Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Drawing the deltoid shape with Force

This video the forceful shape of the deltoid and how it transforms relative to its function.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Force-How to draw gravity

Full videos at: 
How can you achieve gravity within your drawings?  This video covers different tricks accomplish that elusive weight needed for drawings and animation.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Animation "S" Curve

Rhythm is when one directional FORCE applies itself to another to create a seamless relationship to obtain balance. I learned  the “S” curve concept at Disney Feature Animation and it is a tool used to obtain  smooth transitions from key to key.  This video also discusses how to strengthen keys using FORCE.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

FORCE-The Body Bridge

The Body Bridge concept occurs when two points in the body suspend a section of the figure.  This video covers the suspension of the ribcage and hips.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

FORCE-Subscriber Isaac H critique-Flour Sack

The flour sack is iconic to the field of animation.  Used for squash and stretch, posing and structure as a simple object similar to the trunk of the human body, I discuss design and structure cues within Isaac’s drawings.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Drawing Ball and Box construction

There are basically two forms used for construction in drawing, the ball and the box.  Learn when best to use either of these forms based on the artistic implications of each in this preview video.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Drawing On-Location-reportage

This video covers one of the tricks I use to draw crowds or people on line while drawing on-location. Think about a group of people as one object or shape.  This can assist in defining perspective and direction.  You could also create story from this abstraction.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Subsciber Critique FORCE preview video

This video discusses Dimitry K's pin up image and how to use FORCEFUL shape to clarify design.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Academy of Art University in SF FORCE workshop

I will be hosting a two day FORCE drawing workshop this weekend and next at the Academy!  Looking forward to this event and all the students I will meet!  It going to be an intense, two Saturdays.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Instructing FORCE on MEGAMIND

So a little over a year ago, Jason Schleiffer, Head of Character Animation on Megamind emails me to inform me that he is a fan of the FORCE books and the next thing I know I am lecturing to the animators in Redwood City and Glendale!  I had an amazing time instructing at DreamWorks and want to thank Jason for collaborating and defining some innovative lectures.

Looking forward to experiencing the work of this amazing group of artists!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

FORCE-Draw Form or Shape First?

This preview discusses the chicken and egg question on what a draftsperson should tackle first, the concept of form or shape?  In the writing of my first FORCE book, Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators, this question was by far the most difficult to answer.  Years later, I think I made the right choice in asking and answering that question once more.
Mike Mattesi

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How to Stay on Model-Character Design

A question often asked by students is “How do the pros keep characters on model?”  This pertains to comics, 2D animation, illustration and more.  This preview shows how simple squash and stretch concepts allow you to affect the personality of the design. The full video discusses tricks about shape and form to further the understanding of staying on model.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Indiana Jones Iconic Moment

Sketched this from the film.  One of the all time best actors, Harrison Ford, defining a great character with a great moment.

How to draw a Grizzly using FORCE.

This Video preview presents concepts of FORCE within a Grizzly bear.  Find out where the three main FORCES lie in this plantigrade locomotive class animal. The second part of this full video moves through the creation of a Grizzly character design. This content and more will be published in FORCE: Animal Drawing and Design, to be released in Spring of 2011.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Artist and Subscriber Roy M Critique

This is a preview of a crit video for a subscriber of

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

how to draw with Force-

FORCE theories used to solve problem areas in this artist's figure drawing.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Zebra drawing for new Force Animal Drawing book

Did this one last weekend. Awesome documentary on Lions..this guy survives.  Enjoy.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Misty Marsden-

A shout out to a former student of mine at Entertainment Art Academy.  She just graduated from CalArts and has created some beautiful and touching work.  Check out her blog and the films she created.  There are links to them in the top right corner of the blog.

Click here for Misty's blog!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

how to draw a seated pirate using FORCE!

The process of drawing this seated pirate presents FORCE, form and shape and tools used to understand this seated pose.  Then I discuss the concept of opinion while drawing a close up of the pirate’s face.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Lord of the Rings LOTR sketches

"The White Wizard approaches..."

Love drawing from film.

This week's Force preview video.

This video focuses on the difference in drawing for the sake of learning how to measure versus experiencing FORCE in the model.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

FORCE Lecture in August, San Rafael CA.

People have been asking me to run an open lecture instead of one for studios or certain schools so here it is.  Email me if you are interested.  Looking forward to meeting you!
Force Figure Drawing Intensive
Instructor: Mike Mattesi
Saturday, August 7, 10:30am - 5:30pm
Sunday, August 8, 11am - 4pm (limit 15 students)
$300 for the workshop.

Michael Mattesi, author the insightful and popular FORCE figure drawing books will be hosting
this twelve hour workshop! During this workshop you will learn lessons that he shares at Pixar and DreamWorks studios. Michael will show you how to see FORCE and rhythm in the human figure through tangible class lessons, demonstrations and one on one instruction.
By the end of the twelve hours you will see FORCE in the human figure, know how to illustrate it with line and experience it through the act of drawing.
Please come with 18x24 SMOOTH newsprint and a masonite board. Drawing tools will be provided.
Michael Mattesi has been a professional production artist and instructor for almost 20 years with clients including Pixar, Walt Disney Feature Animation and Consumer Products, Leap Frog, Marvel Comics, Hasbro Toys, ABC, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, DreamWorks and Nickelodeon, SVA, Art Center, Beijing University and other schools.
He has authored and illustrated the popular figure drawing books:
Force, Dynamic Drawing for Animators
Force, Character design from Life Drawing
Bring your drawings to life with the theory of FORCE!
For more information or to sign up contact Mike at

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cheetah character designs

These two images are from this week's video.  The present to different methods of designing characters from the reference image on the left.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Next Wednesday's video preview image

This is the image that I will be drawing in next Wednesday's video.  I actually finished early so I thought I would give ya a preview.  Would love to see people's takes on this photo,  Email me your designs.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Glen Keane-Ratigan

I have always and  still am a big fan of Glen's work.  You can see by the stroke of his line that he is thinking about force.

