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May 5, 2009
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Leaping Velociraptor by axcho Leaping Velociraptor by axcho
RAPTOR ATTACK!!

An experiment from a year ago, trying to draw a realistic design using the visual elements of an art style traditional to many native groups along the Northwest Coast of North America, such as the Tlingit and the Haida. Obviously, this velociraptor is not traditional.

I've been reluctant to post this drawing, for that very reason. I know there are a lot of people with strong feelings about outsiders using this art style outside of its traditional context. It is a complicated situation. I've had a number of conversations with people who are as close to the 'inside' as I could find, some of which you may read here: [link] [link]

At this point, I am ready to put this out there, as a humble experiment, simply to see how people react and what people think of my approach. If this turns out to be a mistake, I will welcome the suffering brought down upon myself and do my best to learn from the experience. Let's see what happens. ;)

Pen and colored pencil.

This is an example of a naturalistic formline design, where the silhouette more or less matches that of the actual animal.

If you like this artwork, and you want to learn more about the cultural context in which the style was developed, please see the excellent book A Story as Sharp as Knife: The Classical Haida Mythtellers and Their World by Robert Bringhurst. I've written a review of it, which you can read here: [link]

Enjoy!

Naturalistic: Leaping Velociraptor
Configurative: Baby Turtle
Expansive: Future of Frog
Distributed: Salmon Box
Add a Comment:
 
:iconforkhead12:
forkhead12 Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013
One thing you got the Velociraptor wrong on several levels which are a blunt snout, pronated hands and no feathers.
Reply
:iconaxcho:
axcho Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013
Ha, my mistake then. Sorry about that! ;)

I guess I was going by the Jurassic Park depiction from my childhood.
Reply
:iconforkhead12:
forkhead12 Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013
is ok.
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:iconshivux:
Shivux Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2012
A really neat experiment. Best of Luck
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:iconredmoonstudioz:
RedMoonStudioz Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2012  Student General Artist
I really enjoy how you thought outside the box while inside the box :D
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:iconmasonday:
masonday Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011
COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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:iconrevan1440:
revan1440 Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I thought this was an exceptional concept! the traditional colors had caught my eye and being both a dinosaur fanatic and an early American history buff, i was really pleased! of course, it would also make a sick tattoo
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:iconaxcho:
axcho Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011
Thank you! Glad you liked the traditional colors. What sort of early American history are you into?
Reply
:iconrevan1440:
revan1440 Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
mostly pre-Revolutionary War, 1800-65, but i also enjoy world war histories too :)
earlier today i thought this velociraptor design would be really interesting if you did it like a Navajo sand painting, but you'd have to be reallyyy patient! its very tedious work!
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:iconaxcho:
axcho Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2011
Ha, I'm pretty patient, but what with working all day at my job, I'm not sure I'd be *that* patient... =p
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:iconyellowrevolver:
yellowrevolver Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2011   Traditional Artist
Love this, awesome work.
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:iconaxcho:
axcho Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2011
Thank you.
Reply
:iconthemorlock:
TheMorlock Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2011  Student General Artist
That is neat!
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:iconcyborggumby:
CyborgGumby Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2011
this is simply amazing great work man
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:iconaxcho:
axcho Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2011
thank you
Reply
:iconsacredwolf000:
sacredwolf000 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Student General Artist
I love this! Not only by its native style but also its of an animal that I havent seen created by this art until now. usually from what i simple know, the north coast mainly designs animals originally coming from their own folklore and traditions such as the raven, thunderbird, wolf, bear,etc. This is the first time Ive seen a dinosaur. I myself am trying to study art from the north coast. The design is geniusly inventive and the idea is very creative. You said that you were reluctant showing this because it is outside of its traditional context. I dont know whether or not if it is an offense because from what you said above you got me thinking too based on my own research. It seems that you must know more about this art than me. I've been trying to create my very own tattoo through this art. I've been longing for this tattoo for over 7-8 years. I am very much into nature and the native american ways. Perhaps you can give me some good advice.
Reply
:iconaxcho:
axcho Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011
Thank you. :aww:

In an area like this, there will of course be many opinions. To some people, using the formline style to draw a nontraditional subject (such as a velociraptor) is essentially blasphemy, kind of like how a Christian might view, say, Raptor Jesus: [link]

I mean no disrespect, of course - I created this drawing out of reverence, admiration, and love of both velociraptors and this art style - but as someone who has no native ancestry, I can certainly understand why some people would be upset.

