- Lesson Details
In this lesson, instructor Bill Perkins will teach you the importance of rhythm within your compositions. You will learn the different characteristics and effects that rhythm has on the viewers. Bill will do studies to decipher the use of rhythm by master illustrator Dean Cornwell. You will also examine how rhythm can go beyond the composition to fit into character design.
This lesson belongs to the course Visual Storytelling. In this 7-week course, legendary Disney art director Bill Perkins will teach you the skillsets needed to create strong visual storytelling for film and animation. With his years of experience working on films like Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and Space Jam, Bill will help build your visual vocabulary to aid in your creative storytelling. You will learn about the visual components like primaries of design. Bill will lecture on the importance of dominance and subordination. You will explore ways to achieve shape clarity as well as manipulate both visible and implied lines. From there, Bill will analyze the use of color and visual subtext to help enhance your visual storytelling.
Throughout this course, you’ll have access to the NMA community for feedback and critiques to improve your work as you progress.
Transcription not available.
It's a way that you can move the viewer's eye.
It's really all about directing the viewer's eye, where you
want them to go and there's some different ways of doing it.
So what I thought I would do is I grabbed some other images and I grabbed some
images that are like master drawings,
just to kind of illustrate what they've done.
And then at the same time, you know, even some animation, the way that
they've done the same thing that these masters did in their work as well.
And then we have like Dean Cornwall, who's like crazy good at this stuff.
And the rhythms that he creates, he totally invents,
you know, his shapes and stuff.
I mean, they're completely invented and things don't bend that way.
Things aren't really that way, but you look at them, you
think, wow, they're volume.
They must be real.
But what you're really you're seeing this arrangement and this rhythm that
you're just sucked into the image.
So I wanted you guys to see that and the best way to do it is really
draw them to get in and draw them.
Because when you draw, you know, kind of trace over something, it gets onto
your skin, you have to break it down.
So what I'll do is we'll take a look at some of these and, and break them down
and kind of show you how that might work.
The first thing here, there's a couple of things that we can do.
I'll just kind of draw a couple of things on here and draw along if you
want, but I'm going to just kind of draw little sections of this and in the upper
image, there's, there's one character and I'm going to draw its axis line.
We talked about lines last week and I'm gonna draw axis line.
You can see the character up here, you know, with his shoulders like this.
So there's a rhythm moving through his body.
You know, like this
and then opposing that, you know, there's another character like this
and I'll get in and draw some of these things.
And once I - but what I tend to do is I tend to just block them and then
it's easier to kind of illustrate once I have something down here.
And I don't know if you can recognize the one I'm dealing with, but there's this
one guy holding this, this one figure.
And then from this guy's face over here, there's this pull and
then this arm coming like this.
And there's a cat that goes like woah, this kind of a thing.
So just kind of looking at these, these rhythms now there's these axis
lines that we've talked about before on here, but you know, when we get
down and really kind of analyze what's going on, there's a couple of things.
There's one, I'll just kinda - I'll I'll draw this in just a little bit like this.
When, you know, there's going to be this long line.
And from this kid, his shoulder is pinched up, he's holding his shoulder
up, but then we get these lines that go over, over, and then over.
And then this, his shoulder over here and his arm goes back over this way like this.
What happens is we get this overlap going over this area.
But if you follow the overlap, it goes to the rib cage here.
And this is one of the things that I know for me, just looking at, you
know, masters drawings and stuff.
You can appreciate their line work or whatever.
And that's what I was looking at.
Some of the files, you know, some master drawings and stuff, and some my Harry
Carmean's and I was just looking at it
because harry was one of my instructors.
And I think like a lot of the students that took his classes were more enamored
with his line quality and the look of his finished drawings rather than to really
understand what he was doing, you know?
And so that's why I'm trying to kind of, you know, illustrate what
he was getting at and what some of these other masters were getting at.
Cause you can see how this line comes through here and this echoes that.
So we get this rhythm coming around that's going to support this whole thing.
So it comes out, his shoulder coming up here from his chest.
This is kind of straight coming down and then coming down his leg like this.
And this is the rope coming down there.
And even his arm, his arm, look at these shapes, these shapes, and we talked
a little bit about shape, but if you take a look at the shapes, even this
shape, then this shape, then this shape.
If you take a look at these shapes, look at the directional rhythm in this thing,
this is beautiful, you know, in its path.
And then you, you know, add these things to it
and it just gives you so much more volume.
And then coming back here, if you come under here, then you get to the rib cage,
you know, and then the rope that comes by.
So all of this stuff kind of adds together one after the other, after the other, the
same thing with this guy over coming over the top of him comes in here, but you
can see that the back of his deltoid just goes right over to his hands right here.
And then the contour of his shoulder goes over.
And meets there with the outside of that muscle.
And then his rib cage comes in here like this, you know, and starts to come around.
And then his tummy is in here and it's around and around both coming this way.
And then the top of his leg comes like this.
So these things, all these lines come like this going on and
lead your eye around, you know,
And then straight over in here,
then this whole rib cage, you know, sits over.
His arm comes under that.
So here's this one figure and his, his kind of axis line is something like this.
And from here,
can you get this real big rib cage and then kind of muscles that
come down here that kind of pull all the way down again from here
and right to the top of the muscle then down into his groin here and then wrapping
around the outside, coming in here and here and wrapping around the outside
and then up, he's gonna turn you in this way.
So his arm is going to be coming this way.
And that will put his shoulder in front and then his clavicle here and his
neck here and underneath his clavicle and then back to his other arm.
You're also going to see something else there's most often one side that
straighter and the other one that is more curved and that's going to happen just
about everywhere because, and they take place, this is straight, this is curved.
And then with his muscles contracted, this is going to be the one that's curved.
And this is going to be the one that's a little smoother in
there, but he's going to connect these because this is the drive.
This is the direction.
So this is the most important line in there, right?
