Animation Artifacts &Disney &Models 07 Aug 2009 08:47 am

How to Draw Mickey

- When last we left off with the Disney lecture series on the principal characters – Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Pluto – I promised to conclude by posting the How To Draw series that were sold at Disneyland (late Fifties/early Sixties).

Go here to see the lecture series posts:
Mickey / Donald / Goofy / Pluto

So to continue with these How to Draw Books, I naturally start with Mickey. I’m not crazy about some of the drawings, but I guess it’s classic. This is actually a copy of the book that they gave out at the Disney/Lincoln Center event in 1973. They’re identical to the Disneyland books, though they lack the colored pages. (See Jenny Lerew‘s great site Blackwing Diaries for the original How to Draw Goofy book.

1 2
(Click any image to enlarge.)


4 5

6 7




To put a little more zest into this post, here are a couple of Mickey model sheets I have. (copies of copies)

A mixed model with bits from a lot of other sheets.
This was probably put together in the Fifties.

Finally, this is my all time favorite Mickey.

14 Responses to “How to Draw Mickey”

  1. on 08 Aug 2009 at 2:04 am 1.Larry Levine said …

    Mickey Mouse is the first cartoon character I attempted to draw (at age two), too bad I didn’t have these beautiful model sheets to use for reference.

  2. on 08 Aug 2009 at 1:25 pm 2.Pete Emslie said …

    Even though the “How to Draw Mickey” model sheet drawings may be somewhat watered down compared to the various model sheets created for the films, they are still examples of damn good cartooning. Later in the 70s, Disney would create what they called “Publications Model Sheets”, which were bland, lifeless renditions of the characters designed along the lines of the Paul Murry comic style. Sadly, those versions were used for years in books, toys and record album jackets.

    There was a terrific turnaround, however, about 1982, when Disney’s New York Character Merchandise office, under the art direction of Harry Gladstone, decided to restore Mickey and the gang to their former glory. Harry hired guys like Dan Haskett, Daniel Melgarejo, John Loter, Ed Rodriguez and other brilliant cartoonists, all of whom shared his desire to add that spark of animation and life back into the characters. There was a real renaissance of great Disney character art originating in New York which eventually took hold again in Burbank. Unfortunately, it all was killed off by Eisner in the late 90s, when he shut down the New York art department, and later the Disney Store art department in Burbank, both of which had been producing exquisite art for consumer products.

  3. on 08 Aug 2009 at 2:04 pm 3.Michael said …

    Thanks for the history/rundown of the merchandising devision in NY. A number of my animators, back then, left animation to get the swell job in NY drawing the Disney characters. (A dream for many of us in our earliest years. Though I thank god I never took that route.)
    Several of those very same people shifted to LA when things went that way.

  4. on 08 Aug 2009 at 2:05 pm 4.Nick said …

    I’ll have to start practicing.

  5. on 08 Aug 2009 at 11:11 pm 5.hasani said …

    wow thank you very much for posting this amazing pages of model sheets and references, this is the reason why I visit this blog many times a week. thank you.

  6. on 25 Jan 2011 at 3:59 pm 6.Melanie said …

    Thank you so much…

  7. on 04 Mar 2013 at 12:02 pm 7.RAI said …

    Thank you so much!
    Very nice!

  8. on 11 Sep 2013 at 1:58 am 8.Juan said …

    Hi, it’s very nice drawing,

    I’m writing a book about CAD and I’m looking for some good samples for instruction of 2D drawing process via CAD, so if you don’t mind, I’d like to use your drawing image here, MICKY MOUSE/Proportion

  9. on 11 Sep 2013 at 2:09 am 9.Michael said …

    Sorry I do not own rights to the Mickey Mouse archives. Contact Disney.

  10. on 21 Oct 2013 at 6:56 am 10.yusra and noor said …

    how to draw a micky mice and that pic is very sweet and pleace give me some pics of micky mice.
    thank you.

  11. on 22 Oct 2013 at 2:05 am 11.Michael said …


    In my original posting of the boards, I lavished praise on Dave Unwin’s production for Cosgrove Hall. Borge Ring was focussed on the active drawings by Frank Thomas.

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