty.  While the series has a lot of nudity and sexual situations, often Meriem is shown as an innocent, not really realizing what her nudity or near nudity is having on those around her.  If a breast pops out or a strap slips, she is more concerned with surviving that making sure she's not flashing her naughty bits.  (Her boyfriend, Bruce, is often the person stuck in the role of "Damsel in distress" and has needed to remind her to cover up from time to time.) 

Balent's Tarot is, for all intents and purposes, superhero/fantasy softcore porn as all the women have huge breasts.  However, Tarot is another example of a strong and independent female character.  While she and her family have occasionally needed saving by her boyfriend, John Webb, often he's the one in need of help or saving.  What really sets Tarot apart for me though is the exploration of Wiccan traditions and lore, a religion that while had gained in popularity in recent years, is still seen as "evil" by most other religions who don't understand it.  Most of Tarot's stories are more whimsical and lighthearted, but they've done some really dark story lines in the past.  While the sheer amount of open sexuality in the series would get it discredited from the Bechdel test, Tarot is one of my favorite examples of a strong and intelligent female characters.  (To be fair, if you were to reverse the Bechdel test to include stories where guys talked with other guys about love interests, I'm fairly certain every story in existence would fail that test.  Then again, the comic strip the test was based off of names a film that doesn't meet the requirement of the test, as Ripley and Lambert had a conversation where Ripley asks Lambert about Ash.  Then again, Ash is revealed to be an android later, so perhaps that doesn't count.) 

Now, neither of these characters are mainstream like those characters from Marvel or DC, so that also tends to make them discredited, but they are out there. Death from DC's vertigo is a character who, aside from a little informative brochure about safe sex back in the 90's, I've never seen officially used in a story about sex.  (For the record, the brochure was done with a very humorous yet serious tone, with a guest appearance by John Constantine who hands her a banana while complaining about how embarrassing the whole thing was when she demonstrated how to properly apply a condom.)  In all honesty, I don't remember her being naked in the Sandman series at all, where she predominately was used.  In fact, she's about the only main character, male or female, who we didn't see in the buff in that series at some point.  (Admittedly, I only saw the series because a friend of mine was really into it, so I may have missed some issues that he hadn't tracked down.)

I'm not sure there's a single character in the Marvel Universe where I would say they haven't gotten screwed over at some point and time by a writer on the book.  While a friend of mine holds up the recent Captain Marvel series, Carol Danvers had some truly bad things happen to her character.  However, I've always loved Carol's personality, and how no matter what is thrown her way, she'll overcome it.  She's also one of the few characters drawn with a physique to match her abilities.  She Hulk, despite the fact that many arguments toss out her character as an example of a good strong female character due to the bathing suit style costume and how she's "just a female version of Hulk," is another favorite of mine because where Hulk got dumb and gets more powerful as he gets angry, Jennifer not only retained her brains (she's a lawyer, and a successful one at that) but loved her new abilities.  She's not a "squeaky clean" character either, as she's willing to manipulate in order to get her way.  (To be fair, she is a lawyer...)  One of my favorite stories with her has her take Thing out drinking to try and talk some sense into him, and deliberately takes him to a bar near a building that is being demolished so that he could work out his issues in a fight while making sure that no one and nothing got destroyed that wasn't going to be destroyed to begin with.

I guess for me, I just don't understand why every male character is a power fantasy just because they're male and scantily clad, yet the above characters are "sexualized female characters."  I mean, does that mean that because Sailor Moon characters wear short skirts they're "sexualized female characters" when I would think they would be more of a power fantasy instead, despite the fact that their creator is female.  What about characters like Ranma 1/2, Birds of Prey, Battle Angel Alita, and Jenny Sparks?  (Kudos points to those who know who she is...)

That pose is sexist because it has Boobs/Butt/Crotch prominent in the camera angle:

