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Personally, I divide tribal design into 3 types: 1. Gothic tribal 2. Celtic tribal 3. And what I call, the general tribal. First, let’s start with the general tribal, you must first know the most basic stroke, as shown in the pic,

As you can see, it starts and ends with a sharp point, most tribal designs consist of variations of this kind of stroke. Here’s how you usually draw it,



Then, it is recommended that you fill it up using GIMP program later on instead on coloring with your pencil. GIMP is a freeware which we recommend, because it’s free, the software size is not large, and it can perform most function that Adobe Photoshop can perform. But if you have any tips on using Adobe Photoshop, we welcome it. You can download GIMP either by typing gimp in Google, or you can click the following link, We posted tips on editing your picture using GIMP, it is simple and fast. ( I am not sponsored by GIMP ) You can get the tips on the GIMP tutorial that I posted.

So, back to the tribal, using the basic stroke just now, you can add other strokes to it, for instance,

And also, you can do some changes to the strokes,

Again, it is advised that you fill it in using GIMP software, don’t worry, it is easy to install.

So, to create a simple tribal design that looks like this,

You just combine a bunch of different variations of that basic stroke. I drew it by first starting with a giant ‘S’, then as a general rule, I made sure it begins and ends with sharp ends, then you just crisscross a few types of that stroke

over each other, then finally rub off the intersections. So, with this general tribal stroke, you can create animals and creature designs, such as those shown in the pics,

The first few tribals I drew took quite some trial and errors but as you get used to the strokes, you can do it without wasting any papers. As you can see, for animals/creatures, you can’t use only that initial stroke, occasionally, you need to draw out the shape of the head, claws…etc. There is no simple trick for this, the only tip I can give in this is, visualize… or take a real picture and imitate the shape.

In animal/creature tribal, the outer shape is the most important, usually, I take real life pictures as reference ( not the dragon ). As long as the animal picture is in the position you wanted, just draw out the basic shape first, then fill in the shape with strokes such as these,

Of course there’s no fix rule in this, you can create your own type of strokes as long as you like it. Oh, before I forgot, here’s another tip, sometimes, you can imitate the skeleton structure of the animal, such as this,

So, if you have any other tips to share, I really welcome it.

Here’s an example of Gothic tribal.

As you can see, Gothic style tribal designs rarely have separate strokes as the general tribal. Gothic strokes usually end with a malevolent style, with strokes such as,

Also, in a lot of Gothic designs, symmetry is important, this can be done by first folding your paper in half, or using a graph paper to draw your design, then later trace is out on a white paper the scan it into the computer.

Here’s an example of Celtic tribal,

As you can see, celtic design consist of a lot of crisscrossing strokes, the most popular celtic design is the ‘Triquetra’, which looks like this,

You start with something like this,

Then you add in the ‘thickness’ and make them cross over each other.

If you search in Google Image, you can find a lot of versions of celtic tribal designs, basically, you just cross them over each other. I recommend you overlap the lines first and complete the whole design,

Then only you erase a little off the overlaps to create the space in between, you can do that using GIMP. It will look more natural that way. If you have any tips to share, please please share it at my facebook pageâ˜ş.

Tribal design toturial  

Basic tribal design tips

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