Monday, June 25, 2012

Art of Animation: Taking a Drawing Class at Disney

Did you know that you could take a class at Disney and learn how to draw the characters? This Animation Academy is in Hollywood Studios.  The building is in the animation courtyard - with Disney Junior on one side and the Little Mermaid on the other.

The class is offered every half hour - but space is pretty limited (I think there is only room for about 50!) so get there early (and if it's raining - you might need to wait a bit).  And getting their early is actually quite nice.  There are some benches to relax on - it is air conditioned - and on the walls, you can watch animation in progress.  It's fun because you'll see the beginning of a drawing and you try and guess who it's going to be.

When you go into the room, you'll find rows of desks with stools to sit on.

At your desk, you'll find a sheet of paper with lighting under the sheet - and a pencil.

Note that the pencil has no eraser.  I love this - but it can sometimes be frustrating for children.  (One of the best things I ever did for my kids was to sign them up for a drawing class where they only used sharpies.  It taught them that there are no mistakes - and that you could incorporate anything into your drawing - like you meant for that "stray stroke" to be there all along!)  Your artist will explain that you draw lightly in the beginning and then go back and darken things in when you are happy with the shapes.

There are a number of different artists who run the classes - each with different styles.  We had one who didn't tell us who we were going to draw - and we had to guess as we went along - with the first person to guess correctly getting the artists drawing.

We've had quite a few who took polls in the class - finding out who has drawn before and what they drew - and trying to do something new/different.  One of my favorite artists is Corbie.

She is a great instructor and very encouraging.  And after I talked her into posing for these pictures of me, she generously shared her drawing of Flynn Rider with me.  Though my daughter stole it immediately.  Here is my daughter's drawing, my drawing, and Corbie's.  You can still see all of our guide lines in the drawings - but the image is still quite clear.  Love the caption "he's hot" - though I don't believe Corbie suggested that be added!

Another really good artist/instructor is Brian.  In his class last month, he told us we'd be drawing Phineas and Ferb.  We actually had people in the class who didn't know who they were!  As he was teaching, we had a constant stream of Phineas and Ferb triva questions which my girls adored.  And then he asked a triva question - with the prize being his own drawing - "What is Candace's boyfriend's first AND last name?"  And my girls were the only ones that knew the answer!  (What is the answer?  Umm...Jeremy - and the last name - they are not here to ask - but I think it's Johnson)  Here is Brian and Madalyn each showing off their drawings:

The drawing class is a must do activity for us at Hollywood Studios.  Actually, we usually do it more than once.  Here are some of my older daughter's drawings from the class (these are all hanging on her wall in her room!) - so you can see the array of possibilities:

So...what about you?  Have you ever taken the drawing class at Hollywood Studios?  Who would you like to learn how to draw?



  1. Great stuff! This was hands down one of my FAVORITE activities from our trip last year! I still have my Buzz Lightyear drawing that I did. I need to frame it. This class was actually so inspiring that with some Hobby Lobby giftcards that I received, I bought myself a sketchpad, graphite pencils (no erasers!) and a book on how to draw Disney characters. I want to learn how to draw Maleficent eventually.

  2. I So. Wanna. Go to this!! Like yesterday! It looks so much fun!



Thanks so much for saying "hello!" I like to know that I am not talking to myself :-)