This comes out of that, but this is the most important line because what it does,
it, it connects these things all the way into here coming all the way down.
And that gives you this, this twist in here
and then turns it up.
See, like this, down.
And then of course his hair's got to come out this way because he wants
a directional force to go this way.
So it comes out this way like this.
So you might start with an access line and then you're going to.
What is reinforcing that rhythm or that movement that's going.
And sometimes they'll go from one side, you know, through the middle,
onto the other side of the figure.
And then back for back this way, you know, maybe into something else,
you know, maybe something that comes down, I'm making this up in here.
But if you, if you follow something in here, it'll give
you something to, to work.
So we're going to go to the outside here, if this is a case, and maybe you've
got something coming across here, maybe you're going to get something off the rib
cage here, his clavicle this way, that this is going to be sticking out maybe.
And if you're coming all the way across here, you might want to get something
that is moving your eye this way.
So if you come from the center here and get the underside of the rib cage
there, you might want to get underside there again, that can help reinforce
something that's going to be pushing you all the way through, not just this one,
but get this and repeat, come across.
Find something else that's going to go.
So you're finding these near alignments that go across and work in different ways.
Those are the kinds of things that you want to find in your drawings.
And again, we'll look at at these different drawings and you're
going to see that, you know, different artists do it differently.
And again, what I'll do is try to find some kind of a proportion
of what's going on in here.
Get some relative proportions and positioning.
You know, this is kind of like your measuring step.
Then we can kind of go in and take a look at some of the other aspects of rhythms.
And does this figure, it goes this way.
We have this one leaning this way and their attitude is like this.
They're way back here like this.
So just in what's in closing these characters, if we take a look at this
we can see, even just the background is just bring your eye down and then
bringing it up around here around this way, and then carving this in like this.
Then if you look at part of her dress, look at the long
lines that pull you into here.
Her arm here,
lines that come around,
the origin is over here like this.
And you can see it, look at the folds under here.
Just pulling you back up this way.
Get her back there.
This long line up here.
Long line coming up here and then around here and then around here, again, just
long rhythms in there around that side.
I made that too high.
So with her chin up so high, you want to get some kind of a form in here
where there's no shadow under there.
So if they get this line in here, What he's done is he brought this
line to kind of continue that.
So it implies this line coming in here and then surrounding the outside, like this.
These lines coming up in here, they're all sweeping down cause
they bring your eye around.
Now this has got some little tassels here.
I'm just drawing their silhouette in here, but it's the silhouette of
this cushion that's the connecting thing from these, from her dress.
And if you look at the table over here from the table, that
tablecloth doesn't come straight down, like you would normally think,
it comes in.
It comes in because this directional movement is more
important than anything thing else.
So what if the tablecloth went straight down?
How are you moving the viewer's eye?
That becomes a priority.
And it was like, we can make it really, really accurate.
Or we could say, okay, this is what it is now how do I
want to move the viewer's eye?
And that's exactly what Wilhelm Busch did.
So that's the beauty of some of these.
And then he brings it around
and of course this crazy cat.
If you look at the bow, it's a little more stout on this and it's longer over here.
As it comes around here and it's longer over there because it needs to be a
directional line that moves like that.
Cause it continues on like that.
And then the cat's spine is going to like that coming down to here, how it ends up
having a tail coming off to the side here
I'm not quite sure.
But you get the whole picture of this.
Even the top shoulder of the cat going forward.
Its fat belly, its leg there, big jowls.
But look at the direction of the angle.
And this coming down into here, all going into this coming all the
way down into here and around this coming around here and around can
almost connecting with this in here.
This coming in like this up, up.
This goes up into here.
I have her over a little bit too far.
So let me move her over just a little bit.
And she's sitting much straighter.
She's sitting straight up.
And you're going to see that there's
you know, just a difference of one side to the other.
This wraps around this comes this way.
And then these come straight down from this side, you get a little bit more,
Now her eye level is going up here and she's gazing, leaning out.
And this woman's sitting upright.
And really the main character it's clear to see the main character
is the one on the left, right, more than this one over here.
It's this one right here.
Cause even then she's sitting up, but we could even lean her a little bit more.
Just kind of thrusting her body out here just a little bit more.
Even pulling her arm back just a little bit more.
It would push her out just a little bit.
Just push her out just a little bit more.
These drawings are caricatures, you know, but if you look at what he's doing
with these directional shapes, you know, coming into here, coming off the lines
here, coming in here, bringing it down here, moving your eye up around there.
Even the grouping of stuff on the table, we have, you know, these small groups
of things in is where I kind of like to look at it in terms of, you know,
when you have individual things on the table, you know, how are they arranged?
Are they individual trees or is it a forest?
Meaning, are they grouped in a way that that overall silhouetted shape is the more
important thing or are they individual elements that are sitting there.
If they're individual elements, you got to make sure that they're different
sizes and different proportions, because if they're all the same teacup, it's
going to get real boring, real fast.
And so that's why you look at a larger kind of a thing in here that there
may be there's, there's something that differentiates one side from
the other, and there's a larger.
There's a larger shape in there amongst some of these smaller shapes
so that, you know, you get a variety in there.
It's not just variety.
It's building on the variety, building on those, on those shapes.
off with something like this and just say I'm going to have
one person here, one person here, and one person here,
and I want to move your eye this way.
This one's sitting up, and this one's like leaning in.
You know, and that's going to say, oh well move it like this
push that in, you know, that creates this is a positive
shape. This is negative shape so that pushes us in. There's a
force that comes in this way. Then we have hers weeping in
it even thrusts her even more.
Here's my basic layout. What do I want to say?
Okay, what do I want to say in the image? Who's the main
character? What do I want to say? What's the conversation,
what are they feeling? What's going on? And then I would
place them - I would do, kind of a rough arrangement and then I
would go in and look for the things that would create these
alignments and rhythms in the direction or in the - giving them
a purpose to move your eye and say, okay, here's the main
character and then here's the secondary character and here's
the story, but I would feel free to move those shapes
around quite a bit.