Troy-Eric Bana

Grabbed a photo, did a simple clean character design of his face and then exaggerated it for  a more FORCED design.  I love the look and feel of the film.  Fun to draw from.

Spiderman-This week's art for the video.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hero Trio

Found a calligraphy pen I thought I would sketch with..three of my favorite Super Heroes...Dare Devil, Batman and Superman.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Frazetta Self Portrait

Always loved this painting.

Frank Frazetta- a great inspiration!

Frank Frazetta passed away today at the age of 82 from a stroke…I want to share this with you because he has been an ENORMOUS influence on my life.  Throughout my college years I studied his work at great length.  I visited his museum in East Stroudsberg, PA numerous times and had great discussions with his wife, Ellie.
As I started to teach, I shared his amazing abilities with thousands of young artists that I had the chance to teach.  His ability to draw and design vivacious, fantastical imagery is unsurpassed.
I miss the fact that he will not create more art to amaze us with and I will miss his artistic experiences and images…
A tear shed and a moment of fond admiration to one of the greats of our generations.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

One more drawing!

This one is blind. Using FORCE as my guide through the model without looking at the page.

Some more short duration figure drawings

Sunday, April 25, 2010

April Live Discussion for subscribers

Just completed the first monthly live video event for  Amazing that I can speak with people around the world and answer questions with video in real time.  I want to thank the attendees!  Great questions!  Looking forward to next month's video discussion.

Friday, April 23, 2010

third drawing

That's the last one ...have a great weekend.


this week's figure drawings

This is a blind drawing of the model's back with his hands clenched behind him.  Never got to the head. :(

Monday, April 19, 2010

Gladiator boards 03

These are studies in my search to further understand film making.

Galdiator Boards 02

Galdiator boards 01

For you Steffen.

Sample of Blind FORCE drawing

So this is an example of drawing without looking at the page.  This is not for the sake of style but for the sake of seeing.  For some it is an exercise and for others the end all.  Either way, I post it as something to think about.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The truth

While instructing at Pixar this past week,  I discussed the concept of drawing as an experience.  We were drawing the model without looking at the page.  This sounds like a cliche, first year, college art class exercise...and it is if executed that way.  THE GOAL of the exercise, the way that I conduct it,  is for the artist to have as RICH an EXPERIENCE with the model as possible.  The drawing that is created on the page is the record of that essence the artist's journal entry of those precious minutes gone by.  To assist in living a rich experience, we use the concept of FORCE for it is the life of the model that we are in awe of...the vehicle that drives us through the story of the model!  The model is not a plaster cast but someONE who is alive and making choices, feeling and thinking while on the platform.  Your job, as the artist is to experience the model as best you can!  Train you eye, mind and hand to move in unison.  How often do we draw with one of the three components not coinciding with the other two?  Learn to see the truth.  It is far richer than the piece of paper in front of you.  Through this, you will become a fuller person.

fifth drawing

I pushed for the length and weight of the ribcage here and then the compressed legs.

More to come in upcoming weeks.

fourth drawing

I remember this one feeling aggressive and fast!

third drawing

I like the depth in this drawing and the hips.


Quick Figure drawing

Been teaching at Pixar and every week our first set is a warm up.  Sometimes I sit and draw during the warm up to wake me up and prepare for class.  All of these drawings are Caran Dache on smooth newsprint.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Gladiator Film Studies

I love observing film through the act of drawing shots...I find that I learn so much from the layouts, tones, editing, lighting etc. Enjoy!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Superman forces

I took stills from the "extras" section of the Superman Returns DVD and drew different levels of force on top of these chronological images.  Fun to watch how the forces work and change through time. Understanding how FORCE functions could allow you to manipulate it and understand it for your own animation.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Safari West

Heading out this weekend to do research for the upcoming Force Animal Drawing Book. So excited!!!
Click here for Safari west Site

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Captain America

Did this a looong time ago but I still like it!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Check out this week's video.

Abstract Pirate Character Design

Playing with priorities-The texture of the dirty shirt played a role in this design...This image is from FORCE- Character Design from Life Drawing.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Minority Report Studies

I love drawing from film..the characters, poses costumes, layouts much to learn from!

Some old favorites- Dennis Miller and David Spade

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Wonder Con

Went to my first Wonder Con today with one of my daughters.  It was great seeing faces I have not seen for the past two years.  There was Andy Ristaino, Pascal Campion, (my daughter loves her print, thank you!), Dean and Barbara Yeagle, Steve Silver, David Coleman, Joe Weatherly, Donnachada Daly, Brittney Lee, Fabian Molina, John Loter (taught me when I was at Dis Consumer products in NYC and thanks for the book!) and Mark McDonnell.  Great seeing all of you again.

I bought some books at Stuart Ng's booth also.  He always has such a great selection...Darn you, Stuart!
Gruau by Hersher
Todo es Posible by Tha and Joan Tharrats
and a Severin Sketchbook.

If you are in the SF area, go to the con..Smaller than San Diego with some real gems found within!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Frazetta using same concepts

Here are some examples of Frazetta using forceful surface line.

Second hand out.

Force handouts for Pixar class.

Teaching form at Pixar this week and thought I would share some of the stuff we will be covering.  These are pages from my second FORCE book, "Force, Character Design from Life Drawing."  I will be discussing how to draw without looking at the page so you get your eye, mind and body in one place at one time.  Your hand should move with your eyes' movement and what your head is thinking about.  See the truth and get out of the way.  Enjoy!