The Queen of Sheba

The Queen of Sheba

For this piece, I was practicing using a dib pen for inking and rendering value. It’s a much messier and exhausting process than the marker pens I’m used to, and I am still not satisfied with how I rendered her skin tone (I had to clean some of the mess up in Photoshop after scanning it in). The pose and subject matter owe inspiration to an ink drawing I’ve seen from the late artist John Flanagan, who specialized in illustrating adventure stories. Flanagan’s art somehow reminded me of the Queen of Sheba from the Bible, so that’s what I’ll name this chick.

Modern historians generally identify the Biblical Sheba with the Sabaean civilization in southern Arabia, but for this I was working with the old idea of a connection between Sheba and the Great Zimbabwe civilization. The bird statue behind the Queen is based off soapstone sculptures recovered from the Zimbabwean ruins, and its likeness graces the modern Zimbabwean flag.

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