I find that when I begin drawing a new culture I notice similarities and parallels to cultures I've previously drawn. So I've made sub-categories in my head. For example, some cultures wear red beaded necklaces. I've been surprised how many! So when I start a drawing that includes a red beaded necklace I think, "Oh, its one of the 'Red Beaded' cultures." There are also "Apron Wearing" cultures, and "Fan" holding cultures. So when I started this one I thought, "Yay! A 'Fan culture'!" It was a really fun fan to draw too, figuring out how to capture the woven aspect and open areas. Some of my other "Fan" drawings are my Cambodian, Cuban, Queen Elizabeth I, and Filipina.
While doing research for this culture I came across many inspiring images on the web and pinned them here. Above is my preliminary design process with a pencil sketch and color design elements.
|Tongan Coloring Sheet|
My Tongan Matryoshka isn't the first Polynesian I've drawn. You may also be interested in seeing my Maori of New Zealand, and my Samoan.