How to Draw Mickey Mouse From Steamboat Willie

Written by evander blimpington
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How to Draw Mickey Mouse From Steamboat Willie
Drawing Mickey Mouse from Steamboat Willie is a lot of work. (drawing image by Renata Osinska from

Being able to draw the original Mickey Mouse as he first appeared in Steamboat Willie is a highly prized skill to hone. Even though you would think the original character would be simpler and easier to draw than the modern Mickey, it's actually more complicated than you'd think and not something most people could do on a whim. Examine a snapshot from the original 1928 Steamboat Willie cartoon, draw the body and features starting strategically with the basic shapes, colour it in with a little black ink, and give yourself a pat on the back. Making Mickey Mouse from Steamboat Willie shouldn't be too hard.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Sheet of paper
  • Pencil
  • Black marker

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  1. 1

    Sketch using a pencil. Draw a small to medium sized circle that is a little wider than it is taller (slight oval). Add small circles half the size of the previous circle coming from the top of the previous circle with a small edge of the circles obscured by the first circle. From the perspective of a clock, these should be drawn at 11 o'clock and 1:30. Close to the left edge of the circle, draw the nose of Mickey by beginning to draw an oval shape sticking more than half off of Mickey's face. As you come back around onto the mickey's face, extend the bottom line of the oval toward the right side the facial circle curving up as you go like the top half of an open smile. Then stop and draw a line coming from that point down and to the left towards the bottom left side of the circle. Connect this line to the bottom of the nose forming an open mouth. Draw the lower lip space a little away from the mouth itself starting just before the lower edge of the circle and hooking around with the rest of the mouth into the nose.

  2. 2

    Add a tongue by drawing a curved "V" from one side to the other at the midpoint of the mouth. Draw a small black-filled oval sticking out from the larger semi-oval that represents the nose as well as black ovals at about 10 o'clock for the eyes (with one at the edge and only partially seen). Make a line starting from the edge of the circle at 3 o'clock looping up and around towards the left (separating cheek from fur on head). Draw the line so that is comes to a point just after the right corner of the mouth, then stop, reverse the line, and loop toward the upper left until the line disappears at the top of the head. Draw a "V" coming from the top of the head a little above the space in between the eyes as well. Add a curved line just after the right corner of the mouth to represent a crease in the cheek due to the smile.

  3. 3

    Draw a long can-like shape coming from the top of the head's at 12 o'clock obscuring one third of the ear to the left. At the top of the can, add an oval starting from a little below the upper right corner of the can shape, then hooking around and rejoining the can shape a little below the upper left corner. Draw half of an oval sticking out of Mickey's head starting at the bottom left corner of the can shape (hat) and hooking around to the left ending back at Mickey's head (bill of hat). Fill in the back of the mouth, separated fur areas including ears, and the oval at the top of the hat with a black marker.

  4. 4

    Draw another slight oval that is smaller that the original head oval or circle about two inches down and slightly to the left, tilted slightly counterclockwise (centre point to centre point for the two inches). Add what look like the very ends of small rounded rectangles coming from the bottom of this oval at 4 o'clock and 6 o'clock (pant legs should be very short looking). Draw two ovular buttons close to the edge at 7 o'clock and just before 12 o'clock. Draw thinner tubelike legs bent in the middle at 30 degree angles coming from those pant legs. Both should be bent away from the centre, with the right leg appearing closer to the viewer. At the bottom of each leg, draw a shoe facing away from the body. Make the shoes by drawing what looks like the opening of a glove at the bottoms of the legs attached to rigid, almost rectangular ovals. Add a visible, yet small, heel to each shoe as well as a similar surface under the front of the shoes.

  5. 5

    Draw a tail coming from the edge of the right pant leg right beside the leg itself. The tail should head down and to the right, first curving towards the right, then towards the left, along the way. Draw a three-dimensional, very large, old-fashioned ship's steering wheel that is as high as the top of Mickey's left ear and as low as the middle of Mickey's left shoe. Position it so that the right edge is about 1 inch away from the left side of Mickey's head. Make the wheel have six spokes coming from a small, circular centre that sticks out as much as the main wheel surrounding it. The spokes should appear to penetrate the centre circle as well as the outer circle of the steering wheel, then protruding 1/2 inch from the outer wheel's sides at all six points.

  6. 6

    Draw a black circle at the inner part of the spoke on the left side at around 9 o'clock. Draw another black circle (Mickey's hands) at the end of the spoke that should be sticking out of the side of the wheel at around 2 o'clock. Draw a line coming from the upper right edge of Mickey Mouse's rear end (the lower circle with the legs coming out) and meeting the bottom right corner of Mickey Mouse's head. Draw another line starting at the upper left edge of Mickey's rear end and ending at the midpoint of the lower lip. Just before the top end of the left side's line, draw a thin tubelike arm that goes straight across and ends at the right edge of the circle (hand) you draw on the spoke at 6 o'clock. Draw another tubelike arm coming from the left side of Mickey's lower lip heading up and a little to the left that ends at the circle you drew on the out portion of the spoke at 2 o'clock. Colour in mickey's upper body, arms, and legs with a black marker.

  7. 7

    Go over your sketch with a black marker, not drawing any lines that are meant to be behind another feature such as the ear's side that is behind the hat or the original shapes you used as a guide to draw the head and face (if covered with added features). Erase any miscellaneous pencil etchings from the original sketch.

Tips and warnings

  • Draw the steering wheel before you draw the hands and arms.
  • Drawing the ears too big or too small make negatively affect the look of your Steamboat Willie Mickey Mouse drawing.

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