the obsidian circle

I’ve started a new year for my Master degree in Animation.
This year will be research based, any topic that is related to Animation.

During the first term we have to determine what we want to base our research on, plan out how we will approach our research and set goals.
For myself, I was not sure if we would be assigned a subject or if we could come up with a subject ourselves, therefore, when the year started I had some downtime trying to decide what I was going for.

What about animation do I like, the core of my interest in animation?
With this question in mind and some talks with my Course leader, I came to the conclusion that the form, movement and flow of animation is what attracts me as a person.
Glen Keane is an animator who stands closest to me, the way he creates his animations, his approach, knowledge and absolute love for the art is.  The feeling of “Wow” that always excites me mostly comes from pencil tests.

What does my animation lack that these pencil test do have?

To answer this, I had to take a more critical approach when looking and comparing my animations to these.
What attracted me to these tests and where am I lacking, but most of all, how can I get to a stage like this?

Whilst you can see what my animation is trying to convey even in a pencil test, it doesn’t “wow”  me anymore after a week, or a month.. These do.

What I found is that every line in the pencil test is a confident stroke, meaning that Glen Keane in this case knows exactly what to put where and is constant and consistent in his pencil strokes.  Meaning, there is a form of knowledge behind his animations that I clearly don’t have yet.

I know that ‘back in the day’ Disney used to have life drawing for all their animators, and even today studios still offer life drawing hours for their employees as a mandatory thing.

For my Master degree I want to find a way to improve my knowledge on illustrations, finding books that will help me on this journey, immerse myself into it all by daily interaction with any way, shape of form that is related to illustration.
To see how far I can get within these next few months, if ‘understanding’ illustrations will help me get better at animation and perhaps even faster.  Find that confidence in my pencil strokes supported by the knowledge of knowing what I draw and how to do so effectively.  Pretty much.. how to draw with confidence.

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