Tlingit Art Daily Sketch – January 6, Hand Variations

I’m liking starting the day with sketching daily Tlingit art designs. How could I not have been doing this all along? Today’s sketch is all about hands; stubby hands, slender fingers, grabby hands, abstract hands…

If you’re ever at a loss for an idea for a Tlingit design, try this: concentrate on a body part. There are myriad ways to draw the various body parts. Bill Holm illustrates a number of variations of different claws, hands, feet, eyes, cheek designs, wings, tails, and so on. Just practice variations. You could have some fun with this by connection the different body parts like I did in todays sketch below:

Tlingit Art Daily Sketch - January 6

Tlingit Art Daily Sketch – January 6

See what I mean? These formline designs can get pretty wild. You can see they’d be really good practice at shading in, or adding colored pencil gradients.

Remember the importance of the most common element in Tlingit formline is the ovoid shape. The ovoid is used most often in body parts that are articulated.

This may include knee and elbow joints, hands and feet, and of course the eyes – because they move in their sockets.

I mentioned in a different blog post that you can find lots of examples of formline on Pinterest, such as these pins. I hope the link works for you. Pinterest prompted me to sign in, or sign up.

You’ll have a lot of options for the palm part of the hands, ranging from a simple ovoid “hole” in the hand, to the most basic ovoid (with a fine line around it), to quite elaborate ovoids and/or salmon trout head.

Usually the amount of detail you put into a design depends on how much room you have for your design area. Good to know when to quit. Sometimes simple is the most elegant.

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