Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
Women Warriors - Fantasy vs. Historical by Gambargin Women Warriors - Fantasy vs. Historical by Gambargin
This Drawing is Outdated - Please see the Updated version in the Gallery Folder of Women Warriors of Historically Wrong Sketch Series: Medieval Revisited



Just as the title describes, this sketch was born from the the discussions with my friend over attires, armor and clothing worn by Women Warriors, comparing their portrayal in both Media and Historical. I decided to draw both the stereotypical female heroines in fantasy setting and the women warriors i have been drawing so far gambargin.deviantart.com/art/K….

In fantasy setting, it is generally acceptable that women's clothing have to show their secondary sexual characteristics such as breast, hair, cleavage, hips, thighs etc. This is mainly done for the audiences, which statistically made up of men by majority. No doubt, with few imagination, this has led to the birth of fancy, curve-fitting costumes, or even bare clothing at all (Battle Bikini?). Such attires, do give advantages in terms of movement, flexibility and light-weight...although they are impractical when in comes to protection.

Breast Plate that are shaped like "Breasts" (as shown) to fit around the cleavage, while *ahem*, aesthetically cool, would actually be very dangerous to use in real life. The shape of the curvature creates a wedge around the sternum and ribs, which if struck with a blow, would direct the force to the bone (instead of distributing it), potentially breaking the ribs and killing the users. The curves could also deflect any incoming attack to the chin, neck or even stomach which could lead to user's fatality.

Women Warriors in Fantasy setting, are indeed a work of art ranging from Beautiful Extravagance to Fancily Suggestive as compare to their historical counterpart.

Historically speaking, armors were made to deflect blows and arrows and lessen the impact caused by blunt weapon. Chainmail, Helmet, Partial to full Plate Armor, Gauntlet and Boots were made and worn for those reasons. These were heavy, bulky, uncomfortable, takes a lot of time to put on, and very expensive. Visually, historical armors had little aesthetics quality.

On the other hand, they protected the users and were a life-saving investment. These quality were proven historically for centuries, up until the invention and mass usage of gunpowder weapons.

In my opinion, it's much challenging to draw the Women Warriors in true-Historical Setting.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconeddyking7:
eddyking7 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you, thank you so much for drawing REAL armor.
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2015
You are most welcome :)
Reply
:iconcatwithoutatail:
Historical looks way cooler! :meow:
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2015
Indeed, I agree with that :D
Reply
:iconcatwithoutatail:
Catwithoutatail Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2015
I wish armor like this would be used in fantasy more often. I mean I love fantasy but I grew up learning about real armor so this is what I would want to see in pop culture.
And if you as me real armor is even smexier than battle bikinis or something. :D
Reply
:iconevon-adaunt:
Evon-Adaunt Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I can see the European warrior saying "Really that's armor?  That won't protect you from a calvary charge or a rain of arrows."  Sorry its the writer in me acting up again.  But you draw wonderfully.  I love the detail of the chain mail.  That's always something I have trouble with.
Reply
:iconangelerenoir:
AngelERenoir Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Bwahahahaa!!! So true! :XD:

Your historical drawings are inspiring :meow:
Reply
:iconconcepto99:
Concepto99 Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2014
That's a good analysis about the woman in war and how was shown in the modern days.
The armour was made to protect and not a regalia.
However we cannot deny in some cultures they was dressed like the fantasy, but their roles were not frontline soldiers, but assassins or spies, when the speed and mobility are more important than the protection of heavy armor.
Reply
:iconlibra1010:
Libra1010 Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2014
 For some reason my Inner Child makes me wonder if one of the Warrior Women on the right might be thinking - "Well on the one hand wearing that sort of thing in a fight will see you ventilated in two twangs of a bowstring, but on the other hand it must be a heck of a lot less stuffy in there … ":D (Big Grin) 
Reply
:iconicealpha:
ICEALPHA Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2014
Historical x1000000000000000000
Reply
:iconlemniskate:
Lemniskate Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014
See, this is why I like your art so much - depicting women from diverse ethnical and cultural backgrounds in a non-sexualized manner. Your down-to-earth and realistic (though maybe not historically accurate, but I don't mind that so much) designs are just so much more interesting than mad-up fantasy designs, because they could be of this world.
Reply
:iconwraithsith:
wraithsith Featured By Owner Edited Jun 16, 2014
He could change the entire world through these drawings that way.
Reply
:iconladyshadowphyre:
ladyshadowphyre Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2014
Would it be alright if I posted this image and your commentary to tumblr along with source links to your dA page? This is something several of my followers would be very interested in, and your art is gorgeous.
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2014
Thank you very much for the compliment, you are free to post this as long as you give the proper credit :)

