Walt Stanchfield’s Gesture Drawing For Animation

Anybody who’s studied animation in recent years is doubtless familiar with Walt Stanchfield’s drawing handouts. Stanchfield (1919-2000), an animator at Disney, taught drawing at the studio for many years and his class notes have been passed around by everybody, first as photocopies and now online (Animation Meat has a nice collection of the notes).

Leo Brodie had the ambitious idea of taking Walt’s notes and arranging them in a more cohesive order to create a book as Stanchfield might have written it. Brodie calls the book Gesture Drawing for Animation and has made it available as a series of downloadable PDF files. Brodie explains on his website how his version differs from the original handouts:

As I was reading the notes and trying to absorb as much as I could, I thought I might understand them better if it were all laid out in sequence, with basic topics followed by more complex ideas. I wanted to see his ideas grouped by subject so I could compare the ideas. In other words, I wanted the topics to be arranged like a normal book. So I’ve re-arranged bits and pieces from the handouts into cohesive chapters, while taking the liberty to eliminate redundancy and make minor edits just as book editor would.

Whether you prefer the raw notes or the book version, Stanchfield’s notes are an excellent source of knowledge, and considering they’re free, there’s no excuse not to take advantage of them.


  • http://www.theironscythe.blogspot.com James Robertson

    My hat’s off to Leo for compiling this. This is essential reading for anyone interested in animation.
    Long live Walt!!!!

  • http://doubleben.blogspot.com/ Emmett Goodman

    Sounds like an excellent book to check out.

    Animators constantly stress the importance of life drawing skills, but where does figure drawing evolve into animation drawing. I haven’t been taught that yet.

    I have never heard of Walt Stanchfield. Someone like this should be stressed upon further when teaching animation drawing.

  • http://enricocasarosa.com/worpress.1 enrico casarosa

    For artists interested in sharing their gesture drawing this might also be of interest:
    A just started “Gesture drawing flickr group”.

  • http://sandorasan.blogspot.com/ Sandra Khoo

    WOW! Thank you so very much for sharing this, Amid. Walt Stanchfield truly is in a class of his own. And thanx also,Enrico, for the link to the Gesture drawing flickr group. Need to get back into the gesture game.

  • http://jaydsmith.blogspot.com/ jay d smith

    GREAT! just what i was looking for!

  • http://www.fatkatanimation.com Gene Fowler

    I’ve compiled them all here for easy one click downloading.
    http://fatkatanimation.blogspot.com/2007/04/gesture-drawing-for-animation-by-walt.html

  • http://www.focalpress.com Georgia Kennedy

    If you’re interested in gesture drawing you might also be interested in Force: Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators by Mike Mattesi published by Focal Press.

  • mohnish

    hi help me to get animation walk cycle of human………