And on the other hand, some people will think it's awesome, just like some Christians might think Raptor Jesus is hilarious.

Anyway, if you would like to learn more about the formline art style yourself, send me a note and we can talk more about it in private. :)
Reply
:iconsacredwolf000:
sacredwolf000 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2011  Student General Artist
From what I've briefly researched about native americans and there religious views, the difference is that they view animals as if they were equal in value and spirit to man. Unlike traditional christian views of a Hiarchy peramid with man at the very top. Native americans cling to the own kind only because they were pursicuted in the past.

I read the entire link of the raptor jesus. To be very honest I didnt find either adknowledgable nor hilarious but, kind of conserning. I too am very religious and spiritual but that does not stop me from thinking logically with reality. :worry:

Aside from all that I would sincerely like to hookup in order to learn more. I would first like to know about the laws rules and regulations of the art and culture that you warned about. I already have certain books that you suggest to others such as Northwest Coast Indian art: An Analysis Of Form by Bill Holms. Perhaps I should show you some of what I've made with the art. either I will post to my deviant or email it to you. :)
Reply
:iconaxcho:
axcho Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2011
All right then, let's proceed. Please do show me what you've made so far. Posting to your dA scraps would be fine.
Reply
:iconhiphopanonymous1:
Hiphopanonymous1 Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2011
wow, you really did a great job melding the traditional artwork into the form of a still-life animal. This really inspires me to make some changes to a similar project of mine. Check it out if you want to: [link]
Reply
:iconaxcho:
axcho Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2011
Hey, nice shark - I really like the composition on it. Technically speaking, it doesn't exactly follow the traditional rules of the Haida formline style, but it's pretty close. :)

Have you read Northwest Coast Indian Art: An Analysis of Form? It's a great explanation of the style.

If you want to learn, I can coach you on it.
Reply
:iconcyaneus:
Cyaneus Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I really love the Northwest native art styles, and this seems true to the style and the animal. I particularly love the way you handled those back feet!
Reply
:iconaxcho:
axcho Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2010
Thank you. I've done my best to stay true to both the formline style and the spirit of the velociraptor, so I appreciate your confirmation. Glad you've enjoyed it.
Reply
:iconjosephsk:
JOSEPHSK Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2010
the northwest got a bit more awesome!!
Reply
:iconthecrimsonpetal:
TheCrimsonPetal Featured By Owner May 26, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
WOW! I have 3 kids who are Tlingit- [their dad is 3/4's] and I was an apprentice/journeyman for an artist Tresham Gregg in Juneau- www.tresham.com- you'll see what I learned from him- lol...
I LOVE THIS PIECE- I LOVE THE BIRD CLAWS!!! This piece is highly imaginative- great use of negative space, the ovoids and gooseye are perfectly used!!! Kudos to you! Kerin
Reply
:iconthecrimsonpetal:
TheCrimsonPetal Featured By Owner May 26, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
oh, forgot to mention the split u and v's...excellent!
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:iconaxcho:
axcho Featured By Owner May 27, 2010
Thank you! :D Thanks for sharing...
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:icondrizztofmielikki:
Drizztofmielikki Featured By Owner May 20, 2010  Professional General Artist
I want to do something like this myself, and now I am interested in reading the book you have listed. I am particularly enamored with the K'san style though.
Reply
:iconaxcho:
axcho Featured By Owner May 29, 2010
Cool, let me know what you think of the book if you get a chance to read it. I'm not too familiar with the K'san style, but I'm curious now - where might I see some examples of it?
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:icondrizztofmielikki:
Drizztofmielikki Featured By Owner May 31, 2010  Professional General Artist
I looked it up and I spelled it a bit wrong. It's 'Ksan and its line art is clean lined and crisp. Here is a copy I did of the 'Ksan style: [link]

