Monday, June 29, 2009

Drawn to Life- A book review.

For all you animators, aspiring animators, and animation lovers out there- I would highly recommend reading if not buying this book. Based of the lectures of Disney's amazingly talented animator/drawing teacher Walt Stanchfield, this book is a lovely step away from those ruddy how-to books. I'd hail this as spectacularly informative as Richard Williams' "Animation Survival Kit", and I personally feel this book has indeed retained the author's (deceased before the book was published) voice and uncanny love for his craft. I couldn't help but be uplifted and inspired by the passages, and entranced by the photographs of animation "treasures" such as keyframes from Milt Kahl, T. Hee, as well as many others.

Here is one particular bit I was captivated by early on in the book-

"...quick sketching is the shortest route to training yourself for capturing those spontaneous gestures and poses that are so essential to good drawing. Break one of your bad habits today. Which one? That habit of not sketching! ... Listen to some jazz, some symphony, a string quintet, and some contry music. Stop everything and just listen...Feel the leaves of a sycamore tree, a wad of cotton, a piece of sandpaper. Pick up a stone from the beach or from the mountains and fondle it. See if it has a message for you...Sharpen your senses in all ways. Life will open up its vistas of adventure and courage and venturesomeness. Then, when you make a sketch you will feel an authoritateve confidence flow into it. It will have the rhytmns of the music you heard, the drama of the books you have read, and the tactile influence of all the things you have touched."

Walt's passion and energy makes for a spectacular read, especially to those who share his everlasting love for animation, art, life, and all aspects inbetween.

(this particular rant of mine is also host on

Friday, June 19, 2009

An inkling of Inking.

Wow! Okay so here are a couple of the better practice-inking designs of Kaleb I did today. I actually did about 10 in total today, however, the early ones were absolutely atrocious. But hey, I certainly learned from them. It was a really fun process, and I didn't want to stop! On the whole I'm content with my learning as it panned out today, because I could really see progress in my work, which actually astonished me! I've certainly got a long way to go, however. I tried strictly using brush throughout the whole time, however when it got to this final image here, I should have trusted my instinct and gone with a smaller nib for defining the arms. As soon as I laid a few lines down, I regretted it. I can only be reassured that better judgment will come with time, and practice is what I certainly must do.

I was trying to create a more open style of inking to the figures, similar to Toth's figures, as well as get over my fear of going dark. No sculptural black and white contrast of form yet, however. Still a little too afraid of creating such a dark image. BUT BOY ARE THOSE CONTRASTS GORGEOUS. I'm a real huge fan of Mike Mignola's work (hellboy is my homeboy- see below image) so if I could master his design sense and explore his technique it would me amazing!

God I could just stare at that image for hours. I need to do me some more learnin'.