Here's a drinking game to try that proves that this particular argument isn't always used properly.  Read a Spider-Man comic that has him webslinging his way to get somewhere.  Now, I want you to take a drink anytime his crotch is pointed at the camera, and another shot when his butt is thrust backward at the camera.  Take one more shot for any time his chest is jutting forward because his arms are raised over his head and his getting ready to kick his legs forward.  Do another any time his legs are spread kicked out from one another, giving characters in the foreground or background a crotch close up. Then tally up the total number of shots you just drank.  (That is, if you're still sober enough to hold a pencil or be awake at that point.)
Yes, there are times when people do ridiculous amounts of boob/butt/crotch close up or prominent camera angles.  Does that mean it's sexist 100% of the time?  No.  Sometimes, it's simply the movement of the characters.  I haven't explored much of the New 52 universe from DC, partially because I feel they should have done anything to keep that string of Batman comics going to be the first comic book series to run 1,000 concurrent issues without interruption or renaming the title of the book.  (That means that at no point in the series history did the comics stop, start a new numbering system, then go back to the old numbering system.  Someone argued this point with me the other day that Thor's run would be the first one to reach issue 1,000, because while his comic had that whole "Heroes Reborn" reboot, it reverted back to the number the issues would have been had the reboot not taken place.  I had to explain what concurrent issues meant, and how the Heroes Reborn reboot and Journey into Mystery didn't count as issues of the main series, despite Marvel's attempt to persuade fans that the series didn't "really" get cancelled and rebooted.)  The other partially is because of how they handled Catwoman and Starfire in the reboots.  (If I hadn't already sworn off DC books over those other issues, I would have quit cold turkey after seeing what they did with Raven's character.)  Oddly, one story that was done where I would agree wholeheartedly that it was sexist beyond all measure was the story where Batgirl chases Catwoman around in a nudist colony wearing nothing but their masks.  I can't see either of these characters agreeing to the terms to strip naked and go into a room completely defenseless, and the whole story was pure TNA and cheesecake in terms of the poses and action.  The strange thing is, I've seen this story praised as a way of doing things right for women in comics before, and I'm just not seeing the difference for how this is different from any other comic where the lead female character runs around naked or half naked the whole time.

Male characters are drawn in those poses all the time/show me proof or it didn't happen defense:

Often, the first comeback in the comments sections of these articles is "male character x is drawn that way all the time."  I won't lie, I've thrown that argument out there before, especially when I know it's valid.  The comeback is always some variation of, "Show me examples or it's not true."  Sometimes, there are poses where yes, it is questionable.  Yes, sometimes we think we've seen that pose on other characters in the past.  To be fair, to expect someone to have instant access to a scene somewhere in their 20 to 30 year long span of collecting comics isn't really an effective way of denouncing that argument.  Well, it is, but it immediately makes the debater discredit anything you might argue in the future because they realize that you aren't willing to discuss it reasonably.  Then again, if the person using that argument can't give an approximate timeline or storyline they remember the scene from, then it's probably best not to try countering with that argument.  I'd say go to google to try to find it, but I tried that with trying to find a similarly posed Spider-man image to counter the Spider-Woman #1 Manara cover, and the results of which came up with everything except for Spider-man.  I did find a couple of similar poses for Captain Britain to the pose Spider-Woman was in for the Greg Land cover, but I know I've seen better on some of the old Excalibur books from the 90's during the Alan Davis run.  As for the poses themselves, when I looked at the image without reading the article on it (about a day or so later,) I realized that it looks like Land was going for the "fastball special" that is one of Marvel's favorite bits to use.  Basically, a character with super strength would pick up a smaller character who would curl into a ball and get thrown by said character at the enemy or place where they were trying to reach that was otherwise inaccessible.  (Colossus and Wolverine are the first pair I remember using it back in the 80's X-Men comics, but it may have been used before then in other comics I don't know about.)  I'm not a fan of the Greg Land cover as the anatomy on Silk is extremely off, and Spider-Woman's arms are too masculine.  (Note, it's not because they're muscular, as good artists will make stronger characters muscular.  It's because they're done with a male muscular system instead of a female muscular system.) 

The Battle Bikini

Okay, I'm not even going to try to defend this one.  There is no such thing as practical armor that only covers the naughty bits, regardless of gender outside of jungle/fantasy settings where they don't have armor or modern clothing.  Leotard style outfits for acrobatic characters, okay, I can see that.  Characters with fur covered bodies, like Beast or Tigra, I can see as a possible reason for wearing briefs or bikini style outfits since zippers and fur just don't sound like a fun mix.  Speedsters who need to cut down on the friction of the fabric of the suit I can see having strategic areas cut out too.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to say I don't love some of those fantasy outfit designs that are fairly skimpy, and have thrown them on characters in the past without any feeling of guilt, but I also recognize that fighters should have some kind of armor that looks like it could actually do something.  (A D&D character I have in my gallery, Moonbrooke, showcases my feelings on this as I don't agree with "boob plate" or intricate decorative designs on armor as well, as I gave her an injury where she was stabbed through her right lung in one of the places the design on her old armor was weaker than the others.  One of these days, I need to color that in so that people can tell she's wearing pants too.)  Those skimpy armors are fine for ceremony, but I'd never recommend sending a character into battle in one unless they're a barbarian type character or dexterity based character.  (Maybe a magic user who would have their spells disrupted by metal would be acceptable to.)  If a character is all but invulnerable to harm from physical or temperature means, then possibly then it would be acceptable as well, but there should be a valid personality or background reasoning for it, such as...

