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Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes: Volume 2: The Walt Stanchfield Lectures Paperback – Mar 23 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 370 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 1 edition (March 23 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240811070
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240811079
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 21 x 27.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #82,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


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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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 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.
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If you've already read Volume 1 of this massive two-part publishing venture (I've reviewed it elsewhere on, then you'll know what to expect. This is more of the same from the old Disney master, and despite a lot of repetition it's still a fascinating'and very helpful'read for anyone involved in drawing or animation. Stanchfield keeps coming at life drawing from as many different angles as he can think of, but the heart of his approach is still to get his students to render the essential gesture of a given pose, exaggerate it and clarify it, and tie it to a specific narrative. All great for Disney-style animation. The many, many examples of 'suggested' corrections of his students' drawings are very useful to examine carefully. The only thing that starts to chafe here, perhaps, is not the repetition (integral to life drawing practice in any case), but the unquestioning allegiance to Disney's corporate goals and methods -- it all begins to seem a bit cult-like. After a while you start to wonder if the author's aim of finding the most effective visual means to communicate to the masses in the most unambiguous way possible may have the effect of excluding more challenging, innovative or intellectually ambitious approaches to drawing and animation ... but maybe that's too much to ask!
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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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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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Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: the illusion of life: disney animation