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Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes: Volume 2: The Walt Stanchfield Lectures [Paperback]

Walt Stanchfield , Don Hahn
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 23 2009 0240811070 978-0240811079 1
Discover the lessons that helped bring about a new golden age of Disney animation!

Published for the first time ever, Drawn to Life is a two volume collection of the legendary lectures from long-time Disney animator Walt Stanchfield. For over twenty years, Walt helped breathe life into the new golden age of animation with these teachings at the Walt Disney Animation Studios and influenced such talented artists as Tim Burton, Brad Bird, Glen Keane, and John Lasseter. These writings represent the quintessential refresher for fine artists and film professionals, and it is a vital tutorial for students who are now poised to be part of another new generation in the art form.

Written by Walt Stanchfield (1919-2000), who began work for the Walt Disney Studios in the 1950s. His work can be seen in films like Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book, 101 Dalmatians, and Peter Pan.

Edited by Academy Award®-nominated producer Don Hahn, who has prduced such classic Disney films as Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King.

* Legendary lessons from a master Disney animator - collected for the first time ever
* Packed full of illustrations from some of the top animators in the world including Brad Bird
* Two volumes and 750 pages of pure gold - offering in-depth advice and instruction

Frequently Bought Together

Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes: Volume 2: The Walt Stanchfield Lectures + Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes: Volume 1: The Walt Stanchfield Lectures + The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation
Price For All Three: CDN$ 89.84

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Review

For nearly thirty years, the artists that passed through the gates of Disney Animation, and even non-artists like myself, were influenced by the craft, skill, wisdom, writings and sketches of Walt Stanchfield.

Roy Disney

Walt was a kind of Mark Twain for us at Disney. He always taught with humor and skill. You learned to see the world through his eyes. I remember him one day encouraging us to leap into our drawings with boldness and confidence, "Don't be afraid to make a mistake. We all have 10,000 bad drawings in us so the sooner you get them out the better!" Sitting in Walt's class was as much a psychology course as it was a drawing class. One couldn't help walk away with your mind and soul a little more open than when you entered.

Glen Keane, Walt Disney Animation Studios

Walt Stanchfield's classes and writings were little distillations of the man: quirky, strongly stated in a genial voice, and brimming with a lifetime of sharp observations about story telling and graphic communication. Whether he drew with a ball point pen or painted with a brush dipped in his coffee cup, he got to the essence of things and was eager to share what he learned to his eager disciples, myself among them. He was grizzled and he was great and proof that there was more than one Walt at the Disney Studio that could inspire a legion of artists.  

John Musker, Walt Disney Animation Studios

Walt Stanchfield was one of Disney Animation's national treasures. His classes and notes have inspired countless animation artists, and his approach to drawing of caricature over reality, feeling over rote accuracy, and communication over photographic reproduction gets to the heart of what great animation is all about. Huzzah to Don Hahn for putting it all together for us!

Eric Goldberg, Walt Disney Animation Studios

During the Animation Renaissance of the 1990s, one of the Walt Disney Studio's best kept secrets was Walt Stanchfield. Once a week after work, this aged but agile figure jumped from drawing board to drawing board, patiently teaching us the principles behind the high baroque style of Walt Disney Animation drawing. Being in a room with Walt made you feel what it must have been like to have been taught by Don Graham. Having one of your life drawings be good enough to be reproduced in one of his little homemade weekly bulletins was akin to getting a Distinguished Service medal! Senior animators vied with trainees for that distinction.

Tom Sito, Animator/Filmmaker/Author of Drawing The Line: The Untold Story of the Animation Unions from Bosko to Bart Simpson

This exciting collection of master classes by the great teacher Walt Stanchfield is destined to become a classic on the order of Kimon Nicolaides' exploration of the drawing process. Stanchfield (1919-2000) inspired several generations of Disney animators and those of us outside the studio fortunate enough to happen upon dog-eared copies of his conversational notes, which we passed around like Leonardo's Codex Leicester. Stanchfield beautifully communicates the essence and joy of expressing ideas through the graphic line and accumulating a visual vocabulary. DRAWN TO LIFE is a treasure trove of cogent, valuable information for students, teachers and anyone who loves to draw.

John Canemaker, NYU professor and Academy Award-winning animation filmmaker

Walt Stanchfield, in his own unique way, taught so many of us about drawing, caricature, motion, acting and animation. Most important to me, was how Walt made you apply what you had observed in his life drawing class to your animation. Disney Animation is based on real life, and in that regard Walt Stanchfield's philosophy echoed Walt Disney's:

'We cannot caricature and animate anything convincingly until we study the real thing first.'