There are more examples of the style in the book Looking at Indian Art of the Northwest Coast by Hilary Stewart. It's actually the only book I have on the Northwest so far as it was a travel gift. It's mostly in black and white, but there are many pictures and explanations of the stylistic differences between different villages.
Reply
:iconaxcho:
axcho Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2010
Just read the book. :) The 'Ksan style looks like it would be fun to play around with. I've seen some of those drawings before - usually more angular, energetic and realistic depictions, it seems like. I wanted to draw a Lurker hatching from a Hydralisk egg in that style at some point, though I never got around to it.
Reply
:icondrizztofmielikki:
Drizztofmielikki Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2010  Professional General Artist
:)

Yeah I just picked up Bill Holm's An Anaylsis on Pacific Northwest Art. It's got the formal art breakdown along with a little bit of history. It's way more academic than Stewart's book, but it's not dry reading if you're already familiar with the style. It's filling in a bit of the depth behind the style and has a color code key (which Stewart's book-even though examples are plentiful) does not.
Reply
:iconaxcho:
axcho Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2010
Yeah, that's a great book to learn from. I have a copy of it myself. :)

Are you planning on learning the style yourself? I'd be glad to critique, if you want help learning the formal rules.
Reply
:icondrizztofmielikki:
Drizztofmielikki Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2010  Professional General Artist
Yes, that'd be wonderful! :)

I attempted a grasshopper a few weeks back (but that was before Bill Holm's book, and I'm still waiting for "Learning By Design" by Jim Gilbert). It really was one of the hardest tasks I tried to undertake, not knowing quite where to start. I think the only thing I managed to get in the style are the wings. [link]
Reply
:iconaxcho:
axcho Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2010
Ha, okay, we'll start at the very beginning then. ;) Let me know when you've gone through the books and you're ready to start.
Reply
:iconaxcho:
axcho Featured By Owner May 31, 2010
Hmm, I'll check it out, thanks. I've seen drawings like the one you linked to, so I think I might know about it.

I'll let you know when I've read the book. :)
Reply
:iconkreeslak:
kreeslak Featured By Owner May 10, 2010
Awesome ilustration. This has been a great style hint for fauna comosition i'm thinking about, one about evolution. This velociraptor's its really cool, and the pose choosen aswell.

Your posts about that book really caught me up, i would love to read a book with such mature conception about myths.

They don't sell those books second hand to europe :( (new ones are expensive)
and the rest of books talking about haida looked like tipicall comercial design books.
Reply
:iconaxcho:
axcho Featured By Owner May 14, 2010
Heh, glad you like the pose.

I hope you get to read the book sometime, it's very interesting. Maybe I can help you get a copy. ;) How much does it cost to get a new one shipped to you from Amazon or wherever?
Reply
:iconkreeslak:
kreeslak Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2010
Oh thnxs for replying, i really dont use much my Deviant page, im saving it for my next project so wont chek it until i finish it. Now i should chek amazon again. but don't worry i got no phisical time to spend in ilustration now im working again, but i may ask for your help ^^ soemday if you can. I'll chek your blog again to see whats new from you ^^
Reply
:iconmeedleboot:
Meedleboot Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha, I love velociraptors!

This design caught my eye very quickly. I love it!
Reply
:iconzoro-swordsman:
zoro-swordsman Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2009
Like this design~ Despite not being traditional it's still awesome work~ :heart:
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:iconaxcho:
axcho Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2009
Thank you.
Reply
:iconzoro-swordsman:
zoro-swordsman Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2009
You're welcome~ :D
Reply
:iconbrontosaurus:
brontosaurus Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2009  Student
Wow - I cant believe I haven't clicked on this before. Got the north american connection right away :).
Reply
:iconaxcho:
axcho Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2009
For sure. Maybe I should put this as my featured deviation... :p
Reply
:icondevolh:
Devolh Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2009
Oh, this raptor is amazing *_*
Beautiful, really beautiful x3
Reply
:iconaxcho:
axcho Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2009
:aww:
Reply
:iconxaadaas:
Xaadaas Featured By Owner May 18, 2009  Hobbyist Artist
LOL Man, this is so awesome. Good job.
Reply
:iconaxcho:
axcho Featured By Owner May 19, 2009
Win! :brushteeth:

Glad you like it. ;)
Reply
:icondreaming-glory:
Dreaming-Glory Featured By Owner May 13, 2009
I had a feeling it was based off of Haida art! :'D -can recognise her cultur's art now~!-

This is just awesome. I so want to do something like this, but basically with a gryphon in the Haida art style.

Definite fave~!
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