A cartoon (from Italian: cartone and Dutch: karton—words describing strong, heavy paper or pasteboard) is a full-size drawing made on sturdy paper as a study or modello for apainting, stained glass or tapestry. Cartoons were typically used in the production of frescoes, to accurately link the component parts of the composition when painted on dampplaster over a series of days (giornate).
Such cartoons often have pinpricks along the outlines of the design so that a bag of soot patted or “pounced” over the cartoon, held against the wall, would leave black dots on the plaster (“pouncing”). Cartoons by painters, such as the Raphael Cartoons in London, and examples by Leonardo da Vinci, are highly prized in their own right. Tapestry cartoons, usually coloured, were followed with the eye by the weavers on the loom.