DISCLAIMER: I was going to make this “how to draw archery”, but that would probably have taken the rest of my life. This is all stuff I’ve learned from practicing archery in the past, and the tips I’ve given should translate to many, if not all styles of archery. If you take issue with any of the information given here please contact me, as I’m aware I’m not an expert!
Okay, I’ve seen too many bad drawings of archery online. Most of the time I can overlook it, but I’ve made this guide to address drawings where a) the character would hurt/maim themselves if they shot like that, or b) if you tried to shoot like that, the arrow would just make a sad trajectory to the ground, the aerodynamic equivalent of a “WAH-WAH” on a trumpet.
With this in mind:
POINT ONE: WHY IS YOUR ARM LIKE THAT
If successful archery is about one thing, it is about consistency - being able to make your body take exactly the same stance over and over and over again. Your body is a key part of the weapon, and just as you wouldn’t want a gun that had components that wobbled and shifted, you don’t want your body to.
With this in mind, characters shooting, particularly at full draw (this is when the arm pulling the string is stretched all the way back), should have the arm that is holding the bow straight. Not locked - I’ll get into that - but straight. A straight arm is easy to replicate - a bent arm could be at a different angle each time. Simple as that.
POINT TWO: DON’T SHOOT YOUR TIT OFF
See this diagram
the dotted line is the path the string will take. The string is extremely tight - it has to be for the bow to work. It will therefore move extremely fast. Do you want any part of your body to be in the way of that.
if you have any part of your body (elbows and breasts/pectoral muscles tend to be the worst offenders) in the line of the string, they will get hit. And this will hurt. A LOT. Google “archery bruise” to see how. Yikes. Furthermore, if your arm or chest gets in the way, it’ll knock the arrow off course, and in addition to having sliced your nipple off you’ll have missed your shot too. So KEEP STUFF OUT OF THE PATH OF THE STRING.
side note: this is where the myth of amazons chopping their boobs off came from. Also, why archers sometimes wear chest-guards - this looks like a one-cupped unisex bra. Stylish. Also why archers often wear protective gear called a bracer. This goes on the tender inside of the arm and wrist that might get clipped by the string, not the outside that is nowhere near it.
POINT THREE: WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR FINGERS STOP THAT
Okay I keep seeing this
Having the fingers clasping the arrow like this makes it highly likely that the pressure from them will send the arrow off-course.
Many modern bows have an arrow rest so you needn’t rest the arrow on your hand at all. If that isn’t the case, it works better to rest the arrow on the first knuckle of the index finger (where it meets the hand). If it’s just being used as a platform, the finger shouldn’t be able to exert enough pressure to make the shot go all over the place. Also you won’t end up shredding your fingers with the fletchings.
Talking of that…
POINT FOUR: DON’T SLICE YOUR FINGERS OFF
remember what I said earlier about how incredibly taut bowstrings are
imagine pulling that back with your soft fleshy fingers
it is basically like cheesewire through…soft fleshy fingers.
Use protection. Illustrated below are the tab and archery glove, or just go to google or something, stop the madness.
POINT FIVE: PHYSICS DOESN’T WORK LIKE THAT
A strung bow is taut. The body of the bow is pulled by the (very tight) string, making a D shape. An unstrung bow will be straighter.
The tension in the string means a string should always be a straight line. If the bow is drawn, it’s two straight lines.
If there is any curve in the string, the arrow will probably fall limply to the floor.
ALSO. When the string is drawn back, it exerts more pressure on the bow, creating that really exaggerated curve. This is where the power comes from. (I think. I am not physics). Basically, if you’re drawing a character at full draw, the string should be straight and the bow should be curved. If the opposite is true something very wrong has happened and you should be sad.
OKAY! I hope this has been helpful, if you have any questions or concerns let me know. And if in doubt, doctor google will help you - look at olympic or professional archers, and see how they’re standing and how their bows behave.
GOOD LUCK DRAWING!
As a note, number one can sometimes be correct if you don’t have an armguard, but you only bend it just enough that the string won’t his your arm and give you rope-burn. And you really shouldn’t be shooting without safety gear, anyway.
Since archery shows up an inordinate amount on this blog, I thought this tutorial was relevant and people might find it useful. :)
the air conditioner thing
the everything thing
ALWAYS OBSESSIVELY CTRL+S
I’VE MADE MY MISTAKES
CTRL + S-ing each time you draw a single line is literally the only way to go at digital art pls do not forget kids.
Look everyone! This is what hatred looks like! This is what it does when it catches hold of you. It is eating me alive! Fear and anger only make it grow faster. And very soon…it will kill me.
don’t talk to me if your otp isn’t ron/mcgonagall