Unsurprisingly for an animator, I love still images that feel like they are moving. They fascinate me much more than any other kind of picture. For Christmas my parents bought me two great books, one of which is called ‘Once Upon a Time – Walt Disney: The Disney Studio’s Artistic Sources’. I’ve only read a couple of chapters from it so far, but one image by Heinrich Kley really stuck out to me, so I thought I’d scan it.
Just look at the flow of it. The characters really feel like they are flying along. It’s not just a linear motion either, as they feel like their paths are entwined in a great tussle. The woman and animal at the bottom right particularly feel like this.
I’ve drawn over the image to show some of the gestural flows in it (click the image to enlarge). In blue I have shown the main gestures I can see in terms of the overall motion of the characters. In red I have shown what I see as the smaller gestures. Notice how all the lines work together to produce an energetic ‘firework’ pattern.
I could look at pictures like this all day. If it’s possible to get this much movement into a still image, imagine what is possible with animation!