These are three commissioned artworks I did for a longtime family friend of mine. She wanted three 8×10” pieces of artwork to decorate her 12-year-old son’s room, and she requested 1) a warrior woman with a T. rex, 2) Garnet from the Steven Universe cartoon, and 3) a Triceratops. These were all fun to do, and I hope her son enjoys them!
Nubkhas got her start as a princess of Egypt, daughter of Pharaoh Mentuhotep IV of the 11th dynasty (that’s during the Middle Kingdom period). However, after the treacherous vizier Amenemhat deposed her father in a bloody coup, Nubkhas fled the country and has since lived her life as a traveling mercenary and adventurer. She’s a skilled martial artist, hunter, and diplomat as a result of her royal education, but she retains a fierce and haughty spirit worthy of an Egyptian princess.
In my previous drawing I had Nubkhas’s hair all grown out after years of life outside the comfort of her palace (the usual practice of Egyptian nobility was to shave their heads and wear wigs). But then it occurred to me that an African woman wandering across the ancient world would probably have to deal with all kinds of curious foreigners trying to touch her tightly curled hair. As a precaution against this unwanted hair molestation, Nubkhas wears this headwrap whenever she’s in a big city (outside of Africa itself, of course).
Last weekend I ate out with my family at Macaroni Grill, and I doodled this with the crayons and paper tablecloth they were kind enough to provide us with. Unfortunately there were only three crayons available at our table, two red ones and one green, so I had a very circumscribed color palette to work with. Still proud of what I could achieve though.
Summer and winter, the two opposite seasons of the year, embrace and kiss one another.
Realistically speaking, the dude should probably have some clothes on to protect himself against the cold. But then it wouldn’t be as sexy, would it?
In Greek mythology, Medusa was one of three sisters, known as the Gorgons, who hailed from the African continent (which the Greeks called “Libya”). She was originally a very beautiful maiden who fell victim to the sea god Poseidon’s sexual violence in a temple to Athena. In a senseless and appalling example of rape culture at work, Athena punished not Poseidon but Medusa, transforming her into a snake-haired monster so hideous that men would turn to stone upon the mere sight of her. Poor Medusa never found justice. Instead her fate was for the demigod Perseus to slay her and use her severed head as a weapon.
Honestly, Medusa’s story is one of the saddest Greek tragedies I’ve ever read about, even if in this case it was unintentional.
Solomon was one of the kings of ancient Israel made famous through the Old Testament in the Bible. A son of King David, he is said to have taken the throne around 967 BC, ruling a kingdom that stretched from the Euphrates River to the north and Egypt to the south. He became known for his building projects (including the Holy Temple in Jerusalem), the great wealth and wisdom he accumulated, and for a harem of reputably 700 wives and 300 concubines (yeah, he was quite the player). Unfortunately, archaeological and historical evidence for his reign outside the Biblical accounts are few and far between, so it’s possible he—like many other characters in the Bible—is a mythical character rather than a real historical ruler.
Many portrayals of King Solomon that you see in Western art, going back to the Middle Ages, portray him as more or less a stereotypical medieval European monarch. For my own rendition, I opted instead to emphasize his Middle Eastern roots by giving him a more sultan-like getup. I believe the trousers he’s wearing are called sirwal, which are worn in a number of Islamic and northern Indian countries (they’re the bagging trousers the characters are wearing in Disney’s Aladdin).
Aida, a fictional princess of Kush (pictured left), is the titular protagonist of an opera composed by the 19th century composer Giuseppe Verdi. In the opera an Egyptian warrior name Radames (right) captures her in one of the many wars between Egypt and Kush, but nonetheless they fall in love even as Aida’s people plot a rebellion against Egypt and the Pharaoh’s daughter has her own eyes on Radames. It’s almost like an Egyptian take on Romeo and Juliet hybridized with a love triangle and Stockholm Syndrome. Oddly enough, not even the latter aspect prevented the opera from being adapted into a Disney musical in the modern day.
Recently the 9,500-year old skull of a man from Jericho, in what is now Israel, had forensic reconstruction techniques applied to it to show how his facial features may have looked in life (see left). I wanted to “complete” this reconstruction with a little color and dressing-up, so I drew my own version of it with colored skin, hair, and a little clothing and jewelry attached. As for the original skull, it had a plaster coating and seashells inserted into its orbits (eye holes) for unknown (but probably religious or ritualistic) reasons.
Source of original image: