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#bows
beautylikegrace2 months ago
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Bow-Embellished Cable-Knit Cardigan by Self Portrait
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meltyparfaita month ago
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@myorin_yam
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t4tfaramir4 months ago
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You鈥檙e (Probably) Drawing Archers Wrong
Hello, my name is Len and I鈥檝e shot archery as a hobby for as long as I can remember. I have a problem: fanart depicting archery is oftentimes Very Wrong! I feel like most of this stems from not using good reference pictures, and from a general lack of knowledge. So, I wanted to create a post for anyone interested in accurately drawing an archer! Disclaimer: this is not a comprehensive post or a tutorial on how to shoot, and is intended for artists. That said, if you鈥檙e interested聽in archery, you may still find value in this post, though I recommend doing your own research. I鈥檓 certain there will be errors here considering I do this as a hobby not a profession, and I welcome corrections. Finally, archery can be dangerous, and even if you don鈥檛 read any more of this post, PLEASE read the safety section.
Safety
This part is going to be a PSA, because the thought of someone reading my post, getting into archery themselves, and doing these things? It terrifies me. So, rules number one, two, and three are: never aim at another person (duh), never use a damaged bow or arrows, and never, NEVER dry fire a bow. Dry firing means drawing back and releasing the string without an arrow. This can make your bow EXPLODE. It can hurt you, and even if your bow doesn鈥檛 explode, it鈥檚 fucked it up so bad that you should never shoot that bow again. Don鈥檛 do it, and don鈥檛 draw art of people doing it. Okay, PSA done, now onto the rest of the post.
There鈥檚 a TL;DR at the bottom!
First thing鈥檚 fist: the equipment! Archery requires four things: a bow, a quiver, arrows, and protective equipment (which is usually what I see most posts lacking). The first thing you should do before you draw your archer is decide what type of bow to give them.聽I鈥檓 not covering crossbows because I鈥檝e only shot one once and I also Hate Them. There are three main types of bows: longbows, recurves, and compounds.
Bows
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There are two different types of bows that are commonly called a longbow: English longbows, and flatbows (yes I鈥檓 considering flatbows a type of longbow to simplify things). English longbows are very large and have a very high draw weight (which means it鈥檚 hard to pull the sting back). These were used mainly by the English in the Middle Ages. Flatbows are typically smaller and have a lower draw weight as well as a slightly different profile. These were mainly used by Native American tribes such as the Hupa, the Karuk, and the Wampanoag, as well as prehistoric Europeans and the Finnish, among others. It is often seen in historical fiction and fantasy, and the English longbow is usually depicted as Robin Hood鈥檚 preferred bow type. I believe Katniss uses a flatbow in the beginning of Hunger Games, but don鈥檛 quote me on that.
Recurves have limbs that curve outwards and are smaller than longbows. Many, many聽cultures have used these, including but not limited to certain West-coast Native American tribes, the Mongols, the Scythians, the Greeks, the Turks, the Koreans, and the Chinese. Recurves can be made of either wood or of a combination of wood, horn, and glue, making them either composite or non-composite. These are the bows you typically see mounted archers using, and are often used in competitions today. It鈥檚 commonly seen in fantasy, and is the bow type used by Legolas, Tauriel, Katniss Everdeen in Mockingjay, Merida, Green Arrow has a lever action, and Hawkeye uses a silly collapsible one.
Compound bows are the most commonly used bow among hunters, are almost always made of fiberglass and either carbon fiber or aluminum, are Technical Looking, and pack the biggest punch for the least amount of effort. It鈥檚 a modern invention used worldwide. I don鈥檛 know where else to put this, but almost everyone who I know that shoots a compound uses something called a trigger release (pictured below) to draw back the string because it means your release is cleaner.
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So, those are the main types of bow! Google which bow would be appropriat for the era and region your character is from, or if they鈥檙e from space or an alternate dimension, pick whichever you think fits the character the best.
Quivers
There are two types of quiver: back quivers, like Legolas wears, and hip quivers, like those used in the Olympics. Which quiver you should use varies from culture to culture and time period to time period. If it鈥檚 fantasy, set in modern day, or set in the future, you can chose whichever you prefer.