I'll draw this a little bigger
just so you guys can see this. Okay, so maybe I got a
situation here where
if this is her head and here
the one thing that I'm going to look at and the main thing, her
eyeline is really, really strong, right? So her eye line,
this is kind of what's going on with her, with her eyes,
they're way up here.
So I'm going to start with that. That's the main thing
that I want to do. So now it's like okay well how am I going
to reinforce this shape and these you know her concerned look
and looking up like that. Well,
if you have something like this you need a starting point, you
know, kind of launch from. And sometimes it will go over
over over over this way.
But with her eyes, she's looking up this way.
So we'll just
start with that. Also, her brow right here, you see it goes
like this, this creates a strong shape going up this way,
it's not rounded, right? It's that rounded. We want to see
the corner of her forehead here. But what's happening is
turn here going like this is going to support this, you see,
so it goes up and then up this way.
And then up like this.
And the same thing with her nose. If you look at her nose
to kind of push up there, this is going to go like this.
He's giving you a little bit more
on the bottom plane of the nostril, right? And this comes
in and then drops down like this, this
it gives us something to go from up here.
Again, we're going to come out from here.
this is got to come down here like this, her chin is in here,
but let's get this in here. And the one thing that I'm going to
start with, if I start with her eyes,
if I start with her eyes in here,
and then I'm going to go okay we'll from here what's going to
frame them and I'm going to see oh well I've got this framing
and I've got this framing. You see? How else am I going to show
a little bit more of her,
of her eyes? Okay, this kind of goes up here and frames like
And then I'm going to see this coming over this, this, this,
this, this. And then more coming out here like this.
So, I'm trying to push this up, okay? And then coming from here
to, I'm going to also see that
this doesn't go in line but it's just inside of that and
then her upper lip
is going to go into something like this.
And then around this shadow,
Right here, it pushes up. See, this is a strong shape. Look
how dark that is in there, right? And then he even gives
you a little bit of a chin like this
to move up another bit.
Right, so if it comes off of here,
Comes in here like this.
It becomes easy to say, okay, well here's the front plane,
Here's the side oh
her nose in there.
And if we go to the outside, the interesting thing here is
he gives you the shadow because there's a light direction
coming over here. So
I've been focused on this surrounding right here where
we're going around this and going around. So we get these
kinds of shapes, right? Even coming into something like
But if we go to the outside now as well, we're going to go out
here and then this is coming in, this is coming in, this is
Kind of like this.
And then you see how these things start to sweep in? Okay.
Again, they're going to be pushing us up in here.
Here's a great little move over here, too.
Maybe this kind of scarf type of thing. It could be tied in
any way, but if you take a look at the way that he's got this
tied, look at the lines or like really important. Coming in
And around here.
So what he's doing is pushing these things up and up and up
and then pulling out of this like this.
So again it's just really pushing up like that so you
really get this movement up there.
And then, from a shadow.
and here's a really cool part too.
From down here,
you know, her neck
coming in here. Watch look at the way that these folds go,
like this and like this. And then this way
and this way
right now, the shadow kind of comes up over here.
but it's real interesting because all of these over here,
This comes around, this comes around.
This comes around, this comes around, something like this.
And then around here
and around here like this.
You see? And that's why I think these get so interesting
turning this way. They're not going around her this way.
They're sweeping your eye up in this direction.
You see that?
Coming forward like this.
He's giving you some crosshatch and stuff like that, but the
major lines that you see in here, look at the way they set
those things up up and around around around around just kind
of bring your eye this way, okay? And that's going to help
you with this.
Right? Up in here,
up in here, around this, the brow ridge in here.
Even in here.
And if they make this really dark in here, it's going to be
an accent area, right?
She's got a crazy big eye, huh?
So that's kind of what I would do is kind of look at that
building off of just the main story, you know, what is it
that I want to say first. I'll refine some of the shapes as I
go, but what is it that I want to do, what I want to say. And
if I want really want this direction, and I want
everything to wrap around and I want these to frame her face.
If I want all those things to happen, I've got to kind of
figure out how I'm going to put them in. And look at the
rhythm. I mean, this just knocks me out, these rhythms
that come in here around and around. Look how they turn
around here. And then this pushing this way,
right? It's going up around. If I block this, you know, it's
just going up and around. But now, it's kind of - we get take
advantage of this force pushing in here and all of these lines
kind of pushing up here. So, it makes a little bit more
Yeah here's a sargent drawing. And what I'll do is
I'll draw this over here too.
Trying to draw it big enough in here that makes makes some
sense, but again
I'm going to look for a basic rhythm.
Now it might fall along those lines.
And then another leg coming here.
So, this is kind of how I might see this.
So if I'm, if I'm starting with this,
that's kind of my basic rhythm.
So I know that's kind of a gesture that I want to get in
but now I'm going to look for things, what are the things
they're going to keep my eye moving around here? And one of
them might be his head is back a little bit. So his neck is
going to be bulging this way.
And you know, it comes in here. His chin is pretty much height
of his shoulder.
So, I'm going to start with this
and then I'm going to give his ear in there.
From there, I'm going to see on his shoulders here. This one is
a little bit more relaxed because it's pulled behind him
here. And his weight is on this one. So this one is going to be
But watch what happens when I get to this shoulder, it's
going to go over his hand because it's his hand is down
But it's going to go in here.
And then that's going to be connecting to the bottom of
this pectoral here.
And then his rib cage is going to come out here.
It's going to go like this.
Around like that. And then around, this is going to be
this shoulder coming in.
And then it wraps around this.
Now, this longer line is going to be coming down here. Okay.
So I'm going to get this
and then this.
Cause I need to get
from here to here.
