Dara: A lot of people don’t know what it takes to create a Hand-inked and Hand-painted Animation cel. Can you walk us through the delicate process of creating an Ink & Paint cel?
Sharon: The term cel is short for Celluloid Acetate, a transparent material which is used for hand-painted animation frames. Here’s a quick synopsis of what it takes to create a Hand-inked and painted cel. Once we finalize the rough concept art it is sent through a final clean-up stage. During this process the line work for the characters is refined, insuring that each individual line is fluid and tapered allowing us to breathe life into the characters. The character’s line work is typically applied by traditional hand-inking (using an old fashioned quill pen nib), or by a silk screening process on the topside of the cel. Once the line’s are complete, the cel is flipped over, and the paint is applied by hand on the reverse side, allowing us to achieve clean lines when flipped back over and viewed from the front.
The most common technique used for animation painting is known as “floating”. This is where paint brushes are in contact with the paint only, never touching the surface of the cel. Our last step is to ensure that each cel is complete, has been beautifully painted and has dried thoroughly, so it’s ready to hang in your home.
Dara: The new “Dreams Come True” cel is particularly special. It’s the first time that we see
Walt Disney in a cel, from the Studios’ Ink & Paint Collection. What can you tell me about the creative process you and the team went through, to dream up the cel? Is there anything about the new cel that you want share with our Disney Parks Blog fans?
Sharon: We start with a brainstorming session and then build a story around it, add a little character and viola! We all felt it was time to create another vintage cel, highlighting everyone’s favorite, Mickey Mouse, but this time taking it all the way back to 1928, as my teammate Jim Bonserio, suggested. This particular cel tells a heartwarming story, of how “Dreams Come True” and recounts the legend of when Walt dreamt up the idea of Mickey, on his train ride from New York City to Los Angeles.
Do you have your own questions for Sharon and the rest of the talented Ink & Paint Team? Or would you like to look at the hand painted cel collection in person? Then be our Guest at the Animation Galley at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Saturday, September 11 from 10:00am – 1:00pm & 2:00pm – 5:00pm to meet the artists and to join the premiere celebration of the newest cel, “Dreams Come True!”
Can’t make it to the Studios but would love to add the “Dreams Come True” Cel to your collection? Call Walt Disney Event Services at 407.827.7600 to order your cel, or visit ArtofDisneyParks.com for more information.
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