Sekhmet, the Egyptian goddess of war and violence, descends from the heavens to unleash her wrath upon those insolent mortals.
Getting the background to look right presented a bit of a challenge, but I think the lens flare I added in Photoshop gives a nice extra touch.
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.
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.
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 (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.
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.
Tuya, 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.