Culture Clash

Okay, this is one case where I can see both sides of the argument, because there are plenty of cultures here on Earth where little to no clothing is acceptable, and plenty where showing a bare foot, ankle, hand, or face is punishable by death.  That's not even getting into potential culture clash from alien races we might one day encounter.  This is where I go on my rant about the character Starfire, and a big part of why I can't bring myself to try the New 52 when I heard about how she was being portrayed in the book.  Now, admittedly, my experience with Korriander has been pretty limited, with a few crossovers the Titans had with other series and the few books I've gotten a chance to read or pick up in bargain bins over the years.  She came from a culture where nudity and physical acts of love weren't as taboo as they are in ours.  When this is done right, it creates a huge sense of culture clash for herself and her friends.  (I remember reading about where she gets married to another Tamaranean and not understanding why Nightwing was so upset when because it didn't mean they had to end their relationship in her culture.  Sadly, I didn't get to read the issue in question, just the page of the night after the wedding where Starfire is trying to figure out why Nightwing was so upset.)  It should noted that because Tamaraneans were resistant to temperature and radiation, their culture as a whole didn't wear much in the way of clothing.  When it's done wrong, you get the New 52 version of Starfire who has a raging libido, short attention span and memory for who she's been with and why, and doesn't seem to have attachment to anyone.  (From what I understand after doing a bit of research, DC has retconned this so that she remembers everything deeply and passionately, but chooses to "suppress" those memories for whatever reason.  That's about as dumb to me as Peter David's having Hulk say, "I was holding back" in reference to the fight Doc Ock gave Hulk where he managed to restrain the Hulk with his new adamantium arms.  As Erik Larsen pointed out, "What possible reason would the Hulk have for holding back?!")

Bad Anatomy doesn't necessarily mean bad art or lack of anatomy studies
As for anatomical issues, when you have a certain amount of time to get a project done, sometimes you can see an issue but have to run with it.  If you miss your deadline, then odds are you lose either money or the job in question.  That's the reality of working in an industry with time limits.  Sometimes, you are asked to do a particular pose, you do said pose, and the client says, "That's great, but I want to see <insert body part here> doing this as well."  It should be noted that the <insert body part here> is not able to be seen from the angle of the shot but is busy doing something specific, but your client insists so you draw it out of anatomical proportion for said reason.  Sometimes, those projects where you have to figure out a way to rework the rules of anatomy can be fun challenges.  Sometimes, they can be nightmares, particularly when your mind is drawing a blank on how to make the drawing work.  (It's not the client's fault, as often they don't realize how you can't show what's going on from every angle and they're so excited to finally be commissioning their idea that they spill out what's going on in areas that just aren't visible from one angle.  Often, when you finally work out that challenge, they can be some of the more rewarding pieces in the end because of said challenge.)  Many times, something you think is atrocious because you can see all those things you messed up on yet it ends up being one of your client's favorite pieces.  Sometimes, you're too close to a piece to see if it's good or not, and you have to let it sit and breathe for a while before examining it to see if you like it or not.  I know some of the pieces I've done have seemed terrible to me at the time and they ended up being one of my most liked pieces, and stuff I thought was some of my best work got shot down with a "incorrect anatomy" rejection letter.  (I'm very thankful that Todd McFarlene and Jim Lee shared their rejection letters, as it goes to show how even artists with huge fan bases can have work rejected.)  Let's face it, if bad anatomy meant an image was a piece of trash, then we wouldn't have Modern or Abstract art.  In fact, sometimes a piece works because that "bad anatomy" makes the viewer take that closer look and giving the viewer a bit of participation in the viewing of the piece than just, "that's nice."

That artist is sexist and perverted for drawing scantily clad female characters and provocative poses

I've talked this long basically venting at the frustration at the root of this argument, because I'm at heart someone who enjoys drawing women in various states of undress and sexual situations.  (Blame puberty, as I couldn't draw anything that was recognizable before I hit puberty.  While you might think that was a joke, it's not.)  Note, I said that I enjoy drawing them on my own time, but have drawn plenty of other stuff when I was getting paid to draw other things or had some sort of assignment to draw something else.  That artist the internet decided to gang up on?  He was told to draw something a certain way.  He did his job, drew it the way he was told, and then everyone seems bound and determined to place the blame on him for being paid to do a job.  Yet so many of the replies and comments I see on these articles and threads ignore that the artist was sought out by the art director/editor on the project they were hired for, or the author wrote that panel of Catwoman in a state of undress running around with boob and butt shots that were the focus of the panel before we finally see her face on the second page of her comic.  That artwork started out as a concept from the writer, drawn by the artist, dialog written by the writer once the artist's work was approved, then published that way.  There's plenty of blame to go around in the creative process, and often it's more one person than the entire group.  You can usually examine an artist's body of work and tell if it is them, or the fault of another person in the group.  If the artist is big enough, like Mr. Manara, to have an established pattern and artistic style for drawing certain subjects, then when he is sought out by a company to work on the project and bring said style of work to their characters, it is not his fault, it is the fault of the company who hired him and told him to bring his style of work to their creation.  To attack him and his style for drawing what he was paid to do is akin to attack someone for the color of their skin or their sexuality in my book.  Now, if Marvel releases the documents stating they wanted Spider-Woman in a pose that was just her standing on a building with a pose that could not be construed as sexual in any way, shape, or form, then you can blame Mr. Manara for misunderstanding the assignment at best, and defying the client's order at worst.

