Glossary of Animation Art Collectible Terms

Serigraphic Cel or Seri Cel
The line work for these cels is Xeroxed and the paintwork is printed on the reverse side of the cel. They are created in limited and unlimited editions with as many as 9,500 per edition. The edition sizes are not numbered on the cels, although all are identified on the front of the cel as a serigraphic cel with a studio seal.

Limited Edition Cel
A cel produced in a fixed quantity specifically for sale to collectors. There are signed and unsigned limited editions. Some are signed by living artists and some art is signed by auto pen if the artist is deceased. All are numbered and edition sizes can range from 20 to 1000 usually.

Limited Edition Artists Proof
Prints intended for the artist’s personal use. It is a common practice to reserve approximately ten percent of an edition as artist’s proofs, although this figure can be higher. The artist’s proof is sometimes referred to by its French name, Epreuve D’Artist. Artist proofs can be distinguished by the abbreviation AP or EA commonly on the lower left corner of the work.

Limited Edition Hors D’Commerce Proof
Identical to the limited edition print but intended only to show to dealers. Hors D’Commerce, (H.C.), may or may not be signed by the artist.

Small sketch in the margin of an art print or additional hand-applied enhancements by the artist on some or all of the final prints within an edition.

Original Production Cel
A painting on celluloid (cel) by a Studio artist of an animated character or object, based on the animator’s original pencil drawing. Cels are placed upon background paintings and photographed during the production of the final version of a film. Most cels created prior to 1960 were hand-inked as well as hand-painted. After 1960 the outline was usually transferred to the cel by a Xerographic process.

Production Background
An original painting created by a Studio artist and actually photographed in the production of the final version of the film. During the process of animation, several production cels would be photographed on a single production background, thus the rarity of finding a production cel and matching production background or KEY MASTER SETUP.

Hand-Painted Background
An original painting created by an artist to compliment a cel but never used in the production of a film.

Courvoisier Background
Courvoisier Galleries of San Francisco was Disney’s agent for the marketing of the Studio’s animation art from 1937-1946 and produced backgrounds (often using an airbrush), wood veneer, or paper to complement cels for presentation.

Studio Background
A background painting created by a Studio artist for publicity or display purposes.

Publicity Cel
A cel painting created by a Studio artist for publicity or display purposes.

Animation Production Drawing
A drawing on paper in lead or colored pencil created by a Studio artist from which the cel paintings that are actually photographed in the production of the film are traced.

Color Model Cel or Drawing
A cel or drawing created by a Studio artist for color reference purposes.

Storyboard or Inspirational Sketch
A drawing on paper, often in color, by a Studio artist to illustrate a character, mood, scene, costume, plot, sequence of action, gag or other conceptual aspects of an animated film during the developmental stage. A story drawing is one of a series that serves to visualize action or camera movement. Inspiration sketches provide the visual manifestation of ideas and emotions that give birth to story elements.

Key Layout Drawings
These drawings are usually created by the director, and will emphasize the character personalities and action throughout the cartoon. Character consistency is important here.

Background Layouts
Are done at the same time as the character layouts. These sketches are made so that the action of the characters will coordinate with the background.

Model Drawings
These drawings are created for the animators to use in order to maintain a visual consistency of the characters.

Story Paintings
Tiny paintings usually about two inches by two inches created by a Studio background artist. They were used to provide a visual idea for a proposed production background.

Artists that complete the animation drawings between key drawings created by head animators.

Clean Up
Artists will take the round drawings from the animators and establish one, smooth, dark line drawing.

Pencil Test
Once the drawings or portions of the drawing are complete, each drawing is filmed and then reviewed and edited. Editing is usually done before the costly inking and painting begins.

Ink and Paint
Once the drawings are edited, they go to the ink and paint department where a sheet of acetate is placed over the drawing by means of the registration tabs. Each cel is then either hand-inked or the line is Xeroxed on to the acetate with a special machine. Once the line is complete, the painters flip the cel over and paint them on the reverse side. Each painter works from a color key and applies the dark colors first. The paint is applied by means of “pooling” the paint in the middle of each area to be painted, then spreading it out to the edges of the area.