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December 31, 2012
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The Evenk Shaman by charcoalfeather The Evenk Shaman by charcoalfeather
Happy New Year, guys.

I've always wanted to draw a Siberian shaman in a Bilibin-esque style, and I finally did it before the end of 2012 (in my time zone, at least). This is the fourth picture in the Moleskine Mythology series, and the first of the series to be coloured digitally. I think that all the pictures I'm going to do in this series from now on will have to be coloured digitally, as my copics are starting to dry out and pencil crayons do not look as good in Moleskine as copic markers do.

The Evenki are a Tungusic people who live in Siberia. Formerly known as the Tungus, they are traditionally hunter-gatherers and pastoralists who herd reindeer and live in cone-shaped teepee like structures. Red and blue characterize most ritual items in Evenk shamanism. The shaman, with his buckskin coat and antlers, resembles the elk or the reindeer, which is the primary game animal of the region. See more here: [link]

He is holding a drum in front of him. The statue behind him leaning on the tree is a spirit-companion or saven (as they are known in Udege--I'm not sure what the term is in Evenk). I should note the patterns on the front of his shirt are actually not part of his shirt, but part of a breastplate (made of buckskin, again). Reference for the breastplate from: [link]
Patterns on the shaman's outfit and drum were referenced from pictures on this anthropology site: [link]
His headdress is from here: [link]

What is happening in this picture: (from link: [link])
Shaman steps on the stage again. Hichupkan idol is brought after him (he usually was made out of young larch). The top of the larch is made in the way that reminds human face. The lower part is split as if legs. A bit lower than face small cross stick is settled, representing arms. Hunters in full armour crawl between idol's legs, cleaning themselves and armour from evil spirits. After the last hunter, shaman squeezes idol's legs. He straps it with a mild tree root.

All participants make sacrifices - put fur -bearing animal hide, scraps of different colors on idol's arms. They grease his face. The ritual is over. Shaman says to the spectators:

"Now we will have the quarry. We caught luck!"


Used texture from here: [link]

Media:
Moleskine notebook
Photoshop CS6
Inkscape
Micron markers

Time: ~2 hours
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:iconcharcoalfeather:
charcoalfeather Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much! I'm glad you think so!
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:iconcharcoalfeather:
charcoalfeather Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Haha, I never watched the Addam's Family, so I can't help you there. The only thing I know about that show is that there's a girl called Wednesday there.

Yeah, shamans are pretty cool. This piece was inspired by this pretty neat short film about Udege shamans, sort of: www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaTCrW…

It's only 11 minutes long (the movie above, I mean).
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:iconlemniskate:
Lemniskate Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2014
If only one could peek at the backside of that drum to learn all the secrets of the world :)
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:iconcharcoalfeather:
charcoalfeather Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Indeed :)

Thanks so much for the faves and the llama!
Reply
:iconeternalwinters:
eternalwinters Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Wow...I love it how your art is a like...a culture/history lesson as well as visually nice to look at. The texture was put to use very well in this picture, and the details to the background suit the picture well.
Reply
:iconcharcoalfeather:
charcoalfeather Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Hey, thanks! I'm glad you think so. I always want my art is have some kind of meaning behind it, so I'm glad that wasn't in vain ;)

Is school starting for you soon? I'm starting on Monday, and that sucks. I already have a ton of readings, but luckily, I've already finished most of them.
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:iconeternalwinters:
eternalwinters Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I'm starting on Monday too. xD Gosh I feel so unprepared for everything. There's a test on Tuesday for a unit we barely went over in class before break...and I've got some homework left before tomorrow.
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:iconcharcoalfeather:
charcoalfeather Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Damn, that sounds annoying. Good luck studying and finishing homework! Do you still have to work on your uni applications at this point?
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:iconeternalwinters:
eternalwinters Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Student Digital Artist
xD Thanks I'm going to need it.

Sort of? Like I need to finish the five due on the fifteenth xD;; I'm such a horrible procrastinator.
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:iconcharcoalfeather:
charcoalfeather Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, that's a lot. Damn.
Reply
:iconiron-hearted:
Iron-Hearted Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Sorry for the late comment D: I think my favorite part of this are the tree shapes in the background, they're so Bilbin. The colors are so great too, and I mean the color palette.

It kind of gives me an eerie feeling, because it's kind of dark, and reminds me of a head twisted backwards. Are the shamans supposed to give off this feeling?

I like all the little designs too! So neat~
Reply
:iconcharcoalfeather:
charcoalfeather Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't know if it's supposed to be eerie or not, but in a previous version of this, the background wasn't as dark and the shaman just blended in with the rest of the forest, making the work impossible to decipher. It wasn't my intention to make the piece particularly scary, but I guess it works! It reminds me of this video I showed you, now that you remind me: [link] I know this video is about a Udege shaman and not an Evenki one, but the mood is similarly "eerie."

