Northwest Native Arts: Basic Forms


64 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-88839-506-X
DDC 704.03'970795




Reviewed by Peter Harmathy

Peter Harmathy teaches fine arts in Victoria.


Northwest Native Arts provides step-by-step instructions on how to
reproduce and create original Northwest Native animal designs.
Stanley’s art follows the tradition passed down from his father and
his north coast B.C. ancestors.

From the basic ovoid—“U,” “L,” and “S”—shapes, Stanley
guides us through the drawing and construction of generic animal heads
and bodies. From these basics, the reader is further directed to the
creation of increasingly complex forms of the wolf, eagle, raven, bear
(and others) and the many variations within these figures. Another
section contains tracing patterns and puzzles. A coloring section shows
how to place and balance blacks and reds.

Those interested in incorporating Northwest Native designs into their
own art will find this book invaluable. It could also serve as an
excellent resource for teachers and students of art. Stanley’s
instructions are concise and progressive, allowing artists of varying
skill levels to quickly learn the “trade secrets” of the beautiful
and very distinctive style of Northwest Native art.


Stanley, Robert E., “Northwest Native Arts: Basic Forms,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 21, 2024,