Authentic Style Painted Tipis
Commerical Projects

I was commissioned to paint 3 full size authentic style tipis.   The 18 foot canvases were shipped in from Montana.

Months were spent researching tipis.  They were originally made from buffalo hides.  My goal in painting the actual tipis were to have them look like they were made from skin when illuminated at night.   

There are 3 tribes represented, The Comanche, the Apache and the Souix.   Not all tribes used images on their painted tipis but rather symbols.  The Comanche Indians were a tribe who used primarily symbols.

Each painted tipi was true to the tribe for which it represented.  The colors used for the painting was gleened from viewing Native American clothing artifacts in various museums,
My initial sketch / composition for the Apache tipi (aka tipi)
My composition for the Comanche tipi.
My initial composition sketch for the Souix tipi.
Starting the sketches on the tipis.
Laying in the color for the Souix tipi.
Getting the proportion correct on the buffalo head sketch (using a photo on my computer of a pastel painting of a buffalo I'd done years prior).   I used paint sticks for this.  Interesting note - I used paint sticks for measuring the entire designs for all the tipis.
Underpainting for the buffalo symbol on the Souix tipi.
Sitting on the tipi to give you a perspective on size of the images.
Finishing the symbols on the Comanche tipi.
Apache tipi is done and drying.  I did three coats of paint on each tipi to assist in delaying fading from the outside elements.   Ample drying time was allowed between each coat of paint.
The first tipi being setup.
The three tipis completed and standing as part of a Native American tribute.
View of the tipi and Native American full size sculpture.
The Apache tipi iluminated at night.   The affect of being made from skins is successful!!   From a distance, one would never know the tipis are actually made of canvas.
Entrance Gate - Texas Ranch
It was exciting to receive a call asking if I would be interested in designing an entrance gate for a ranch.   Of course I would!

The name of the ranch is "Branch Water".   The gate columns are made of Austin Stone to match the estate home.   The metal signage is in three layers standing out from the gate.   The "branch" symbol was sketched from downed wood from one of our trees.   The water symbol is the universal ( as well as Native American) symbol for water.   

Once given the dimensions of the entrance gate (leaving 15 feet of height for commerical vehicle to be able to access the property) I set to work on designing my ideas into metal.   The metal was cut using a laser (this was resourced to a metal company).  Then, the metal company who constructed the gate assembled the metal.  I went to the steel company to measure out the distance between the symbols in my design.  It was an amazing experience to see the metal hoists lifting the metal that once existed only in my mind.  The gates came out beautifully.
The initial sketch done on a tablet.
Final sketch / composition.
The stone columns are being created.
The stone masons moving along.
The entrance gate structure is completed.
My sketch transformed into metal art.
The metal branch is about 22 feet long.  The worker at the top of the branch gives you an idea of the size.
Metal water symbol being layed out for me to determine the correct distance between each water wave before welding together.
The metal art is being installed.
The metal art is up and needs to be painted.
Each layer of metal art is set apart to create a 3D effect.
The entrance sign from looking underneath the structure.
A completed project
What a fun project this was.   I was commissioned to paint two logos on the front doors of an antique truck.   The truck is parked outside a country style home improvement and decorating store.   The truck is also used for parades.    I love doing these unusual projects!.   Thank you to Miss Bliss (the Irish Setter) for her assistance.
All artwork on this site is copyright Dawn Secord
Logo on Truck - Texas Store
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