If you don't like it, why don't you draw it yourself?

This is the one comeback that always comes up in this argument from one side or the other that I hate seeing, because it shows the utter idiocy and ignorance of the internet.  You know the internet meme of Ned Stark saying, "One does not simply just start a Game of Thrones?"  Yeah, you just totally went, "Why don't you just start a Game of Thrones," and Ned Stark is having to correct you.  (Before he loses his head.)  Even if you can draw yourself, you have to be chosen by the art directors/editors at a comic company to be able to work on said project.  If you seek to self publish, that's expensive and time consuming as well, often with little to no payoff other than people stealing your work or telling you that you suck.  (Thanks to those fans who do send encouraging words, as I'm sure you know who your are.  Those are always very appreciated, and sometimes the only reason I even attempt new art these days.)  Just because someone is offended or upset by either a drawing or story doesn't mean they have the talent, know how, resources, or opportunity to be able to draw/write/publish what they would like to see.

My challenge back to those who have read all this

Rather than say, "why don't you draw it yourself," I would challenge everyone to provide examples of where artists/writers/comics got it right.  Far too often, in fact, I dare say every time there is a rant like this, no one says, "Look at this.  They got it right!  This is what we need more of!"  Don't just jump on the bandwagon with pitchforks, torches, and thermonuclear weapons, let the company know your displeasure but also tell them where they did well, or how you think it could be improved.  Also, don't gripe about every piece of art featuring a woman claiming it's sexist.  Pick and choose your battles, or save it up and release it as a way of documenting your case, but be sure to include samples of other work that got things right so that the company and artist you're upset with can see what they did that was offensive but also see examples of how to do things the right way to make you happy. 

One of my favorite examples of how my own art grew was an argument in the old Erotic Artist Workshop group (Or maybe it was ECC, I can't remember) where an artist called PFunk got upset over the selection of yet another blonde white superheroine being chosen as the subject for the jam for that month.  It lead to a flame war that I didn't get to comment on, and resulted in the artist leaving the group.  (Which was a shame, as he was really talented.)  I stewed on it, really upset at first, but came to realize I hadn't drawn or created a character of different ethnicity since High School.  One of his biggest points was that even when a character was a minority, they were often drawn as a white person who was painted the color of their ethnicity.  (His comment on Storm was that she was always drawn with the build and facial feature of a white girl, where as characters like Rocket from the Icon books Milestone put had black facial features.)  It made me start trying to find examples of different ethnic looks and incorporating them into my work.  I started looking hard at details one might put into a character's look or design to make them look more ethnic in features, like how Redbird from Wildstorm's Black Ops comic had a rounded nose rather than a dainty pointed one as part of her character design.  I can't remember what tribe she was descended from, as it wasn't a focus on the character in her storyline, but was just one of those random things that helped to shape her overall design and make her instantly recognizable, even in black and white line are.  One other side effect was that I started trying to think outside of the box in terms of character personalities, and trying to work that into my character builds as well.  The point is that when you give examples of how to do it right, then changes start to happen.  When you don't, and just belittle and moan about how characters are portrayed, then all you do is get the people you're trying to impress the importance of your cause upon to ignore your rants and discount them.