Andreas Deja, Walt Disney Animation Studios

Walt Stanchfield's renewed emphasis on draftsmanship at the Disney Studios transformed the seemingly moribund art of animation. His students were part of a renaissance with The Little Mermaid and Who Framed Roger Rabbit, a renaissance that continues with films ranging from The Iron Giant to Lilo and Stitch to Wall-E.

Charles Solomon, Animation Historian

I'm so grateful to Focal Press for publishing these fabulous Walt Stanchfield books. They are veritable 'gold dust' for the serious (and aspiring) animator! So 'hurrah' to Focal and 'hurrah' to Don Hahn to committing himself to compiling them. I ordered my copies the minute I saw them and will of course hope my students are smart enough to do so too! 

Tony White, DigiPen, Author of 'Animation: From Pencil to Pixels' and 'How to Make Animated Films'


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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Parka HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Length: 0:18 Mins
Drawn to Life is a collection of lectures from long-time Disney animator Walt Stanchfield. He has worked for Disney since the 1950s.

There are two volumes, each with over 400 pages. The reason for two volumes is probably to make the books easier to handle. Both are on gesture and life drawing, even though the cover art might suggest otherwise, especially the one with the lion. You can start reading from any book and any lecture. The order isn't important.

There are plenty of essays in the books. Each is a lesson relating to drawing and animation. It can be tangent drawings, creating believable characters, learning to observe, understanding gestures, etc. There are tips on almost anything relating to drawing. Loose and sketchy sketches serves as examples to the lessons.

These books are more thinking than drawing technique books. For example, the lessons are not about how to draw perspective, the lessons are about how to use perspective. You can view sample pages for volume one and volume two on amazon.com to get an idea.

The books represent a tremendous wealth of information and insight into drawing, animation and observation. After all, Walt Stanchfield has more than 50 years of experience in animation.

This book is recommended to those who are into animation and drawing.

There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! Nov. 30 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are going to purchase only one book about drawing--you can't!--because, you must get Drawn to Life Volume One and Volume Two.

These books are a collection of handouts by one of the greatest drawing teachers in the world, Master: Walt Stanchfield, a man hired to teach the superb artists at the Walt Disney Feature Animation Studios at the time of the golden age of classical animation (including such wonderful films as "'The Little Mermaid'" and "'The Lion King'").

Not only are these very instructional books a fun read, but the handouts are written in such a way that you feel the benevolent Master Stanchfield standing over your shoulder, encouraging you to succeed in your artistic endeavours.

These books differ from all other books I have ever read on drawing instruction, because you get to see a student's drawing and the Master's correction drawing side by side. In my opinion, that is the only way an artist can learn: visually! A teacher standing in front of a class talking about art theory, even drawing perfect drawings, always left me slightly confused. I would draw, I would sense that my drawing is not quite right, but I never knew: why? There was the essential visual communication missing in such a lesson. Not so in these books. You have a student's drawing right next to the Master's drawing allowing you to make a comparison. The difference is astounding. Looking at a student's drawing, I would think--It looks fine to me.--, until I saw the slight (Yes: slight!) correction the Master made.

I can go on and on praising these books, but I do not care to waste more of my time, or yours. If you want your drawings (or paintings) to have life: GET THESE BOOKS and start drawing the way you always wanted to.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Drawn to Life Aug. 9 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has all the essentials and explains them very nicely to make you understand. I would recommend this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Animators Must Have May 9 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes Volume 1 and 2 are an absolute must have for any person interested in animation. Very in depth information to help with drawing problems, character development; everything that makes a Disney animated film sparkle with life. Easy to read and hundreds of illustrations. As an animation student, I have learned many things not taught in college. I would highly recommend both of these books for your permanent collection.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  28 reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a wealth of information and insight into drawing, animation and observation May 4 2009
By Parka - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Drawn to Life is a collection of lectures from long-time Disney animator Walt Stanchfield. He has worked for Disney since the 1950s.

There are two volumes, each with over 400 pages. The reason for two volumes is probably to make the books easier to handle. Both are on gesture and life drawing, even though the cover art might suggest otherwise, especially the one with the lion. You can start reading from any book and any lecture. The order isn't important.

