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4 Hand Drawing Animation Techniques and Tips

ben marvazi 2020

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Hand drawing animations aren't dead! There's something about the feel of organic animations sketched frame-by-frame that the computer-generated counterparts can't replicate. As much as the animation industry develops through artificial intelligence and other new technologies, there's something about the past that just pulls us back!

In this blog we’ll explore a few hand drawing animation techniques that anyone can use to improve! Let's usher in the new age of hand drawing animations and bring back the medium to its former glory!

1. Hand Drawing Animations Can Go Digital!

hand drawn animation gone digital

GIF by Art and Science via GIPHY

Hand-drawn animation has been around since the early days of cinema, but most hand-drawn animations are now done digitally. If you're interested in drawing or animating on paper, there are several tools that can help you create your hand drawing animations and bring it on the computer!

One option is to use a graphics tablet (or "digital pen tablet"). These devices allow users to draw directly onto their computer screens using special pens or styluses instead of a mouse or touchpad. Many tablets come equipped with built-in software that allows users to create digital art with different brush styles and effects like watercolor painting or pencil sketches--making them ideal for creating cartoons and comics!

If you're looking for a more portable option, there's always the trusty (and often overlooked) pencil. The best part about using pencils is that they don't require any special software or equipment--just some paper and an eraser!

2. Invest in Good Animation Software

adobe illustrator has been used for hand drawn animations for over 30 years

GIF by Crehana via GIPHY

The best animation software is the one you're familiar with. If you're used to drawing on paper, then continue using paper; if you're used to working with pencil and paper but have never used digital media before, then consider using something like Adobe Illustrator or Sketchbook Pro (both are available as apps).

The most important thing when choosing an animation program is making sure it has all of these features:

  • The ability for multiple people on different computers/devices (and even across countries) who are working together on a project at once;
  • The ability for those same collaborators who may live far away from each other yet still want access both local & remote versions whenever needed;

The ability to work in real-time and make changes whenever you want without having to re-upload files (or worry about losing a connection);

The ability to import and export files in various formats so that you can easily share them with others; The ability to draw, paint and sketch using different tools; The ability to animate characters by moving them around within the program's interface.

3. Practice Hand Drawing Animations Everyday

an animator practicing hand drawing animations

GIF by Maremonstrum via GIPHY

If you want to excel in hand drawing animations, one of the most important things to do is draw from life as much as possible. This will help you develop your style and strengthen your abilities so that when it comes time for animation, everything will flow naturally.

One great way to start is by drawing from photographs. While this may seem relatively easy, it will definitely challenge you in ways that just drawing from life doesn't.

You’ll need to draw using reference materials, which means that you have to be able to look at something and then create it in a way that is true-to-life. This will help you develop your observational skills as well as your creativity.

batman thinking


Drawing from life also forces you into situations where you have to think on your feet and react quickly in order for the drawing not only look good but also make sense within its context.

If this sounds like a lot of work, don't worry! There are many techniques available online or in books that can help improve your skills faster than simply practicing every day by yourself (which is still very important). But if you simply practice drawing everyday, you're good to go!

4. Develop Your Hand Drawing Animation Style

develop your hand drawing animation style by practicing every style!

GIF by The Line Animation via GIPHY

Drawing style is a collection of tools and techniques that help you get your ideas across. It's important to develop a drawing style that communicates your artistic personality, because this will influence how viewers perceive the story you are trying to tell.

You may want to create an original story based on personal experiences or create animation for a client who needs something specific in their project. In both cases, it's good practice for animators (and artists in general) not only know how to draw but also understand how different styles work together with each other as well as against each other.

The most important thing is that you can draw. The style will come later. So if you practice consistently and really work on your hand drawing animation skills, all of this should come naturally to you!

Why Hand Drawing Animation Is King!

hand drawing animations frame by frame will always remain on top

GIF by Garden of Time via GIPHY

If you're looking for inspiration or just want to learn some cool hand drawing animation tips and techniques, these five examples are a great place to start. Hand drawn animations are here to stay - even with the advent of digital animation the charm of the animation style is unmatched and is something that animators and clients are chasing to replicate!

For more information about hand drawing animations, as well as answers to any other questions you might have, be sure to follow our blogs, check out our free masterclass, and our Animation Business Accelerator Program, download a copy of our free marketing handbook, and check out our blog on “How to Start an Animation Studio”!

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