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Sent on: Jan 16, 2022

The Newsletter: Issue #14

Staying 'On Model', why we like stories and being focussed with mark making

Hey hey!

Here's the latest from this weeks learnings, I hope there's some resources you'll be able to take something away from!
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So let's jump right in to this weeks edition of my top resources, thoughts, 'aha moments' and announcements directly from my brain to yours.

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- What I've been reading this week

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Art related-ish...

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ā€‹The Science of storytelling - Will Storrā€‹

I've been increasingly interested in storytelling as of late, specifically in regards to character design, and making characters that are less 'Cookie Cutter'.

You'll start to see a theme arise when I get interested in something; I dive head first into all the resources I can get my hands on and try and start understanding bigger concepts first.

So when I saw that this book outlines the science behind storytelling, it sounded very 'big picture' and I was intrigued.

A couple of tid-bits from the book.

  • To create intriguing stories that capture peoples attention, the characters within these stories must have flaws
  • When you read/observe a story and enter the world and mind of a flawed character, it allows you to explore faults (including your own)
  • The base of every great story is a change in status, wether that's a rags to riches tale, a struggle to reach a goal, or a mission to dethrone a nasty tyrant.
  • Our interest in status changes and following others struggles to reach their own goals is evident in why video games are so popular. We're programmed to seek goal-orientated tasks.

I recommend checking this one out if you've ever wondered why you get so engrossed by a series, movie, video game, podcast or book!

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- Videos/ Resources

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ā€‹Staying On Model - Live Stream with Michael Mattesiā€‹

This recorded live stream is a great look at how you might go about staying 'on model' with your characters from Michael Mattesi (Michael popularised the idea of drawing with 'Force').

Staying 'On Model' is a term used to describe when an artist keeps characters look consistent regardless of the pose/costume etc

It's something I've been interested in getting better at lately, and this video helped a tonne!

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ā€‹When in doubt, wireframe it out - Ahmed Aldooriā€‹

A great video on using 'wire-framing' to get some structure back in a drawing that isn't looking quite right. I'm a HUGE fan of this technique as It's all about 'Thinking in 3D' which you've heard me rabbit on about for ages! Highly recommend.

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ā€‹Big ass character design reference site, accurately named - characterdesignreferences.comā€‹

This is an awesome resource I'll be utilising more of now I've discovered it.

I'm familiar with the "Character Design Challenge" and didn't realise this site is run by the same team!

In their own words.... Character Design References (CDR) is an independent website dedicated to sequential, illustrative and concept art from animation, games, and comics. CDR is also the home of the ''Character Design Challenge!'' (CDChallenge), the largest and most active community of character designers on the Internet.
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I came across it on Pinterest (they've got a great Pinterest board as well) and followed the link. And it took me to a great little post about the art of Spiderman into the spider verse, with a curated list of artwork -> Art of Spider-man: into the spider-verse

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- Thoughts and musings of the week

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Thinking first before making a mark

I'm making it a habit to do less noodling with my drawings and paintings, and actually be really conscious of the decisions I'm making.

I often times find the frustration creeps in when I've unintentionally started noodling away for the last however long, and I've lost track of the bigger picture (literally).

What I'm hoping can help is to keep zoomed out until absolutely necessary, and even go as far as asking myself, "Is this next mark going to add to the painting, or subtract from it?"; Probably not on EVERY mark or stoke, but at least have that as a consistent thought throughout the process.

I'll report on my findings...

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Rambles over!

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That's all from me this week And I hope you can take something away from these resources!

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And as always, stay consistent, use reference, have fun with it and remember; it's only pixels baybee!

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See you in the next one!

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Cheers,

Ben

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Have any questions or just want to say "hey"?

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