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Buckle tutorial 1

By Mauser712
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18 Comments
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For years I've been threatening to put something like this up. I've left countless comments that say "You've got the buckles on backwards." And countless artists have confessed that they can't figure it out sometimes. Everyone from amateurs to published pros have trouble with this.

No matter how professional the artist, there's a 50% chance they're going to draw a buckle backwards. I've seen it in Comics, Cartoons, Anime, even fine art. Maybe they get caught up in the direction of the belt end and put the tongue of the buckle in the same direction, but as you can see, it's physically impossible.

But it's been hard to come up with a really simple and memorable way to illustrate this, to show that the tongue on the buckle points the opposite way from the free end.

Probably the easiest thing is to imagine what the end of a belt looks like when it's NOT buckled. Now you don't have to imagine any more. Here it is, in black and tan.

Perhaps in the future I'll do it for other styles of buckles, or other typical harnesswork features, but this is the first and most necessary reference. Enjoy!

Other things to note: Buckles like this don't lay flat - you've got three layers of leather for a good portion of the connection. I should add an edge-on shot to show this. Also, the entire tongue on the buckle is not visible, typically no more than half or less.

Details: This is done in 2" wide 10 oz (about 1/8" thick) Latigo leather with a 2" Roller Buckle and a wire loop. This is a fairly typical style, although you could catch the loop in behind the first rivet with the buckle. The loop IS necessary to prevent the strap from coming loose when it's not under tension.

These were straps for one of the chairs elsewhere in my Gallery.
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Comments18
anonymous's avatar
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meaty's avatar
used your stock here
Cherubael by meaty thanks
Mauser712's avatar
Heh, never would have thought of this being used as stock. Cool.
FireheartTheInferno's avatar
'Looking back upon the belts I've drawn in the past, either I hid the buckle, excluded significant detail on the buckle, accidentally neglected to draw the lip (which is an easy fix) or got it completely right the times I did draw it, lip and all! I even correctly did so in the opposite direction once! No more neglecting it, though. If the focus is close enough, hopefully I'll remember to use or my own belts as references. It really helps to have the real deal on hand.
InsaneLugia's avatar
being a fan of restraints, straight jackets, collars etc i have noticed this as well. its such an art killer when this problem occurs. thanks for this for them t hat dont know. im often looking at this my self and have caught my self looking at it for the past 2 years or so. 

cheers ^^

~Insane Lugia
Mauser712's avatar
I once tried to submit it to be a DD as a Tutorial, but they suggested that it needed explanatory text in the image.  I may do that sometime.  I'm not sure if I should change this image, or post a new one.
InsaneLugia's avatar
do all of the above and you cant go wrong.
Owl-Flight's avatar
lol at first I thought this was a joke, then I realized how easy this mistake would be to make XDD I dont draw belts very often so Idk if I have
Mauser712's avatar
I've seen 'em messed up everywhere, even in comics and Anime. I think sometimes artists get into the whole U-shaped-ness of the buckle, the tab and the tongue and draw them all in the same direction. Which is wrong.

Alas, this got turned down for a Tutorial DD, in part because there's no explaining text on it. I might do another version. Not sure if I should substitute that for this one.
Owl-Flight's avatar
If you do a new one you might want to add a doodle of what's wrong, because it took me quite a wile to figure out what you were saying this was to help with XD
Mauser712's avatar
That's pretty much the DD Editor's criticism as well.
Maiden-Chynna's avatar
I recently did a picture with a belt. I saw this and was like "heh, now i gotta make sure I put it on right!"

I didn't. I drew it wrong. o_o I feel like an idiot now so i'll fave this tutorial so i don't make that mistake again.
Mauser712's avatar
Even the Pros do it, so don't feel so bad. That's why I put this up. Just wish it would get more attention.
squidli's avatar
i tend to break belts in real l life by doing this, but thats just because im lazy...
MKitten-Ultra's avatar
I never even considered this... Thank you~ I'll make sure to remember this one ^^U
TCPolecat7's avatar
Heh. I remember when you corrected me on how to do this way back. I've made a point of getting them right ever since. :D

- Polecat
Mauser712's avatar
It's amazing how common it is! There was a comic I got recently, 22 pages of story with this chick who had thigh boots with buckles all the way up, and every single one of them was backwards.

Saw it in some Anime too.

I wish I could STOP noticing it sometimes.
TCPolecat7's avatar
What can be seen can never be unseen....

Believe me, I'm the same way about animations in video games... especially when it comes to clipping.

- Polecat
rmford's avatar
Wait til you start seeing warm/cool contrasts everywhere. Firefly's full of them, for example.
anonymous's avatar
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