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The Passing of Legends - Ruffles and Granny by namu-the-orca The Passing of Legends - Ruffles and Granny by namu-the-orca
Species depicted: Killer whale or Orca (Orcinus orca)
Time taken: 18 hours
References used: manymany. Amongst others: blog.seattletimes.nwsource.com… blog.seattletimes.nwsource.com… www.orcanetwork.org/images/Tra… oldblog.island-adventures.com/…
Tools of the trade: 
Photoshop CS5



Commission for Britannia-Orca

Now here was quite the fantastic piece I had the privilege of working on. I was asked to paint perhaps the most famous of the Southern Resident orcas, and true legends on their own right: J1 'Ruffles' and J2 'Granny'. Especially the latter is well known with the general public for possibly being the oldest orca known to man; estimated to be born in 1911, she would be 103 years old as of today. Ruffles, thought to be Granny's son, was well known by whalewatchers for his enormous waved dorsal fin that gave him his name. Last seen in 2010, it is sadly believed the big bull has died - nonetheless at the incredible old age of approximately 60 years (most wild orca males die in their 20s or 30s). And so the passing of the title is a double one: not only do these whales pass by, Ruffles has sadly passed away as well. Let us hope Granny still has many years ahead of her.

On a more technical note, I have gone to extreme lengths to paint their markings correctly. Which was quite a challenge, not in the least because neither whales are/were frequent breachers and both had the harrowing tendency to be photographed from their right side instead of the left. Even so all markings, right down to the rake marks on their saddle patch, are true to those of the real whales, except for Ruffles' flank patch and fluke undersides, and the latter half of Granny's flank patch. The kelp in the painting is Bull kelp, a species that occurs in the Southern Resident's home range.

I hope you enjoy :)

Details can be found here:



COPYRIGHT NOTICE
All submissions in this gallery, be it photos, paintings or drawings, are copyrighted to me, Namu-the-orca. No one has the right to alter, distribute, copy or use my art without my written permission unless stated otherwise. My submissions are NOT stock
Add a Comment:
 
:iconjuimythecybershark:
JuimytheCyberShark Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2016   Traditional Artist
I have heard of granny orca :) it's incredible how old she is :)

She is truly a remarkable creature :)

It's sad to hear that ruffles didn't get to live as long though :(

This drawing is truly beautiful :)
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It is, although it is very likely she isn't actually as old as everyone claims. Her age after all was an estimate, based on the belief that Ruffles was her son - which he turned out not to be. But she's getting up there in years regardless :)

And Ruffles lived an incredibly long life for a male. Most will die around their 30th year, so he lived twice as long as the average (again, if age estimates are accurate)
Reply
:iconjuimythecybershark:
JuimytheCyberShark Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2016   Traditional Artist
Oh, I see.

So for orcas the female's lifespan is much longer than the male's, very interesting :)
Reply
:iconthetravelingbard:
thetravelingbard Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
so gorgeous! I had no idea that whales could live so long. 
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's certainly exceptional for this species, and Granny's age has never been confirmed (it was estimated based on her last calf, which was presumed to be Ruffles, but recent DNA analysis showed he is not in fact her son - making the whole estimate more or less invalid). There's some other whales that certainly live to ripe old ages though; Narwhals can become more than 100 years old, and Bowheads can live for more than 200 years! Thank you :)
Reply
:iconthetravelingbard:
thetravelingbard Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Really, oh wow thats amazing. Too bad about Ruffles not being granny's calf. :)
Reply
:iconzebra-shark:
Zebra-Shark Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Breath taking!
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconorkydorky:
OrkyDorky Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
pretty!
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:icononyxdragun:
Onyxdragun Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2016
I was looking for orca paintings via Google and came across this.. then I read the description and was like wow.. I've seen these two in the wild! I even have photos of J-Pod and always love hearing about them. Your work pays them tribute and it would be awesome to have something like this up on my walls!
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh wow that is so cool! How amazing that you saw both Granny and Ruffles together, that must have been something special indeed. I don't keep up with the PNW killer whales as well as some of my friends (who seem to literally know everyone!) but sometimes I catch snippets and it's always amazing to hear those little updates on their lives. I'm very glad to hear you think this piece does them justice :) I do take commissions, so if you'd ever like something like this for yourself, you can always send me a note or email!
Reply
:iconjacorass:
JacoRass Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2015   Interface Designer
Im speechless, its amazingly well done 
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you again :)
Reply
:iconkimblewick:
Kimblewick Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2015   Digital Artist
Incredible, with a beautiful attention to detail. I love their expressions and the atmosphere of the bull kelp :heart:
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks so much! This was such a fun piece to do, looking back I really enjoy 'revisiting' the details myself as well. Kelp forests indeed create a very special atmosphere!
Reply
:icondisco747:
Disco747 Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
This is absolutely stunning, beautiful work! I really love it!
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very much!
Reply
:icondisco747:
Disco747 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome! :)
Reply
:iconrms-olympic:
RMS-OLYMPIC Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
This is absolutely gorgeous! It looks like a photograph!!
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks so very much!
Reply
:iconrms-olympic:
RMS-OLYMPIC Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Of course!
Reply
:icongirlonfiyah:
GirlOnFiyah Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Amazing details
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconwolfen1991:
Wolfen1991 Featured By Owner May 14, 2015  Student Digital Artist
If I remember correctly Ruffles was in J-Pod 
Beautiful tribute to him and 
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner May 20, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That is correct! Thank you very much :)
Reply
:iconmlp-heartsong-fim:
MLP-HeartSong-FiM Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
WANT
Reply
:icondolphingurl21stuff:
Dolphingurl21stuff Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
PERFECT DAMNIT U DONT NEED CRITIQUES
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
There's always things that can be improved!
Reply
:icondolphingurl21stuff:
Dolphingurl21stuff Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
True!
Reply
:iconelizabetagreenleaf:
ElizabetaGreenleaf Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
BEAUTIFUL!!! :love:
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks very much :love:
Reply
:iconelizabetagreenleaf:
ElizabetaGreenleaf Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome :D
Reply
:icondutchorca:
DutchOrca Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Incredibe work!