Just as a for instance, say you want pin ups of guys who aren't "male power fantasies."  What sort of poses and the like would be "sexualized male poses" as opposed to "male power fantasies?"  Say you want less "sexualized" images of women, who in the industry is getting it right?  Don't just make huge rants about the bad things, make huge rants about what is working for you.  The same goes for ethnic characters, LGBT characters, and any other kinds of characters I might be overlooking.  This isn't me ranting for no reason, this is me asking... no, begging for these offended groups to inform the comic art community what they need to do to fix things, because if we don't learn the right way to do things, odds are things will stay the way they are now.
Spiderwoman1fix by kyletwilight
Spiderwoman1fix
The other day, I came across the flame war that erupted against Milo Manara for his Spider Woman #1 variant cover.  Perhaps it is the fact that I've been a fan of Manara's work since the first time I saw it in an old Heavy Metal magazine back in the 90's, but my first impression was, "Wow, look at the detail he gets out of his artwork," rather than, "That pose is sexist!"  It should be noted, the first article I found on this that was going into a rant was Elle Magazine.  Sorry, but for me that's a case if severe hypocrisy for Elle Magazine to complain about how women are portrayed in any form of media.  I've literally seen less risque poses on the cover of porn magazines than I have on some of the covers of Elle Magazine.  Here's the Elle Magazine article for those wishing to read it. www.elle.com/news/culture/spid…   To be fair, most of the article was pulling ideas from this article at the Mary Sue.  www.themarysue.com/marvel-spid… Aside from the final paragraph where the author decides to reference an article at Kotaku io9.com/5863094/what-if-the-ma… where they showcased Kevin Bolk's "Avengers butt shot" picture.  (Rather than referencing the art directly, which you can find here so that I'm not being a hypocrite and doing the same thing I'm griping about: kevinbolk.tumblr.com/post/1333… )  However, my opinions on that particular piece is a subject for another time.  I'm not here to debate that yes, women are often sexualized in all forms of media.  (So are men, but no one will agree to that as those images that sexualize me are just "male power fantasies."  But again, getting off the initial topic...)  Instead, I'm going to put my two cents in on the Manara piece, and the way the internet has come to attack Manara for using his own unique art style, which he's used for decades.
The inspiration for this came from a heated discussion with a friend over this particular piece, and the way it is portrayed.  The argument was dropped after a while because neither of us was willing to concede the point.  (One of her statements was "Show me the images where Spider-Man was drawn in a similar way," which along with "male power fantasy" are the way these arguments typically deflect cases where the arguer knows the opponent has made a valid point and doesn't want to acknowledge that fact.  For one case in point, here is "dat Spider-Man ass!" 1.bp.blogspot.com/_TCF2vaWMOY8… )  In order to settle the argument for to my own satisfaction, as I don't have access to my comic collection at the moment as it's in storage, I chose to fix the primary issue I had with the Manara piece when I initially saw it. 
Please note, I have no philosophical issues with the pose itself.  Most of the memories I have of Jessica's (Jessica Drew is the real name of Spider Woman's character, for those unfamiliar) stances do have her hunched down, ready to spring as she has a very acrobatic style of fighting, much akin to characters like Spider-Man, Beast, Tigra, and Nightcrawler.  The pose was described as being on the prowl, which also fits Jessica's character aptly.  You see, of the afore mentioned characters, only Jessica is a detective.  Not as in the "well, they deduced what the villain was up to with some luck and random bit of knowledge, I mean "fully trained and licensed private investigator" style of detective.  I honestly can't think of a Marvel character who I would put on par with her in terms of investigations and detective work.  Beast, Spider-man, Reed Richards, Hank Pym all have a wide range of knowledge in terms of the sciences but not in the investigation side of things.  Wolverine has the tracking side and martial training required of a detective, but hist tracking a bility is only because of his heightened senses which could theoretically be fooled with methods that would foil a tracking dog.  Iron Man has Google installed in his Iron Man suit.  Jessica is a detective, through and through, and was called upon in the Marvel Universe to use her skills even when she was without her powers.  She's basically a super powered version of Batman, without the money or bat themed arsenal.  (Though she has a much friendlier disposition than Batman.)  Her being posed as she comes over the edge that way isn't "sexual predator on the prowl" style like some of the comments I've seen suggest, rather hails to showcasing her detective tracking capabilities as well as her wall crawling powers.  Yes, it is sexy, but I feel it's also true to the capabilities and personality shown by the character in the past.  However, I'm also willing to concede that my interpretation of the pose may be colored by my past experiences with the character, and not a first time viewer of the character.  Perhaps I'm just seeing something that isn't there based on my previous experiences with the character, or perhaps it's what my mind wishes to see there and thus it connects the lines of the image to dots which aren't actually there.
No, my only issues with the pose are two fold.  First and foremost, and which lead to people being outraged in the first place, I believe, is the fact that it looks like she's wearing body paint instead of tights.  This is what I tried to address with the quick Photoshop I did on the piece.  By giving the tights a stretch line across the cheeks of her butt, I've eliminated the "nude" aspect in one shot.  Now it appears more like she's wearing clothes instead of body paint.  My second issue arose when I decided to showcase that the pose was anatomically valid, as every one of these I've seen thus far completely change the pose.  For those wishing to see the analysis Mary Sue posted up: www.themarysue.com/controversi…
I went into Daz3D, a program used to render three dimensional images.  I brought up a building to put the figure on, trying to adjust the angle and width of the edge of the roof to match that of the initial image.  I then attempted to achieve the pose in the original art.  This is where I started running into difficulty.  I did two variations of the render, one in a generic Genesis outfit without a bodysuit, and one with the Bodysuit for Genesis.  I don't think I was too far off, but the bend of the left leg looks very unnatural to get the angle of the limb right.  The other major issue was I could not get the neck and head to bend high enough to showcase the face, as it is in the Manara piece.  These two areas are indeed major anatomical errors.  (Sorry, Mr. Manara.  I still think it's a wonderful and beautiful piece, if that's any consolation.)  I don't have a good angle of it here, but the right leg is extended downward, as the figure is getting ready to pull herself up the rest of the way.  Note, I said "pulling herself up," not "coiled spring pose," nor "weight on both knees."  That extended right leg hasn't been pulled up, and the figure's left knee is not touching the ground.  All the weight of the figure is on the balls of her feet, and the extended hand.  (The bent arm is not in contact with the surface of the building at all, but is as close as I could manage to the same angle as the initial pose.)  It should be noted though, that the raised edge of the building in my render is deeper than the one used in the Manara piece, so the extended arm is technically another issue, as either it shouldn't have been as extended as it was, or Spider Woman's body shouldn't have been hunched over quite as much.  (And thus been more like a one legged "coiled spring pose" akin to the one showcased in the analysis at The Mary Sue.)  In fact, in order to showcase the face, even the "corrected pose" shown on the Mary Sue is incorrect, with the neck and head bent too far for that is anatomically possible.  The butt should be lower, the left leg tucked in under her body more with the weight being positioned on the shin and knee, and right leg extended downward in order to angle the back higher to allow for the face to be seen.
So, in my attempt to defend the Manara piece in terms of anatomy, yes, it's badly off.  Does it deserve to be called a tracing of one of his previous works from "Click!" as the article from the Mary Sue suggests, no.  www.themarysue.com/marvel-spid… If it were a tracing, it would be much closer to that pose than it is.  I'm guessing the person who made the comparison wasn't paying attention to any detail other than the derriere in the air.  Even it's at a different angle entirely.  Does it deserve to be called as Laura Truxillo said in her comment on the article, "It's that it's (the Manara cover) just legitimately bad.