There are plenty of essays in the books. Each is a lesson relating to drawing and animation. It can be tangent drawings, creating believable characters, learning to observe, understanding gestures, etc. There are tips on almost anything relating to drawing. Loose and sketchy sketches serves as examples to the lessons.

These books are more thinking than drawing technique books. For example, the lessons are not about how to draw perspective, the lessons are about how to use perspective. You can view sample pages for volume one and volume two on amazon.com to get an idea.

The books represent a tremendous wealth of information and insight into drawing, animation and observation. After all, Walt Stanchfield has more than 50 years of experience in animation.

This book is recommended to those who are into animation and drawing.

(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At Last, the Great Walt Stanchfield's Lessons in a Book April 2 2009
By Nancy Beiman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I had the privilege of studying with Mr. Stanchfield at the Walt Disney Animation Studio. His classes were electrifying and incredibly helpful to animators. Stanchfield's lectures have been collected in two wonderful books (so far I have just the one, but I'm sure the other will be equally outstanding.) If you are interested in learning about the portrayal of humans and animals in motion, even if you are not an animator-- this is the best book you could get on the subject. There is simply nothing else like this book out there. It is beautifully written, very funny, and very informative. Run, don't walk, and get both books today. I can't wait to get the other half of the set.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, Unusual & Specialized Art Instruction April 27 2009
By New England Yankee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I acquired Drawn to Life thinking it would be nice background material on typical Disney animation characters - sort of an insider's look at their production and development. Perhaps even a way to acquire some unusual character drawings. Wrong entirely!

What this book is, is a very specialized art instruction book aimed at animation artists and Disney animation artists specifically. Still, it does teach focus on, and simplification of gesture in a way that can be effectively used in any medium. Had I to reduce Drawn to Life to its barest topic, it would be just that - capturing and communicating gesture. Animation requires special techniques adapted to 2D line drawing. Those are the heart of the book, along with Walt Stanchfield's philosophy, optimism, and personification of Disney post-WWII history.

The book is a collection of Walt Stanchfield's weekly lectures to the Disney animators, consisting of drawing handouts and notes. The lecture topics were, and are, essentially random (his own term) as this wasn't intended as a course of study, but as professional development and continuing ed for an existing, highly-accomplished staff of artists. There are 149 lectures in the first volume alone, under such titles as "Using Cylinders", "Think First ...", "Get Out Of Your Way", "Action Analysis", "Silhouette", and so on.

Having dabbled in art classes and books over the years, I often find such material highly-technical ... and deadly dull. Drawn to Life is neither. Though the volume is large (nearly 400 pages), each lecture chapter is short and to the point. Stanchfield's teaching style is literate and personable, often humorous and riddled with stories. Drawings accompanying each lecture are quite loose and sketchy, invariably on-point, and amazingly convincing. Who knew that the subtlest shift in the slant of a line could be so compelling?

I walked away with a renewed appreciation for animation artists, an enhanced vocabulary that includes terms like stretch and squish, and tools I lacked to evaluate animation quality. Recommended, not just for artists, but for anyone intrigued by animation. Naturally, the Disney characters and commentary sprinkled throughout are fun, too.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Redundant July 25 2013
By A. Navarro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Almost all of the content in volume 2 can be found in volume 1. The handouts contained herein are really more about inspirational speaking than they are about practical or theoretical information... for example chapter 48 is all inspirational quotations "Love the inner you and keep moving ahead because you can't stand still and improve at the same time." Most of the drawing examples in here are student drawings, whereas volume 1 has more pro examples. The student drawings aren't really worth studying, because they lack the kind of orchestration found in pro drawings. A drawing is essentially made up of marks and graphics, and student drawings don't have the profundity and cohesion found in top quality work. This is all to say that good drawings teach you how to draw good. Romanelli's "Draw the Looney Tunes" is a superior book by far, fewer words, bigger pictures... you'll still have to deduce for yourself what is really making the pictures work though.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem - diamond in the rough Dec 11 2009
By Timothy J. Palkovic - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a perfect book especially for those who draw without formal instruction. The books 'Drawn from Life' are notes made by a master teacher to students after a animation drawing class. Many examples include student drawings with the corrections of the instructor. The class and the instructor used ball point pen for drawing so the illustrations are perfectly clear. But the drawings are only half the story. The lively accompanying commentary has the feeling of informal speech. The stories are compelling making this a good read especially considering the fact that these are drawing books. Though I am not an animator, but a scene designer, I find that I have applied the principles taught here in filling my design sketches with figures that seem to move, making my scene designs come to life.
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