And I'm really glad that you like my works, hopefully my drawings of warrior women would catch your interest :D
Reply
:iconbrandvarg:
BrandVarg Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014
I LOVE it!! Great work =D
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2014
I'm glad you like it! :D
Reply
:iconhepatizon:
Hepatizon Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014
That expression on the Indian lady's (rani's?) face just says "are you kidding me" without any further explanation needed. This is very amusing and very well done. I have always wondered myself just how a breast plate low cut/forged to show off your breasts is supposed to protect you anyway, and that "armour" that leaves the abdomen defenseless... 

Seriously, what? And these historical outfits you draw are sp detailed and magnificent that who needs boobs to be breathless anyway?
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014
Thank you for the kind compliment! Indeed, i have to say the same, armors are meant to protect and cover vulnerable body parts (like stomach) from any attack. But when sex appeal and other fantastic elements come into play, then you will have all those beautiful armor that can make men heart's burn :D
 
I'm glad you like my work, i tried to depict women warriors in practical armor corresponding to their respective culture. Since most of the ladies are of nobility status with enough wealth to support their warmongering activity (High Quality war gears were very expensive, think of buying a 2 story house), it would be un-modest to depict them in fully exposed battle attire =P
Reply
:iconbealmeister:
Bealmeister Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2013  Student General Artist
I like this! You did an excellent job on these pictures!
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013
Excellent! I'm glad you like it, thanks for the compliment :)
Reply
:iconbealmeister:
Bealmeister Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2013  Student General Artist
You're welcome!! :D
Reply
:iconbrowncoatmando:
BrowncoatMando Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2013  Hobbyist
I like  the  "seriously?"  kind of look on  Ahu's  face.
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2013
Hehehe, yeah, the look of disbelief and amusement :P
Reply
:iconarwendeluhtiene:
ArwendeLuhtiene Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I agree 100% with you. As a warrior-women enthusiast, and a sword-fighter myself, I way prefer realistic and protective armour to depict female warriors. The suggestive, unrealistic, hghly impractical chaimail bikinis, corsets and breastplates with cleavage...I really can't stand those! It's so sad that 90+% of the female warriors are shown in this way, and 90+% of the male warriors are shown realistically and non-objectified, with no suggestive armour or poses or come-hither looks!

You have a fair point regarding breastplates shaped like breasts. I'd never thought of it in that way, but it does make sense. However, in some cases, I've always thought that women with larger breasts might find the standart 'male' breastplates more uncomfortable and might want not to put too much pressure on or smother their breasts...There have been depictions of 'female-shaped' breastplates in history that I do not consider to be objectifying or unrealistic (not taken to the extreme size and over-sexualization of today's depictions, of course! Those ones, even if they protect everything, are way overtight and liable to all sort of danger!). And maybe we should also take into account that in the case of some cultures, such as the Western Middle Ages, most female warriors were not the norm and thus had to wear what was available for them, male-fashioned armour? In many cases, they were forced to masquerade as male warriors, so they also had to further conceal their breasts by binding them...In my view, there isn't anything wrong about fitting the female body for more comfort (in some cases, it might be more comfortable than donning a 'male-shaped' beastplate) - But so long as the breastplate isn't corset-tight in the abdomen area and protects everything, including the clavicle, neck and shoulder regions. True, in some cultures the female warriors did not wear any 'female-shaped' armour, And you do have a point, maybe this female-shaped armour was indeed more hazardous than the standart one, and a female might consider not wearing it, no matter the size of her breasts (the females at our medieval and 17th Century sword-fighting classes wear breast-shaped hard protectors, and so far it is a little bit tight, but not really encumbering or dangerous, but maybe we'd have to go into real battle to see :) ).
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2013
My oh my, sorry for taking my time in replying this. Thanks for the very detail insight!

