Andreas Deja, the master Disney animator who brought Jafar, Scar, Gaston, and Lilo to life, came to Montreal and held a 2-day intensive animation and drawing masterclass at Studio Technique. It was absolutely amazing, inspiring, and motivating. Just coming off the adrenaline of Cannes Film Festival, and this was the most perfect way to get back into the swing of things in Montreal.
The first day was a seminar on the inner workings of classical animation at Disney. Andreas showed beautiful line tests, deleted scenes and some ancient interview footage of the legendary Milt Kahl.
Day 2 was a full day of life drawing instruction from Andreas. We drew a Siberian lynx, in studio! It was simultaneously adorable and dangerous. We also did some clothed gesture drawings of a male model, and did some exercises placing his poses into an animated sequence. All drawings were done on the big format 24x36in newsprint with soft pastels.
Here are my drawings of the Siberian lynx!
In this drawing, Andreas added his own little touch to the cheek bone to accentuate the contact with the floor. It was a really nice touch.
At the top right the lynx was thinking “you all look so delicious!”
The lynx was really active, and didn’t stay still for very long. I had to try to capture quick gestural forms in a matter of seconds, and then any time the lynx would take a similar pose, I would continue to work away. I just kept alternating until I was able to get some decent studies.
The hardest was capturing the poses with the mouth open because they were so quick.
So calm, yet so dangerous…
The lynx was briefly licking itself. I just had to try to capture it.
By this time, the lynx was getting quite tired and bored with everyone. It just started to sleep and lounge around.
And these are 1 minute poses with the clothed model:
This is my favourite pose of the model drawing session. The pose was just so interesting, with the way he was pulling his shirt and angling his body.
I liked this drawing because of the leg being held in the air by the left arm. I think the pose works.
Tying his shoelaces. For a 1 minute pose, there was a lot of stuff to try to capture. I think this pose could have been finished a bit better with crisper lines, but I think the underlying mechanics of the pose are working.
This pose was challenging because of the foreshortening in perspective. Everything coming at me. but there were definitely still a lot of contrapposto angles to observe.
I think this pose had a nice stretch feel to it, and there was an interesting forward thrust in his chest.
And these are some of the drawings from the animated sequence exercise:
I tilted my drawing board horizontally to do this exercise. I think my favourite poses are the ones on the far right, when he’s putting on his jacket.
Another animated exercise. The last pose the model is interacting with a skeleton replica.
I didn’t really have an idea of where the final pose was going to end up, so I ran out of space, and the volumes and size of the figure didn’t stay consistent. But I still really like this sequence because of the contrast between the withdrawn fetal position pose on the left evolving into the stretched and open pose on the right.