Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Walt Stanchfield "Lazy Lines"

Here is one of my all-time favorite Walt handouts (from Volume One) where Walt talks about "Lazy Lines". I remember reading this and thinking "Nobody has ever written down this type of information about drawing before" and just having this really blow my mind.






16 comments:

Jeremy said...

Thanks Mark! This has been an weak area in my drawings for some time now. I'll make sure to pick up a copy of the book since the notes were always a big help.

J said...

I agree. This one has always jumped out at me. I really calls one out on their drawing. It introduced the concept of conscientious draughtsmanship.

Tim said...

This concept is what has always fascinated me with traditional animation. The same line that describes Belle's porcelain skin, also embodies Beast's coarse fur. No fractals, no shaders, no procedural textures. It all relies on the audience's participation to believe the details that you don't see.

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing but admiration for good CG animation, but I love and am entranced by the magic of drawings coming to life.... the power of the line to become anything.

B! said...

Anyone notice that it seemed like not all of the notes were in the two volumes of books? maybe they were edited out? I was wondering if a third volume might come out?

Also noticed that a whole slew of drawings from the original notes were not put in the books.

mike weaver said...

I opened Walt's book at random, to this page, a couple weeks ago. I meant to read the "lazy line" article casually before starting my morning drawing warm ups. It so stunned me and turned my world upside down that my morning warm ups turned into a 48 hour drawing jag in which every line was preceded the sentence "Now I am drawing the ___"

Lucy said...

Its a very encouraging post! Thanks for sharing to those who can't buy the book!!!

Robert said...

The very last drawing he shows is something that I despair at in many art teachers: illustrating a principle with something that doesn't clearly illustrate the principle.

Most of those perspective lines he has drawn over the king's face are something he's just imposing on the drawing that aren't there.

The top line on the crown, that looks about right.

the second line for the eyes and upper cheeks... if you really followed the features it wouldn't be going anywhere near the vanishing point.

The third line, for the bottom of the cheeks is a bit better but not quite there either.

the fourth line that grazes the chin, you could tilt that all over and still say it was going to a vanishing point.

The face has a certain squash in that direction, but not nearly what he's claiming.

This is where a mere book is a problem for a student. There's an obvious disconnect between what he is saying and what he is showing but the student has no way to ask him about it or get clarification.

If you drew any other object with that variance in perspective it would be an obvious error. I know someone will say, "Oh, he meant to do that because..." but that will just be someone's guess.

I'm wondering if any of the artists at the lecture questioned him on it.

mark kennedy said...

Thanks for the great comments everyone. Yes, B, there are a lot more notes, but I would bet that some are repetitive - Walt wrote them every week and often, I think, repeated the same thought in different ways for his ever-changing audience and also because that's a good way to teach artists - you never know which way of saying it will click with people. Maybe there will be future volumes of other notes?

Robert - these weren't lectures, just handouts Walt wrote. Actually, that last drawing isn't meant to follow those perspective lines exactly. Walt was just saying that every drawing does fit into persective, but the only way that drawing would fall in line with all those perspective lines would be if the face was in a totally blank neutral state. If you look at the drawing - which is an animation drawing, not a generic drawing made for the handout - you will notice that the left side of the drawing a squashed as part of the King's expression. His far cheek is clearly more squashed than the near one and his jaw is also slid to the side as part of his expression, so it wouldn't follow perspective lines exactly. He's just saying to keep the head in proper persoective even as your animate it in space.

Hope that makes sense, if not let me know and I'll discuss it further.

Clio said...

Oh man, this is why cleaning up always look so bad!! ...unless you redraw it.

B! said...

Mark,

I'm crossing my fingers.. hoping they come out with more volumes. The books themselves are a good buy, can't go wrong with the content that's in them. I was just a bit disappointed that everything wasn't in there.. there was some articles that had been translated to pdf.. that weren't there.. i think the one called. " A sense of story" pdf 53 that was on animation meat.. as an example.

But i think mostly what I miss, that i saw from some of the original notes were some of the spectacular drawings they left out of the book.. on the ones I obtained sometimes.. there'd be a small blurb of text.. and then pages and pages and pages of drawings from students of the class.. It was very inspiring for me personally to see all of these great drawings.. and I guess I wish they would've put those in the book as well..

This may sound nerdy.. but.. that's actually one of the reasons i picked up on the article mentioned above missing.. there was this really fantastic drawing by Whitney Martin in that handout.. and I was looking forward to possibly seeing more of his drawings throughout the books... However.. i think there was only 1 or 2 of his drawings throughout the two volumes.

Granted... it would've probably been a much more expensive and big book.. if they had put.. everything in there... but i always like seeing the drawings.

mark kennedy said...

Clio! Yeah, no kidding...

B - Wow, I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the student's drawings so much. All of those artists would be so happy to hear that. We'll keep our fingers crossed for more volumes then.

Floyd Norman said...

I love Walt's comments.

What's especially cool is to see this stuff illustrated with scenes I actually worked on in "Sleeping Beauty."

And, of course, Walt is correct in his analysis. Milt would have kicked our ass otherwise.

B! said...

Mark - the drawings are half the fun, you get to see what he's talking about in full effect.

I actually found myself searching some of the names in the handouts in order to try and see more of their work!

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Mike Moloney said...

Thanks for pointing out that chapter!! It put a name to a drawing problem I know i've suffered from.

Joel Brinkerhoff said...

These books are a great resource for people like myself. I never had access to these classes but had seen ratty old copies of these hand outs for years.

Now to own them and be able to feed on them at my own rate of comprehension is a real blessing.

They are challenging and encouraging.