Animation Art Collecting...I may have a problem.

-Matt Grisham

My name is Matt and I have an addiction...to animation cels and art. I feel better now that I got that off my chest. So what is animation art? It’s basically the old school version of making cartoons. Animation art and cels are the 2D drawings that create a cartoon. They actually come in a variety of forms, and different stages. Today we are going to break those stages down. Note this is an over simplification of the stages.


Stage 1-

Model Sheets

These are also sometimes known as a Character Sheets or Character Boards, and they help standardize the appearance, attitude, poses and characteristics of the characters in an animation. In most productions various artist are working within the same animation and this model sheets makes sure everyone is on the same page in the design. These also allow the continuity over years of the same character


Stage 2-

Production Drawings

A production drawing is created by an animation and later used to create the cels we see on film. These hand drawn pieces set up the scene layout and give the cel creators a platform to work off of. the production drawings are used by the animator to create the characters for transfer to the cel.


Stage 3-

Animation Cel

The Cel, or celluloid, is the final step on the design for the characters in a animation. Cels are hand painted on clear sheets of acetate. These are later used to photograph and are what we actually see on the film itself. These clear sheets are changed out to create the movement and action we see on the screen.


When collecting animation art it is important to note that the above stage 2 and stage 3 are one of a kind pieces of art work, and tend to be more valuable depending on the animation. The stage one in most situations are made in bulk to hand out to animators and are usually just copies of an original piece.


When you begin collecting it’s important to keep an eye out for Limited Editions Cels or Sericels. These are both a form of reproduction art works and are not the original ones used for production. Limited Edition cels are usually created in the same manner as production cels, but are never actually used for film creation, but instead made specifically for re-sale. These are usually much cheaper than production used cels. The other end of the spectrum is Sericels, which are actually screen printed reproduction copies of important cels, that are again made specially for distribution and sales. It is usually hard to tell these apart from real production used cels, but in most situations there are a few dead giveaways. The first thing you want to look for are alignment holes at the bottom of the sheet. All production cels will have them, as they are used to make sure each sheet lines up on film correctly. Secondly, look for a number out of on the corner. Most limited editions or sericels are numbered (example 51/200). This is the way they keep track of how many are distributed.


Collecting animation cels can be a blast, and they make amazing artwork for your home. Do your homework, and know What your buying.


#cartoons #rogerrabbit #animation #film #animationart

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