Learning by Doing Northwest Coast Native Indian Art

Raven Publishing Inc.

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    Learning by Doing Northwest Coast Native Indian Art

    Learn and teach Native art drawing, painting, and carving in Pacific Northwest Coast art styles.

    Use this book to learn and teach Native art drawing using Pacific Northwest Coast art styles.


    First published in 1987, Learning by Doing Northwest Coast Native Indian art, by Karin Clark and Jim Gilbert, is a helpful guide for anyone interested in Pacific Northwest Coast Native art drawing, painting, and carving styles.

    The book was initially developed as a straight-forward, useful, and enjoyable curriculum to be used in any educational classroom or workshop setting or as a great place to start for those with a personal interest in Northwest Coast art. 

    It includes step-by-step, native art drawing, painting, and carving tutorials perfect for meeting K-12 teachers’ Indigenous-focused curriculum expectations.

    If you’re a K-12 teacher, this book is a culturally accurate grab-and-go resource you can use immediately in the classroom without having to spend hours researching and preparing materials that integrate Aboriginal worldviews and perspectives into the classroom.

    More about Learning by Doing:

    ·        Step-by-step instructions and illustrations on the basics of drawing, designing, painting and carving in the Pacific Northwest Coast Native Indian art style.

    ·        Fifteen educationally based concepts arranged from simple to complex, with each step building on the previous.

    ·        Over 300 black and white detailed illustrations and 32 photos enhance and clarify the straightforward instructions.

    ·        Durable soft cover, black and white, 160 pages.

    ·        5 in x 11 in

    ·        First published in 1987 and reprinted in 1990, 1993, 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2017.

    ·        Bonus: You'll find an unpainted version of a native Raven head design on page 154, a perfect tool for practicing how to draw a native raven head in Northwest Coast art style.

    About the Native Raven art on the cover of Learning by Doing

    The Native Raven design on the cover of Learning by Doing is the same design we use for Raven Publishing’s logo. Based on an idea that flashed as she watched a student at work, Karin Clark designed it and Jim Gilbert drew and painted it.

    The design represents a young Raven, who in Pacific Northwest Coast Indigenous culture is considered a crest figure and responsible for, among other things, the creation of or stealing of light in the form of the sun, moon, and stars  and finding earth’s people while they were still hiding in the dark and giving them the light. Although Raven is a famous trickster and shape-shifter, we do not emphasize this aspect of its character. We believe students can learn this on their own.

    Within our logo, Raven, the teacher, provides children with learning experiences that encourage their educational growth, development, and understanding. Depicted in typical Northwest Coast Native art style, Raven is  the  teacher  whose eye reflects a student hard at work.

    Table of Contents


    Chapter 1
    Scope and Sequence Chart

    Introduction and Theoretical Construct

    Instructional Techniques

    Justification and Need

    Chapter 2 - Review of the Literature


    Northwest Coast Native Indian Cultural Background information

    Contexts of Northwest Coast Native Indian Art


    Native Art

    Recognition of Native Art as an Art Form

    Kwagiulth Artists



    Curriculum Model

    Patterns of Instructional Programming



    Interaction Patterns

    Learner Needs

    Supportive Environment

    Program and Student Evaluation


    Present Day Development of Curriculums of Native Indian Art

    Chapter 3 - Goals and Objectives




    Handout Materials:

    Rating Scale - Teacher Program Evaluation

    Rating Scale - Parent/Guardian Evaluation

    Questionnaire - Teacher Self-Evaluation

    Questionnaire - Student self-Evaluation

    Questionnaire - Student Course Evaluation

    Example of a Criterion-Referenced Test

    Concept Checklist

    Group Record Card

    Chapter 4 - Teaching/Learning the Concepts:
    Native Indian Art Displays

    Concept # 1 - Basic Ovoid

    Concept # 2 - Ovoid with Eyelid line

    Variations and Styles of Eyes and Eyelid Lines

    Concept # 3 - 'U' Shape

    Concept # 4 - Split 'U'

    Split 'U' Forms and Common Mistakes - Test Paper

    Concept # 5 - Reverse Split 'U'

    Concept # 6 - Variations in 'U' Shapes

    Additional Variations in 'U' Shapes - Chart

    Concept # 7 - 'S' Shaped Box End Design

    Concept # 8 - Salmon-Trout Head

    Concept # 9 - Killer Whale Head

    Concept # 10 - Eagle Head

    Concept # 11 - Knife Handles

    Concept # 12 - Bas-Relief Whale

    Concept # 13 - Bas-Relief Eagle (Interior Areas Carved)

    Concept # 14 - Carved Serving Tray

    Concept # 15 - Ceremonial Paddle

    Chapter 5 - Implementation:

    Possible Uses

    In-Service or Other Preparatory Activities


    Line Drawings



    Check out the "Learning By" series