Is it hard to distinguish if a character is a male or female in my art style? + Tips

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Fisseha
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Is it hard to distinguish if a character is a male or female in my art style? + Tips

#1 Post by Fisseha » Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:16 am

Wow, that's a long title, but here I go!

I have a lot of trouble in drawing males, and I'm worried that I make them too feminine. I tried to compare headshots, and I'm hella confused with my own drawing. But of course, I can't trust myself soooo here...



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I really want some tips on how to make more masculine characters [not bara, probably around bishounen to ikemen range].
I'm an artist, and probably a weaboo.

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Re: Is it hard to distinguish if a character is a male or female in my art style? + Tips

#2 Post by mitoky » Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:32 am

I personally think its very easy to diffrent. Your chin, eyes and eyelashes etc easily make it able to figure out that the bottom one is a male. So when i look at it, i think immediately "thats a girl" at the top one and "thats a guy" at the bottom one. Even without a comparance to the female character, the bottom one being a male is clear.
So i think you are fine owo)b
If any advice ( a small one), maybe you could add necklines for the male if you want?

Otherwise you dont have anything to worry about! And your art is pretty btw <3

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Re: Is it hard to distinguish if a character is a male or female in my art style? + Tips

#3 Post by puppetbomb » Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:56 pm

Hmmm.... I have a different opinion than mitoky, that the male sprite can be read as female. However, it stems more form the fact that both faces and eyes have a similar shape and that both expressions are pretty neutral.

There are other ways to subtly push people to see a character to be more masculine, such as broader shoulders compared to the waist, thicker eyebrows, a more defined jawline and thicker eyebrow (facial hair is prolly the easiest male-defining feature). A wider and slightly lower position of the mouth also makes a character feel more confident/cocky, which isn't a strictly masculine trait but tends to push towards a more masculine presentation.

Poses and clothes are also excellent shorthand for gender expression, but I also understand why you didn't draw those for this post ^^

Faces aren't the only thing that defines a person's gender, so I'd say don't worry about your character's faces looking too feminine/masculine! There are men and women out there that are born with faces that tend to look more one gender than the other, and not all of them correlate to their gender identity.

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Re: Is it hard to distinguish if a character is a male or female in my art style? + Tips

#4 Post by Katy133 » Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:59 pm

Also, keep in mind that you can totally have a character who looks androgynous. Sometimes it's difficult to identify a character's gender just from looking at them. There are androgynous-looking people in real life, so don't be afraid to reflect that in your fiction as well.
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Re: Is it hard to distinguish if a character is a male or female in my art style? + Tips

#5 Post by Per K Grok » Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:08 am

Fisseha wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:16 am
Wow, that's a long title, but here I go!

I have a lot of trouble in drawing males, and I'm worried that I make them too feminine. I tried to compare headshots, and I'm hella confused with my own drawing. But of course, I can't trust myself soooo here...

I really want some tips on how to make more masculine characters [not bara, probably around bishounen to ikemen range].

Image

I would suggest. More square chin, broader nose and reducing the hight of the eyes.

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Re: Is it hard to distinguish if a character is a male or female in my art style? + Tips

#6 Post by fullmontis » Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:27 am

I'm not an expert in drawing bishounen characters, but I've done some research on this recently and hopefully my finding can help you. I've redrawn you character with what I would consider male characteristics and pointed out what I changed. Consider however that this is mostly a stylistic choice, and I feel like the character could be used as is, since there are plenty other ways to sell the fact that he's male (body type, posture, context etc.)

Hopefully this is useful.
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Re: Is it hard to distinguish if a character is a male or female in my art style? + Tips

#7 Post by Decadenttia » Sun May 05, 2019 1:15 pm

In fact you can take advantage of your art style precisely for that reason. Are you considering to make charas intentionally hard to distinguish?

Now about your concern, I had (and I think I still have from time to time) same problems in the past. My boys looked like girls and my men looked like women. What I did is forget about my own style for a day and investigate and explore how other artists draw male and female portraits. Then I went outside my confort zone and started to sketch the kind of charas I never tried before: other age ranges, other body shapes, other etnias' facial features...
It didnt make me magically improve my skills but I learned a lot about how to reinforce details in the charas, and which kind of head, eyes, nose and general shapes could fit better on the drawing depending on the chara's identity.

I don't think is a serious problem when you male looks like a female, in the case of that detail perfectly explains something you wanted to tell about him. Maybe he is feminine, or elegant, or indeed, he hates his lookings because he always suffers from gender mistakes.
Besides you will usually show more than the face in the picture because identity is also a reflection of attitude, clothes style and gestures.

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