Tony Bancroft is an animator and director, with over 30 years of experience in the animation industry. When working with Disney Studios, Tony co-directed the feature film Mulan and created characters like Pumbaa, from The Lion King; Kronk, from The Emperor’s New Groove; and Cogsworth, from Beauty and the Beast.
It is said that, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words.’ But have you ever tried to illustrate a story scene—worth a thousand words—in one single image? It can be daunting!
Many artists are good at drawing individual characters, but less confident in creating an eye-catching scene that tells an entire story. If this sounds like you, don’t despair!
Professional Disney animator—the creator of Pumbaa and Kronk—Tony Bancroft, is here to help! He’ll teach you key concepts and pro tricks to add interest, depth, emotion and action to your illustrations, grabbing your viewers’ attention and drawing them in.
This value-packed course will give you a solid foundation in visual storytelling, an essential skill for creatives of all kinds, such as hobby artists and pros alike!
You’ll learn how to create a focal point, lead your audience’s eye, design a balanced composition, use perspective, draw expressive poses and so much more! Also, look forward to having a blast with fun assignments, allowing you to practice your new skills as you go! Ready to jump in!?
Get to know your awesome teacher, Tony Bancroft, and his background in Disney animation. Tony will give you an overview of what’s in store for you in this fascinating course.
As humans, we understand concepts and communicate best through stories. It’s how our minds work, ever since the cavemen era! A great way to tell stories is visually through drawings, and this course will show you how to do just that!
To kick off these lessons, Tony will show you how to use simple elements within a frame to start off your artwork. You’ll learn about the importance of a good, balanced composition, and the dos and don’ts of creating one yourself!
Discover how to design within a frame, use overlap, add depth to your illustration, lead the viewer’s eye and lots more cool stuff to lay the foundations of an engaging illustration!
You’ll get to apply all the cool skills you’ve learned in a fun assignment at the end.
Do you find it easier to draw a single character than a whole scene? Well, you are not alone. It can be tricky to know what to do with your character after you create them.
Tony will share some great ways to help you come up with ideas and a structure for your scene, including a background, action, other characters, etc. to tell a compelling story. You’ll learn how to think like a pro!
He’ll teach you simple tricks to avoid inadvertently creating a boring illustration.
The point of view (POV – angle of the viewer) does a lot to shape the story and help relate to the characters better.
Tony explains the advantages and uses of different POVs and his process for finding the best one. He also teaches the importance of thumbnailing and how to do it effectively.
At the end of this lesson, you’ll get to experiment with different POVs in an illustration of your own! Fun!
Do your drawings tend to look ‘flat’ with no depth? Tony shares key tips and tricks for creating a convincing sense of dimension in your artwork, taking it to a professional level. Awesome!!
We live in a world with dimension and depth and need to incorporate those elements in our compositions so they look believable. Tony will teach you exactly how to use scale, overlap, layering and linear perspective to achieve that.
You’ll then get to apply these concepts to an illustration right away to consolidate what you’ve learned.
You’ll take your artwork to the next stage in this lesson and learn what ‘Plussing it’ means (industry term). 😉
Tony explains the importance of creating lots of small thumbnails. In his words: ‘DON’T draw something just once. Playing with ideas and reworking them is the key to professional level artwork!’
In this lesson, he’ll take you through the steps to pushing, clarifying, and improving your basic sketch. He’ll also explain his own way of working and why he makes certain design decisions. Fascinating!
While there are lots of things to consider when creating a composition, the most important one is focal point—where the viewer’s eyes are drawn to.
Believe it or not, you have the power to guide their eyes to the areas of your story illustration that matter most! Tony will reveal industry secrets and tricks that the pros use time and again in their artwork.
He’ll show you how to use directional lines and values, giving lots of examples along the way. Also, you’ll get to play a fun game at the end of the lesson to test your visual reflexes. Yay!
A character is often the focal point of an illustration, so getting their pose and expression right is important. Drawing characters is one of Tony’s favorite things to do!
He’ll delve into this fun topic, showing you how poses can communicate different things and giving you lots of examples.
Follow along as he walks you through his process of tweaking and improving various poses. You’ll discover the essential tricks of the trade to help you master this skill!
This lesson is a great balance of fascinating theory and fun practical work. You’re gonna love it!
Now on to putting it all together! In this final lesson, you’ll get to put all the concepts and skills you’ve learned so far into creating one awesome composition! Fun!
Tony will guide you through the steps he goes through, from initial concept to rendered artwork and all the stages in between. He’ll also discuss the strengths and weaknesses of various sketches and give advice on what to keep, what not to and why.
You’ve come to the end of this course. Well done!
All these skills will serve as a launchpad for you to continue exploring new ideas and concepts in your artwork and help you better communicate your feelings, emotions, and stories visually.
May you brighten the world with your illustrations!
Tony Bancroft is a 2D animator with over 30 years of experience in the animation industry. He has worked with companies such as Disney, Sony and Warner Brothers. During his 12-year career with Disney Studios, Bancroft helped create and animate Pumbaa, from The Lion King; Kronk, from The Emperor’s New Groove; Cogsworth, from Beauty and the Beast; and Iago, from Aladdin. Bancroft’s most notable accomplishments include being the co-director of Walt Disney’s animated film, Mulan; and animation supervisor of Sony’s Stuart Little 2.
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