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Feb 11, 2023

Textured painting inspiration, finding 'Flow', and the design process behind Buzz


Let's waste no time and get stuck into my resources, thoughts, 'aha moments' and announcements from the past weeks.


- Resources

Art Tip - Overlapping lines and avoiding tangents

I’ve been getting inspiration more and more from animation artists and one thing that I’ve found that’s a constant in their work is how clear the objects are placed in the scene.

You’re never asking yourself things like “Is that gun/arm/prop behind or in front of them?” everything is super clear to the audience. And one thing that’s been helping me get more clarity in my line work is using ‘Overlapping Lines’ and avoiding ‘tangents’.

I’ve found this youtube video to demonstrate what I mean.


Documentary - Beyond Infinity (Disney +)

This was a great little watch from the team at Pixar on the evolution of how Buzz went from toy to human.

I’m getting SUPER into character design, and seeing how they broke down their thought process and iterations was awesome!


Instagram post - Character Breakdown

This was a great little instagram post by mael_gourmelen that broke down his thought process around Chip ‘n Dales character ‘Chip’

Although I’m a huge fan of how ‘solid’ the designs are drawn (love me some Disney style animation drawings)

The real insights are in the captions where he mentions things like…

  • The accuracy of the sketches
  • Different departments on the project and how these contributed

Worth a follow for sure.


Instagram -Textured rendering & story

Do yourself a favour and just click this link. It’s the Instagram of samspratt

I’ve been following him for SO long and I absolutely love his rendering style and story telling, especially with his recent pieces.

I’ve saved a bunch of his recent work specifically to study how he goes about more textured rendering, the level of detail is amazing as well as the subtle colour shifts he achieves which brings a whole other level of realism.

I’ve noticed as well he’s being really clever with focal points and how he’s leaving really crisp details where he wants you to look and the surrounding forms he keeps a little more ‘soft’

What are you waiting for? Go go go, save save save.


Art Adjacent (Knowledge Management) - Building a second brain

If you’ve been following me for a little while, you’ll know I’m a bit of a productivity/ (PKM) personal knowledge management nerd.

So when I saw that Tiago forte (one of the first people that popularised the whole idea of personal knowledge management and building a ‘second brain’) has come out with a book specifically on the topic my inner nerd did a little dance.

Now full disclosure, I have not read the book yet, BUT I’m that confident in the value this guy has given and the whole idea of a ‘second brain’. I’ll be diving into it very soon and will share my thoughts here.

I’m currently using some of Tiago’s ‘second brain’ concepts to consistently pump out these newsletters, and build a personal ‘art second brain’ where I keep track of all the skills, techniques and concepts I’m learning, which is helping a tonne with the blog and will certainly help with courses and the like in the future.

The link is a book review by Ali Abdaal who originally got me onto the idea of PKM

Not for everyone, but I love this shit ;D!


Art Adjacent (The Mental Game) - The science of ‘Flow’

This video popped up in the my Youtube recommended’s and I love me some ‘Flow states’ so I gave it a whirl.

A great little primer on understanding what is and how to get into ‘Flow’.

For those who don’t know what flow is… Have you ever got stuck into a drawing, painting or creative thing and then lost an entire day without realising? You, my friend were in ‘Flow’.

It’s a state where time just melts away and you’re completely focussed on the task at hand.

One great take away from this video is the idea of the ‘ideal level of difficulty’ meaning flow is best achieved when the task or creative outlet you’re doing is not so difficult as to be frustrating and disheartening, but not so easy that it becomes boring.

There’s a nice balance there which I personally find I can get into with both painting/drawing and coding.

A great watch.


That's all from me for this week,

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

Cheers, Ben


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