Like, it's badly drawn. It's dull. The pose, once you get past the unlikely buttocks, is dull and not dynamic. Her face is dull. Her hair is dull. The city behind her is dull. The whole thing looks like it was drawn by a high schooler who got his first set of prismacolor pencils and a .005 micron and just went to town, copying reference from multiple sexy pin-ups without actually trying to make the anatomy gel." No, because no high schooler would be able to come up with the sheer level of detail and artistry that went into the Manara piece.  To suggest otherwise is a slap in the face to every artist, regardless of race, creed, religion, gender, sexuality, or planet of origin.  It took legitimate talent and skill to create the details that went into that image.  However, it doesn't matter how good of an artist you are, you will never have anatomy 100% correct.  DaVinci, Michelangelo, Picasso (and before someone starts going off on a tirade about how Picasso did abstract art, he did plenty of traditional art as well, and was quite good at it), Mucha, and every other artist in history has examples where their anatomy is off.  Truth be told, pretty much every drawing has some flaw in it somewhere.  I think that's why I get so upset when I read these articles, because hindsight and not having a deadline to complete a project by are very nice luxuries to have when analyzing a piece of art. 

John Romita Jr once said in an interview when asked about his distinctive art style, "I draw in a style that enables me to get it done on time and pay the bills."  (Possibly not the exact quote.  You can check his interview out on the DVD of Daredevil in the extras, if I remember where he said it correctly.)  Basically, what he's saying is that sometimes you have to let a bad scene or cover go when you know there are errors or mistakes because you have to get the finished project in on time, because inkers need to ink the piece, colorists need to color it, the editor needs to proof it, the copywriter needs to add the dialog to it, the publisher needs to print and ship it, and the comic shop needs to get it into the hands of the customer who will be royally ticked off and will threaten to cancel their subscription if their latest comic issue got delayed from getting to their hands because of a simple "anatomical error." 
Art is like golf, and a quote from 'Legend of Bagger Vance' which states, "Golf is a game meant to be played, never to be won," has a lot of meaning when you apply it to art.  Every artist makes mistakes, and for better or worse, those mistakes become part of our individual styles.  Yes, it's good to strive to improve, to create a piece so wonderful that no one can dispute the beauty of it, but you can never create the "perfect image."  To coin the phrase, Art is to be created, never to be perfected.  Just as a golfer will always strive to win by getting that "perfect game," he knows that he will never truly conquer golf.  It's the pursuit of chasing after that "perfect image" that will always drive artists to better themselves.  Sadly, those who do art for a living often have to balance between the drive to create the "perfect image" and the drive to be able to "pay the bills." 
It's okay to analyze the art of artists, to find what they did right and what they did wrong, but make sure to note what they did right in your analysis.  Artists of every type live for the reaction they give their fans.  Even criticism can make their day, if it's delivered respectively, because it means their work had a reaction with you.   However, don't cut down an artist and their piece because they delivered what they were hired to draw.  Blame the company who commissioned the artwork, not the artist who drew the artwork.  Don't cut down on the art itself simply because it doesn't match your particular sensibilities.  It's okay to be critical, but at least make sure you're being constructive with said criticism rather than destructive.

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deviantID

kyletwilight
Kyle Twilight
United States
I got into art back in Middle School when my art teacher had his wall covered in drawings he'd done of various super heroes. Honestly, I couldn't really draw before I hit puberty (which I assume is why the female form is my absolute favorite thing to draw) so it was kind of amazing to the family when I just became fascinated with it. When I first started posting online, I was under the name "Kyle Twilight" (long before the Twilight series, mind you) and I pulled the moniker from one of my main characters I'd drawn since middle school in my original works.

