Saturday, July 28, 2007

Willy Pogany’s Art of Drawing

The Art of Drawing - Willy Pogany
When I wrote my post about “Golden Age” illustrator Willy Pogany in June, I was disappointed that I couldn’t find much in the way of online examples form his terrific drawing instruction book, The Art of Drawing.

Well Stephen Worth and the good folks at the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive, as part of their continuing campaign to make the web an even more wondrous and useful place, have dropped another gem on us. They’ve posted a 17 page taste of figure drawing instruction from Willy Pogany’s Drawing Lessons.

I’m a little unclear whether the currently available The Art of Drawing is a retitled version of Drawing Lessons, or if they simply share a lot of common material. Little matter, in that The Art of Drawing is easily available and is terrific.

This is not so much a book on drawing the figure from life in a direct “draw what you see” way, as it is in the constructive tradition of teachers like Andrew Loomis and George Bridgeman, who teach how to construct the figure through an understanding of anatomy, perspective and the perception of the underlying solid geometry of living forms.

As such, it belongs, along with books by Loomis, Bridgeman and Walt Reed, on the reference shelf of any artist who works with constructing figures from the imagination. In particular this means comic book artists and illustrators; though any artists who want a better feeling of solidity and three dimensional reality to their figures would benefit from the study of all of these instructors.

The ASIFA excerpt from the book consists of 17 beautiful high-resoultion scans that are reproduced large enough (approximately 1200 x 1500) to get a real feeling for the solid draftsmanship and fresh, confident linework in Pogany’s drawings. The actual book is over 125 pages and remarkably inexpensive.

While you’re at the ASIFA Animation Archive, be sure to check out some of the other amazing resources on the site, including great articles on drawing instruction, Golden Age illustrators, cartoons and many other topics in addition to animation. (Major time-sink warning)

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