Seolhe's avatar

Nami

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By Seolhe   |   
Published:
© 2017 - 2020 Seolhe
First piece of the year!
This is my part of the Cetacean secret santa event hosted by Viscuit. I was assigned Ciorano, who asked for a picture of Nami the orca.

Nami was a female orca captured in the waters of Taiji, Japan in 1985. From her capture until the summer of 2010, Nami lived in a seapen at the Taiji whale museum. Trainers never entered the water with Nami because of her aggressive personality. She also did not get along with Taiji's other female orca Ku or any dolphins she was ever grouped with.
Nami was sold to Port of Nagoya public aquarium where she arrived on June 18th, 2010. Here, she surprisingly found a friend in one of the aquarium's dolphins.
She passed away on January 14, 2011.

An autopsy revealed that
the Nami had 491 stones weighing 81.4 kilograms (179.5 lbs) in total stuck in her stomach. She had been swallowing the stones over the course of many years at the Taiji Whale Museum. The facility announced that Nami died from Fungal Bacterial Pneumonia, Stomach Ulcers, Myocardial Fibrosis, Heart Failure and Chronic Colitis.
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I hope you'll like this Ciorano! <3

This painting was inspired by this beautiful photo: s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/7…
I didn't try to replicate it perfectly (photo realism isn't my thing), but I just loved the composition and the colours.
This was a lot of fun to work on, and I got to try out some new things. I started getting a little stressed as I got closer and closer to the deadline, but I made it in time!

Resources: Teal Sea - Texture
Image size
557x732px 452.42 KB
Comments24
anonymous's avatar
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Striped-Orca's avatar
Striped-OrcaHobbyist Digital Artist
This is absolutely incredible omg?????
Both the pose, the reflection on the skin as well as the view below the water!
If I could favorite this multiple times you can bet that I would!!
Seolhe's avatar
SeolheHobbyist General Artist
Oh my, thank you so much for the sweet comment! It absolutely made my day! <3
Nimkish's avatar
You have done a great job! Nami was such an interesting looking animal with really unique features. I loved seeing photos and videos of her. It's so sad and a little ironic that her seapen enclosure was a direct result of her death. I think seapens can be done well but it has to be done responsibly so the animal doesn't have access to choking hazards like the small rocks Nami had access to. Sad. :(

I love the reflections on her and the way you painted her underwater. Thumbs up 
Seolhe's avatar
SeolheHobbyist General Artist
Thank you!
She definitely was a beautiful animal, with some very unique features. Her death was absolutely tragic, but I don't know if I necessarily find it more ironic than, say, Hugo's death. I've seen procaps claim that Nami's death is "proof" that seapens are bad and dangerous, and likewise I've seen some pretty extreme anticaps claim that Hugo's death was a suicide caused by him being "sad" about his living situation. If you ask me, neither is true, and neither is helpful to the debate.
I definitely believe that seapens, when done right, are much, much better than regular tanks, but like you say, it's important that they are designed in such a way that there aren't any dangers to the animals.

I'm glad you think so! Thank you :)
Nimkish's avatar
I have seen some wonderful seapens! They can be great. They have their own risks such as pollution and exposure to disease, but tanks have their own unique risks as well. Care has to be made for all enclosures whether they are natural like Nami and her choking hazards, or in tanks that have had gates crush skulls! Not good.
For me, the best alternative is enclosed lagoons with sandy bottoms, rocks, seaweed (and fish) such as Sea World Gold Coast. It has a natural feel like a seapen but the benefit of being enclosed and filtered/maintained like a tank. An entire empty concrete tank for me is the worst option.

I watched a neat video of a tank created for the navy to test model ships. It has a wave creator in it that can create different and unique wave effects.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKx1Rb…
Then you have the massive Crystal Lagoon pool that is over 1,500ft long.
www.dailymail.co.uk/news/artic…

Imagine how impressive enclosures could be with such technology and ambition. Unfortunately it seems every time a new tank is made, they go backwards instead of trying to be bigger and better. Sad!
Seolhe's avatar
SeolheHobbyist General Artist
(Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you)

Yes, of course! If seapens are to be implemented they must be done so safely and great care should be made to minimize the chances of any harm coming to the animals. Like you say, there are some risks involved that has to be looked into. The same obviously applies to any type of enclosure for any species.
But yes, I agree with you that the completely blank and sterile tanks that are most commonly used to house cetaceans are by far the worst option available, and their prevalance in the marine park industry is one of my biggest gripes with the industry as a whole.

