Time taken: More than 30 hours
References used: All 67(!) can be seen here: namu-the-orca.deviantart.com/a…
Tools of the trade: Photoshop CS5
I have lost track of the number of times someone told me they started loving killer whales because of Free willy, or that Free willy was the first cetacean movie they really liked. Keiko was such an amazing and special whale that has touched so many hearts, and with reason. His life marked the beginning of the Killer whale loving era, and showed to everyone that it could be done, that he could and never gave up. For 26 years he was here to charm people from all over the world, to delight us with his antics and to amaze us with his journey. I hope I have done him and his life justice with this huge painting collage that follows him from the beginning, to the very end.
Keiko - 1977 to 2003
Rest in peace, gorgeous bull
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
It's a shame he spent most of his time far away from the wild pods and ended up not wanting to stay with them due to a wild orca slapping their tail towards him, which is known to be an aggressive behavior for orcas. I wish more people realized just how badly he suffered, not just from having been captured but his release as well since most activists romanticize it like it was some beautiful fairy tale when in reality the poor orca was confused, did not stay with wild pods, and was basically starving. info from Mark Simmons, a guy who actually worked with Keiko on his release.
I only have a little bit of criticism on this painting, the image of Keiko leaping out the water to hit a ball, there should be more water disturbance like the water crashing and more splashes as only a few specs of water isn't enough, I just thought I'd give you a little help, seeing these creatures leaping and splashing in real life they create more than just little specs of water in the air. <img src="e.deviantart.net/emoticons/s/s…" width="15" height="15" alt="" title=" (Smile)"/> Otherwise it looks gorgeous ! <img src="e.deviantart.net/emoticons/m/m…" width="15" height="15" alt="" title="Meow :3"/> Also on the image where Keiko is catching his first fish, a little water webbing on his skin won't hurt. :3
its really beautiful when i read the info i does touch my heart its really colorful and astonishing........when i looked this up it caught my eyes.but i never saw the movie "free willy" these magnificent creatures are my fave marine animals. its so so sad how he died. i studied stuff about keiko at school about his death and why we shouldn't keep animals in captivity.
i loved how you came up with this, orcas meant to be free in the wild. poor baby, worth better of being alive and all.
i'm not joking about this, seriously its amazing. cool.
I still love this movie...it brings tears to my eyes every time I remember the touching scenes & the fact that the 'Killer' whale, Willy, was actually more gentle & sweet. The tribute to Keiko is just so beautiful & touching; I actually cried again! <img src="e.deviantart.net/emoticons/e/e…" width="15" height="15" alt="" title=" (Eek)"/>
I would like to applaud you; it may seem a lot, but I really admire your ideas & thoughts on this beautiful painting, which I truly feel, has brought Keiko to life again. I especially love the fact that you have added clear short notes on his history, which makes it all even better. Keep up the brilliant work & well done!!! <img src="e.deviantart.net/emoticons/b/b…" width="15" height="15" alt="" title=" (Big Grin)"/>
All I can say on first glance is: Stunning!
It shows how much time, research and effort you put into this artwork, and my heart is jumping, seeing and remembering the one who touched us all. I saw Free Willy in theaters back in 1993, and many times after that, but I never really knew Keiko's whole story. It was a sad and yet strangely beautiful life, and I'm sure it has never been illustrated so nicely before.
I particularly like the illustration in the bottom left corner, and I love the one from the movie, jumping to freedom with the sunrise in the background. But overall, they are each fantastic on their own!
Thank you for this,
Aww Keiko... I grew up with the three Free Willy movies, the first one is always the closest one to my heart. I love so much how you put much heart for this painting. The pattern you used is a very clever and organised way to show Keiko's life by organising the parts into clockwise pattern; it would have been a total clumsy chaos without that pattern.
Aww man, I try my best to hold back the nostalgia and the tears from coming but I can't help to feel so overwhelmed by the details, the shadows, the lights, the realism... I'm good as mindblown. I miss the big boi too much. It breaks my heart thinking that he's gone. I never learnt about Keiko's death until ten years after his death. Shocker indeed.
The funny thing is that it was not only Keiko who made me passionate for orcas on first place. No, it was actually the classic 1977 movie Orca: The Killer Whale that introduced me into the orca passion from very start. Yup, this is very true for I still remember myself as a tiny child between 4 and 5 running around in search after the movie to look at the orcas, and I never got scarred by it for some odd reason. No matter how many times the movie was hidden, I always found it. But I remember strongly of the music by Ennio Morricone, especially Finale and the opening scene.
I wish I could say more but what can I add when my mind is too overblown?