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Sent on: Dec 5, 2021

The Newsletter: Issue #8

Anatomy practise, realism fundamentals and getting use out of saved posts

Hey there!

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Here's your weekly dose of my top resources, thoughts, 'aha moments' and announcements directly from my brain to yours from this past week.

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- What I've been reading this week

Art related...

- Anatomy for sculptorsā€‹

You could call it reading, or just looking at the pictures šŸ˜… but what I have been using this book for is a reference for some of the pixar breakdowns I've been doing over on my instagram.

I've been trying to learn more about the muscles, and inner workings of the skeleton, and mapping that to more stylised characters to help the concepts really stick.

This was recommended on Will Westons blog post about Books for Artists, so I thought I'd check it out! Because Will is a big inspiration of mine, especially when it comes to breaking down the human form.

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Non art related...

- Doing content right bt Steph Smithā€‹

This is a great one for anyone looking to build a following online, I haven't gotten through it all yet, but I'm loving it so far.

This book is tackling the question I think all of us who have thought about contemplating putting things online or trying to build a following have had... "What makes me different than the thousands (if not millions) of other people trying to do the same thing?".

It's given me a couple of perspective shifts mentioned in the next section.
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- Note-worthy learnings / aha moments

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Art related

I've been watching a course on Schoolism called "Essentials of Realism" by Johnathan Hardesty to keep sharpening my fundamentals saw. And there's some absolute jems in there! below are a couple that I found really useful...

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-Have a clear separation between light and dark to begin with

This is something I've heard time and time again, but it was great to be reminded, because I often times just jump into a painting and just go for it (which is fine and all), but I'm looking to adopt a more structured approach to my work (or at least experimenting with a more structured approach), and this is a great way to start a value study or a full colour painting.

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- Compare, compare, compare

It's something I've really taken on board with colour.

It's really hard to judge a colour in isolation, but Jonathan really hammers it home when he talks about relationships between values and relationships between edges.
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Comparing and analysing relationships seems to be a recurring theme across value, edges and colour. Nothing is really in isolation.

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- Edges are second in importance next to values for realism

This is one that I haven't heard much of, but it makes total sense.
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Edges (for those of you who aren't familiar) are the transitions between values (or blocks of colour) in a painting. You can have hard edges (like edges of a cube) or soft edges (like the subtle curve of a cheek).

Something that Jonathan mentioned really hit home "You can't communicate form without edges".

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Non art related

- In order for your content to stand out it must be better

"Yeah, no shit!" Is what I thought to myself when I read this in 'Doing content Right' mentioned above, but when expanded on, it was pretty eye opening.

The book goes on to talk about quality; and that 'high quality content' doesn't mean longer, or more detailed necessarily, it means more effectively satisfying the readers (follower, viewers) needs, and this can be done in many different ways like with humor, relatability, accuracy, efficiency etc.

Another great way to think about how to create different 'high quality' content is to ask yourself "How would others describe your content to their friends?" that's going to be one of your distinguishing factors according to Steph.

Making my content more useful (and different) has been on my mind a bit lately, and I'm exploring how I can bring something fresh to the table. More exploration needed...

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- Thoughts and musings

Saving a post feels great, but it's useless if nothing is done with the information.

I've got so many saved images and posts on instagram, and I always feel good when I hit that little bookmark icon. But I was realising that I'd never set time aside to actually go back and look through my saved posts to dig further into the value that I saw in the first place.

A saved post never looked at again is as good as never saving it at all!

To remedy this, I've been making it a habit that if I'm going to save a post; It'll be saved in the app of choice (twitter, instagram etc) but I'll also share the link to that post in note named 'Quick Capture' (currently using obsidian, but any note taking app will do) where all my ideas/links/fleeting thoughts go into.
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The goal is to schedule a time during the week to process that note with all the thoughts of the week and decide what to do with the content next (e.g. add it to a larger note on a specific topic, create a task, start a project etc etc).

Am I great with scheduling a time to process the notes of the week? Nope! In-fact I've got a long ass note with 50+ links, tweeks, videos, thoughts that I've yet to process.
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But at the very least they have a central place to live for the time being, instead of tucked inside their original apps saved section.
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I really do have to process those notes soon...

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Until next week!
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Stay consistent, use reference, have fun with it and remember; it's only pixels baybee!

Cheers,

Ben

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