The painstaking attention to detail is really impressive, what a beautiful tribute to these two amazing animals. I also love the Bull Kelp addition, it must feel so nice on their skin to glide through forests of these plants! And such a major part of SRKW lives, they seem to love this stuff ;)
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! I'm really pleased that all the attention to detail paid off - and is noticed ;) The addition of kelp was a request of the client, but it does uncannily fit with the SRKW lifestyle in retrospect (and of course the species was picked to match what is found in the area). Must indeed be a wonderful sensation to glide through those fronds!
Reply
:iconthe7thsea:
The7thSea Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i should probably tell you how much i love this :'D i love all the little details on them that make them different. SO MUCH ATTENTION

ONE DAY I HOPE I CAN PAINT AS CLEAN AS THIS SHIT
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Prrff THANK YOU. I had so much fun with those details, I love obsessing over the tiny little bits, especially when it's with real life individuals.

PATIENCE PATIENCE - THAT IS THE KEY TO CLEAN PAINTS
Reply
:iconthe7thsea:
The7thSea Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
NAMU... I THINK I'M FUCKED! D: I DON'T HAVE PATIENCE

SLOPPY PAINTINGS FOR ME
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
not sure if this is any consolation BUT I AM LOSING MY PATIENCE TOO
no really more and more often I make a sketch, slap on basic colours and go 'hmm well that's about done' and then 'do I really have to spend hours on the details now?'

WE SHALL BE SLOPPY PAINTERS TOGETHER
Reply
:iconthe7thsea:
The7thSea Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
yessSSSSSSSS :highfive:

it's fine though because i fuckin love sketchy paintings. theyre just so GOOD TO LOOK AT.
Reply
:iconnimkish:
Nimkish Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2014
Why is this not in my favourites already?! I love your work. You're so talented you could draw a box and I'd love it. This scene with the kelp is just beautiful!
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hahaha, I'm totally going to draw a box some day and see what you think of it. Anyway, thank you so much for your kind words! The kelp was tricky (for some reason I always have trouble with plants) but it definitely paid off in the end. Very happy to hear you like my work - 'cause the feeling is more than mutual. Your pieces are gorgeous :)
Reply
:iconpoorartman:
Poorartman Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2014  Professional General Artist
just wow
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! 
Reply
:iconpoorartman:
Poorartman Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2014  Professional General Artist
np~
Reply
:iconanilover247:
anilover247 Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2014
um actually male orcas can live 50 to 60 years and females even longer than that. all the way to a hundred to be exact.
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
While males can live up to 50/60 years and females may live up to 100 years (Granny's age has always been guesswork), they are extremes on the far end of the spectrum. In the same way, I could say there's many killer whales, both males and females, that die before their first year, or when they're still juveniles. Put together, they make for an average of 20-30 years for males and 40-50 years for females :)
Reply
:iconarakakieika:
ArakakiEika Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Sweetie Granny & her son~Heart - Free ~
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:heart:
Reply
:icontaslishaw:
taslishaw Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2014  Student
Awesome. Just wonderful.
I really really really appreciate the attention to detail you have paid in their individual markings. This is something that gets left out of most conversation, which is a pity, because these guys look so different beyond the dorsal fin. Even their heads are shaped differently!

I wish I could show this to J2 next time I see her, hahah. I'm sure she would approve. You made her look real good ;)

Love the bull kelp as well. Kelping is a behaviour the SRKW engage in frequently, and it nothing short of dreamy to imagine them gliding slowly among the kelp swaying in the current. Gorgeous. 
Reply
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September 24, 2014
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