Painting "Triumph of the Orcas"

Special Sneak Peak!

I started with a simple sketch on the canvas. I painted around the foreground orca to preserve the outline because I knew I was going to work on him last!

From there I blocked in the base layers and colors of the sky, blending with my knife blade. The sky will get warmer as we go down to the setting sun.

And here you can see all of the gorgeous reds, oranges, and yellows in the sky. I wanted to paint an illusion of the sun back-lighting the furthest tropical mountain. That made it look like it was burning in the light. I then finished the mountain.

The vision in my head had huge mighty waterfalls roaring down the left side of the painting and leaving a misty haze, which was also painted with only my knife blade. I added trees and bushes atop the mountain as well as some flowers.

I got a lot done in this step, from the sandy strip of beach under the waterfall, to a single waterfall spilling off the land on the right. I also finished the underpainting of the sea behind the large orca, which will still need a LOT of details as the painting progresses!

Now that the ocean is completely under-painted, I will begin painting the focal points of this painting. I started with the orca "spy-hopping" on the right. He turned out really realistic and 3D, which got me very excited to paint our leading whale with all the water streaming from it's body!!

Now that the orca on the left is completed, along with the colorful sailboat, I can begin working on the main killer whale. I take my time here, being careful not to disturb his outline.

As I complete the orca, I know the hardest part is yet to come! I have to make him fit into the piece by "placing" him in the scene. To do that, I have to paint the water cascading off his wet body. This proved extremely difficult, but I feel like I was able to accomplish the task well, as you will see in the final photo below. I decided to add mystical colors for the sea foam, to help it match the rest of the ocean and the sky.

At last, here is the finished piece, "Triumph of the Orcas." You can see how the leading orca sets the tone and drama for the entire painting, as well as the golden sun rays behind him. This is my first painting in over a year and I believe it shows tremendous growth and technical precision with palette knives. I can't wait to paint the rest of the paintings from my large painting series!

© 2020 by Ryan Kimba

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