Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes is a two volume collection of lectures by Walt Stanchfield which were originally given to animators working at Disney but now have been collected to help teach the next generation of animators how to get the most out of their drawings.
Walt Stanchfield was kind of a mentor for animators working at Disney and as the name of the books suggest this book compiles 20 years of notes, lectures and pointers that Mr. Stanchfield gave to animators to make sure they were outputting the best drawings possible.
I’m excited to get a glimpse into the thought process of a Disney animator and I’m sure you are too, so let’s jump right in!
- Format: Digital, Paperback
- Author: Walt Stanchfield
- Publisher: Focal Press
- Edition: 1st Edition
- Year Published: 2009
- Page Number: 422 pages
- Book Dimensions: 1.0 x 8.5 x 10.8 in
- Languages: English
- ISBN-10: 0240810961
- ISBN-13: 978-0240810966
Lessons from a Master
Unsurprisingly, Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes focuses very much on gesture and life drawing as it relates to animation.
Topics covered in the essays and lectures include tips on observation, creating believable characters, understanding the gesture of a character and more.
I quickly found that the lessons in these two books are in no particular order; you can flip around the books for something that looks interesting to you or just go through the book linearly, it won’t make a difference.
It would seem that the books were split into two volumes for convenience’ sake rather than a difference in material. I can say after looking through both volumes though that they both provide new and relevant material.
It’s important to stress that these lectures were originally given to already-trained animators, so there is a lot less “technical” talk.
What I mean by that is, you shouldn’t go into this book expecting to learn any drawing fundamentals.
What you should expect however is lessons on how to apply already-learned drawing fundamentals when working in animation.
I noticed that many of the techniques shown in Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes can be applied to other mediums as well, so artists looking to go into cartooning or even illustration may also find some insights inside this book.
Walt Stanchfield can sometimes get a little deep in his notes and I found that they made for great motivators.
Stanchfield was known for his inspirational lectures and it seemed he was so good at it that that enthusiasm translated to paper.
A great teacher can not only teach but create an excitement to learn and Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes makes learning fun!
I can open one of these volumes up at random and Stanchfield’s “Get out there and just do it!” attitude always gets me motivated to start working again.
Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes is a great insight into the secrets that gave Disney it’s reputation for quality animation.
The book includes lessons on observation, creating believable characters, understanding the gesture of a character and more. These lessons can be completed in any order.
Since the lectures included in Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes were originally aimed at trained animators, a knowledge of drawing fundamentals is required to take advantage of everything this book has to offer.
A lot of the lessons can also be useful for artists looking to go into cartooning or illustration.
The author’s enthusiasm is infectious and gets you excited for each new lesson. Get ready to be amped up to get out there and draw.
Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes, along with more instructional books like The Animator’s Survival Kit, give animators all the trade secrets they need to get started animating.