More recently, I've gotten my degree in Graphic Design, but no luck in tracking down a job to utilize it yet. (Which is why I've been so hit or miss these past few years.) I'm working on putting a novel together at the moment, as well as getting a lot of old projects finished up. I've also started dabbling in 3D art thanks to Daz 3D offering 4.5, Bryce, and Hexagon for free right now. Considering how many things are going 3D, I figured it'd be a good idea to familiarize myself with them.

deviantWEAR sizing preference: extra large
Favourite genre of music: anything that inspires me while I'm drawing or writing. I have an odd song list on my MP3 play
Favourite style of art: comic and fantasy
Interests
Today, I posted up a drawing I did on Sunday of my Dad for his viewing.  He died one week ago, around 9:30am.  It's been pretty rough for those of us he left behind, but he passed away peacefully in his sleep, which is how he wanted to go.  We'd been through the slow route, with two Grandfathers and an Uncle who passed due to cancer, and my Grandmother's slow decline with liver problems.  Time has gone by so fast at times, and dragged on at others.  I felt bad for ducking out on my relatives for a few hours to do this piece, but I wanted to get it done before he was cremated.  The print out I did for the funeral I sent home with my Uncle.  He was the middle child of three brothers, and the last one still with us.  The day after the viewing, my Uncle, three cousins, and one of their sons (Not sure if that's cousin once removed or nephew.  He calls me Uncle Awesome because he gets to play video games when he's down.) all went out to play a round of golf in Dad's honor, but it had been so long since I played combined with how little sleep I'd gotten since he passed that the less said about my score the better.
I urge anyone reading this, take some time and go see or visit with your loved ones.  You never know when the unthinkable will happen.  Cherish those times with them, and celebrate their life.  There's no way to ever be ready to lose them, but never take for granted a chance to tell them how much you love them.

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Commissions

Colors (Digital)
Siren's lure by kyletwilight
Advertisement for Mass Effect by kyletwilight
Rainbow Dash for a friend. by kyletwilight
Interceptor by kyletwilight
Digital coloring using Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, and Illustrator.  Pencil and ink phase is necessary for most of this sort of work as well.
Digital rendering with Daz3D
Asaripinup002 by kyletwilight
Digital renders done with Daz3D, unless I finally manage to get a copy of the latest Poser and Zbrush to work with.  If I lack a model to create the scene with, that will be also required in the purchase of the commission.
Colors (painting)
Flowers in a vase by kyletwilight
Chellsie Memmel Watercolor by kyletwilight
Painting, due to the higher cost of material and time, will require the purchase of pencils, a purchase of inks $50, and then a the purchase of the painting level $50, for $150 total for the order.  While inks themselves may not be used in terms of outlining, the purchase of the inks in the price reflects the number of paints that will often be used in the blending of colors as well as the increased processing time.   I will provide updates on progress at each stage, the pencil stage, first grade of painting, and then the final stage where I finish detailing, highlights, and clear coat.
Colors (Colored Pencil, marker)
Chellsie Memmel Color Pencils by kyletwilight
Chellsie Memmel Marker by kyletwilight
I can go to any of the physical medium format of coloring from the pencil or rough stages, though some might prefer inks as well.  This stage is $50
Inks
Yukinkocover001 by kyletwilight
The stage that I most commonly go to after pencils.  Inks are the final refinement I use before going to digital color when I go that route.  As such, purchasers of inks must first have purchased the pencil stage at least.
Pencils
Tali nude sketch by kyletwilight
A more refined pencil sketch, with details and/or shading and with guidelines erased.  Roughs are included with the purchase of this level of work.
Rough layouts
Red Rider, initial design by kyletwilight A quick rough layout or sketch of a concept, to get the idea out there.  Guidelines may still be visible, and line work will be on the more sketchy side and less defined.  This level of work is included with the purchase of any higher grade of work, but is an option for those just needing a layout for their idea.

