Posts by Tag: tutorial

Dembadon II

the Djembefola

Dave KobrenskiArtwork Aug 26 2016

This drawing is part two of the Dembadon series. The Dembadon is a pre-marriage festival for the bride-to-be that is quite common in Conakry, Guinea, accompanied by much drumming, singing, and dance. The djembe is the drum played with bare hands that typically plays the “solos” that interact with and speak to the dancers. A djembefola is “one who makes the djembe speak.” Behind the djembe player in this drawing is also the dununba player. The djembes are always accompanied by three “dunun” drums (the bass drums played with a stick and that have a bell mounted on top). The dununba is the largest and deepest of the three dunun drums. This post is a part of my “Drawing on Culture: West Africa” series, made possible by support from my awesome patrons on Patreon! Learn more about how you can support my ongoing work here, with pledges as little as $1. Every amount helps greatly! Dembadon II: the Djembefola 19x24” pencil on bristol by Dave Kobrenski

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Dembadon I

the Sangbanfola

Dave KobrenskiArtwork Aug 10 2016

This drawing is part one of the Dembadon series. The Dembadon is a pre-marriage festival for the bride-to-be, and is quite common in Conakry, Guinea. The festival features much drumming, singing, and dance. At the Dembadon, the bride-to-be is honored, and it is a time for her to celebrate with friends and family, and, in some cases, say goodbye to them as she goes to start her new life with her new family. In this drawing (part one of a three-part series), I’ve depicted the sangban player at a Dembadon festival. “Sangban” is the name of middle of three drums in the set of dununs (bass drums), and sangbanfola means “one who makes the sangban speak” — and is a generally compliment to the abilities and competence of the player! In the capital city of Conakry, Dembadon festivals are an important part of how musicians earn an income playing traditional music. The musicians are fed before the event in a communal meal, and during the festivities, money is thrown to (or placed on!) the drummers and dancers, and is collected at the end of the festival to be split up equally by the musicians. Usually lasting several hours, the festivities are led by the exuberant singing of the griottes, accompanied by the full ensemble of drummers (djembe, dununba, sangban, and kenkeni drums). The music played during the Dembadon is usually in the family of Soli rhythms, but nowadays it is quite common to also hear rhythms in the dununba family — the dance of the strong men — and danced by everyone! This post is a part of my “Drawing on Culture: West Africa” series, made possible by support from my awesome patrons on Patreon! Learn more about how you can support my ongoing work here, with pledges as little as $1. Every amount helps greatly! Dembadon I: the Sangbanfola 19x24” pencil on bristol by Dave Kobrenski

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Dununba Dancer In Flight

New Artwork & Drawing Tutorial

Dave KobrenskiArtwork Jul 24 2016

In the Malinké tradition of West Africa, the Dununba is the “dance of the strong men”. In a grueling and exuberant festival that can often last throughout the day, the Dununba dancers display their physical prowess while accompanied by the traditional djembe and dunun drums. Here is the latest drawing from my series depicting Mandinka culture in West Africa: a dununba dancer hailing from the Kouroussa region of Guinea gets airborne! This post is a part of my “Visual Anthropology: West Africa” series, made possible by support from my awesome patrons on Patreon! Learn more about how you can support my ongoing work here, with pledges as little as $1. Every amount helps greatly! Dununba Dancer in Flight 19x24” pencil on bristol by Dave Kobrenski

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L’amitié (Friendship)

Drawing by Dave Kobrenski

Dave KobrenskiArtwork Jul 11 2016

“L’amitié est l’un des beaux cadeaux de la vie” — Friendship is one of the greatest gifts in life. Friendship is a universal thing. There’s something about visiting another culture, where the language and customs seem so different from your own, and seeing two friends walking together, hands interlocked and beaming with joy, to make you realize that we are all the same. I came across these young friends walking down one of the dusty paths in the village. Even though we did not speak the same language and had grown up an ocean apart, in some way I felt connected to them because I understood how friendship feels; it’s a feeling we can all experience and share. A real friend can make all your troubles seem small and the world feel brighter. “To be without a friend is to be poor indeed.” The people in this simple village have a great wealth of friendship and family. All the money and material possessions we have in the West pale in comparison. This post is a part of my “Visual Anthropology: West Africa” series, made possible by support from my awesome patrons on Patreon. Learn more about how you can support my ongoing work here! L’amitié (Friendship) 14x17” pencil on bristol by Dave Kobrenski

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La Griotte II

Drawing Process and Tutorial

Dave KobrenskiArtwork May 2 2016

For the Malinké, dancing plays a very important role. Music exists for dancing; in fact the word for song, donkilo, is made up of the root words don (dance) and kilo (to call), so could be loosely translated to “come dance.” The music calls both young and old to participate in a joyful and healthy act of expression and joy. Here, a griotte woman shows her joy for the music at one of the many festivals that take place throughout the year. The drawing below is 14x17” pencil and graphite powder on bristol board, and was a great opportunity to do a portrait study and attempt to capture the personality and joy of a woman dancing in a village in Guinea, West Africa. Below, I outline some thoughts and challenges I encountered along the way. I hope you enjoy and find this useful! This post is a part of my “Visual Anthropology: West Africa” series, made possible by support from my awesome patrons on Patreon. La Griotte II 14x17” pencil on bristol by Dave Kobrenski from my series depicting the people and culture of Guinea, West Africa

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Le Vieux Fermier

Drawing Process and Tutorial

Dave KobrenskiArtwork May 1 2016

In the villages in Guinea, much of daily life revolves around tasks related to subsistence farming. Rice, manioc, sweet potatoes, yams, and many other dietary staples are grown in the village. The work is hard, and it is not uncommon to see both young and old at work in the fields. Here, a man sorts through beans that will be sifted and then pounded with the mortar and pestle, and made into that evening’s stew… Le Vieux Fermier is 14x17” pencil and graphite powder on bristol board, and depicts a farmer in a village in the Kouroussa region of Guinea, not far from the Niger River. This drawing had many challenges, as you will see below. Enjoy! — DK This post is a part of my “Visual Anthropology: West Africa” series, made possible by support from my awesome patrons on Patreon. Le Vieux Fermier 14x17” pencil on bristol by Dave Kobrenski from my series depicting the people and culture of Guinea, West Africa

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Belle Femme du Village

Drawing Process and Tutorial

Dave KobrenskiArtwork Apr 26 2016

At festivals in the village, which were almost always accompanied by much drumming and dancing, the women of the village were always singing and playing their karignon — a hollow tube of metal tied to their finger and stuck rhythmically with a striker. Dozens of these bells played together by many women, with their joyous singing and the exuberant sounds of the traditional djembe and dunun drums, forms quite a powerful musical ensemble. This post is a part of my “Visual Anthropology: West Africa” series, made possible by support from my awesome patrons on Patreon. Belle Femme Du Village 14x17” pencil on bristol by Dave Kobrenski from my series depicting the people and culture of Guinea, West Africa

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