Pencil2D Drawing & Animation Learning Resource List

I created a Youtube channel for Pencil2D and I shared an on-going playlist for novice users to learn basic drawing concepts for animation. However someone over the facebook page suggested that they could “nominate” content for the playlist so I’ll create an maintain a thread for this purpose.


Follow the criteria below and PLEASE DON'T LINK PIRATED CONTENT, open-source is free as in "free will" not as in "petty theft".

I’ll only review the following assets to consider:

  1. Youtube Videos
  2. Vimeo Videos (if there’s enough content I’ll create an account for this)
  3. High Quality Online Articles (tutsplus, imaginefx, 2dartist, etc)
  4. High Quality Tutorials (deviantart, mangaworldacademy, artists blogs, etc)
  5. Paid but affordable online content from individual artists (gumroad, cubebrush, etc)
  6. Bibliographical suggestions (i.e books, magazines, etc)

To post your reccommendation do it following this template:

[Type of Resource]
Link: to Resource
Comment: (optional): This is just to know why you think it’s a good resource.


Comment: “I think we should include this because my neighbour kid’s draw like this <3

(…) This is to ensure the highest quality of the resources people can visit. Trust me noone gives a camel’s back about those websites where they promise that “you can be an artist in 10 seconds”.

Art is much more than just signing your artwork, and if you can’t fathom the thought of drawing for more than 5 minutes, then please re-consider your carreer / hobby approach; animation is HARD WORK never be fooled to think otherwise.

[YOUTUBE PLAYLIST] (This resource is under permanent review)

[Youtube Videos Placeholder]

[Online Artcles Placeholder]

[Artist’s Tutorials Placeholder]

[Paid Tutorials Placeholder]

[Book Suggestions Placeholder]

Here goes…


[Book: Animation]

Animation 1 by Preston Blair

Short, simple, cheap, ideal for people very new to animation, this book is written by revered animator Preston Blair. I will warn you that while the book isn’t very thick, it’s so big (like, A3 size) that it might struggle to fit through your letterbox.


[Book: Animation]

The Animator’s Survival Kit by Richard Williams

The bible. If you can only afford one animation book, get this one. It’s a huge, weighty tome crammed full of tips from some of the greats of animation, as recounted by Richard Williams (director of animation for ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit?’), who adds his own stellar advice. There’s enough content to keep you busy for a long time. Definitely suitable for beginners.


[Book: Animation]

Elemental Magic by Joseph Gilland

As far as I know, this book (and its successor) are the only ones out there that focus on the art of 2D effects animation (fire, water, smoke, explosions, etc.). I only became aware of it recently and what little I’ve read of it so far has some very sound advice.


[Book: Animation]

Drawn to Life by Walt Stanchfield

I haven’t read much of this but it comes highly recommended. A collection of lectures by Disney legend Walt Stanchfield who “influenced such talented artists as Tim Burton, Brad Bird, Glen Keane, and John Lasseter”. There’s also a follow-up for those interested.


I would recommend the Andrew Loomis books here for drawing advice, but while they’re freely available on the internet, I’m not sure what their legal status is.





Randy Haycock’s Art and Animation

Randy Haycock is a former Disney animator, now turned tutor, who gives out terrific advice, whether you’re just starting out or looking for ways to get into the animation industry. While he’s not hugely active, he will answer any questions you have. His whole blog is a goldmine.



Frame by Frame

What it says on the tin really - snippets of animation in GIF form, broken down into individual frames for you to study. The blog recently started numbering the frames, which makes it easier to study timing.



Cartoon Brew

I can’t say I’ve visited Cartoon Brew’s website much but their Tumblr offers a great plethora of advice - not just for animation, but for filmmaking in general as well. Good food for thought for anyone planning out their shots for short films.




51 Great Animation Exercises to Master

As the webpage says, the best way to learn is to do. Open up Pencil and try to do them all. They start from easy, with a gentle curve to more difficult subjects along the way.

If you run out, here are some more



A Free Virtual Life Drawing Class

I agree with Richard Williams when he says that in order to be a good animator you have to be a good draughtsman (you have to be good at drawing). And for animation, gestures are key.

Randy Haycock advises “Life drawing for animators has two fundamental purposes. To learn anatomy and to learn strong posing techniques. I recommend shorter poses, maybe 2-3 minutes, not longer than 5 minutes. This allows you to focus on the gesture and not get caught up in the details or in complex rendering of the forms. Focus on a strong (clear line of action, rhythms, etc.) pose and watch how the forms work into one another. Try to capture anatomical forms simply. You don’t want a lot of bumps and angles interrupting your overall gesture.”

So set the clock and start filling up your sketchbook.


I hope some of this stuff was helpful.


Link: Keys To Drawing - Bert Dodson

Comment: I think that before learning to animation, it is extremely important to know how to draw. This is the first book I got, through recommendations, and so far I have loved it. Understanding the basic concepts of drawing is vital to animation. While the animation tutorials/resources are good to learn on how to animate, but the skill to draw comes first and forms the foundation of our animations.

Link :
He have more than one decade at industry, He has a lot of free good stuff, may be the best and more complete you can find about animation on youtube. He has a paid library of videos and is probable the most affordble in the universe when we talk about cost benefit.

Link :
He just worked at some of the best Disney movies, He directed the Brother Bear movie. Definitly hi is in the top of the top, when we talk about animation skills, also has a lot of free stuff and really affordble curses at his website created not only by him but some of his talended friends.

Fun fact, Aaron blase used Pencil back in time. You can see the old icon in his old videos. I remenber he talking about the software and showed a really nice animation that he did. I saved the video and the time to tell you guys, developers, so you could use it lto promote the software some how, but unfortunately i can not find my note. So maybe someone can contact him or may be some one that start follow him from this post can find that. I think It is at one of his videos that he is animating his test for his new short, “Snow bear”. Probable in one of his first ones.