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Baby Turtle

By axcho
Something of a self portrait. Also, a turtle.

A drawing in the formline style, developed by many native groups along the Northwest Coast of North America, such as the Tlingit and the Haida. This turtle is not traditional, but it is probably the closest to a traditional piece that I've done.

Pen and marker.

This is an example of a configurative formline design, where the silhouette is recognizable as that of the animal, but the parts are distorted stylistically.

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
Image details
Image size
1024x768px 198.14 KB
© 2009 - 2021 axcho
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lightworker907's avatar
Your work is very impressive! I am tlingit and am trying to wrap my brain around formline. do you have any other suggestions? 
Xaadaas's avatar
Nicely done, your style is evolving well.
axcho's avatar
Thanks, I'm glad you think so.