Friday, November 9, 2018

Rico Lebrun teaching animal drawing

Rico Lebrun (1900-1964) was an Italian-born painter / sculptor who made important contributions in teaching animal drawing. 

He studied mural painting in Naples and Florence before coming to America. He taught at Chouinard Art Institute and then at the Disney Studios. 

Joining another great teacher, Don Graham, he helped animators understand animal anatomy as they worked on the film "Bambi."

To help Disney's artists, Lebrun created model sheets simplifying the skeleton to a mannikin. He put the mannikins through their paces, emphasizing the flexibility of their spines and the line of action of the poses.

Lebrun was concerned that the animators ground their work in reality. He said, "You really have to go to nature. The little fawn is a pretty big handful in the sense of grace. It's all there. . .the real thing has got it. What you have to do is make a poetical translation of it."
Previously: How to Train an Animator/ A Memo from Walt Disney
Two good books: Walt Disney's Bambi: The Story and the Film
and The art of Walt Disney
Rico Lebrun Model Sheets at Michael Sporn Animation blog
Bio at Rico Lebrun website
Oddly enough, Lebrun's Wikipedia page makes no mention of his time at Disney


Victor said...

In the photo all students are adults. Mr. Gurny, how do you think it is not too late to learn to draw at the age of 20-25? I already missed the moment of entering the university. Now I study independently with a mentor. It is a little upsetting.

James Gurney said...

Definitely never too late. I didn't really start painting until I was older than 20. Edwin Austin Abbey was around 40 when he learned to paint. And Norman Mingo started doing his great Mad Magazine covers in his 70s. So start now, work hard, and learn smart. Check out this post:

Victor said...

Thank you so much for your answer and support. You comforted me! By the way, recently bought your book "Imaginative Realism" translated into Russian. I have been waiting for the translation for many years, and now I am very happy. Thank you for your hard work!

Timothy Bollenbaugh said...

Both Post & Comments are a really two wonderful resources in one! Thanks to both of you!

Rich said...

Mr. Lebrun really went to the bone!
And there were no bodyscanners at that time. He X-rayed it all by himself:

Beautiful model sheets; anatomical poetry.

Unknown said...

Color and light book is fantastic, on page 179 it shows a wonderful waterfall and I was wondering how someone would approach painting a waterfall?

James Gurney said...

Dan, There are a variety of techniques you could use, including pretexturing...
Here's a blog post:
...and wet-into-wet painting. But it's hard for me to give a pre-set recipe because every waterfall, and every painting medium, is different. Basically, you should learn a variety of basics of paint handling, and then go observe an actual waterfall and try to capture what you see, translating your observations into the materials of paint.

Unknown said...

Thank you