Key Elements of Tim Burton Drawings

You'll recognize Tim Burton drawings since they are well-known for their twisted and dark nature. They're also known for their exquisite cartoon art. Burton deals deeply with death, fear and violence in his work. He is known as a genius when it comes to the fantasy realm and is a master of the unusual.

Tim Burton's first film was Vincent, a short animation created in 1982. The short film is actually a poem written and animated by Burton. The movie is narrated by legendary horror film actor Vincent Price. From this impressive beginning, Burton's work has graced many books and movies. In fact, his art is so impressive that he was honored with an official retrospective exhibit of his work at the esteemed New York Museum of Modern Art.

Drawing Style
Tim Burton's drawing style is whimsical, dark and surreal. He is an animator at heart, preferring to create pictures plucked from his imagination rather than pictures plucked from the ordinary world. His monsters are bizarre, whimsical, humorous and terrifying. His heroes, heroines and secondary characters are equally bizarre, whimsical, humorous and terrifying.

  • Lines in Tim Burton's art tend to be very sharp and defined. However, they are always perfectly executed and never raw. They can also be as soft, subtle, loud or harsh as needed. His basic lines follow the same formula of most animation artists. Bodies or essential elements in a picture are outlined with a classic black line and the remaining picture is expertly shaded.
  • Colors are only added to Tim Burton's art when they're vital to the concept. Like most animators, he relies heavily on black outlines and gray shading to create the primary picture. However, when vital, he has no problem adding a wide variety of vivid hues to a picture.

Drawing Themes
Themes in Tim Burton's art tend to deal with fear, death, contradictions or childhood. Childhood is a strong current in most of his animations. From actual children to fears often found among children, Burton manages to capture a certain element of innocence in all his work. This can be particularly noted is his frequent use of wide, large and child-like eyes.

Tim Burton has a few other common themes in his work, besides children. Skeletons or skeletal parts are often used, as are monsters with long tentacles. Evil clowns and dead dogs are also seen frequently and are a perfect example of Burton's contradiction-based themes. Instead of a joyful clown, he uses an evil one. Instead of the sweet dog being cute and fluffy, it's dead.

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