Badarian Beauty

Badarian Beauty

The young woman you see here represents the Badarian culture which appeared in central and southern Egypt between 4400 and 4000 BC. These prehistoric progenitors of the Egyptian civilization would have probably subsisted as semi-nomadic cattle-herders moving between the Saharan savannas and the Nile floodplains every year, supplementing their diet with cultivated wheat and barley as well as hunted wildlife. Despite this “tribal” lifestyle of theirs, the Badarians shared with their “civilized” descendants an affinity for body ornamentation (such as tattooing and jewelry made from copper, ivory, bone, and precious stones) and mummifying their dead to be buried with goods for the afterlife. It goes to show you that even the mightiest empires have what we think of as “primitive” beginnings.



Ceratosaurus nasicornis prowls a Late Jurassic rainforest sometime between 153 and 148 million years ago. Found in North America and possibly also Africa and southern Europe, this meat-eating dinosaur would have been a contemporary and possibly a competitor with the larger Allosaurus, but seems to have preferred wetter environments. However, Ceratosaurus would have been more closely related to Cretaceous abelisaurs such as Carnotaurus and Majungasaurus. The nose horn for which the dinosaur is named could have been used either for display or for fighting over mates.

Amanirenas the One-Eyed Kentake

Amanirenas the One-Eyed Kentake

Amanirenas was the ruling Kentake (Queen) of Kush, in what is now Sudan, between 40 and 10 BC. She is best known for her fight against the Roman Empire after attacking its newly acquired Egyptian province. Although the Roman retaliation was brutal (they even sacked the former Kushite capital of Napata), Amanirenas managed to arrange a second standoff against the Romans that convinced them to withdraw back to Egypt, never to challenge her again. Some accounts describe Amanirenas as being blind in one eye, which is why I drew an eye-patch on her this time.

Baby Rashekhu and Apekhuri

Baby Rashekhu and Apekhuri

These are two of the main characters from my fantasy novel, Queen Rashekhu of Djakhem and her tame T. rex Apekhuri, cuddling together as infants. This isn’t actually a scene from the novel itself (they’re both adults in their twenties when the story takes place), but I wanted to show these two characters bonding at an early age. Plus, I wanted to draw a cute moment for a change.

The People of Ta’Sutja

People of Ta'Sutja

I’ve gone back to working on my fantasy novel with Queen Rashekhu (excerpt here), and I want to do a little bit of world-building for the story while I write.

These two represent the people of Ta’Sutja, the ethnic group from whom my protagonist Rashekhu hails. Their civilization is not actually a singular nation-state, but rather divided into a bunch of small competing kingdoms (e.g. Djakhem and Nekhubta) in a vast jungle basin where dinosaurs and other prehistoric reptiles roam wild. Their religion is polytheistic, but each kingdom venerates a different dinosaur as its totemic patron (for instance, Djakhem venerates the Tyrannosaurus and Nekhubta the Ankylosaurus). For the most part, the culture of all the Ta’Sutjan kingdoms is a mixture of influences from ancient Egypt and various Central African cultures.

By the way, those dots, dashes, and squiggly lines on these two individuals’ skin are scarifications, their way of beautifying themselves.

Herwennefer the Egyptian Rebel

Herwennefer the Egyptian RebelHerwennefer (also known as Hugronaphor or Haronnophris) was an Egyptian native who led the Upper (southern) Egyptian provinces in a revolt of secession against the ruling Ptolemaic Dynasty, starting in 205 BC. He and his successor Ankhwennefer (alternately Ankhmatis) together were able to hold Upper Egypt until 186 BC, when their efforts would have been crushed by Ptolemy V. Since the Greco-Macedonian citizens of Ptolemaic Egypt would have enjoyed a privileged status over the overtaxed natives, it’s easy to see why the Egyptian masses would have been enthusiastic about Herwennefer and co.’s movement of anti-colonial liberation.

Some sources claim Herwennefer would have been of Kushite (i.e. Sudanese) ethnic heritage, but I chose to color him as a native Egyptian with a little Greek or Middle Eastern ancestry (hence why he’s a bit lighter-skinned than most of my other Egyptian characters). And yes, I did want him to look a little bit like the actor Michael B. Jordan, especially with the hairstyle.

The Name is Mine

The Name is Mine

If the Egyptian Queens Nefertiti and Nefertari were ever to meet one another, they might have a little beef with one another over people getting their names confused. They lived at different times and were Great Wives to different Pharaohs (Nefertiti to Akhenaten and Nefertari to Ramses II), but both their names have the prefix nefer-, which means “beautiful” in the Egyptian language. If you need help telling them apart, Nefertiti is the one with the tall blue crown, whereas Nefertari is the one with the gold vulture headdress.

Credit goes to singers Brandy Norwood and Monica Brown for inspiring the dialogue here, of course.

Nefertari in Acrylics

Nefertari in Acrylics

This is my attempt to paint a portrait of the Egyptian Queen Nefertari using my mom’s acrylic set. Unfortunately, it turned out looking way more “impressionistic” than I had hoped for. I should’ve waited until Mom got back home from her trip to Vegas, but I was too eager to try out a different medium from my usual. Oh well, with practice will come perfect…
Below, the drawing I used as my base for the painting:
Nefertari Painting Prep

Adopting Moses

Adopting MosesTuya, the Egyptian Queen who was the primary wife of Pharaoh Seti, has fished baby Moses up from the Nile River beside her palace. Her son, the prince Ramses II, gazes up with curiosity at the Middle Eastern infant that may become his adopted little brother (and eventual opponent over the freedom of the Hebrew people).

This scene grew from a doodle inspired by the Dreamworks animated film The Prince of Egypt, although the character designs are mostly my own with only a little influence from those in the movie. In the original Biblical account, I believe it is the Pharaoh’s daughter rather than his wife who takes in baby Moses.