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Art Lesson Inspired By Norval Morrisseau


This  is the first time we are visiting an artist who was famous for his aboriginal or tribal art. He is  Norval Morrisseau and he was an artist from Canada. Aboriginal art is the art that we see carved on caves or painted on leaves by people of the earlier generations. Norval also made many paintings on the bark of the birch tree. Tribal art is also known as aboriginal art in North Americal and Canada. In fact, it had originated 12000 years ago.

Tribal patterns in Norval Morrisseau style
Tribal patterns in Norval Morrisseau style

Norval is known as the grandfather of native art in Canada. He is from Anishinaabe tribe in Canada. So his art style is also known as Anishinaabe painting. Today his style of art is known as Woodland school of art.

His art had powerful earthly images of birds, animals, tribals, leaves and flowers. His figures, especially the eyes gave mystic and spiritual feeling generating traditional beliefs of his ancestors. The geometrical patterns and dots definitely portray tribal art. He painted the subjects in an x-ray anatomy with his colors which added to the mystifying effect and at the same time made it more vibrant. The colors he used though made him more of the contemporary artists of his time.

See more of Norval Morrisseau paintings here.

Why should you try making art like Norval Morrisseau?

  1. Tribal patterns, symbols, and icons are interesting and these design patterns are good to learn.
  2. Use mystic blues and purples which will give a feeling of spiritual and unknown .
  3. Try making one of those wingless birds which look more like a penguin.
  4. Shapes of animals and birds look unreal and powerful. Try them out. 
  5. Arrange your picture to fill the entire space of the canvas.
  6. Try layering acrylic paints one above the other using the opaqueness of acrylic paints.

Norval-tribal1-lilcreativekidsNow paint in Norval Morrisseau style.

We have used acrylic paints and canvas to paint. Take a sheet of canvas which is A4 or bigger.

If you want a base color for your canvas, color it and let it dry for the night.

Here we have drawn birds. The shape of the flightless birds and the colors are things that we concentrated.

To paint one color inside the other, let the colors dry well. Create your own colors. Mix white with the colors to make the colors more opaque, since we are layering one above the other and we do not want the base color to be seen.

We have gone from the darker shades to the lighter one till there were enough layers to make it bright.

Norval-tribal-lilcreativekidsMake your own flowers, trees, leaves, animals, humans.

Visit Indian tribal Bhil art to see a different style of tribal art.

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