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Uploaded: May 19, 2009
Artist: Dawn
Difficulty: Intermediate  Intermediate Skill Level
Steps: 9
Updated: May 21, 2009
P.O.V: Front
Favourited: 7 times
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What do you call a big log carved out looking like multiple animals? If you guessed a totem pole, you guessed right. Totem poles are big sculptures that are hand carved with big cedar trees. The way that totem poles are made is absolutely fascinating. These large pieces of art work are always done by hand and always created with ritual. Another words, totem poles are never created using modern methods like being mass produced even if they will be on the outside of public buildings or private homes. Once a totem is carved out by a handful of carving artists, the pole is then lifted and pulled by a bunch of strong sturdy men that position the totem upright. Once a totem is created, pulled and placed, the finished creation is usually followed by a ceremony by the Indigenous people of the Pacific Coast in North America. The types of people this falls under is the; Haida, Nuxalk, Tlingit, and other races that practice this type of ceremony. But what is the purpose of a totem pole? Well, for native Americans totem poles represented a tribes status. The large carved figures symbolize the mythological history behind a tribes history, as well as the types of rights and privileges that one has to enjoy. Every animal, man, or object used in totem poles signifies a tribe or clans region and their significance. The pole that I drew is just a basic design that I made up with some of my favorite animals in it. Learning "how to draw a totem pole step by step" can be a very creative thing to do. I have to say that I really did have an awesome time drawing out this statue. And since a lot of men and some woman get these designs inked on their bodies, I will put this tutorial under the tattoo category. Totem pole tattoos are sometimes chosen as tattoo designs if you are a spiritual individual or come from a specific tribe or clan. I know you guys will have fun, I will be back in a while to chat with some of my DragoArt buddies so keep an eye open for your friend and fellow artist, Dragon_Queen.

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how to draw a totem pole

How to Draw a Totem Pole

how to draw a totem pole step 1

STEP 1.

Start this first step with a long rectangular shape and then add the sculptures facial guidelines.
 
how to draw a totem pole step 2

STEP 2.

Okay you will start sketching out the eagle face of the totem pole design. This is really easy to do even if it looks intimidating.As you can see the shapes and lines are drawn out very simply and easy.
 
how to draw a totem pole step 3

STEP 3.

Next draw the horn like ears for the eagle part of the totem pole and then draw out the eyes. Finish the shape of the wings and then you can move to the next step. You are doing great, just keep up the good work.
 
how to draw a totem pole step 4

STEP 4.

A totem pole is made from wood right? Well in order for your totem pole to look authentic, you have to detail it to look like wood. So what I want you to do is sketch out some small scratch lines on the top of the eagle's head and then on the ears. Once that is done you can start detailing the eyebrow portion of the totem pole and then detail the wings, face and beak.
 
how to draw a totem pole step 5

STEP 5.

All you have to do here is detail the wings and around the face of the eagle. Once that is done you can move to the next step. Remember since this is a tutorial that can be your own, you can design your totem any way you like.
 
how to draw a totem pole step 6

STEP 6.

You will start sketching out the second half of the totem pole as you see here. I like the way this part came out because it looks so authentic and creative. But like I said do what you fell more creative doing. All you really are drawing in this step is the poles design.
 
how to draw a totem pole step 7

STEP 7.

As you can see you are almost done with this lesson. What I want you to do next is start the third half of the totem by drawing out a set of teeth and then feet. You will also draw out the other shapes and lines to complete the design.
 
how to draw a totem pole step 8

STEP 8.

This is your last drawing step and just like step two, you will need to sketch out the detailing for the wood effect. Draw out the face of the bottom totem piece and then draw the nose and mouth. Next add some shading and then begin erasing the guidelines and shapes to complete your drawing.
 
how to draw a totem pole step 9

STEP 9.

This is what you should end up with once you are done. Color in your pole and you have completed this tutorial on "how to draw a totem pole step by step".