Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Animal Sketchbook 1991

It is not very wise to follow a post featuring Busch drawings with samples of your own work. But here it is, since I had nothing else prepared.
When Disney announced the production of The Lion King way back, the animators were encouraged to start sketching at zoos and wildlife parks. These drawings are from a sketchbook dating back to that time.
I had then just found out about brush pens and was eager to try them out. The fluid lines coming out of the pen's tip almost eliminate any stiff drawing on the page, on the other hand bad drawings are still possible. You can still come up with wrong proportions or weak poses. The brush pen is only a drawing tool, but a very cool one. The thick and thin contours seem to add a little life, and by smudging the ink on paper you can achieve some rough rendering, which sometimes helps to define volumes.
Just a technique, the main thing of course should be focused observation and the attempt to put down specific poses that define the animal.


  1. Oh yeah I heard you guys had to use live reference for the animals. These are great Andreas. I always wanted to ask this to a Disney animator. What is the hardest part when you have live animals to reference a character you are making for an animated film?

  2. Thanks for this post! I always love seeing your style of live animal sketches, and the explanation was very helpful.

  3. Hello Andreas, I sent an email to you, I'll be in los angeles 24 to 28 December in beverly hills, we can arrange something to find us?

  4. Some lovely stuff here. That first rhino is so expressive, yet simple.

  5. Hi Andreas,
    I have a paper photocopy of some of these animal life sketches which you autographed for me. Disney sends these photocopies out to aspiring animators. I have always looked at these animal sketches of yours with the highest admiration and I consider them the epitome of sketching skill. So you can imagine how elated I am to see more of these sketches, from the same time period (and maybe from the same zoo trip) in this post. Thanks for posting these!

  6. Your brush pen sketches are truly amazing. I love the back story on why the use of the brush pen too. I'm still discovering it's use and challenges myself. It is a great tool, not a good one for caffeine drinkers though... it takes a very steady hand!