He's coming and putting this big dark in here.
His rib cage is here.
But he's got muscle on this stomach here, that's kind of
pulling but he's turning this this way and stretching it up
to the middle here.
And then get me a
See the longer line kind of pulled in through here.
And then again, creating a little bit of this going out
here. You can see this is
but he's getting in the top of the leg here.
And then he's giving a little bit of the back of the
is hip right in here.
So that's going to come down, that's why you have this here.
But look at where everything is going. Comes here, the ribcage
here, over here, like this again, over here, over here,
and pushing out to here. So, he's going from this side all
the way over to this side.
And then back like this.
This coming down in here.
He's giving you the tummy the stretching here, okay? Pushing
out like this. And then this coming out because there's wait
Weight on this kind of smashing this down.
It's funny. I have this leg going like this, but it comes
down And then this way because from here, it comes like this
and then like this,
It's kind of a silhouette that's playing out here.
And it plays out that way because of the pillow.
And this gets smashed in here.
Bring this around.
Just for the volume of, you know, the shoulders coming
around. We got this coming around here.
And then turning real tight here.
But from the shoulder here, if you take a look at the shoulder
and they come all the way down,
all the way down to here.
over to here,
over to here, here, here.
Right. And even if you look at this you can even bring it
down. I might be
a little long here.
so he's looking at these things all the way around and then,
you know, even here, if you want to follow this, to this to
it's these longer lines that you want to find the rhythm in,
just go for those longer lines and look for those things in
their and where they're going to sit. And you know how this
Like this to this
to this to this
Just finding those rhythms that kind of flow all along that
this is what these guys have been doing in these drawings
which makes them really feel like very very dynamic, you know
pushing and pulling these shapes.
size or same proportion image, it's just slightly taller than
it is wide.
And then I see she's just off center of here. Just a little
There's a dark around this area in here.
And then there's a light area underneath the table here
that's going to be kind of like this and
It's worth noting
from the corner and over here, I'm going to see there's
something that comes over to about over here.
Okay. And not in a direct line with this, but just up from it,
a little bit, is this.
So this is actually down just a little bit.
Okay, that's a pretty strong shape in there. So I'll
I'll put that in first.
And if I look at the division up here, I'm going to see
there's like a small medium and large.
Smaller, medium, large for this, goes something like that.
This goes over a bit like this. And then from here,
And now this other angled line comes down towards the bottom
of this thing.
So give me an idea about where these alignments, I'm looking
for these longer alignments and they'll all tie in, you know,
that's what kind of helps your arrangement
and then coming down here a little bit. This is more like
Within that shape there's this guy.
His chin sticking out just a little bit.
And his scarf over his back.
Mid part of his back is about here and he has pleats in his
coat and there's arm comes up in here. This is the other side
Okay, so I'm kind of moving around from here from riding in
this, this area in here.
There's a shape that comes up in here that goes right about
over to here too. So I'm looking for where these things
go. These longer lines, this kind of coming down
parallel to this, although it comes out like that. And then
look it up here. I'm going to -
there's a shadow that comes down like this and goes like
Look at the coat hanging.
It just aiming and framing
these things to me these are just stunning. These the way
that he's are made these things hanging or designed the
shapes really, tt's really a case of the design that he's
created here and
just kind of stepping things up, you see? Here, here,
it's about there. Let me erase that.
If I'm laying something like this, where every put one mark,
I'm going to see where's that going? Okay, and I can see this
is going this way.
And this is going this way.
And then coming across from here. There's another shadow
shape that kind of drops in this way
that tells me it's going to come up here, here, here.
So, all of these things are starting to kind of lineup from
This is in the shadow area here.
You see how this shape in here, puts his shape in here and it
goes right into this outside here.
Okay, I get a shadow and get the rest of her figure in here.
And then I'll
really lean into some of those rhythms. We can kind of
point out some more of those.
Okay, one of the other things I see is there's these folds
going like this
on her outfit here. And then from here,
material coming down here. This is out here.
Coming out here like this and then down down.
From, there it goes up.
I'm going to lay in some of the shadows and this whole thing is
pretty shadow driven up on the top, but take a look at the
shape of these shadows.
That is provided, okay?
One in there.
This is dark in there on this side of her face here.
From the top of her head here.
That goes in shadow
behind her arm.
Cause that's all my shadow. And then from there,
this is in shadow down to here.
Okay, and all of this.
And this dark over on this side really let's him
this shape here like that.
And all of this getting silhouetted.
All the little bits in here, you know, the bolt on the
rifle, all these little bits in here,
this closes you from falling out of the frame.
That's what's going on here. That's kind of the purpose of
shape in here. There's another bag down in here.
We get a couple little form elements here that will wrap
around just some things that are a little bit lighter but
still stay in the darkness here.
And then from the table.
The dark down here at the bottom would stop your eye
from falling out, but look what he does. He gives you a
chair over here.
Okay, these folds are going to give you some directional
movement up this way, his arm his lower arm,
he's got folds that go around this way that wrap around the
form, so he's providing that
fold, he's got a kind of a padded shoulder, I guess, and
then around the back and then this the
and all of him is in shadow.
From his sleeve coming down here.
Part of his coat again comes up here, part of it comes in
here. Then we see the folds from his knee on his pants coming
in here and these are all directional lines. They're all
helping us to again, move your eye up.
In the holster on the bed. Again it's breaks up a little
bit of this space
and it gives us a little bit more dynamic curves, but it
also gives us a little bit of
breaking up this simple area, giving us something that is
has got a little bit of an interest but it's got an
interesting shape to it too.
First thing that we see is form, solid form like this.
We see a solid rib cage, and not only that, but we see
the front of it, the side of it. You know there's
we see forms all the way through here,
we see volumes. That's one of the things that you know we
look at Cornwall go well, it's so volumetric, it's so solid.
with a lot of his drawings, they were solid but one of the
more interesting things I think was the fact that what he did
do or what he was able to do is
create a situation where
he employed these rhythms to move through. It was like,
okay, coming down here and wrapping around this way. It
wasn't just wrapping around a form there. He was coming in
here, echoing it with this.
