I nearly forgot an animation milestone I wanted to mention. "The Flintstones" TV show made its debut precisely fifty years ago today. So why didn't I draw something Flintstones-related? Why the old-school mouse?
Looking back at my visual references for mice, I came across some of my classic Preston Blair texts. Anybody who has studied animation, or who has looked in the "How To Draw" section of a bookstore will know Preston Blair. The man was an animation genius. he worked on Disney's Pinocchio, Bambi, and Fantasia before moving on to other studios.
As I understand it, Blair was a consultant subcontractor for Hanna-Barbera when he pitched to them an animated series based on the old Jackie Gleason "Honeymooners" show. Hanna-Barbera didn't want to get into Honeymooners, but they were keen on transposing the action to the prehistoric era. "The Flagstones" was born (quickly re-titled to "The Flintstones"). Preston Blair worked on the first couple of shows and then moved on.
Like several other talented Disney animators such as Walt Stanchfield and Grim Natwick, Preston Blair had the ability to teach his tradecraft. His animation texts, while drawn in an older, quaint cartoon style, are as powerful and relevant now as the day he published them.
So, the rodent above is my rendering of a Preston Blair mouse. Walter Foster Publishing specifically allows me to produce this image "for study or finished art". Any commercial use of this image is not permissable.
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On a completely unrelated note, I'd like to send good wishes and deepest thanks to "J.B.". She and my wife cheered me up after quite a down day, although I doubt J.B. even knows she did it.