The difference between an Animator and Illustrator.

Whilst going through several resources, this being the Vilppu drawing manual, a course of Steve Huston on New Masters Academy, How to Render- By Scott Robertson and many online sources such as Proko, Croquis Cafe I noticed that at one point I started to question myself further on how to dive deeper into gesture and life drawing. Because, I’m an animator, not an illustrator.  So what learning path is the best for me, as an animator, to take?

The more techniques you have, the more you can exercise your imagination- your most valuable asset of all. 
–   Jon deMartin “Drawing Atelier”

As Vilppu states in his book and Steve Huston says in his course, animators draw from imagination.  We don’t draw to copy a model, we draw the movements of a model, this is why gesture is such an important thing for us to learn.  We base our work on the movements that we want to translate, not necessarily the figure itself.

During the last month it was very difficult for me to see how far I’d have to go into my learning path in order to draw a line of what I should look further into and what I shouldn’t.

Thankfully, adding to your artistic skills is never a loss, but for this year I can not afford researching into the deep anatomy of a person only to find out that it’d be a gained skill for an illustrator, but a loss for an animator.

I started this year with a list of books that I wanted to go through, books that were available online which ranged from life drawing books all the way to books that go into the building of a human figure, skeleton, muscle mass, skin, hair.  It was to educate an illustrator, for them to understand exactly how each wrinkle would fall and why, where each lump would be and why, how large a head is and how to measure it up to the rest of the body.  Knowledge which would be great if you copy a model for several hours at a time.


Learn diligence before speedy execution.
-Leonardo da Vinci


I therefor decided to focus back on my online resources.  Just aimlessly drawing models from Croquis Cafe and hoping that I’d suddenly know where I’d want to go with my current study.

My understanding of anatomy is there, gesture is becoming less and less rigid as I continue to draw my 30 sec. to 1 min poses.

(Steve Huston’s drawings.  Applying structure to gesture)

I decided to take a step back.
To see where I was at the start of this all and where I am now. Where I want to go and how I could possibly go there.
Therefore I’ve decided to continue the course of Steve Huston, which is a 43hr video tutorial on the New Masters academy.  I want to understand more about structure. But for now, I will try and fan out the difference between the Illustrator path and the Animator path.

Illustrators learn to copy  a model.
Animators learn to understand the movements. 

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