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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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on March 5, 2015
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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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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on May 9, 2009
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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on May 28, 2014
These are classic books. Well worth the investment, in his opinion. We finally decided that he was wearing out the library copies!
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on August 9, 2009
This book has all the essentials and explains them very nicely to make you understand. I would recommend this book.
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on June 9, 2016
This pair of books is amazing. So much information. Love these books.
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on February 6, 2016
a good text to have
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on July 15, 2016
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