And then bring it back here,
out to the shadow out here, pulling from one thing to
another, does that make sense? So finding these rhythms in these
alignments are near alignments and things that actually make
your eyes slip from one area to another, they're very very
valuable and that's what makes his stuff really, really
powerful I think. It does set him apart from some of the
other guys. I think,
I mean, take a look at this just this alone, this comes
down and then there's a little curve to it, right? I mean when
you hang up something up,
look at that thing. You know, that is not hanging like
something would normally hang, but yet you believe it because
it's so volumetric. But because it's a volumetric, I think the
thing is, is we're seeing these alignments in here and they're
really successful, right? There's this coming down to the
belt. There's this which comes up, which would be a funny cut
if you ever try to put it on.
And then this again, all pointing, pointing, pointing,
this matching up over here. These little elements pointing
wrapping around. Okay, straight and then tilt framing in,
closing off the top.
Closing off the top here.
When you look at this, it goes straight from here to the
inside of her arm here.
I had all around but it goes there's a little bit of a curve
that way and then this big broad curve and a big broad
curve is going to be echoed by this over here, curve, curve, and
truly that goes right down to him.
So when you find these alignments and these rhythms
and stuff, they are implied lines. They are - they work the
same way. Anything that will move your eye from one ear to
the other? Now once you can move the viewers eye from one
area to another
you're in control of designing, how you want them to look mean
to me? That's so liberating, you know, to say, okay, well,
it's not just the rendering of this man and this woman, it
comes down to okay, how do I want to move your eye through
this picture? I want to make sure that he is kind of
lurching forward, right? So I'm going to straighten this out.
I'm going to pull the shoulder out. I want to bring his chin
way out here. I'm going to push those things, and then I'm
going to go over and over and over on his shoulder to overlap
and make sure to put the bench here to keep them from falling
out, but then I'm going to have this along the side just to
bring my eye back up in here. I'm going to reinforce that and
then put this helmet on, that's going to go
reinforce that and then reinforce that so around, around,
around, all of this stuff kind of coming out like this.
Now these are illustrations for different stories and stuff
like that. And so oftentimes what they would do, would be
black and white and one color, that's a two color print, so
economical, but a dash of color.
What's dominant, what's subordinate, and how do you
manage what's dominant, what's subordinate? And that's one of
those things, anything that sits as a parallel line. See,
these things are not parallel lines. There's no parallel
lines in here. There's little bits of them like this, and
that's about it.
And there's a little bit of one up in here but that's it.
Everything else is very dynamic, there's curve to them
sometimes subtle and stuff. But here you know on the side here
here under here. Here here these things, all stack, it
makes the angle of the gun, more dynamic, you know, coming
in there and then turning your eye up in this direction so it
comes in and comes up and then comes back in and see. You see so they're
architectural things that are moving your eye around as
image online where it was a stomach surgery, there was, you
know, as a doctor and people around a bed and he was going
to perform his stomach surgery, right? And so I saw some
preliminary sketches from that online and it said that it was
in this particular book. So I ordered the book and it was a
used book. It was long out of print, it's an old book and
I'll bring it in next week. It's an interesting book but it
does have a little section on Dean Cornwall on how he works.
You look at Rockwell to and you look how we refined those
He did multiple sketches. He did multiple sketches, you
know, little comps and then full charcoal drawings and then
did the painting after that. So he fully worked it out in his
head before and he had a professional photographer to
that was taking the photographs warm. So he was dressing the
model, dressing the set. He had a photographer that he was
working with to do that, and then he would draw sketch and
sketch, give them to the photographer. They've worked
that out, and then he would draw and draw a full-size
charcoal drawings and then do the painting. So he invested
some time and money. Into those pieces and we try to dash
something off and think, oh, how did they do that? Well,
they worked hard at it, you know, they spend a lot of money
and investing in putting everything out there correctly
and that's kind of how they ended up with that stuff.
There's some other people too that we're really good
draftsman that really rely on their line work and stuff like
that. And they did multiple versions too. Like Bob Peak. He
did multiple versions. His finished pieces look like they
are, you know, just one off. Just like he just did it, but
he has multiple versions of them until he comes up with the
right one. I walked into a, some years ago, I walked into a
gallery in Palm Springs and they had four out of the five
comps, painted comps. There were small scale versions there
about this wide and this is big, tall murals. The comps were
about this wide and about that tall. Maybe taller full oil
painting and those were the comps and their beautiful. I
mean, they didn't look much different than the finish. I
mean, they were really, really nice again. What I'm going to
do is I'll make sure that I'm not overlapping there.
And if I was going to do something like this, what I
would do is I would look at my characters and say okay well I
want I want this guy up here.
And he's going to be looking at this guy down here.
Then I'm going to put this guy in this pillow because this is
obvious, you know, kind of a setup here.
Surrounding his head here like that and then his collar.
If you look at his collar, it leads your eye back up there
because it's just comes down here. You see that?
Up, down, up, down.
Open it up. Just a little bit there.
One thing that I learned from animation really was if you're
going to design a scene or you going to do something like
this what you might do is position your characters.
Like what I've got here, position your characters and
then draw around them, draw the masses. See I just drew
this because the directional mass is this. There's this
shape and then the brim of the hat that comes around, there's
a shadow over here too that comes down and over. Down this
is part shadow part material you know hanging up here and
then this is the more important thing down here. It does come
up in here and then here
but once I get this shape in here then I can deal with,
you know, what it's made of.
And then look at this.
Okay, these things just going right up in here.
So that's kind of the gist of it. I would kind of create the
overall pattern that you're going to see in there and then
I might put in some of the, some of the dark shapes.