While I'm generally not in favour of keeping cetaceans in captivity at all (with unreleasable rescues being an exception, of course), I would really like to see better living conditions for the cetaceans that are still in captivity, and I feel like if the technology you mentioned above was actually implemented into making more enriching and natural habitats for captive whales and dolphins, I would probably be willing to change my stance in the captivity debate.
Nimkish's avatar
I agree! :) I don't personally understand the  prevalence of the concrete tanks. I know they are the 'safest' tank in that there is nothing to swallow and they can be cleaned very easily and very well, but the same excuses were made when zoo's put all their animals in concrete enclosures. Zoo's have come a long way since then but when it comes to cetaceans it's like we are stuck in some time warp. Sharks, fish, penguins, seals: Natural enclosures are common place for these animals. But when it comes to cetaceans? The ones in most need of advanced enclosures and the ones that bring in the most audience and revenue for the parks? I don't get it.
The marine parks will need to bring their enclosures to the 21st century and get the public back on their side, or they will go out of business. Up to them, I guess! I don't know how much more pressure they need from the public before they work it out.
MitziMonster's avatar
MitziMonsterHobbyist Traditional Artist
Beautiful image, I've heard of this whale. 

Her bones are on display at Taiji. 
Seolhe's avatar
SeolheHobbyist General Artist
Yeah, they dug up her bones back in 2012. I heard of Nami before I was tasked to paint her, so I already knew the basic story of her life and death, I just had to double-check a few details before submitting this.
MitziMonster's avatar
MitziMonsterHobbyist Traditional Artist
Many captive orcas have such sad stories, you've depicted her beautifully :)
Seolhe's avatar
SeolheHobbyist General Artist
Yeah, it's something a lot of them have in common, unfortunately.
Thank you!
Ciorano's avatar
CioranoHobbyist Digital Artist
Not a big secret that I like your style of drawing and once again you did a great job. Orange touches of reflected light on her skin catches the eye, and I love the point that the reflections are not as sharpened as they look on the original photo, that adds softness and a feeling of calmness. 

A million thanks for making this painting! Wednesdays are the busiest days of mine and today I woke up and noticed this beauty in my inbox. This really made my day much better!
Seolhe's avatar
SeolheHobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much! I'm really glad to hear that you like it!
I had such a hard time figuring out how to do the warm, orange tones reflected on her skin, so I'm glad it turned out ok :)
EnshroudedVixen's avatar
EnshroudedVixenStudent Traditional Artist
Wowow!! You got that sheen of her skin above water so real I was duped and thought it was a photo in the thumbnail. That's my favourite part, well done! :3
Seolhe's avatar
SeolheHobbyist General Artist
Thank you!
That was probably the part I struggled with the most so I'm glad you like it! :D
CalvinOrca25's avatar
CalvinOrca25Hobbyist General Artist
very cute and awesome job
Seolhe's avatar
SeolheHobbyist General Artist
Thank you!
CalvinOrca25's avatar
CalvinOrca25Hobbyist General Artist
your welcome
OrkyDorky's avatar
OrkyDorkyHobbyist General Artist
I have nothing to say other then I SUPER DUPER  LOVE IT ;O;
Seolhe's avatar
SeolheHobbyist General Artist
Thank you :)
OrkyDorky's avatar
OrkyDorkyHobbyist General Artist
NP ,Japanese orcas are beautiful!
Seolhe's avatar
SeolheHobbyist General Artist
They absolutely are! :)
OrkyDorky's avatar
OrkyDorkyHobbyist General Artist
They always have unique saddle patches.
Seolhe's avatar
SeolheHobbyist General Artist
Yeah, very pretty ^^
anonymous's avatar
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