Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Makittuq Family of Muskoxen

This family of muskoxen is standing in defensive formation against a couple of prowling arctic wolves. Makittuq is the Inuit name for "arises, stands up."

The last challenge was to make the background mysterious. I'm happy enough with the results, but the atmosphere needs to be even more intriguing. Maybe if the wolves were more hidden, amidst the swirls of snow...

The snowflakes are cute. I've always loved buttons, and there are some white beads in there too. I congratulate myself for trying something new. =)

What can I do to intensify the scene though? Maybe I need to hide the characters a little — obstruct our view so the story isn't so obvious. After all, mystery is all about the unknown and the unclear, right?

lesson - the drawing is crucial. I should stop and critique at this point.
discovery - bead and button accents add depth and texture to the artwork
challenge - make the scene mysterious by veiling some of it

(To view the study, sculpture, drawing, and vector graphic for this portrait, please view a previous post.)


  1. I love the strength and determination of the oxen. And the snow buttons are genius!!

  2. why not literally put in transparent curtains? If you want to obscure the wolves more, have black or gray or even white gossamer material obscuring them from sight. Perhaps this represents shadows or snow obscuring the view. or the wolves are literally veiling themselves with a curtain because they want to be out of sight of the oxen. but this would set this piece apart from the other animal-fabric pieces. hmmmmm...

  3. about ominous:
    what if the scene had more negative space with the hill with the wolves being higher, and they are at the peak in a "lookout" pose (sitting on haunches).. and if the oxen were lower with faces turned and pointing to the hill. then there would be a tension in the space between as the viewer's eyes followed the gaze between the characters who are acknowledging each other through the distance? The format might get too large, though.

    i am envious of these textures and the tones! inspiring!