Despite 2D dramatically decreasing in popularity for big budget animations, there's still a huge interest and love for the medium as evidenced by the many fantastic short films that are around the net. I've been looking at a lot of them to try and study some of the different approaches different artists have taken, and to see if I can find one that would fit my project. One that has caught my interest is a film called Wolfsong by Toniko Pantoja. Although the drawings themselves are somewhat rough and sketchy, the poses and movement are very expressive and 'fluid', and with the added motion blur effectively convey dynamic action and tell the narrative. The 'roughness' does not take away from the emotional impact of the film at all. There isn't much behind-the-scenes info for the film, but it appears that the everything has been created digitally.
Wolfsong from Toniko Pantoja on Vimeo.
I think this style fits the dark, visceral feel of this film, and it has shown me that the frames don't have to be flawlessly drawn to look impressive; but seeing as my story is quite light-hearted I'm thinking something more delicate would be more appropriate in capturing the subtle emotions of the characters. However this type of hand-drawn line with flat colour and some light/shading effect is definitely one of the styles I'd like to consider.
Another film I've found is Seedling by Lee Tao. This was apparently animated in Photoshop and composited in After Effects. The result is highly detailed and illustrative.
I think that this one doesn't have individually drawn frames like the previous film; I imagine the artist behind this made more use of 'tweening' and moving the individual sections of the character within Photoshop, so there was no need to re-draw every single frame. This prevents you from losing all the lovely detail, but can mean you are a bit more limited in expressive movement, however I could certainly use some of these techniques to make my workflow more efficient.