This article looks at the design of various Pacific Northwest Native American art animals since Northwest Native American artists focus so much of their subjects on wildlife and mythical creatures.
Most of the time, the entire body of the animal will be outlined by the formline but not always. Sometimes only the head, wing, tail or foot will be shown to represent the animal in a different profile.
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The design of an animal’s eyes usually consists of the eyeball in an ovoid or circular shape with the eyelid drawn as a fine line around it. This line is tapered to points on opposite ends. Sometimes, the eyelid is drawn as a thicker, tapered shape rather than a line. Both the eyeball and eyelid are usually placed within a larger ovoid that represents the eye socket. Below are examples of different Pacific Northwest Native American art eyes. Northwest Native artists have also been known to add in eyebrows for both animal and human subjects.
Ears are usually represented as U-forms and sometimes ovoids. The noses of animals can vary greatly from small ovoid nostrils all the way up to large, flaring snouts. The following examples show ears of Pacific Northwest Native American art bears as well as some noses.
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