Arrows
Arrows can have shafts of wood or fiberglass, can have real feathers or synthetic for fletching, and can have countless different types of heads. The main two that are in use today are called field points and broadheads, and most commercial arrow shafts allow you to freely switch them out.
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The arrow on the top is a field point, used only for target practice, and the arrow on the bottom is a broadhead, used only for hunting or war. You never hunt with a field point, and never practice with a broadhead. Basically every fictional character out there is shooting to kill, so they鈥檒l all use either a broadhead, or a culturally appropriate variation of deadly arrowhead (bodkin, scythian, flint, etc). Do your research! A Native American wouldn鈥檛 use a bodkin, and a Scythian wouldn鈥檛 use a flint arrowhead!
Protective Equipment
The one really necessary piece of protective equipment is hand protection. If your character uses a three fingered draw or a pinch draw (we鈥檒l speak on draws later), they need either an archery tab, or an archery glove.聽If your character is using a thumb draw, they need a thumb ring. These three pieces of equipment keep archers from getting blisters and damaged skin.
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This is a tab.
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This is the type of glove that I use. All an archery glove needs to do is protect your three draw fingers, but it can be more traditionally glove-like than this one. I鈥檝e even seen ones that are a combination leather bracer and archery glove that give big Fantasy Vibes.
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This is a ring. Some historical ones can get REAL ornate and pretty.
Another piece of protective equipment that is commonly used is an arm guard or a bracer. Not everyone uses one, because if your form is good the string should not be hitting your arm, so you can get away with not giving your character one. They can vary in style from something like the more minimal one below up to a full leather bracer.
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Form
Form can vary greatly and I鈥檓 not about to diss other archery disciplines especially ones I鈥檓 ignorant on, so just know that not every culture has the same form. I鈥檓 just going to cover a few cultures鈥 variations, and what I鈥檝e been taught by 21st century Midwest archers. There are several aspects to form, as form is just another term for聽鈥渆verything pertaining to how you shoot鈥. I鈥檓 going to break it down into stance, posture, draw, elbow discipline, holding the bow, and anchor. These are not the only aspects of form (there鈥檚 aiming, release, and breath control), but these are the only relevant aspects to drawing聽archers. I will not be covering mounted archery because I鈥檓 sadly ignorant on the topic. I recommend doing your own research and looking into Mongolian mounted archery.
Stance
The thing all stances have in common is that you should put your feet a shoulder-length apart, balance your weight equally between both feet, keep your knees slightly bent, and stand facing approximately 90 degrees away from your target. There are three stances that are common that I鈥檓 aware of: squared, open, and closed.
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Squared stance means keeping both feet squared up to an imaginary line. Open means that you鈥檙e facing slightly towards the target. Closed means you鈥檙e facing slightly away. I vary between square and open, and to be honest I鈥檝e never noticed a difference. So long as you draw your character standing with a stable stance, facing away from the target, you should be good.
Posture
Your posture should be with your back straight, your hips squared, and should聽never聽have you leaning. Below is one of my favorite archery pictures, not only because I love Marilyn, but because it is a great illustration of what not聽to do posture wise.
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See how she鈥檚 leaning back? Yeah, don鈥檛 draw your character like that, it looks foolish.
Draw
There are four different types of draw that I鈥檓 aware of, I鈥檓 educated on three, and I have experience with one (though I鈥檓 itching to learn to thumb draw). The types of draw are three fingered draw, otherwise known as Mediterranean draw, pinch draw, thumb draw aka Mongolian draw, and Japanese draw, or torikake. I know fuck all about Japanese draws, so I鈥檓 not going to speak out of my ass on topics I don鈥檛 understand (if anyone reading practices traditional Japanese archery I would love if you chimed in!). I highly recommend doing your own research on which civilization your character comes from and which draw they use, especially if it鈥檚 Japanese because I鈥檓 not covering that here.
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First up is three-fingered. This is the draw I use, and it鈥檚 the most common draw in my limited experience in the Midwestern archery community. It is common in Europe and the Middle East. It requires you to use three fingers, partially wrapped around the string. You do not pinch the arrow. Most people place their index finger above the arrow and their middle and ring finger below, though I鈥檝e seen all different variations. If your character is right handed and uses this draw, draw the arrow on the left side of the bow. Lefties do the inverse, and make sure and draw a left handed bow while you鈥檙e at it.