You are correct, in regards to the female shaped breast plate. This is similar to the "muscle cuirass" worn by the Greeks, Roman and Spartan warriors. But from what i have read, this was made up of 2 layers, the protective Cuirass and then the "muscle shaped" metal/leather layer on top of it. Thus, giving practical protection and look good at the same time :D.

I understand that back then, at least to the best of my knowledge, women had to worn the armor which were fashioned for their most active users, men. They were heavy, bulky, most of the times uncomfortable, and finally, very very expensive. It was possible to have a custom-tailored armor made specially for the ladies of war, but they would have been outrageously expensive, which if we take account of the social status of women those days, she would have had to be very rich. So for the more common warriors, they used what was already available, either from the blacksmith or looted from the fallen :P

I'm thinking of making another drawing about this, as a comparative study, hopefully soon.
Reply
:iconarwendeluhtiene:
ArwendeLuhtiene Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
"I understand that back then, at least to the best of my knowledge, women had to worn the armor which were fashioned for their most active users, men."
  I agree. I suppose that in some societies and cultures where warrior-women were more openly accepted (Celtic sword-women, or shieldmaidens, and the like), women would be able to wear jerkins/leather armour/metal armour that would fit their bodies, if they so wished...But in many cultures where warrior-women were not the actual norm, they would have to use the standart male armour...
Reply
:iconcapturedjoe:
CapturedJoe Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013
Personally I like pictures of female warriors dressed in practical and 'realistic' outfits (like here) MUCH more than those fantasy ones. It lust looks better, IMHO.
And your rawings on the subjects are great!
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2013
Woah, sorry i just got to read your comment here! Shocked

I'm actually thinking of recreating a much more convincing comparison, apparently people still prefers fantastic fantasy rather then historically accurate like the many good artist here in dA that have drawn, including  ones drawn by yourself.
Reply
:iconcapturedjoe:
CapturedJoe Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013
No problem!
And thanks; I have been thinking to draw a comparison like this (although in a more cartoonish manner), but I have to finish some other things before seriously considering it.
Reply
:iconcapturedjoe:
CapturedJoe Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013
*drawings instead of rawings
Reply
:iconalakotila:
alakotila Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
THANK YOU. I am so tired of seeing women objectified in fantasy; it is ridiculous! They aren't portrayed as strong or capable; they seem to exist only to be looked at. Well said, and well drawn. :)
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013
You're more than welcome Alakotila, although I'm not sure of what i did to deserve your gratitude.

It's a common knowledge that women are objectified in fantasy, to the point that aesthetics become more prominent than pragmatism. For example, common depiction of Viking Women dressed in thin cloth and skimpy armor (plus Horned Helmet) does make her looks good. But then again...in the cold region of Scandinavia, such minimum attires are very impractical.

If you want a real historical example of strong warrior women, see the Dahomey Amazons [link]. These women were the elite military regiment of Dahomey, chosen for their bravery, ferociousness, and discipline. :)
Reply
:iconalakotila:
alakotila Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Well, it's very encouraging to see more and more people talking about this, and I was particularly interested in your approach. You did not focus on it in the sense of how women are treated as objects, but you talked about it from a practical sense. Seriously - armor is for protection, and a lot of armor is not very practical on women in many fantasy comics/ rpgs. I think that was interesting. I'm not against skimpy armor for both sexes, but it just seems like women get this sort of objectification treatment -_-

Thanks for the link!
Reply
:iconraqonteur:
Raqonteur Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Interesting article and a nice illustration.
I would agree with a poster below that often fantasy armour is less than you have described it; the eponymous chainmail bikini makes a splendid example, though is probably more of a fashion item than actually useful as armour.

