Ice Dancer – Outdoor Life Magazine

I’ve been waiting to show you this piece for a while. Things have been really busy here and I have a nice backlog of illustrations to show in the next few weeks. I just got back from the ICON illustration conference and had a great time. I’ll be posting a wrap-up on the blog if I managed to get a few good photos (I used film, so I have no idea what’s on there!).

This illustration was a full-pager for Outdoor Life magazine, a client I’ve been lucky to work with many times already this year. I was given a story about a man and his dog, Lighthouse Ice Dancer (Dani for short). The owner, Mike, found this cast-off dog when he was going through some tough times and the dog really helped him turn his life around. Dani is a 15 year old Springer Spaniel who was trained as a bird-hunting dog. Together they won some awards, but the best thing Dani did for Mike was help him to look forward.

The scene in the background depicts the frightening night when Mike and his hunting friends had to search for Dani after she wandered away from their camp. They found her at the bottom of a  steep bank, lying in the water but still alive. Mike was able to save the dog that saved him.

3 thoughts on “Ice Dancer – Outdoor Life Magazine”

  1. Karen Levesque

    Wow Joel, I love it! Fantastic work. You should be drawing dogs more often, he looks almost real.

    • Joel Kimmel

      Thank you, Karen and Ren! Ren, I draw these using reference photos that I’ve been provided or taken myself.

  2. Ren

    Hi Sir Joel,

    I would like to know the technique you use for pulling this kind of illustrations.
    I am very impressed with all of your illustrations. I noticed correct if Im wrong do you rotoscope this type of illustrations or you just draw it through reference? can
    please share a little bit of your technique thanks.