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Learning About the Art Behind Animation #DisneyPlanesEvent


My day at the Disney Planes event last month in California was full of all kinds of information and fun! I was inspired and intrigued all day! I’ve always been interested in the art behind cartoons and to actually sit and speak with a story artist and learn from him was a dream come true! I only wish my teen son, the artist in the family, could have been there, too! 😉

Disney Artist

Art Hernandez was incredibly kind and down to earth person! Our group actually got a treat because his computer wasn’t working. A treat, I say? YES, a treat! We got to sit side by side with Art as he went “old school” and taught us how to draw Dusty free-hand! The plan was for the bloggers to draw free-hand but Art was going to use his program on the computer to teach us. Instead, he used his raw talent!

Our Art Lesson

Disney Story Artist

He took us through step by step on how to draw the main character of the Disney Planes movie: Dusty. He made it look so easy!

Dusty - My Art

His drawing looked amazing and took only a few minutes. My drawing…yea, not so much! But, it was incredibly fun to try and to learn from him!

Other Lessons from Art Hernandez

We learned that each movie is made up of approximately 40-50,000 panels (sketches)! These sketches are drawn by a team of 8-9 story artists. They break up the story into “sequences” (kind of like chapters in a book), each artist is responsible for their own sequence and depending on the size of the sequence they may work on more than one each. In a way, what they are doing is working out the movie in a comic book.   Up until about six years ago all of this was done on paper. It is now done digitally, still hand drawn but on the computer screen. (ok, so maybe we didn’t get much of a treat as I mentioned earlier, since when draw digitally, they still use their hands to draw!) Once a story artist has his sequence done, he must pitch and try to sell the sequence to the director and hope that he/she is happy with what they saw. Their pitch involves everything: storytelling, voices, anything they can do to sell their sequence! It is not a job for an introvert! 😉 Art Hernandez admitted that artists typically are introverts but they have to come out of their shell for this job! He pitched a sequence to us and it was AMAZING! He did a great voice for El Chu…maybe he could have another career at Disney, too? 😉

I don’t recall who Art was quoting when he said this, but I love this quote: “We don’t finish our movies, we release them.” He noted that if they could, they would continue to tweak them and tweak them. When I am having my creative moments (crafts, etc) I totally understand what he’s saying…I am the same!

Disney’s Planes movie will be in theaters August 9th! Trust me, you don’t want to miss this movie no matter what your age is!

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  1. How exciting! I love seeing the behind the scenes process.

  2. Awesome! He makes it look so easy! What
    a wonderful job he must have!

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