The one thing you failed to cover is that in fantasy there is usually magic, indeed one of your fantasy ladies carries a wand or sceptre/staff. Magically enchanted armour may be skimpy by design but offer protection greater than the sum of it's parts. Of course not all fantasy armour is magical, especially in stories rather than games. But that might be the inspiration for skimpy armour, copying a look developed by, lets say the Elves, or some older race. But without the enchanted protection. In which case they fall into the traps you describe. But it might explain their outlandish looks and fairly useless nature.
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2013
Thank you very much Paul, and your comment is much appreciated. Indeed you are correct, i left out magical enchantments from the description. It can be explained that Magic can enhance the quality of their armors and protective gears and in my opinion people back then would belief in magical phenomena more readily.

The Vikings believed that every weapons and armors has a spirit in them, and when the warriors were united with the spirit, they became unstoppable. Among these men were the famous bersekers, who frenzied themselves to battle with bare clothing, in some cases. Although, that maybe an example of a terror tactic rather than belief in a spirit.
Reply
:iconbebesdupoire:
bebesdupoire Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
i like the comparison you've done both in words and in drawing. i enjoy your historical drawings because of their historical accuracy.
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2013
Thank you, but i admit i still lack the fantasy imagination as compare to yours :)
Reply
:iconsiss-sz:
siss-sz Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2013
Breastplates are really nightmare. Just for fun: I saw a complete male armour at an exhibition in Wien, which had an actual skirt made from metal plates. Like the crinoline-supported skirts in the 19th century. The members of our group (we visited the exhibition with my fencing party) were rolling on the floor laughing but then our coach dropped in the question: and how 'bout attacking this guy? And really - the metal skirt simply had no weak point. :D Not mentioning that it was fun looking at it at the museum, but if an actual metal ballgown would approach me at the battlefield, it's highly possible I wouldn't laugh that hard... just run as fast as I can. :)
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2013
Good Point Szilvia!

The skirts must have been heavy, but they served a good protection for Hips. From what you have said, you would have a much higher chance of defeating the man with your fencing skills (Weakpoints on Joints, crotch, openings and gaps in armor) as compare to an unskilled person such as i am :P
Reply
:iconmaximaniac:
Maximaniac Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013
WELL DONE
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013
Thank you :)
Reply
:iconirenerei:
irenerei Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013  Student General Artist
another lesson learned about history of clothes~~!! good job with the detail like always #thumbs up
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2013
Thanks Irene :)
Reply
:iconirenerei:
irenerei Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2013  Student General Artist
Ur welcome
Reply
:iconmiladyduchess:
MiladyDuchess Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow, very nicely done in both the picture and your argument. I always knew that the breastplates shaped perfectly to the breasts were not practical but I didn't know the logistics, so this is useful information for me :) .
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013
Thanks Rai! even i didn't know until after the argument with my friend. I can only imagine, metal working a perfectly shaped breast plate would have been a nightmare in real life, at least back in those days.

For comparison, Gothic Armor like this [link] can cost about $3500 - $4500 and would take quite extensive labors to make :O
Reply
:iconmiladyduchess:
MiladyDuchess Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah. I'd definitely imagine getting the shapes and measurements right would be a really big pain.
Reply
:iconkaikainat:
KaiKainat Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013
Nice point you got here!
Me too thinking about such thing.

Even people say, the less the armor the higher is the warrior "level" ^_^
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013
Yeap! Well, my friend kinda prefer the Fantasy Setting and pointed out "True Warriors" do not need any protective clothing (or even clothing at all) :o

He made sense though, the Gauls and Germanian Tribes back in Ancient Rome did fight naked. It must be very discouraging to have an angry naked man attacking you :(
Reply
:iconkaikainat:
KaiKainat Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013
Really? I would die before the man kill me then... :P
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×




Details

Submitted on
June 16, 2013
Image Size
446 KB
Resolution
1240×760
Link
Thumb
Embed

Stats

Views
5,823 (5 today)
Favourites
126 (who?)
Comments
52
×