2nd Edition

Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes Volume 1: The Walt Stanchfield Lectures

By Walt Stanchfield, Don Hahn Copyright 2023
    434 Pages 252 Color & 413 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    434 Pages 252 Color & 413 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    434 Pages 252 Color & 413 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Drawn to Life is a two-volume collection of the legendary lectures of long-time Disney animator Walt Stanchfield. For over 20 years, Walt mentored a new generation of animators at the Walt Disney Studios and influenced such talented artists such as Tim Burton, Brad Bird, Glen Keane, and Andreas Deja. His writing and drawings have become must-have lessons for fine artists, film professionals, animators, and students looking for inspiration and essential training in drawing and the art of animation.

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

    Edited by Disney Legend and Oscar®-nominated producer Don Hahn, whose credits include the classic Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and Hunchback of Notre Dame.

    Foreword. Acknowledgements. Basics. 1. Enthusiasm. 2. Principles of Animation. 3. Consider Anatomy Alone. 4. Anatomy Continued. 5. Consider Weight. 6. Squash and Stretch — I. 7. Squash and Stretch — II. 8. Stretch and Squash — III. 9. Line and Silhouette. 10. Basic Shapes versus Details. 11. Using Basic Shapes as Aid in Difficult Drawings. 12. Simplify Where Possible. 13. Straights and Curves. 14. Overlap, Follow-through, and Drag. 15. Eyes. 16. Avoiding Tangent Lines. 17. Some Simple Rules of Perspective. 18. Some Ways to Create Space and Depth. 19. Some Principles of Drawing. 20. Great Performance or Just a Drawing? 21. Drawing Calories. 22. Sketching. 23. Animation and Sketching. 24. Simplicity for the Sake of Clarity. 25. Construction Observations Useful in Animation. 26. The Opposing Force. Gesture. 27. Anatomy vs. Gesture. 28. Mental and Physical Preparation. 29. Dividing the Body Into Units. 30. Dimensional Drawing. 31. The Value of an Action/Gesture Analysis Study. 32. Using a Simple (But Logical) Approach to Drapery. 33. Drapery — Its Role in Drawing. 34. The Seriousness of Head Sketching/A New Phrase: "Body Syntax". 35. The Head in Gesture. 36. From the Living Model to the Living Gesture. 37. A Little More on Heads. 38. Feeling the Pose. 39. The Pose Is an Extreme. 40. Pose and Mood. 41. Pose and Mood Plus Timing and Phrasing and Texture. 42. Symbols for Poses. 43. Positive and Negative. 44. Silhouette. 45. P.S. The Metaphysical Side. 46. Draw Verbs Not Nouns. 47. Osmosis. 48. Drawing and Caricature. Seeing. 49. What Not to See. 50. A Bit of Introspection. 51. It Ain’t Easy. 52. A Good First Impression. 53. Stick to the Theme. 54. Sometimes I Wonder Why I Spend the Lonely Hours… 55. Cleanup — General. 56. Cleanup. 57. Inbetweening. 58. Problems with Drawing in Line. 59. Superficial Appearance vs. Creative Portrayal. 60. Creative Energy. 61. More Meanderings. 62. Those Who Cannot Begin Do Not Finish. 63. Body Language. 64. Note Taking and Sketching. 65. Using the Rules of Perspective. 66. Applying the Rules of Perspective. 67. Copy the Model…Who Me? 68. Talk to Your Audience — Through Drawing. 69. Getting at the Root of the Problem. 70. Doodling vs. Drawing. 71. Purpose in Drawing. 72. When Acting (Drawing) is an Art. Analysis. 73. Action Analysis Class I. 74. Action Analysis Class II. 75. Using Cylinders. 76. Action Analysis — Hands and Feet. 77. Angles, Angles, Angles. 78. Using Angles. 79. Angles and Tension. 80. Applying Angles and Tension in Our Drawings. 81. Tennis, Angles, and Essences. 82. More on the Same. 83. More on "Essence" Drawing. 84. Driving Force Behind the Action. 85. A Drawing Style Appropriate for Animation. 86. A Drawing Style for Animation, Part II. 87. Learn to Cheat. 88. One Picture Worth A Thousand Words? 89. Double Vision. 90. Lazy Lines. 91. Spot It for Yourself. 92. Do You Promise to Draw the Action, The Whole Action,and Nothing But the Action? 93. The Pose — A One-Drawing Story. 94. My Eye Is in Love. 95. Become the Director. 96. Hone Up or Bone Up. 97. The Illustrated Handout. Creativity. 98. Drawing on the Artist Within. 99. Fine Tuning the Gesture. 100. For a Better Gesture, Adverbs. 101. Omni — on Creativity. 102. Metamorphosis. 103. Mime. 104. True Gesture Drawing. 105. A Second Chance to Make a First Impression. 106. A Good Sketch Is Like a Good Joke. 107. Opposition. 108. Elastic Band Tension. 109. Get Out of the Way. 110. Play-Acting. 111. A Storytelling Drawing. 112. Drawing Techniques. 113. Step Into It. 114. It Could Be That… 115. A First Impression — Your Intended Goal. 116. Gallery of Class Drawings. 117. Think First… 118. Piles of Nuts. 119. A Meaningful Assembly. 120. The Time has Come, The Walrus Said… 121. Clarity. 122. Action or Reaction? Thinking. 123. Be Transformed. 124. Be Relentless. 125. Adjust Your Crystal. 126. A Love for Drawing. 127. A New Slant on Drawing. 128. Think Gesture. 129. Precious Instruments. 130. Gesture Drawing, Enthusiasm, and Stuff Like that. 131. Shape — A Multi-Form Drawing Tool. 132. Deciphering and Defining Gestures. 133. The Decisive Moment. 134. Relationship of Character to Prop. 135. Drawing. 136. Words That Help in Drawing. 137. A Simple Approach to Drawing. 138. Vocalizing. 139. Abstracting the Essence. 140. Common vs. Uncommon Gestures. 141. A Thinking Person’s Art. 142. Lines, Lines, Lines. 143. Feel, as Well as See, the Gesture. 144. Savvy Sayin’s. 145. The Inner Force. 146. The Power of "mmm". 147. Gestural Symbolism. 148. Some Left Over Thoughts. 149. The Right Way? Afterword/Bonus Material. Credits — Volume I.


    Don Hahn produced some of the most successful animated films of all time, including Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, the first animated film to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar®.   Three of his films, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King. are now on the Library of Congress collection as culturally, historically and esthetically significant.  

    Don’s films include Disney’s Maleficent, Frankenweenie, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Atlantis, and Emperor’s New Groove. He was a founder and executive producer of the acclaimed Disneynature Films, executive produced the PBS American Masters documentary Tyrus about Disney Legend Tyrus Wong, and has directed the acclaimed documentaries Waking Sleeping Beauty, and Howard featured on Disney+. 

    He has authored many books on animation, guest lectures at Microsoft, Deloitte, Apple, and is on the advisory board of the Walt Disney Family Museum and a former trustee of PBS SoCal. He holds two Academy Award nominations, two Emmy nominations, two Golden Globes for Best Picture, two Honorary Doctorate degrees, and in 2022 he was named a Disney Legend for his extraordinary contributions to The Walt Disney Company.

    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 with 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