Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Anatomy and Structure

Animator Bill Justice drew this scene with the character of John from Peter Pan.
Without thorough knowledge of the human body via life drawing this type of animation would fall apart. Spine, shoulders, rip cage, hip bones etc. are things that you need to know about. 
You need to know how they connect, and of course how they look in motion. Tracing live action reference is simply not an option. Your knowledge of human anatomy is key.
Bill Justice did his homework. He might be known as the animator who brought Chip and Dale to life, but he was also capable of handling complex realism.

I don't know who drew these pose of Pluto, but I really like them. Here you find anatomical structure as well, just applied in a much looser manner. Pluto is a very cartoony dog, but dog anatomy is evident nevertheless. There are definitive elbows, knees, shoulders and hips. 
This earlier style of Disney drawing allowed for greater flexibility and cheats. 
Disney's animators always knew how to handle a character based on the degree of realism. They went far out with Pluto and Donald Duck, but were holding back effectively on characters like Bambi or Lady and the Tramp.

John drawings/Howard Lowery


  1. Beautiful drawings....and very complex, specially considering the perspective and foreshortening of limbs!
    (quick note: that's John, not Michael, from Peter Pan)

    1. Thank you, an unnecessary error.

    2. It really was meant with the utmost respect. I am a fan of yours and your blog :-)

  2. I like the drawings the movement and the complex of the moving body this is a hard work to do step by step instructions for the character the 2D is way more better than the computer animation of today i hope the 2D will come back after 7 years since Winne the Pooh in 2011
    (quick note: The production of MUSHKA how long it takes to make the story come to live, it's almost done ?)

  3. It's pretty impressive that only some of the drawings have his body under the clothes. Justice's drawing technique here actually looks similar to how Japanese animators draw their roughs.
    I see the winning bid was actually not super expensive, so congratulations, whoever got them!

  4. Thank you for sharing these artworks with us!* :-)

    To see them makes me a little jealous. ;-)
    I don't know how much time artists like Bill Justice spend with drawing until they are good enough.
    I think to draw at a very good level is important to participate in a life drawing course with successful results.
    Or the artist have to be stubborn and very bold.** ;-)

    * Most of all I like the c-a-r-t-o-o-n-y dog, "Pluto". :-)

    ** But in the long run a behavior like this isn't professional.

    1. Thank you for the piece of advice! :-)
      The depiction of animal skeletons I use for viewing.
      I draw them now before I start to draw animals according to the template of postcards and pictures.

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