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Submitted on
May 5, 2009
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168 KB


163 (who?)
Leaping Velociraptor by axcho Leaping Velociraptor by axcho

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]


Naturalistic: Leaping Velociraptor
Configurative: Baby Turtle
Expansive: Future of Frog
Distributed: Salmon Box
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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.
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.
forkhead12 Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013
is ok.
Shivux Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2012
A really neat experiment. Best of Luck
RedMoonStudioz Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2012  Student General Artist
I really enjoy how you thought outside the box while inside the box :D
masonday Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011
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
axcho Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011
Thank you! Glad you liked the traditional colors. What sort of early American history are you into?
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!
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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