Next is the pinch draw. I鈥檝e never shot with this, nor seen it used. It was common in the Americas and for a time in Ancient Greece. You鈥檙e supposed to physically pinch the arrow between your thumb and index finger. Your character would need a full archery glove if you draw them with this grip. The release is supposed to be smooth because there鈥檚 only one point of contact, rather than three. I believe you would place the arrow on the right side of the bow when using this technique, but I cannot speak with certainty as I鈥檝e never seen it done (again, lefties would do the opposite).
Last but not least is the thumb or Mongolian draw, though it is/was also widespread in Korea, China, Russia, Persia, Turkey, and the Roman and Byzantine Empires. In this draw you wrap your thumb completely around the string and tuck it behind your other fingers. You do not grab the arrow. This draw utilizes your strongest digit, and so it may be less strenuous than other draws. This draw is commonly used with mounted archery. If your character is right handed and using this draw, put the arrow on the right side of the bow (lefties, do the inverse).
Elbows
Another aspect of your draw that is important is elbow discipline. The elbow of your character鈥檚 string hand should not point up into the air. It should point straight back, like the picture below.
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Now, the other elbow is important, too. Don鈥檛 draw them with a locked elbow, instead keep it slightly bent and rotated inwards, like the picture below.
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Holding the Bow
Your character shouldn鈥檛 have a death grip on the bow. Instead, show it resting in the curve between the thumb and index finger. Here鈥檚 a wikihow article that describes the different ways to hold different types of bows that is more succinct than I could ever be. Ignore the crossbow (derogatory).
Anchor聽
Everyone needs an anchor. What鈥檚 an anchor, you ask? An anchor is a fixed spot that you draw your string back to whenever you鈥檙e going to shoot. It鈥檚 necessary in order to ensure consistency, which is accuracy鈥檚 best friend. Your anchor spot can vary. I anchor at the corner of my lip. Some people anchor underneath their chin. Some anchor to their ear. I鈥檝e even seen some people in Asian disciplines anchor behind the ear or almost above the head, which is incredibly impressive. Bottom line, unless your character鈥檚 archery discipline has them draw behind the ear or above the head, you need to have them touching their head somewhere. The only wrong anchor is a short anchor. If you can鈥檛 draw the string back far enough to touch your face, that means you鈥檙e either trying to draw back a bow with too high a poundage, or the draw length is too short for you. The picture above of the person with the compound trigger release has a good anchor point on their face. The picture of the person with the arm guard has a good anchor point under their chin.
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This person, on the other hand? Their anchor is out in space, that is to say they don鈥檛 have one (also their elbow discipline, posture, and stance are聽atrocious). I see this in fanart ALL THE TIME. It鈥檚 a pet peeve of mine. Don鈥檛 do this, have them anchor to their head or behind it somewhere.
Carrying The Bow
The best way is to just carry it in your hand by the bow (not the string). You can give your character a bow sling, or a back mount like Legolas has as well. You can slip the string over your shoulder and wear it across your back in a pinch, though this may damage the string. The only really wrong way to carry a bow is by the string, though you can damage your bow carrying it on your back if you鈥檙e stupid, and I鈥檝e never tried to do so with a compound. Too pokey.
TL;DR
If you鈥檙e drawing a fantasy character, go buck wild. Still make sure to give them the right type of arrowhead, hand protection of some sort, a strong stance (no kneeling or sitting), good posture, a sensible draw, elbow discipline, an anchor point (don鈥檛 be like the person above!), and a good way to carry their bow, but you can have fun with the rest. If you鈥檙e drawing a character from history, research the archery discipline they would most likely use, and draw them with the appropriate bow type, quiver, arrows, protective equipment, stance, posture, draw, elbow discipline, anchor, and bow carry.
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daydreaminofmoonlight9 days ago
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when in doubt, add a bow 馃巰
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coquettefashion7 months ago
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Pink聽Lace Bustier Crop Top
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loftyangel24 days ago
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mumble.j
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1gf10 months ago
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natalinaofficial10 days ago
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www.instagram.com/officialnatalina
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