"If a drawing looks clumsy, or lacks appeal, or no longer looks like the model, perhaps the animator is trying to show something that should not be shown.
When Fred (Moore) was giving a talk on drawing Mickey, he was asked, "How do you draw him looking right down on top of his head?" Fred responded, "Why would you?" If the appeal in the design was based on the balance of the ears to the nose and the relationship of the cheeks to the eyes and the head shape, Fred wondered why would you deliberately throw all that away?
Why would you show a view that did not have much going for it as possible?
- Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, The Illusion of Life -
"What happens is FACT. TRUTH is what we think about. Write the truth." - Robert McKee
People often like to cite the 12 Points of Animation as described in the Illusion of Life by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston. In this very same tome is their once senior animator, Fred Moore's 14 Points of Animation.
Each has its own value and speaks for itself. But perhaps #6, 11-14 are the ones I'd like to point out when it comes to drawing.
Fred Moore's 14 Points of Animation
1. Appeal in drawing
3. Most interesting way? (Why would anyone other than your mother like to see it?)
4. Is it the most entertaining way?
6. Are you advancing the character?
7. is this the simplest statement of the main idea of the scene?
8. is the story point clear?
9. Are the secondary actions working with the main action?
10. Is the presentation best for the medium?
11. Does it have 2 dimensional clarity?
12. Does it have 3 dimensional solidity?
13. Does it have 4 dimensional drawing? (Drag and follow through)
14. Are you trying to do something that shouldn't be attempted? (Like trying to show the top of Mickey's head)
There is another anecdote where the legendary Milt Kahl commented on dealing with "difficult drawings", "Why would you even draw it that way in the first place??"
In the search of drawing what rings true about a subject....it's not about drawing what is literal about it, but rather, what is "true" about the subject. "Truth", perhaps to be specific, "emotional truth" is sometimes better served subjectively.