"Nantucket Harbor Sunset"

An early concept sketch of Dixie

Dolphins have been one of my favorite animal since I was a little boy. When I was a kid the highlight of my summer was seeing a dolphin show at Brookfield Zoo. Infact, being a dolphin trainer was one of my dream occupations growing up. Now the cheetah has become my favorite animal, but dolphins are still a close second. Because I have loved dolphins for so long I had wanted to draw a dolphin girl for a long time. I had some major problems with developing a dolphin girl to conquer, so I put the idea off for a long time. My problem was that if I had to little dolphin in the girl she would look like a human that was painted gray and if I had too much dolphin in her she wouldn't look sexy. It would be tough for a woman to get a date if she had a blow hole in her neck and a beak!

Common, or Saddleback dolphins One Saturday night I didn't feel like going out drinking with the boys and I decided to solve the dolphin girl problem. I decided that I didn't have to use the familiar markings of the bottlenose dolphin and that I could use a different more striking species instead. That way she wouldn't look human but wouldn't have a beak and fins either. I chose the common, or saddleback dolphin as a color guide. After a lot of concept and coloring work I finally had my finished beauty, Dixie the dolphin girl.

I used the name "Dixie" because it was the name of my stuffed animal dolphin/ imaginary friend that I had since I was two years old. Since I have had the stuffed animal dolphin for longer than I remember, I don't exactly know how I originally came up with the name "Dixie" for it. My best guess is that it is named after Dixie from Hanna Barbara's Pixie, Dixie, and Mr. Jinx cartoon.

I put my drawing of Dixie on a background of a lighthouse in the harbor of Nantucket Island, Mass. at sunset (the lighthouse was later cropped from the picture). I thought the sunset scene was beautiful and at the same time ironic. Nantucket Island at one time was the whaling capital of the world! I realize that in this drawing Dixie is completely naked! I was used to drawing cat women at the time, which have fur coats that cover their private parts. This is not true with dolphins because all they have is bare skin, so you really should be seeing all of her "goods" in this picture. That is why all of the later Dixie drawings have her in a bathing suit so that she's not exposing herself. Hey, I'm a PG-13 rated artist! Another thing worth mentioning is that many people think Dixie is really based off an Orca. While it is very understandable how people can get confused from the markings, I have included on this web page a photo of real common dolphins so you can see the beautiful creatures that Dixie is based off of.

Even though my later drawings of Dixie were well received by the members of the Fred Perry Fan Club, this debut drawing was all but ignored.

This drawing was done on 80lb. medium surface Strathmore drawing paper. For the rough pencil work I used a .05mm mechanical pencil with 5H lead. I used 2HB lead for line darkening. The result was cleaned up and darkened with Paint Shop Pro 3. The print out was on standard fax/copy paper and was colored with Crayola colored pencils. The lettering and background were added with Paint Shop Pro 7.

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All text and original multimedia is © 2001 Daniel Keller. All other information is copyrighted by their respective owners.