Well, those little designs aren't mine xD They're referenced from the public domain and educational sites about Evenki shaman clothes.

Thanks!
Reply
:iconiron-hearted:
Iron-Hearted Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Ah, it does remind me of the video! I don't know, maybe it's not so much as eerie as it is sort of mystical/supernatural (because that's the feeling I get from the video).

Well... you drew them! I like how you drew them? haha. Also, I found those German books,with the decorated pages. I need a sharper razor blade to cut them out, because all I have are things for sharpening my pencils and pencil crayons and they're really dull. I also need a better computer/photoshop to edit them on, so it might be a few days before I post them (I have some other old book textures too.)
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:iconcharcoalfeather:
charcoalfeather Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That's neat! Where had they been all along?
Reply
:iconiron-hearted:
Iron-Hearted Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Do you know those types of plastic file cabinets? My mom has a few of them, and I guess I had stuck it in there sometime.
Reply
:iconcharcoalfeather:
charcoalfeather Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, that's neat. Can't wait to see it!

Is your art portfolio for school going to be on dA or elsewhere? I've always wondered.
Reply
:iconiron-hearted:
Iron-Hearted Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I would like to, especially if it will help other people build a portfolio for art school and an illustration program.

I have a portfolio like this, in 18x24": [link]

My brother has a nikon, and I think that I'll take photos of each centerfold and make a special flickr account so people can look at the easily.
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:iconcharcoalfeather:
charcoalfeather Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That's a neat idea. Can't wait to see it~
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(1 Reply)
:iconchunky-salsa:
Chunky-Salsa Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
you really have your own style now! your lineart is very characteristic and there's plenty good details.
Reply
:iconcharcoalfeather:
charcoalfeather Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Aw, thanks :)
Reply
:iconrannalta:
Rannalta Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
This is super legit.
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:iconcharcoalfeather:
charcoalfeather Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:bow: Thanks.
Reply
:icondok-alexa:
Dok-aLeXa Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ahhhh, the Evenki people! Really lovely that you have featured their shamanic culture here in this work.
I was drawn to this as their culture is somewhat similar to one with which I am quite enchanted; the Saami. I guess one could say the Evenk people are like their Eastern cousins.

Anyway, very neat art regarding their shamanism! Nice execution as well, in terms of your use of mediums. :aww:
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:iconcharcoalfeather:
charcoalfeather Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You're certainly right about that. Thank you! One of the reasons I drew this was because there was so little about Evenki shamanism (or any kind of Siberian shamanism) in the English blogosphere (and deviantart).
Reply
:icondok-alexa:
Dok-aLeXa Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes! :D
To me, this mystery that lingers due to their largely oral traditions in the frozen north is what has drawn me to them; that and tracing the origins of Norse Mythology and the Elder Futhark anthropologically... but that's more specific to the Saami, I suppose.
I have this idea (which has been officially entertained by some anatomists + anthropologists) that the Evenki, however, are the still living link to the Indigenous Americans. Considering their age old journey is endlessly dreamy and interesting!

Also, of course! :aww: I was incredibly enthralled to see someone do art (and very nice work at that) related to them.
Reply
:iconcharcoalfeather:
charcoalfeather Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
The closest living link to the Native Americans in Siberia is the Ket (if you don't count the Siberian Yupiks, because amount people do not count the Inuit and Yupik of northern Canada and Alaska as Native Americans although they are Aboriginal), who speak a Na-Dene language, actually, I think. The Evenki are Tungusic peoples, and while they do share Siberian origins, they are probably farther away from Native Americans than the Ket.

Aw, thank you! I'm glad you think my work is passable. It's my first time colouring in this kind of lineart in Photoshop.
Reply
:icondok-alexa:
Dok-aLeXa Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ahh, yes! The Ket. I remember reading that about them a couple years back, now. Thank you much for the refresher! :aww: Also, your knowledge of these peoples is quite wonderful and well-versed!
Yes, I count any of the indigenous peoples on the North American continent to be Native Americans. For me, it is odd when people do not consider them as such, though there may be a means of "classification" of which I'm not aware that would omit them.

Of course, of course. :) I wish you many more successful pieces with this method you've used.
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:iconcharcoalfeather:
charcoalfeather Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem. And thank you!
Reply
:icon999demons:
999demons Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Looking at the background you can clearly sense the Bilibin influence. He is also someone I often look to now that I have started to work a lot with watercolour and ink.
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:iconcharcoalfeather:
charcoalfeather Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, it isn't really that obvious at first, but it's cool that you noticed that.
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:iconvittoriaottilia:
VittoriaOttilia Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013
it's so interesting and beautiful! :)
and happy new year to you too as well! :)
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:iconcharcoalfeather:
charcoalfeather Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks! You too.
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