|Mickey Monitor magazine for Disney Passholders|
The Mickey Monitor is a very popular magazine that is sent out to the Passholders 4 times a year and filled with wonderful behind the scenes photos and interviews as well as information about special events held at Walt Disney World for Passholders only . On the right are two inside pages from the recent Fall 2012 Mickey Monitor discussing facts about the fabulous New Fantasyland that mouse ears have been buzzing about.
I sketched out a few different setups and settled on the one to the left. It's designed so when you first see the cover it'll be just Mickey and Pluto but as you open the 2 page spread it reveals two special holiday guests visiting the house of mouse. I sent in the rough pencil sketch and they liked the setup giving me the thumbs up to go for paint. I like it when they like it.
|Cleanup drawing by Mike Peraza ready for color|
I tightened up my rough into a 2-tone cleanup shown here to the right with the background drawn in blue and the characters in red just to keep it simple while I rendered it out. I didn't want to rush into color before having a fairly tight setup to work from. Disney Legend and friend Ken O'Connor instilled in me how important it is to be sure your layout's clear before going to color or you may be wasting a lot of time coloring and then re-coloring a badly composed illustration. Ken really knew his stuff so I listened.
After experimenting with quick little color studies I decided on the path below for the final direction with yellow as the brightest hue while including white to help pop the characters. The only black used is for character details like ears, noses, boots, etc to also help separate from the background where I didn't go that dark. I toned down the red in Goofy's Santa suit so as to give Mickey the "hot seat" so to speak and make him stand out.
Being that it was a magazine illustration instead of an animation background I was free to include more detail with a super saturated color scheme than I would normally incorporate although I still had to get it out under one week. I also included a few "hidden Mickeys" that folks seem to hanker for so "have a happy holiday hidden Mickey hunt!" As this painting "hits the newstands" I was honored to discover that the D23 folks will also include it in their special "23 Days of Disney Christmas" gallery and ultimately display the final piece in the Walt Disney Archives.
|Final painting "Dreaming on Christmas Eve" by Mike Peraza|
This wintery scene was created in the summer of 2012, during the record breaking heat wave that baked Southern California. The AC was on and Christmas carols were playing non-stop to get me in the mood. The neighbors must have thought I was nuts but I prefer to think I'm just a bit early for the season, like the department stores are every year.
I am so thankful to have the opportunity to illustrate cover art and hope I'll be asked to do more in the future. I'm thrilled anytime I get to work with the original "stock company" of Walt Disney, namely Mickey, Pluto, Donald and Goofy. I know some folks will think I'm corny but I've done so many illustrations of this gang over the years that they feel like part of my family. Well folks, as the jolly old elf said, "Merry Christmas!" Now would someone please pass the eggnog?