Learn how to make a traditional native American sand painting, using sand paper and colored pencils in the first half of
this two part series.
Tags:How to Make a Native American Sand painting Part 1,art projects,crafts,indigenous art,jumbobaystudios,native american art,sand painting,sand paper,tribal art
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The Native Americans of the Southwest part of the United States are responsible for some very interesting works of art. Sand paintings have been made for centuries by the medicine man of the different tribal regions in the Southwest. Typically, the sand paintings are done right in the sand using colored sand and it’s a long involved process whereas there are different chants and a ceremony being said. When the sand painting’s completed, it’s actually believed that the person that the sand painting has been created around is going to get better.
So, when we start to do our version of the sand paintings we’re going to pull from their ideas and the concepts in the images that they actually use in their sand paintings. What I have here are lots of drawings of typical images that are used in Native American sand paintings. Sometimes, they’re actually called altars with sand because they really do have a religious significance. Here are some Thunder God’s. This image here i9s a typical image that represents corn, you can actually kind of see how it’s a stalk of corn in there, the ears of the corn in there with the silk hanging down. Heres another Thunder god, more corn, a snake, different gods, prayer stick, more corn, Native American designs. You can find these on my website and you can also put your DVD into your computer and actually print out all of these designs and patterns.
So from these ideas, the first thing is did was I looked at some of the typical patterns and designs of the South West Indians used in some of their artwork and I created a border design. I used little spirals, I used this little line design that almost looks like a comb intersperse with the spiral. So this became my border. Then I chose to do two different versions of the corn stalk and I’ve put two Thunder birds symmetrical, you know the kind of a mirror image to each other and the tipis.
Okay so, once you have your drawing completed what you’re going to do is you’re going to get some sand paper and you want to get the kind of a fine sandpaper because if you get the too course, the colored pencils that we’re going to use on this wont stick to the sandpaper quite as well. so get somewhere between fine and actually fine is good. What we’re going to do is take a piece of carbon paper or transfer paper. I'm going to lay that on top of the sandpaper and I'm going to actually transfer my design.
The border design, I always feel that you can do freehand but for the main images you’d probably want to trace. I'm actually really good at doing things freehand but all you do is you just go over your original drawing, here are my little tipis and the Thunderbirds and probably I'm just going to skip the dots because that’s something that can be done freehand because sometimes the transfer paper can affect some of the lighter colors when you’re’ actually doing the coloring with the colored pencils so I try to do as much freehand as possible. Okay so we’ve got the tipis done almost, thunderbirds are done; make sure that you don’t move your transfer paper while you’re working.
Now I'm going to do the corn stalks. Okay, I’ve just finished going over all the lines here, you can feel free to go back and just kinda darken it up a bit. The one thing that missing is, I didn’t put the dots in and I didn’t do the border because I'm going to do the border freehand. At this point you’re probably going to want to pick out some nice bright colors, kind of choose a color scheme that you’d like to work with. Personally, I think the prisma color colored pencils work the best because it has thicker lead and it covers better. You want to use white, it looks good, black looks good for accents and probably I think I'm going to stick with some yellow. So, these are going to be the colors I'm going to use. I've got like eight colors here basically and all you do is go over your pencils lines with your colored pencils and I'm going to start to just coloring the areas.
One thing you will find is you’re going to go through these pencils pretty quickly because after all you’re drawing on sandpaper and you’re just going to whittle down these pencils very quick. And you’ll notice that I keep going back over sort in these areas because I want it nice and dark so it would look as if you’ve sprinkled sand on there. If you wanted to try doing it that way, you could always use glue and colored sand, it’s a lot messier process and it’s a lot more difficult but it does look very cool when it’s all finished. Okay so, you can see we’re making some progress here and I'm just going to pick out some new colors. It’s just a matter of picking colors and continuing to work.
Okay, we’re getting kinda close here, a couple of helpful hints: you really have to watch when you’re drawing, you’re going to have to keep turning your paper in different directions so that you’re not actually putting your hand or a part of your fist onto what you’ve already drawn because if you smear the colored pencils its not easy to erase because the little pieces of eraser tend s to stick to the sandpaper. I'm just going to finish up my little dots on the thunderbirds.
The thunderbird is a symbol of power. You can always go back and do a little outlining if you want with other colors. Add some pink on that side and put some black down this side. I also did my border freehand and there you have your sand painting. And probably on the very end you might want to put some spray glue on the back of this and just matted on to a piece of colored paper to make it a really nice finish product.