How to Draw Animals on Totem Poles

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Drawing animals on totem poles requires first sketching out the tall totem pole, drawing a winged creature at the top of the totem and using strong, bold shapes to illustrate the other animals. Sketch a variety of animals on a totem pole with creative tips from a professional illustrator in this free video on drawing.

Part of the Video Series: Drawing & Illustration Lessons
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Joel Hickerson, grindog.com. Today we're going to learn how to draw animals on totem poles. First thing, totem animals would be very strong and very bold exaggerated elements. Like their eyes especially, would be carved out of wood. But they'd be carved in such a way that they're actually kind of, cartoony, almost. The way they carve them. They do it a lot of times, the one on the top would have wings that came out. And they would delineate the feathers, very strongly. They're very conscious of the elements of the version of the eagle. Actually it was on a lot of the totems. And it was more of a symbol of strength and leadership. So we could start with the eagle on the top. And they, these totem poles were segmented into the different animals. And maybe the second one would be more round. And that would be a bear. Which usually could represent anything from creativity or determination to motherhood, actually. Out of all things. So the bear might be the second element we bring down. And what I'm doing, is I'm creating these figures with a pencil. But mainly when you draw totem animals. The main thing would be, is to have very bold shapes. And to do that, you can come back with your pen. And do the outlines. That will be your totem animals. O.k. Extrusion lines that I've drawn with a pencil are usually more of a guide than anything else. So as I come back to draw the animals. I may redraw the the lines entirely in some cases. It gives me a good guide and good sense of space. And this is our bear. Remember, the bolder the lines, the better. These guys are very graphic. Very exaggerated lines. And that's how you draw animals on totem poles.

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