Instruction: Clair Weeks’ Animal Studies

Clair Weeks Animal Studies

Clair WeeksClair WeeksToday, I’m proud to present more amazing treasures from the Clair Weeks collection. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Weeks was born the son of a missionary in India. At DIsney, he was often teased about his resemblence to a village parson or pilgrim. (See caricature to the right.)

Around 1940, Disney Studios was at its peak. Several animated feature films were in production at once, and the staff numbered at an all time high. Disney instituted a comprehensive training program for the artists at his studio, which included life drawing, animal studies and action analysis classes under the direction of Don Graham. Today, we scanned animal drawings by Clair Weeks from these classes.

Clair Weeks Animal Studies

Animation Resources supporter, Mike Fontanelli was in last night when I was scanning these beautiful sketches, and he expressed his admiration for Weeks’ skill. It’s difficult to draw animals and capture any kind of natural pose because they are always moving. Weeks not only exhibited mastery of construction and posing, but also the ability to embed the spark of life that makes a drawing come alive. His technique allowed for both analytically realistic depiction and cartoony stylized caricature.

Aspiring cartoonists and animators should look over these drawings carefully and make a trip to the zoo to study the animals themselves the way the artists did at Disney in 1940.

Clair Weeks Animal Studies
Clair Weeks Animal Studies
Clair Weeks Animal Studies
Clair Weeks Animal Studies
Clair Weeks Animal Studies
Clair Weeks Animal Studies
Clair Weeks Animal Studies
Clair Weeks Animal Studies
Clair Weeks Animal Studies
Clair Weeks Animal Studies
Clair Weeks Animal Studies
Clair Weeks Animal Studies
Clair Weeks Animal Studies
Clair Weeks Animal Studies
Clair Weeks Animal Studies

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

INSTRUCTIONINSTRUCTION

This posting is part of an online series of articles dealing with Instruction.

5 Responses to “Instruction: Clair Weeks’ Animal Studies”

  1. thanks for posting and really nice work. even they are drawed by pencil, but they look alive

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ActingPassion, JordyAlexandro93. JordyAlexandro93 said: Instruction – Clair Weeks’ Animal Studies: http://bit.ly/fE1DAm [...]

  3. Wow! Beautiful sketches! If only I had a time machine so I could attend those classes!

  4. Keely says:

    So inspiring! I wish I could get out to the zoo more often.

  5. GARY DAVENPORT says:

    Mr. Worth, I cannot express how much I enjoy and appreciate your FaceBook Page and Website, ANIMATION RESOURCES. You post and share the most fantastic information, photos, illustrations and the like. PLEASE DO NOT STOP!!! /:o) I consider it a privilege seeing all of the art photos that, until now, most of us had not had the honor of reviewing. Mr. Clair Weeks is PHENOMENAL.

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