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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2009
Excellent for certain purposes. If you are simply looking to draw disney-style characters etc. then this is not the book the book for you. If you are looking for some valuable insight into approaching drawing in general, as taught to disney artists and used as some of the inspiration behind their work, then this can be an excellent foundation for self improvement as an artist. In lecture format, so you can explore for a long time, just trying things without fear of missing out through continuity; it is quite extensive and again, very insightful, even for the professional artist.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2014
A massive, overweight paperback (and this is just the first volume!) collecting the wisdom of the legendary life-drawing instructor at Disney. Brimming with lots of great ideas, and fun to dip into anywhere. Stanchfield was obviously an intelligent, creative and thoughtful teacher, and he comes at the craft of life drawing from many different angles and conceptual frameworks ... though all circle around his major insight that you need to draw with a sense of dynamic empathy and with an emphasis on clear storytelling (both necessary for creating effective Disney-style animated films). These lectures are really off-the-cuff critiques that flow into larger musings on different approaches to the topic; they are, in fact, just long notes that were posted or circulated in the classroom, and this informal quality works to their advantage (especially in combination with the many student drawings reproduced here). As other reviewers have said, these precepts apply mainly to animators: there are many other ways to approach life drawing, of course, and following Stanchfield's advice may well lead you to adopt a somewhat caricatural, exaggerated style of rendering the human body that may not be desirable in every circumstance. My only real criticism: an unbelievable number of typos, sloppy editing ... though maybe this just adds to the 'immediacy' of the critiques.
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on November 30, 2011
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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Some books are charged with pure inspiration and some are pure technical. This book is absolutely unique, because it combines both.You can find top level of practical analysis, recipes, drawing techniques and good life advices. Try it, you wont regret it.
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on May 28, 2014
He has gotten this book from the library several times and finally decided to buy it. We already knew it was something he was going to use!
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on August 9, 2009
This book explains all the essentials very nicely to make you understand. I would recommend this book, especially to animation students.
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