Cold

Cold

Cold enough to chill my bones
It feels like I don’t know you anymore
I don’t understand why you’re so cold to me
With every breath you breathe
I see there’s something going on
I don’t understand why you’re so cold.
—“Cold” by Maroon 5 (feat. Future)

Sometime around 40,000 years before present, this Upper Paleolithic woman (Homo sapiens) is weathering the wintry cold of Pleistocene Europe. Although she has inherited most of her physical features from her African ancestors around the time they settled Europe, you may notice she has green eyes as foreshadowing for her people’s eventual evolution into modern “white” Europeans.

The image came to mind while listening to the song “Cold” by Maroon 5. Music has a strange way of inspiring artwork from me sometimes.

Offering to the Aten

Offering to the Aten

Inside a dark chapel with only a narrow aperture to let in the sunlight, the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti makes an offering to the sun god Aten.

Although the main Egyptian solar deity was Ra, another variation on the same theme was an entity known as the Aten which rose to prominence during the reign of the Pharaoh Akhenaten (Nefertiti’s hubby). Akhenaten even went as far as abolishing the traditional Egyptian religion in favor of an almost monotheistic fixation on the Aten. Not only did this not sit well with the “orthodox” Egyptian priesthood, but Akhenaten was a horrible ruler who let his people suffer and whose reign weakened Egypt’s once mighty 18th Dynasty. Nonetheless, some scholars have speculated that Akhenaten’s concept of the Aten might have inspired the modern monotheism of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (although this is not certain).

Neolithic West African Huntress

Neolithic West African HuntressThis is a character for whom I have a background and even a storyline (almost) mapped out, but I’ve yet to choose a satisfactory name for her. She lives in West Africa circa 5000 BC, in an alternate timeline where non-avian dinosaurs never went extinct. Her people have begun settling in villages and cultivating crops, which would place them at a “Neolithic” level of technology.

As for the character herself, she’s a huntress who’s fiercely protective of her younger brother to a fault, as he’s the only family she has left since both their parents died. On the other hand, her brother craves independence and a chance to prove himself as a hunter, even if it means breaking himself free from his sister’s watch. The rest I won’t spoil in detail, but suffice to say they both find themselves in very deep trouble in this savage world of dinosaurs and tribal warfare.

Egyptian versus Sumerian

Sumerian Versus Egyptian.jpg

An Egyptian and Sumerian warrior confront one another in the dusty thick of battle. So far as I know, there’s no historical record of the Egyptian and Sumerian civilizations coming into conflict with one another, but pitting warriors from different cultures against each other is always fun.

Also, normally Sumerian warriors would wear cloaks with discs of metal armor sewn in, but I eschewed that since it would cover too much of my Sumerian warrior’s anatomy. I’ll just say he flung it off for greater mobility or something.

Nusaybah bint Ka’ab

Nusaybah bint Ka'ab

Hailing from the Arabian town of Medina, Nusaybah bint Ka’ab was one of the earliest converts to the Muslim religion. She fought beside the prophet Muhammad himself at the battle of Uhud in 625, picking up sword and shield during a desperate moment to turn the battle’s tide back in their favor. She survived at least twelve major wounds during the ordeal.

I’m not Muslim myself, or even the least bit religious at all, but I wanted to draw a Muslim Arab chick who was also a warrior. Thankfully, the historical existence of women like Nusaybah meant I didn’t even need to take creative license with that concept!

Aterian Woman

Aterian Woman

Here we have a fine female specimen of the Aterian culture, a Paleolithic culture which thrived in northern Africa from 145,000 to 30,000 years ago. They would have been Homo sapiens (or anatomically modern humans), and the material culture they left behind is characterized by distinctive tangs on their stone tools and the use of shell “beads” for personal ornamentation. You can see one example of a tanged Aterian point as the centerpiece of this chick’s necklace.

Egyptian Smiting Scene

Smiting Scene

Among the oldest and most persistent motifs in ancient Egyptian art are portrayals of the Pharaoh smiting his enemies. The exact enemy nation being subdued would vary from image to image, as would the exact means of violence, but the propaganda’s essential message would remain the same across the millennia. In this emulation of mine, the victim is some guy from the Middle East, but rival African kingdoms (such as Kush, further up the Nile) were also fair game for the Pharaoh’s wrath if they rubbed him the wrong way.

Matriarchs

Matriarchs

This young warrior queen is resting on the back of her tame elephant during a warm African afternoon.

With this simple piece I was trying to climb out of a recent creative slump. I hope it jump-starts me back to full productivity within the next few weeks.