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The struggles of learning new skills, nerding out about colour and why getting 'New Eye's is my favourite!


A mixed bag of resources this week, from getting out of a figure drawing rut, to learning struggles and how to overcome them, to an old VHS recording of a Glen Keane master class + more.

Let's get stuck into this weeks resources, thoughts, 'aha moments' and announcements directly from my brain to yours.


- Resources I've found useful this week

Video - Concentrated practise is where the growth is

This is yet another great video by Adam Duff from LUCIDPIXUL and he goes into the struggles we may feel when learning art (or anything).

In the beginning of the video, he also touches on having an epiphany when it came to warm and cool colours in his early 20's that actually ties in with another idea mentioned below called 'New Eyes'.

A couple of key take aways...

  • It's never easy to learn art (or anything)
  • Frustration is part of the game
  • Working brain vs Automatic brain
  • Learning to see is SUPER important
  • Effort burns energy
  • Concentrated practise is key to growth
  • If it feels easy to do, you're probably using your automatic brain and you're not really growing

A great listen as always, highly recommend, especially if you're in an artistic or personal growth rut!

Website - Want to get nerdy about colour?

I was reading James Gurney’s “Colour and Light” (highly recommend if you haven’t picked this one up yet) and I decided to check out the recommended reading section to see what the man himself was using as study material and the below blog came up.

It’s a great deeper dive into how we perceive colour and Mr Gurney recommended it himself.

I’ve added a couple of posts you might find useful

Local colour

Science of colour

Video - Rendering Light and Materials

This is a little gem I picked up this week while perusing YouTube.

It’s a nice breakdown of how light and shadow work on different materials. Each teacher I’ve listened to has their own way of explaining it, and this is another good one to add to the mental (and my digital) library on light and materials.

Video - Glen Keane VHS upload

Saw this one in a facebook group and is fresh on YouTube

It’s an old VHS recording of one of Glen Keane (master Disney animators) master classes.

It's super grainy, but some some cool little insights if you're interested in Disney Animation

Post - Steve Huston on Leveling up and breaking past plateaus with figure drawing

This is a great little post on facebook by Steve from the other week

It outlines a strategy he's used when trying to push past plateaus in figure drawing, but I think the same principles can be used for other art disciplines.

TLDR is to every now and then, focus on a section of the figure, and dive deeper into that, instead of trying to constantly tackle the Whole figure.

I think it's one of a few great ways to tackle the study of figure drawing in general as well.

So if you haven't been, maybe try mixing up your figure study with some more targeted practise e.g. the shoulder and pec, the back muscles, the hip and femur relationship, how the head fits into the neck etc etc.

Or if you're having trouble with imaginative perspective for example, you could try to do a few study sessions focussing on getting really really good at drawing boxes in 3D space.

It's advice straight from Mr Huston himself so I'm 100% behind it!

Video - [The idea of 'New Eyes' when learning](He begins talking about it here)

This video by Adam Savage (from Mythbusters) about a completely random topic of 'Gauge Blocks' was one of those "Ok, I'm in a YouTube rabbit hole, why not" kind of videos.

But I was pleasantly surprised that he was able in the first few minutes pretty beautifully articulate my feelings and love for learning new things and I thought it was worth sharing with you.

He mentions this idea of 'New Eyes'.

He explains this idea in the context of picking up the guitar for the first time.

If you've never held a guitar, you have no context about anything to do with it, but as soon as you start to learn a little bit about the guitar and you go to pick it up again, that same experience brings with it a whole new context a la; 'New Eyes'.

And each subsequent new learning or insight about a skill or topic brings with it even 'newer' eyes.

And he goes onto say how much of an endorphin rush it is when he comes to new realisations, and I can 100% relate to that!

The amount of joy/rush/satisfaction I get when something 'clicks' is incredible and that's something I want to share with as many of you as possible.

Anyway, it was a cool articulation of something I get really excited about (learning /getting better at things in general)

[He begins talking about it here](

?t=158) and goes for a few minutes.

The rest of the video is about gauge blocks and how we never can actually 'measure' anything, although nothing to do with art, very interesting regardless!


Some quick updates

Blog and product updates

I'm making progress on the blog! And I'm beginning to seed the site with content.

I've also began work on my first product(s). The cogs are turning and I'm super excited to share both with you soon.

​Replying to messages

Just wanted to mention that I'm still replying to all my messages, there's just a lot more of them lately, so if you've sent me a message/email and I'm taking a little bit to get back to you I haven't forgotten!

Thanks so much again for reaching out to those of you that have, it truly means a lot.


Hope you've been capturing some aha moments of your own this week!

Until next week...

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



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