But these I'll put these in just lightly because I know
what I'm going to do is once I put this in, then I'm going to
really start looking at
my rhythms. I can adjust these to really follow these rhythms.
Okay, I can't go much farther. If I'm going to put in some of
these, it really depends on on these rhythms, creating rhythms
through here. So,
what I'll do is I'll go in now and kind of look at how some of
these things are actually constructed with starting with
their eye line. If I start with eyel ine and I put his
eye line in here.
You see that?
I'm going to look at these
shapes that really create this eye line, that's
looking over here, like this.
His upper lip is kind of small because it's -
his head's tilted down.
Light's off to the side a little bit, so it's part of his lower
lip gets in shadow there.
Okay, so now I have his eye line coming down here, then I'm
going to look at what's reinforcing that, if you look
his hair is like incredibly designed.
Where it just comes around like this.
And that's a pretty deliberate shape, right? That's crazy.
Pretty bold for hair shape to come up and get these really
inverted curves and outer curves, and then his scarf
falls into the shadow here and then there's a light part
or a shadow little arrow that kind of comes around here and
another one coming around as it goes into light.
another one that kind of comes down like that.
This points up at his head.
This on the other side does the same.
This is where it starts to get fun too,
from his vest to come down here and then curve in like this,
that's pretty strong move in there. Pretty strong shape. And
then there's like a pocket almost. There's a fold in here
on this vest that come it goes this way.
And then his shadow
His hand is pulling his shirt
from here like this.
And then out around this way. These crazy folds in the here
really just pushing your eye around. Another one coming out
Bring your eye around.
Now, there might have been some folds kind of like this.
If you look at these, they're
pretty dynamic shapes.
Like you see, this is where his finger is, if you see he's
pulling his shirt, but he's pulling it from this way as
well. And then down underneath here. See? so
when it gets over to his arm, it starts to make a pull away a
little, and then down again. Well, just make sure that these
things are going this way.
And then around here like this. if I pull this way or this way,
or this way, you see, I have that option. He'll pull it in
the correct direction so that those folds go where he wants
you to look. So, that's the difference, it's not just a
case of trying to draw it and be really accurate to where the
folds are. It's like you got two options on where you're
pulling that and so to design it so that it does work that
way. It's kind of the same kind of thing if your landscape
painting and say, well, you know that tree's in the wrong
space, move it, bend it, push it, make the shapes work in a
way that is going to benefit your overall piece. You work
in a still life, move things around until you can
move the viewer's eye in and throughout and around that. So
it's really part of the major design. You know how you do
that fold like that too. This is a strong directional force,
that's why I say look how strong these things are. That's
a strong arrow, you know that he's coming off. He's got a
little bit of his vest back there, but look at that, coming
off of there, that's a real strong reinforcing shape
that's saying here's his eye line. Here's this line, you see
that? This is an arrow going bang.
And maybe that's the whole reason that he had him pull
his sleeve like that is to pull this arrow, get something up
there and get it moving around.
This coming over again, pointing over here.
This starts to turn your eye back the other way.
So it's important to get that.
That large brim in there and set that up.
like this. The push, this shape around,
and I'm going to come up around and look for the compliment of
that that's going to wrap me around and start to go around.
And create some directional
shadows or shapes that are going to be moving me in this
When Sargent retired, there was another guy that took over
And he did a painting and that was early film.
Even these big shadow shapes and stuff coming over here.
Just kind of around and around.
Going around this
Look at this big belt.
So, the other thing that I wanted to mention too, is this
shape too coming in here,
it becomes pretty important as well because this angle here.
Remember you're talking about some shapes and
you see how this frames him here too? It goes along with the arm
I was thinking of some of those Peter Pan
images to where everything was like really deliberate.
But even with this,
on his pillow,
if we're looking at the shapes that are created in here,
you know, they're all framing
Even from underneath here.
We go to the top of his bandage here. Good hair.
Eye level or eye line is coming there.
If you look at the folds on his shirt too
again, looking to frame up.
You know, to get something that pulls back
and slows you down a little bit like this.
And then something just aim right at him.
So we get a little bit of overlapping as well.
And then you look at the shadow, look at the shadow on
this, look how curved this shadow is down here.
This and then the end like this.
And then the outside of his sleeve. Look at that arm.
Arms don't go like that.
His cuff being open, his wrist,
All these shapes just kind of feeding into this the same
sheet, the material here.
Coming up onto the bed.
A little bit of a shadow.
Again, little bits. Look at the shape of these things.
Another one around here.
And even down in here
I'm going to put this all in one tone.
cause there's some shapes down in here. They're subtle utb
they're the tones from
a mid value to black down here that I think are really pretty
important. There's dark in here, of course,
that reinforcing that. But then we've got these different
things. His hand comes down here and we got something here, like
Maybe a kettle, maybe it was some soup or something like
that and a shadow.
And then, from his hand, we get a shadow.
and then outside of this cup,
we get this dark shape but it doesn't go all the way to the
it does this
down to the bottom.
Look at these shapes down here. This this is pretty, pretty
cool too. We take a look at these shapes. This goes in
here, but there's a rug or something like this, and then
it gets dark in here again, it starts to come up again.
And then there's something else here. Don't know exactly what
But there's a soft dark shape here.
And then we go up into this.
The being from here.
So, it's kind of interesting to me I mean, I look at it I see
these shapes put in here. Even the rug in here, but these
dark shapes down in here.
Really add a lot to moving your eye back up into the frame.
These kinds of shapes as well. These will do it as well.
They're so dark in this area you might just not think much
of them but they do, you know, every mark that he's making has
significance to the overall, the total.
Which I think is pretty fantastic.
Just moving your eye up and around all over there.
Coming around here.
This up here.
The different sides of that shape on the brim of the hat
in the shadow in here is - they're different from one side
to the other.