Comments


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:iconnicelabs:
NICELabs Featured By Owner May 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello my friend! Niceman here :) Been far too long.  Glad to see we're both at the same place again… though we've both been here for years and I'm only finding you just now :P
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:iconkyletwilight:
kyletwilight Featured By Owner May 18, 2014
Hey, good to hear from you again!  Admittedly, I don't check Deviantart too much, so sorry for the long gap between replying.  After GoT changed hands from Tmac to Gonzo, and a lot of the yahoo groups I frequented got wiped out, I kind of got into a pretty bad funk and haven't been doing quite as much art wise.  To tell the truth, I still haven't quite gotten out of it, but I have started doing commission work again, which is something at least.  Trying to save up to get a new graphics tablet.  There's a pretty awesome one Chris Ehnot recommended to me when I met him at the Lexington Comic Convention, that's better than the Wacom Cintaq tablets, and only a quarter of the price.  The Wacom Intuos I've had since '99 or so just isn't cutting it anymore, especially since I can't find the pressure sensitive nub for it.
Saw a bit of your new stuff on here, and it looks pretty awesome.  I'll have to go for a more in depth look later, as I wanted to get a response out to you.  Are you using Poser for your work still?  I got Poser 7 a while back, and Daz3D since they offered it for free, but I'm still experimenting with it from time to time.  Trying to get some of the stuff Renderotica has for genitals and such to work in Daz3D has been a really big pain though.  When I have gotten it to work, it's been pretty awesome, but sometimes it seems a bit overly complex and not very well explained on how to set it up.  (Like Lali's Bits, which I still haven't been able to get to show up in Daz3D, due to it requiring a specific path to work, and the default path is different on my computer than the creator of Lali's Bits was using apparently.)  While setting up a basic scene seems to take me a day, I do like how quickly I can render multiple scenes and angles once the base scene is set.  Think I still prefer line drawing to it, and once I get my new tablet I'll probably start doing more digital coloring for my work. 
Hope you've been doing well, and look forward to chatting again!
KT
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:iconnicelabs:
NICELabs Featured By Owner May 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Glad to hear from you!!! :)   Glad also to hear you're still around doing stuff, even if you don't always feel like it.  I've been there to be sure.  Things will get better.  Congrats on the commission work!  That's doing better than most who are cranking things out every day :)  At present I only get one or two commissions a year myself.

Yah I still can't draw to save my life, but Poser works great as an outlet for my imagination.  I've come to regard it as not CG or modeling, but virtual photography.  I have my models.  I select them, provide hair styles and makeup, clothing, tell them what poses to be in and facial expressions.  Put them in the scene I've arranged with the proper lighting and atmosphere and then I create the picture.  The only difference between my Poser models and real people is I don't have to feed them :P  I do want to relearn my modelers though and start creating my own meshes like I used to.  Got out of doing it for a while and technology moved on without me so everything has changed just enough to really screw me up :P   If I can find the time and get around to it, though, I would like to reeducate myself on how to do all that.

Yah, from the last paragraph I use Poser :)  Up to 2014 Pro now… all sorts of super cool feature I'm still exploring.  Looking forward to really getting into it :)   Never used DS apart from looking at it when it first came out.  Stuck with what I knew and kept Posin'.  Can be tricky from what I understand to use certain items in it from Poser and even worse going the other way.  I think for example Lali's Bit's are more a Poser resource, but with Poser as well they can be tricky.  I won a set about a month ago after getting first place at a contest at Renderotica and haven't had the opportunity to put her through the paces yet, but so far it adds some cool features to be sure :) 

Great to reconnect and looking forward to seeing what you'll be creating in the future :)  

:highfive: 
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:iconaccel-d:
Accel-D Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2013
Hey. I've been following your work since the CG Shrines, though I wish I saved more of your work. :p
Reply
:iconkyletwilight:
kyletwilight Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013
Thanks!  I always love to hear from fans, as it let's me know I'm doing something right.  lol  It's been a while since I've been on CG Shrines, and should really check back in on there.  I kind of fell out of doing fan art for a while due to work and school taking up too much of my time, but I've been getting back into it recently.  Really appreciate you taking the time to comment, and hope the new stuff is as enjoyable!
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:iconkyletwilight:
kyletwilight Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2013
Commission Opening list:

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Reply
:icontherierie:
TheRierie Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Hello! I'd like to invite you to our group, :iconlegendofdragoonart: after seeing the LoD artwork in your gallery. Please help our new group grow, even if you will not be contributing further. There is an immense lack of art for this particular game, and we want to put the best out there for fans to see.

Please consider our request and we hope to see you soon!
Reply
:iconkyletwilight:
kyletwilight Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2012
I appreciate the interest. If you want, you're more than free to post my image in your gallery. All that I ask is a link back to my own page. That's the only Legend of Dragoon piece I've done sadly.
Reply
:iconthought-epiphany:
thought-epiphany Featured By Owner May 7, 2009
hey! its kenton the guy from best buy. this is some great work man, i have such a hard time doing the human figure.
Reply
:iconkyletwilight:
kyletwilight Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2012
Sorry for taking so long to reply. Been pretty busy, and haven't been checking this as regularly as I should have been. Hopefully going to be remedying that soon. I appreciate the comments though. As for the human figure, I still struggle with it all the time too, to tell the truth. The best thing to do is to try and not focus on the object your drawing, but notice the curves and lines of the object, and how it relates to the rest of the parts around it. For instance, don't just draw the eye, try to draw the curve in relation to where it should line up with the cheek bones, neck, and so forth. Basically, don't get so focused on one detail that you lose sight of the rest of the image as a whole, if that makes any sense. It was something my life studies teacher tried to drill into us. Also, don't be afraid to start with stick figures, then flesh your way out to the rest of the body. I've really been liking the "Comic Artist's Photo Reference" books lately, as they show how to combine elements taken from multiple reference photos to create your own unique scenes. Thanks for taking a look, and again, sorry about the wait on the reply.
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