Original production drawings are one-of-a-kind pieces of animation art. Prior to the creation of cels, each character pose and action must be drawn in pencil. These drawings are the artistic backbone of the film or television show, and are much in demand by collectors.
Original production drawings are one-of-a-kind pieces of art that were used in the creation of an animated film or television show. Prior to the creation of production cels, each character pose and action must be drawn in pencil. These drawings are the artistic backbone of the film or television show, and are much in demand by collectors.
There are two main types of original production drawings: rough drawings and clean-up drawings.
As the name suggests, rough drawings are imperfect in their lines, often featuring multiple pencil strokes, erased elements, and sometimes scale measurements (for instance indicating the size of the body in relation to the size of the head). Some animation art lovers prefer rough drawings for their raw artistry and out of appreciation for the fact that this is where the animators put pencil to blank paper and began the creative journey.
Clean-up drawings are recognizable by their smooth, singular lines and the absence of the trial and error strokes seen in roughs. A clean-up drawing is made from each rough by the animator placing a fresh sheet of paper over a rough drawing, illuminated from below with a lightbox, and tracing the best lines to create the ideal image for that moment in the film. Some fans and collectors prefer clean-up drawings for their beauty, simplicity, and because this is the actual drawing that led to the next step in the process, the creation of the production cel.
While original production drawings lack the vivid color of cels, they are very desirable for two main reasons. Many collectors prefer drawings because it is at this stage that the animators really exercised their talents and brought the characters to life. Another appealing aspect of drawings is that they almost always cost significantly less than a comparable production cel.
Original production drawings are a wonderful addition to any animation collection, and a great way to enjoy the artistry behind your favorite characters. See What To Look For In A Good Original Cel Or Drawing for more on choosing the right piece or pieces for you.