Saturday, April 13, 2019

Gouache Portrait of Mickey & Friends

It's time to visit my friend Mel Birnkrant, who almost singlehandedly rescued the early image of Mickey Mouse. 

Minnie, Horace, and Mickey, gouache, 5x8 inches
Classic Mickey was nowhere to be seen between 1939 and 1973, because Mickey was replaced with the redesigned version).

One of Mel's cherished possessions is a set of one-of-a-kind sculpts of Minnie, Mickey, and Horace Horsecollar from about 1934. The rubber-hose style legs are made from electrical wire, and the heads are hand-carved from wood.

The painting is in gouache (white, raw sienna, terra rosa, and ultramarine blue) over a casein underpainting.

I'm using my homemade sketch easel at sitting height. Original Borden Dairy “Elsie” puppets by Bil Baird are in the background.
Saving Classic Mickey on


nuum said...

Love it !.
Gurney Journey: Daily reading.

Three days ago you didn't post.

I waited all day.
It was a sad day.

Please, don't do this again.

Paulo - Rio

Andra said...

They look a little like a figurine my parents had, they called it a DP (Displaced Person), which was made, I guess, in the WWII DP camps. Round hard rubber body and head, and those bendable limbs encased in the body. I imagine they were made of tyre rubber.

Andra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
doforanimals said...

Fascinating! I love the vintage figures and your beautiful depiction. They came alive!

CerverGirl said...

What a treat to see!
I extend my appreciation to Mr. Birnkrant--besides those wonderful toys and characters, I love his figure drawings. I wanted to tell him I found his site through your posts, and how expressive and direct they were, but I couldn't find a contact page.
Nevertheless, your work and his are much appreciated.

Luis Dias said...

This is awesome!beautiful work!We dont see this nowadays!It seems they are alive!Thank you for sharing.

Penny Taylor said...

James Gurney, it's not just that I learn so much from you, or even that you expand my horizons with your posts... It's that you're so much fun & I have so much fun learning from you.