Getting back into the swing of things this week with a bit of an eclectic bunch of resources but hope you'll get something out of them and enjoy checking them out as much as I did!
Here's this weeks edition of my top resources, thoughts, 'aha moments' and announcements directly from my brain to yours.
- What I've been reading this week
This one has been a fantastic resource when diving deeper into understanding the human body.
Be warned; it’s not all pretty pictures – It’s a pretty ‘academic’ style book, that goes deeeep into the inner workings of the muscle groups, bones and and how they connect.
It even goes into where the origin and insertion points of the muscles are.
VERY useful if you want to really understand what’s going on in the human body.
For me, understanding more about the functionality of the muscles gives me more context/tools to work with when creating character designs/doing figure drawing.
Although this book can be daunting, take it one small part at a time.
For instance, I like to see if I can take away just one thing every time I tackle a 'text book' like this, not a whole section, not the whole body, just one.
For example, I wanted more clarity on how the elbow bones and muscles are connected together.
Then I'll try and use that newly gained insight on my own to help it stick (sketches, studies etc).
The Almanak of Naval Ravikant
I'm a 'tech' & 'business' guy, as well as an 'art' guy and this book is awesome; I’ve got a feeling that this one is going to become a new staple in the business & life category for me to return to for years to come.
Naval is an entrepreneur and investor. He is the co-founder, chairman and former CEO of AngelList and has invested early-stage in over 200 companies including Uber, FourSquare, Twitter, Wish, Postmates, Thumbtack, Notion, Clubhouse and Stack Overflow, with over 70 total exits and more than 10 companies.
After first being introduced to him on the Joe Rogan podcast, and hearing his ideas on business, building products and wealth I was hooked.
It’s a unique book in that it’s a curation of Naval’s wisdom from Twitter, Podcasts, and Essays over the past decade.
With a combination of tech, philosophy and business wisdom nuggets, It’s an awesome read (or listen). It’s also free!
- Videos/ Resources
Glen Keane interview on Spotify
I've not completely finished this one, but it's an awesome insight into Disney animation, and a behind the scenes look at how Glen Keane started and his thought process on character and animation!
Glen Keane, for those of you who don't know was a character animator at Walt Disney Animation Studios for feature films including The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Tarzan and Tangled.
A very 'interesting' look at who Milt Kahl was/ his attitude at Disney Animation
Milt Kahl was one of the 9 old men at Disney and did 90% of the character sheets back in the day.
His skill as a draftsman was legendary, and boy did he know it!
Below are a couple of videos on him I found fascinating!
A quote that stood out for me was "Learn so much about it, that you don't have to learn the reference anymore".
Old Masters Painting Secrets
A great video by Art-Wod about shape design. He references one of my all time favourite J.C. Leyendecker and demonstrates ideas around...
- Shape Design
- Shadow vs Light
- Shadow Mapping
- Getting clarity with your shapes
- Thoughts and musings of the week
* Keeping on model and utilising front and profile views with character design
This past week I've been thinking a lot more about how people go about keeping characters 'On Model' meaning; how they can draw them in any angle, and have them look like the same character.
One technique I've been using is to draw the front and profile views of the character as a guide. This gives you a lot of information about how to tackle the 3D views.
Check out my latest instagram posts for a bit more context on this. Still experimenting, but I'm enjoying the process so far!
* Process over outcome
You ever sit down to draw, or study an artists style; then about half way through you feel like quitting because the fricken thing looks nothing like the reference, or it doesn't have that 'feeling' that x,y,z artist has that you wanted to emulate?
Me too! And as I've been diving deeper into content creation, and studying more and more artists, there's one thing that's starting to stand out to me.
There's a LOT more than meets the eye with sketches and paintings you're seeing online from your favourite artists.
There's often times a tonne of working out, false starts, draw overs, time spent and trial and error that goes into some of these pieces that you love.
Not to mention the working out you don't see in the time-lapse or speed paint that's in the head of the artist!
Something I've been focussing on, especially when it comes to study, is to not be concerned with todays outcome, classify the session as a win if you've actually taken the time to practise.
When you're focussed on the process vs the outcomes it makes those frustrating days a hell of a lot easier (at least for me) and makes it more likely for you to come back the next day and give it another go which compounds that consistency baybee!!
That's all from me this week.
And as always, stay consistent, use reference, have fun with it and remember; it's only pixels baybee!
See you in the next one!
Have any questions or just want to say "hey"?
DM me on:
Email me at email@example.com or simply reply to this one.