I was so excited to visit the Pencils 2 Pixels exhibit during our recent visit to the LA County Fair. What kid doesn’t love their cartoons? The exhibit displayed every step of the animation process from early pencil sketches to clay sculptures for 3D animation. The entire building is full of fascinating displays and interactive activities for the kids.
Pencils 2 Pixels – The Art of Animation
Pencils 2 Pixels explores the unique world of animation, from the classics of traditional hand drawn cel animation to the dynamic world of computer art.
- 3D Zoetrope: The largest and fastest 3D zoetrope in North America is at the L.A. County Fair, featuring multiple planes of animation that spin at over 30 miles per hour.
- Walt Disney Family Museum: The legacy of Walt Disney takes guests through the history of the animation industry. Replicas of Walt’s backyard train track and early studio offices are featured.
- Animation Studios: DreamWorks, Sony Pictures Animation and other studios walk guests through the art of modern animation. A number of clay production models, sculptures and other items are featured from films like “The Croods,” “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” “Kung Fu Panda” and “Shrek.”
- Learning Displays: Several interactive stations feature the animation process and the materials used to create characters and their movements.
- Animation University: Guests young and old can learn to draw their favorite animated characters from a professional artist.
- Japanese Animation: The rich history of anime is presented through drawings, videos, maquettes and toys, including a huge statue of the leader of the Transformers, Optimus Prime.
My favorite displays were the walls of drawings of the Looney Tunes characters including our old favorites like Bugs Bunny, Marvin the Martian, and Wile E. Coyote among others. I really loved how they included large step drawings of the characters so kids could easily see how to draw each character step by step.
Breaking things down into simple shapes is really the best way to teach kids how to draw. Even the most complicated subjects can be broken down into simple shapes. My daughter loves step drawings. We sat just the other night looking at drawings on Pinterest that showed her how to draw something as simple as a star step by step. Kids love to follow the steps and see their drawings come to life one shape at a time.
I did my best to capture the step drawings on the walls with my amateur photos ;o).
I’ve edited the photos below so you can see exactly how to draw each character step by step.
Click on each thumbnail below to see the full size drawing for each character: