It is worth spending time studying these clean up drawings from the famous Frank Thomas scene.
Inspired by story sketches from Joe Rinaldi, Frank outdid himself, if that's even possible.
His emotional acting and timing are beyond belief. There is no live action reference that would give you a kick start. It's all in the imagination and craft of the animator to pull off this scene in which two dogs fall in love over a spaghetti dinner.
I think it's one of the most perfect scenes ever animated at Disney. I remember Frank talking about the part where Tramp nudges the last meatball over to Lady. He needed to compromise dog anatomy in order to pull this off. "No real dog can get into a position like this" he said. He was talking about Tramp's staging, and how he would have to use a completely different pose to be anatomically correct. But that went out the window in favor of getting the right feeling across.
(This part of the scene is not represented here.)
I know that Iwao Takamoto supervised Lady's clean up drawings. I don't know who did Tramp, but I wouldn't be surprised if Iwao did him as well in this scene.
Animation acting and drawing on the highest level! To all animation students:
Study the dimensional volumes of the characters. Eyes, eye lids, eye lashes, the configuration of Tramp's muzzle and its squash and stretch.
Notice how Lady's and Tramp's attention throughout is with off screen Tony and Joe, who are playing romantic music and singing "Bella Notte".
And how cool that animation can be this extraordinary!!
Here is the link to a previous post on this scene: