Archive for the ‘instruction’ Category

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

Exhibit: Carlo Vinci Shows Us How To Pick An Animation School

National Academy of Design 1931

Today, I read a post on Cartoon Brew titled When Angry Animation Students Attack. Apparently, an animation student became frustrated by the poor quality of instruction at his school, so he crapped out his final film and ended it with a credit for his professor that read, "Thanks for nothing."

This particular post resonated with me, because the most common question I’m asked by young artists is, "How should I pick an animation school?" They always expect me to recommend a specific school, but my answer usually surprises them.

Carlo Vinci Artist and AnimatorCarlo Vinci was one of the most talented animators who ever lived. When he passed away in 1993, he left behind a remarkable legacy. But of particular interest to students of animation was his collection of student work. Tucked away in a closet was a portfolio full of studies that chart his education. Vinci’s family is generously allowing Animation Resources to document this material with the intent of reconstructing his education as a model for current students of animation.

Today, I’d like to share a brochure with you… This is the course outline for National Academy of Design, the art school that Carlo Vinci attended… I hope you take the time to read over this material carefully, especially if you are a student looking to pursue a career in animation. It will help you know what to look for in an animation school.

National Academy of Design 1931

The Academy believes firmly in the development of individuality but denies that such development is helped by the ignoring of the universal heritage, the heritage of the graphic manifestations of Man’s temperament and impressions. It therefore approves careful consideration of the Art of the past and its correlation with the Art of the present. It encourages progressive experiment admitting the vitality of real Art under any form and condemning only ignorance, insincerity and the contempt which is born of them.

National Academy of Design 1931
National Academy of Design 1931
National Academy of Design 1931
National Academy of Design 1931

The students have at all time free access to the Academy’s large and valuable collection of standard and rare books on every branch of the fine arts… Of especial advantage to the student is the easy accessibility of the great collections in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Historical Society, New York Public Library, Brooklyn Museum, the City Hall, the Hispanic Society, and the galleries of innumerable private collectors and art dealers in the city, where the best American works and art treasures from foreign countries may be studied to better advantage than anywhere else in America.

REQUIREMENTS

National Academy of Design 1931
National Academy of Design 1931

SCHEDULE OF CLASSES

National Academy of Design 1931

The class schedule runs six days a week from 9 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon. First year studios in drawing from sculpture, life drawing, portrait painting, still life painting, and composition run from two to three hours apiece. Second year courses consist of life drawing, sculpture from life, portrait painting, etching, composition, and mural decoration. And three hour night courses are offered in sculpture, life drawing, drawing from sculpture and composition.

First year students receive lectures in anatomy, perspective and art history. Second year students attend lecture classes in color theory, various printing techniques, stained glass, mosaic and the history of art and architecture.

COURSE OF STUDY

National Academy of Design 1931
National Academy of Design 1931

Note that students first draw from still life and sculpture, and only when they have proved their abilities, are they allowed to advance to drawing from life.

National Academy of Design 1931
National Academy of Design 1931
National Academy of Design 1931
National Academy of Design 1931

INSTRUCTORS

National Academy of Design 1931
National Academy of Design 1931
National Academy of Design 1931

HISTORY OF THE SCHOOL

>National Academy of Design 1931
National Academy of Design 1931

PAST GRADUATES

National Academy of Design 1931
National Academy of Design 1931
National Academy of Design 1931
National Academy of Design 1931
National Academy of Design 1931

HOW DO I PICK AN ANIMATION SCHOOL?

Here’s the surprising answer… You don’t! Schools that specialize in animation as a trade do a lousy job of preparing you for a career in animation. While you’re a student, you should focus on your core art skills- drawing, design, composition and color. Look for a school that can give you a solid classical art background. Avoid ones that just teach computer programs. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to learn Maya!

Carlo Vinci was one of the greatest animators who ever lived, but he never took a class in animation. Instead, he spent three years of intense study to learn to be an artist. With the experience he gained at the National Academy of Design, he was able to learn animation and advance quickly on the job. It was the same for great animators like Marc Davis, Chuck Jones and Frank Thomas who studied at Chouinard on the West coast.

IT’S A LOT EASIER TO LEARN ANIMATION THROUGH SELF STUDY ONCE YOU’VE BEEN TAUGHT THE CLASSICAL ARTS THAN IT IS TO DO IT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. Start with the general skills and work your way towards the specific ones.

National Academy

Students at the National Academy of Design
around the time Vinci attended.

You have an advantage that the Golden Age animators didn’t have. Personal computers and inexpensive animation software make it easy to experiment and learn animation on your own. You have amazing resources on the web, like Animation Resources’ Animation Drawing Course, and Mark Kennedy’s Seven Golden Camels. You have no excuse for not learning to animate.

You can’t buy an education, but you may be able to buy a degree. Students graduate without any marketable skills from good colleges every year. But that isn’t the schools’ fault. Your education is your own responsibility. It’s not your professor’s job to MAKE you learn. Learning is a life-long occupation. Apply yourself.

If you can’t afford a university degree, you can still obtain a first class art education. Attend classes at your local community college and pick up copies of the Famous Artists painting, commercial art and cartooning sets on eBay. Self study is the key to becoming a great artist. Once you start to master the fundamental skills, THEN apply yourself to learning to animate.

If you follow this advice, you’ll never have to make excuses for your lack of skill as an animator, and you’ll never need to blame anyone else for your lack of education. Best of all, your education will form the foundation for any creative endeavor you undertake.

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

INSTRUCTIONINSTRUCTION

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

TheoryTheory

This posting is part of a series of articles comprising an online exhibit entitled Theory.

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Monday, April 9th, 2018

FREE Online Animation Drawing Course!

Instruction

FREE Online Animation Drawing Course!

Animation Resources is pleased to announce a FREE online drawing course teaching the fundamental principles of drawing for animation. The course is led by Animation Resources’ Director of Education, JoJo Baptista and it’s based on Preston Blair’s classic book, “Advanced Animation”. Over the next year or so, we’ll be working over the internet with a group of students who want to sharpen their skills and learn to draw more solidly. The course will include online lessons followed by video critique with draw-overs of students’ submitted work. The first lesson is online now- plus you can download a PDF of the entire rare first edition of the Preston Blair book!

Preston Blair’s Advanced Animation Lesson 00
https://animationresources.org/instruction-preston-blairs-advanced-animation/

If you would like to participate, follow our lessons as they are posted and send in your work for critique. As the group of students following this online course progresses, we’ll be introducing more advanced lessons. If you are a student studying animation in school, this is the perfect self-study program to supplement your formal education. If you are a professional animator, it never hurts to brush up on the fundamentals. It can shake off the cobwebs and break you of bad habits. You don’t even have to be an animator to benefit from this… illustrators and cartoonists will get a lot out of these lessons as well.

There is no charge for participating in this course, but we ask that students who benefit from this valuable information consider becoming members of Animation Resources. From time to time, we will be referring to materials on the Members Only download page, so to get the most out of this course, you should join our organization. Support the people that are helping you grow as an artist.

JOIN NOW!
https://animationresources.org/membership/levels/

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Thursday, December 14th, 2017

Cartooning: Byrnes’ Complete Guide To Cartooning Part Three

Heinrich Kley

We continue our series of posts on Gene Byrnes’ Complete Guide To Cartooning with the section on the fundamental skill that at is the root of all pictorial art…

SKETCHING
Introduction by Gene Byrnes

Byrnes Complete Guide To Cartooning

WILLIAM VON RIEGEN

"William Von Riegen, with his studies of figure drawing, claims that this type of exercise gives him a looseness and freedom of line that he couldn’t get in any other way. Von Riegen is an outstandingly talented young man in the field- an especially fine artist." -Gene Byrnes

Byrnes Complete Guide To Cartooning
Byrnes Complete Guide To Cartooning
Byrnes Complete Guide To Cartooning
Byrnes Complete Guide To Cartooning

FINE ARTISTS

In this section, Byrnes does a fine job of clearly showing the link between fine art and cartooning.

Byrnes Complete Guide To Cartooning
Byrnes Complete Guide To Cartooning

HEINRICH KLEY

"Heinrich Kley as a pen and ink artist is in a class by himself. I know of nobody who ever had the freedom of line with a pen that could compare with Kley’s. Each of his drawings is a little masterpiece." -Gene Byrnes

Byrnes Complete Guide To Cartooning
Byrnes Complete Guide To Cartooning
Byrnes Complete Guide To Cartooning
Byrnes Complete Guide To Cartooning
Byrnes Complete Guide To Cartooning

ROGER VERNAM

"Roger Vernam’s animals are good examples of on the spot sketching. In his book published by Harper, entitled Drawing People For Fun, he sketches people from all walks of life." -Gene Byrnes

Byrnes Complete Guide To Cartooning

GORDON GRANT

"Gordon Grant, the world renowned marine artist, whose work appears in dozens of art museums, works in oil, watercolor, and pen and ink. Whenever he has any spare time, he uses it to sketch. His sketches on the following pages were taken from his private sketchbooks and were done on a trip through Brittany. They were accomplished with a fountain pen and no preliminary pencil work." -Gene Byrnes

Byrnes Complete Guide To Cartooning
Byrnes Complete Guide To Cartooning
Byrnes Complete Guide To Cartooning
Byrnes Complete Guide To Cartooning

HOWARD BRODIE

"Howard Brodie’s portrait sketches were done in Germany when he was an artist correspondent with the United States Army. His drawings of the G,I. the battle scenes, and the action that he portrayed while he was in the Army have made him famous." -Gene Byrnes

Byrnes Complete Guide To Cartooning

FURTHER READING

Byrnes Complete Guide To CartooningByrnes Complete Guide To CartooningIn his blog, Temple of the Seven Camels, Mark Kennedy has been offering sage advice to beginning animators about the value of carrying a sketchbook with you wherever you go. Make sure to read the whole series…

Carrying A Sketchbook Part One, Part Two, Part Three and Part Four

Searle's Secret Sketchbook

…And don’t miss his posts on Ronald Searle’s Secret Sketchbook Part One and Part Two; and Ken Anderson’s Africa Sketchbook

Drawings By Heinrich KleyIf you don’t have The Drawings of Heinrich Kley in your library, get over to Amazon right away and order it. As Gene Byrnes says, no cartoonist should be without this book!

Many thanks to Marc Crisafulli and David King for sharing this great book with us.

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

Newspaper ComicsNewspaper Comics
This posting is part of the online Encyclopedia of Cartooning under the subject heading, Newspaper Comics.

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