By Jim Gilbert and Karin Clark
- Learn Pacific Northwest Coast native formline art, step-by-step, with this comprehensive guidebook, including "how to draw" sections.
Plan out traditional formline drawings and create meaningful, original designs.
Save hours of researching online with well-researched cultural background information and regional art-style comparisons.
Beginner to expert, find something for everyone!
Make it easy with step-by-step, clear, concise directions and detailed illustrations.
Meet your curriculum expectations beautifully, with history and applied design techniques, if you're a teacher or homeschooler.
Feel confident in respectful content. Our books have been vetted and recommended for accuracy and respectful tone by First Nations artists, educators, and community members.
— Chief Tony Hunt Mupin Kim, Klah Kwa Tzee Four Times Chief/Big Copper - Kwagulth Master Carver and Artist. Tsaxis/Victoria, B.C.
— Steve Brown, Author and Artist, Associate Curator, Native American Art, Seattle Art Museum. Seattle, Washington.
— Nella Nelson, First Nations Education Division Coordinator, Greater Victoria School District, Member of the Tsawataineuk Band, Kwakwaka’wakw Nation. Victoria, B.C.
— Reg Ashwell, Art Collector, Consultant and Author. Saltspring Island, B.C.
- A reference and instruction manual with a detailed, thoroughly analyzed, well-supported comparison of four Pacific Northwest Coast First Nations art styles.
- Includes 800 clear, detailed illustrations accompanied by straightforward copy.
- Topics cover design formline, ovoids, U shapes, S shapes, heads, body parts, and design formation, as well as a step-by-step “how to draw” section.
- A glossary explains terms, an extensive index supplies easy references, and a bibliography supplies further resources.
- Durable soft cover, black and white, 224 pages.
- 5 in x 11 in
First published 2000 and reprinted in 2002, 2005, and 2012, Volume 1 has sold over 25,000 copies to date, and it is one of our most popular books.
Don't forget to buy the companion manual
Table of Contents
Overview of Learning by Design
Aboriginal Art within a Cultural Context
Map: Culture and Art Style Regions of the Pacific Northwest Coast
Map: Four Major Art Style Regions of the Pacific Northwest Coast
History and Description of the Mid Coast Art Style
History and Description of the South Coast Art style
History and Description of the West Coast Art Style
Formline: An Introduction
Joining Design Units
Salmon Head Design
Examples of Heads in Design Units
Examples of Free Form Heads
Beaks and Bills
Hats, Headbands, Hair
Body Parts and Appendages
Body and Appendage Designs
Split Body Designs
Balance, Apparent Symmetry, and X-Ray Design
Comparing Bodies Across Art Styles
Arms and Hands - Human
Legs and Feet - Bird Toes, Claws, Webs
Fins and Tails - Fish and Sea Creature
Tails - Otter
Tails - Whales
Tails - Animal
Wings and Tails - Bird
How to Draw
How to Draw Ovoids
Approaches to Drawing Ovoids
Making Ovoid Patterns or Templates
How to Draw Ovoids Across Art Styles
Ovoids Used in Designs Across art Styles
How to Draw a North Coast Art Style Eye and Eyelid
How to Draw U Shapes
Approaches to Drawing U Shapes
Making U Shaped Patterns or Templates
How to Draw U Shapes for Design Purposes
U Shapes Used in Designs Across Art Styles
How to Draw an Eagle Head
How to Draw a Salmon Head
How to Draw a Human Head
How to Draw a Killer Whale
How to Draw a Wolf Head
Glossary of Art Terms
Bibliography and Resources
About the Authors
Karin Clark, M.Ed. - Writer/teacher/artist Karin Clark has had over 35 years’ experience working with children and adults. Most of this time has been spent learning and teaching with British Columbia’s First Nations in public and private schools, colleges, art classes, aboriginal/social studies courses, and university teacher education programs.
With a primary focus on building bridges of understanding among cultures, Karin has written and published books that highlight and appreciate the varied and rich cultures of the NWPC indigenous peoples as well as how to draw, paint and carve in the artistic styles of the Pacific Northwest Coast First Nations.
In her first book, Learning by Doing Northwest Coast Native Indian Art, co-authored with Jim Gilbert, she used her experiences and training in special and cultural education to produce an easy-to-follow, beginners’ skill development curriculum designed to foster respect for First Nations culture through art.
Karin spends her work time evaluating teaching/learning strategies and materials, creating curriculum material, writing story books and readers, and using frameworks to create First Nations language programs. She creates material and workshops to: enhance self-esteem and motivation; create Native Indian art; learn and teach using the Cognitive Education Method’s (CEM) 6 keys to success; identify and explore personal learning styles and strategies; identify, strengthen, and remediate thinking skills and strategies; train instructors, paraprofessionals, and curriculum developers; and design flyers and brochures.
In writing Learning by Designing Pacific Northwest Coast Native Indian Art Volume 1 and Volume 2 and Learning by Doing Northwest Coast Native Indian Art with Jim, Karin has been able to use all her skills and experience to create useful resources for artists, students, teachers, and collectors.
Jim Gilbert, B.A. - Jim Gilbert, B.A. (April 8, 1932 - November 14, 2000)
Jim was trained under a traditional Kwagulth art apprenticeship with the Hunt family of Victoria. He worked with and for master carver, Tony Hunt Sr., learned the basics from master carver, Henry Hunt, and felt privileged to have danced at Henry's funeral potlatch.
Tony Hunt Sr. praised Learning by Designing Pacific Northwest Coast Native Indian Art, Volume 1:
“This book provides valuable information about the complex variations of Northwest Coast designs. It is well researched and all artists should benefit from this information. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK. Congratulations.” - Chief Tony Hunt Mupin Kim - Klah Kwa Tzee Four Times Chief/Big Copper - Kwagulth Master Carver and Artist. Tsaxis/Victoria, B.C.
Jim was a versatile and award-winning artist in both traditional and contemporary styles. Over the years, Jim was commissioned by a number of First Nations communities to produce carvings and silver jewellery to be used for ceremonial activities.
For thirty years, Jim was an active artist working mainly in the art form of the Pacific Northwest Coast First Nations. He worked in most coastal aboriginal art styles with artistic production ranging from original graphics, limited and open edition prints, carvings in wood, ivory, bone and stone, to hand engraved and sculptured jewellery pieces in silver and gold.
Jim was raised in Brentwood Bay on the Saanich Inlet. His early fishing and hunting partners were local and travelling Indigenous people. That, along with the influence of his father, Harry Gilbert (1898 - 1967), who painted and carved in the Native style, ensured Jim's lifelong affinity to the culture.
In Learning by Designing Pacific Northwest Coast Native Indian Art, Volume 1 and Volume 2, companions for the previously published Learning by Doing Northwest Coast Native Indian Art, Jim shared his passion and respect for the art form and passed on his own training, understanding, skill, and experience with traditional art apprenticeship methods. His experience teaching First Nations art in Victoria schools gave him an understanding of effective methods of passing on artistic knowledge and skills to larger groups of students.
Jim used his artistic skills to create over fifteen hundred original illustrations for both volumes of Learning by Designing. His qualifications as a biologist, teacher, artist and author made him uniquely suited to be involved in the production of this extensive working guide and reference book.
Jim's desire was to pass on his knowledge and appreciation for Pacific Northwest Coast Native art. In his own words, "It is important to me to pass on what I have learned and to make others aware of the value of the finest and most sophisticated art form ever developed by an aboriginal people."