All this kind of goes into a shadow from the.
Just think if we had a paint brush we could block this thing in.
Once you draw it, you realize that it's designed to wrap
around his head, that's what it is doing. Its just framing his
head. Yeah, it's a pillow but this pillow is really clearly
just for that.
These things are so rich with these crazy shapes that go up.
The shadow shape going up stairs. Stair stepping up. The
closure that you get with these things going up.
A soft edge here. And then this is a nice framing for
this, which is going on here.
And again, this pointing over over here again.
Framing, framing, framing.
I said things work is kind of like targets. Well, you get
arrows pointing up here like these things that are a little
bit straighter like this and then you get these target
shapes that wrap around and bring your eye in this way.
And then come up in like this.
And around this way, and over-the-top this way.
This kind of shape in here. These shapes coming in here,
bringing up here. Then this bring you up here and up around
the outside, this is crazy.
This is the thing that gets me too is I mean you look at this
and he's like, okay he's got his brow is here, his hair comes
right down into here and then it wraps around
here and then out.
Crazy. You gotta love that. More of these shapes closing the
regardless this is - this is great exercise. You know if you
look at some old classic drawings, you can look at Tiepolo,
you can look at some of these people that actually
creating a lot of form and a lot of rhythms and stuff like
that in their drawings. And they're the, you know, a little
washes and pen sketches. This guy is so deliberate though,
when you look at his work I mean this thick paint thickly
painted but all the shapes are so deliberate, he's doing the
same thing they're doing but he's doing with his heavy
volume and strong values and clarity and and stuff. That's
why I think he's a good example of rhythm.
this kind of rhythm like I showed you with a bird but if
we take a look at this rhythm, this rhythm is more like the
Unlike some of the other rhythms that you'll see in the
more classic images or you'll see in Cornwall's, his or
really volumetric, these are really silhouette. These forms
are really about the silhouette so that you get this.
You see it's really more about the major silhouette that's - and
that's what happens with a lot of animation.
With animation, what you want to do is you want to make your
silhouette really read. And if your silhouette really reads, then
you're going to get the movement and acting. And so
that's where the emphasis really is finding these rhythms
is in the complete silhouette with these, getting a little bit
less symmetrical. And you can see, even following through
with a line like this, it becomes tangent to his
This kind of a thing.
You could have it off
So, his arm came in here and in here.
It wouldn't be as direct.
You know? Al Hirschfeld would go ahead and make it one line.
And yeah, there was a certain flatness to his work. Some of
these guys these early characters, they were
discovering, you know, how do you get form?
But how does it read? How does it read real clearly?
And different ways of depicting that
became important. Like,
how do you make his ears turn
on his head? How do they stay clear and readable and that was
something they picked up from cave paintings and hieroglyphs
doing another one. If your arc is a little bit
narrower like this, then maybe you can see that
this one, the second one,
it was really more about -
well, they're all really about the silhouette, right?
The same things apply really, you know that we just went
through with the Cornwall drawings.
I'm pulling pulling up higher here.
Just stretching some of those shapes but you don't get as
much on the internal shapes on something like this. As you do
with some of the other ones, these are really more about the
external silhouette that you know, you try to find these
rhythms in the external silhouette. Some of these
cartoons or characters is the need to have a very very clear
I have some other ones in here that are much more
sophisticated. Like some of these are really crazy crazy
designs and these are the internal - I mean they're
beautiful because they give you an element of form and an
element of flatness and the internal rhythms are all
working. They're all working and it's like they're
crazy, insane. This is a Milt Kahl design and you can see
that there's things that are holding their structure
together. Because they're heavily structured so they can
repeat and animate and move in all dimensions. So they have to
be heavily structured. But in most cases, there's a lot of
interplay between straighter lines and more curved lines.
The type of Scurves whether they're angled S curves or a
smooth curve. You know you see a lot in his mustache and stuff
You know, how it will play. I guess I'll draw it over here.
you know, it might start with something like like a circle,
if you find where your eyes are on there and
the nose was turned up.
So it's a point at the top of it, but the bottom is round.
And then around his mouth, it goes kind of wild like this.
Right? Because that needs to go right into the nose.
Right? And this is the bottom of his cheek.
If that's a bottom of his cheek, he's giving you the the
upper part of his cheek as well, so that this can squash
and stretch and it's going to come from this
He's going to give you the under side under, just like he
did here, right? And then from there,
there's this that comes back up into this.
You know, his mustache. But then on this side, it comes
down and it's angled a little bit. This is a complete S
curve, coming in here.
And part of his beard.
This comes in a little tighter like that. Part of his beard
gets a little wide out here and then comes in narrow.
Kind of an origin on his eyes because what happens from his
eyes is kind of the center. So if you start here
and then you can say, okay well we know his nose is going to
have a square top.
Right? And then round bottom.
So if the eyes are in the same area here, then you can get the
bags under his eyes and then you can get his cheek up high and
then you can get the bottom of his cheeks.
if you were drawing it from another angle.
And this goes up.
Because this is going to be become part of his -
kind of his chops there.
So if you have it like a starting point in here, where
you're going to go from, then you can make everything kind of
fit together, but you need to have some kind of an axis. I
think, even with portrait painting and stuff too or
portrait drawing I think, you know, I think what some people
do is, they'll look at the construction of the head. They'll
start with this where you might have something like this and
however you start a head, I mean a lot of people do it in
different ways. The eyes - how far apart are they are they an
eye apart, that kind of a thing, but a lot of times people look
at like the angle here,
well, that might come to a certain point, you know, on
some people. Maybe their nose is
right there. Maybe other people, it might be just a
little lower, a little higher whatever. So that might change
this triangle and whatever that triangle is, it locks the nose,
the eyes, because then if you come down from here from the
center that's going to be the corners of your mouth. Right?
But there's different proportions. So if you're
looking at eyes like this and your triangles like this,
that means the nose is going to be right here.
