Fun Reference Drawings for Animation

These are the pictures that I showed in class the other day.  Have fun looking them over and learn all you can from them.

Jiminy Cricket from the film Pinocchio.

The Duke from Cinderella.


I’m having some trouble uploading all the images.  I’l try again later.

Drawing for Animation, Basic Shapes

The first thing we will practice is the idea of constructing the figure from basic shapes.  This begins with the basic shapes.

The Circle, the Square, and the Triangle are our basic shapes.

From a design standpoint we must realize that we can create many complex pictures by simply combining these basic shapes.  They start out very basic, but become complex and varied as we assemble them together.

Very rough, very quick, and very easy. Simply combine basic shapes.

We can also construct the human form.

The Basic Shape Figure, or mannequin. As simple as this is, it is far better than the stick figure.

Stick figure man.

Although this is very basic, we must not get impatient.  WE must practice these basic shapes so that we improve our fine motor skills and develop our eye.  Use these as exercises to warm up.  In fact, a good exercise is to draw successive shapes that overlap each other and connect to form secondary shapes.  Just keep adding more and more.  Practice the motion, practice in different sizes and practice seeing them as 3 dimensional forms.

Warm up and practice using one shape at a time and fill the page. See what you can come up with.

Once we have the basic shapes down we need to start thinking about them as FORMS, or shapes that have three dimensions.  Of course, our drawings will always be two-dimensional, but we want to learn how to make them look as if they were three-dimensional.

Our basic shapes become FOUR basic FORMS. CUBE, SPHERE, CONE, and CYLINDER.


Two new classes have begun as of January 5th.  Drawing for Animation, ART 2250, and Drawing for Illustration, ART 2210.  I will post material for both classes here at this site.  In class I will give directions to specific posts that pertain to each class, but feel free to browse through any of the postings at will.

The two classes will cover some material that is similar, if not identical, but each has its own focus.

Some recent illustration

Just thought I’d post some samples of work that I have been working on this last week or two.  One is a scene from a promo video we are making to promote an animation studio (Golden Street Animatiion Productions).  This has actually been in the works for several weeks, but I have been trying to finish it up this last week.  The others include some storyboard panels from a short film project for a visitor center in Rome, Italy, and a corporate training video (the cartoony one). I also have a portrait that I have been working on for awhile, and just finished it up.  And another portrait that has been kicking around.  Actually I gave the original to a good friend who was visiting from Romania a couple of years ago, and I recently decided to make some improvements digitally.  Enjoy.

bg illustration

The establishing shot

storyboard panel-1

Storyboard panel drawing

storyboad panel 2

Another storyboard panel


An oil portrait.


There does come a point where with enough training and practice, one can draw from memory and create some pretty convincing things.  Having taken the “Drawing the Human Head” course last year at UVU from Patrick Devonas, as well as the “Figure Structure” (from Patrick), I’m finding that my drawing has improved a great deal.  The storyboard panels were all drawn from memory with no photo or live reference.

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