Cel restoration

Today I learned that I might be qualified to restore cels.

I recieved a production cel today that was in a terrible shape. I couldn’t just let it look like that since it was other then that, a great cel.

No chipped paint, minimal wear and tear on the plastic itself. So I brought out my old trusty brush and Ink.

I went online to read about cel restoration to make sure I don’t make things any worse then they already are. The thing with cels is that the ink dries almost instantly! So you have one try and one try only to do it right, and if you mess up, then the cel might as well been cut to pieces.

After a few test strokes on paper, I went to work!

Here is the cel, the first image is “pre restoration”. The one at the bottom is the aftermath.

I think that for a first attempt, I did a pretty decent job. My hand was a bit shaky at first (it’s been so long since I used my ink brush) but after two lines, it was like I never stopped in the first place.

Anyways, I unpacked another cel and noticed that the nose was chipped. Acrylic colors are a bit harder to restore, esp since at times they tend to change hue when they dry.  But I couldn’t let the girl have  a nose missing, right? Right!

So onwards I went online and read all about I needed to know about restoring the acrylic color on the cel!

First of I colored in the shade (purple mixed with a tint och blue and added a bit of white)

I let that dry. Acrylic colors have a speedy dry time, so about 6 minutes later I was putting in the highlight of the nose. Once that died, I could mat the back with black acrylic to prevent it from wear and tear.

Here is the result of that little experiment:


I know, the images are not the best, but I do not like to scan the cels. Camera phone will have to do!
Also, when restoring a cel, be very careful. Working on  a transparent cel is beyond any medium you ever worked with, it doesn’t react like paper, canvas or wood does. It is very important that when you attempt in restoration, that you make sure you read up on it. What colors they used, what brand of ink etc.
Make sure you have a steady hand, one mistake and your cel is useless.

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