You know? And if that's the case, then maybe your mouth is
going to be somewhere in here.
And be wider.
So wherever that works, you know, and even if you come down
here, you might say, okay well, if I did that, where does
this land, what would it be from the inside of the nose
here? Is that the inside of the nose? Does it give me some
landscape to the chin?
So maybe you got a more of a squared off kind of a person,
something like this.
So, you know, however, you set that up. But that's what these
guys did too is they had a certain orientation like he's
got a certain orientation that he, he keeps, you know, his
eyes are in a certain place
on his head.
Work from there.
Milt Kahl was so good at creating these countering
shapes. You know, like
you have something like this and then come down in here like
this, you know and just be able to pull off this really quality
of life in his drawings.
These are Mark Davis, Sleeping Beauty, Aurora and Maleficent
were Mark Davis.
And you know, if you draw some of these, I mean, just take a
look at her hair, you know, the way that they create the hair
It's pretty pretty amazing.
You know, like her dress.
We look at these shapes in here.
From this, this little - her little headband in there.
And then coming out.
The subtlety in some of these things, it's just amazing what
I had an instructor in school too that he had to be 90 at the
time when he was teaching his class, and he would walk up to
the, to the board. And when he would draw, his hand would
shake like this. He'd get right up to his hand would shake, and
then a mini put it down it was like glass.
Just perfectly lines, you know? But he come teetering in the
class, white hair, kind of short white hair, come
teetering in. And he would lecture like, Buckminster
Fuller would, you know, he just kind of fast pace rambling
and you listening carefully and stuff. And then, you know, he
starts to draw and you go, oh no, you know, because he's
holding his pencil, he's like shaking, like crazy, like this
and the minute he puts it on the paper, it's just solid as a
rock, just glides down. So that's years of experience. And
that's that's like concentration.
And that's what these guys did. I mean by this time, by the time
they're doing this, these guys had done hundreds of thousands
of drawings, you know?
Animating these characters. By the time they were doing
Sleeping Beauty hundreds of thousands of drawings. Many of
us think oh yeah well we draw. Not like these guys. These
guys are drew and drew and drew and drew stacks and stacks and
reams of paper, you know.
I'm like, stunned at everything, every mark that
these guys did.
Where her elbow is, sometimes what they'll do is see if you
see this, this was one of the things they did so well too is
where they might have a straight here, they get a
subtle curve in here.
You know, pushing that in.
And when she's speaking, they want to make sure that - or
singing in this case - we want to make sure that her mouth
you know, out there.
Not being covered there or buried away in the silhouette. I want
to make sure that it's out there
just for the clarity there.
And to show where her elbow is, you know, a turn of a
plane, is it kind of an angle and then this is curve and then
picking it up here.
It's just pretty amazing.
This kind of economy of line and stuff with some of these
characters are really complicated and if you take a
look Glen, did a really nice - Glen Keane - did a really nice
rough animation of the Beast in Beauty and the Beast there, you
can see that online too, there's a rough animation of the Beast
coming back to life after he was, you know, he gets in a
fight with Gaston and gets stabbed and magic brings him
back to life. You know, another true love kiss. Anyway when he comes
back to life, he just kind of rises up and floats and stuff
like that. If you look at the rough animation, it's stunning.
It's amazing. Drawing the timing. It's all pretty
beautiful. The cleanup for the Beast, the cleanup drawings for
the beast were not that great in my estimation, this
is just my opinion, you know? Unfortunately, it was a case
where he was animating with a big pencil. Big thick line and
it had to be, you had to choose where that line was going to be
and and the design of the proportion was a little bit
different than his drawings and when it got reinterpreted into
the final frame at really kind of lost a lot of heart. But if
you look at the rough animation film test that out there
online, you know, it's just again, it's like a moving
sculptor because you it goes up and it rotates and moves and
it's pretty amazing.
we kind of went over
from classics to Dean Cornwell to the cartoons.
But you know what, they all have these rhythms. They're
all kind of kind of born from the same kind of desire to
create these different rhythms in the in the imagery. And
that's why I wanted to kind of show you all different
applications to those things because they do exist from the
external lines to the clustering of lines. In some
cases, you know, just the elegance of some of the Sleeping
Beauty designs and then the incredible design from like a
Hundred and One Dalmatians where they have a lot of line to where
there's a lot of that was about lines that are congested in a
certain way and then areas of rest and your eye moves through
those things differently, Hokusai did the same thing.
Dalmatians and Hokusai are quite similar from that
but it keeps clarity where there's a lot of line work, you
gain a lot of clarity And, you know, and that breakup
is really, really amazing. So next week, we're going to talk
about color, you know, I would say, get yourself some other
images of Dean Cornwell's and draw, just do at least five of
them, you know? And look for those rhythms, do a simple
block in first, right? And then maybe put a piece of tissue
paper over it or another drawing and really try to find
those rhythms and where they, you know, how we divided that
stuff up and look for how we might really bent folds, shapes,
you know, and really caricature them to make them go to a
longer alignment, go somewhere else, you know, or pull in a
way that's going to move you in a different direction. That's
something that I would kind of kind of look at and kind of see
if you can lean into because I think there's really the lesson
about how he does that. You won't want to copy anything
after you do that.
You know, you don't want to copy anything real after that,
you're going to want to bend everything, but
why shouldn't you? And if you can design things that will
move the viewer's eye throughout your image, that's such
beautiful relationships you can build.
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1. Learning Recommendation24sNow playing...
1. Rhythm Overview25m 48sNow playing...
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2. Using Rhythm to Move the Viewers Eye26m 44s
3. Understanding Rhythmic Design31m 29s
4. Breaking Down Dean Cornwell's Use of Rhythm21m 5s
5. Dean Cornwell's Use of Rhythm Continued20m 11s
6. Establishing Rhythm in Character Design23m 40s