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Feb 11, 2023

Efficient paint strokes, expressive eyes and more tips on getting a likeness


This weeks resources include expressive eyes, 3D characters, gamut masking, Stroke economy, getting a likeness and more! So let's get stuck into my resources, thoughts, 'aha moments' and announcements from this past week.


- Resources

Video - Expressive eyes

If you’re interested in drawing more pixar/animated movie style characters then why not go straight to the source right?

This little gem is an awesome explanation of how to get more expressive eyes (in a 3D rig) but 2D artists can use that info as well!

I love finding new ways of thinking about things that aren’t directly related to the thing I’m trying to learn 3D vs 2D

Definitely worth a watch if you’re into character design.

Youtube Channel - Stylized 3D Characters for reference

Need some good stylisation reference?? Then you have to check out this youtube channel Follygon

It’s an awesome resource to see how 2D characters can be transformed into 3D.

Taking it a step further, you could even pause and take screen caps his the videos to get a better understanding of 3D forms.

IG Post - James gurney gamut mask

Gamut masks still confuse me a little bit (I’ve not done much study on them) but they seem like a great way to get a more cohesive colour arrangement on an illustration.

This post popped up on my feed and I thought it was worth a mention.

James’ book ‘Color and Light’ goes into this a little deeper as well if you’re curious

Video - [Stroke economy](


This is another awesome video by Sinix where he breaks down digital painting in general.

One part that stood out to me was the ‘Stroke Economy’ section (the link will take you straight there)

It’s something I’ve been more conscious of lately and I can see it in one of my favourite illustrators J.C. Leyendecker.

Video - Caricature process

This is a great primer on caricature by Court Jones, there’s a bunch of different ways to go about caricature (or anything art related really)

Although I’m not the biggest fan of the traditional caricature aesthetic, I can still use the same tools and techniques to get a likeness with a different stylistic outcome.


  • Get good reference where you can clearly see the forms
  • The goal is to exaggerate the characteristics that make that person look different from the ‘average’ person
  • Thumbnail and iterate different sketches
  • Likeness and structure are not a priority at the thumbnail stage
  • Sometimes a persons likeness is more apparent at a different angle or facial expression
  • Rough Sketch (refine the thumbnail)
  • Abstraction (look at where you can make structural improvements)
  • Final sketch using the corrections from the previous step

Worth a watch if you’re struggling with likeness!

Secret project update

I’ll be posting some updates on my stories this week with some sneak previews 😱

And my, oh, my has the perfectionism taken hold on this one 😅 But hopefully it’s worth it.

Trying to launch the blog, the secret project, the Patreon, keep up with the IG schedule of posting every 2 days and my full time gig is a challenge to juggle, but I’ve been enjoying the heck out of it!

Can’t wait to release these all into the wild! Then the real work begins 😅

I wonder how many of you would be interested about me documenting this Journey of trying to make a side hustle income out of instagram?

I hope you’ve been kicking some art goals this week! And thanks again for the support, it really means a lot.

And as always, stay consistent, use reference, have fun with it and remember, it’s only pixels baybee.

Cheers, Ben

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