Two Brothers

This was a very touching painting I finished at the end of last year. It was commissioned by Dag Vongraven, one of the pioneers of killer whale research in Norway. Together with Anna Bisther he catalogued killer whales from 1987 to 1996. And these were the very first: KA-1 and KA-2, two adult males. Always swimming together, they were presumed to be brothers. Unfortunately KA-1 passed away in the mid-nineties, but KA-2 is still seen occasionally, roaming alone. Dag wanted a painting that would commemorate those days spent at sea amongst the killer whales, and these two bulls so dear to him. Here they swim under the midnight sun, in front of a very typical mountain range of the Tysfjord in Norway.

Settling on a sketch and colour scheme wasn’t easy, but I’m glad we took the time. In the end we got a painting that we’re both very happy with. Dag kindly provided pictures of KA-1 and KA-2 to ensure I could paint them as realistically as possible. Unfortunately only their saddle patches are known, so the rest of their markings is speculation.

– Digital