Cartoon Cleopatra with Color

Cartoon Cleopatra with Colors

I wanted to see how my cartoon-style Cleopatra would appear in color. This time, I chose to give her a “redbone” complexion, like that of the actress Gabrielle Union. Given her Macedonian ancestry (at least on her father’s side), Cleopatra VII most probably wouldn’t have been a super-dark girl, but I still prefer a browner look for her. Or maybe she’s collected a slight tan from the bright Alexandrian sun.

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Queen Nefertari with Palms Out

Nefertari with Palms Out

This is based on wall paintings from the tomb of the Egyptian Queen Nefertari (labeled Tomb QV66), which show her raising her arms up with open palms in adoration of the gods. However, my main reason for doing this was to practice coloring an African person’s palms accurately. If you look at the palms and soles of African and other darker-skinned people, you’ll notice they always have this distinctively paler, pinkish color. I say it’s time I stopped neglecting this when coloring my non-European characters.

Horemheb

General HoremhebHoremheb, who reigned from 1319 to 1292 BC, was the last Pharaoh of Egypt’s 18th dynasty. But before then, he was a soldier of common birth who became the military commander-in-chief during the reigns of his predecessors Tutankhamun and Ay. Upon seizing Ay’s throne for himself, Horemheb set out to erase mention of the weaker kings before him from official records, revive the country’s deteriorated strength, and restore the traditional Egyptian religion in place of Akhenaten’s “heretical” cult of Aten. You could say he wanted to “make Egypt great again”.

This would be Horemheb while he was still a general. I’m not entirely happy with how the proportions of his figure came out, but I rather like his dreadlocks.

Hofmeyr Man

Hofmeyr Man

This is my reconstruction of a Homo sapiens individual from 36,000 years ago, whose skull was uncovered near the town of Hofmeyr in South Africa. One remarkable finding is that this skull’s morphology is distinct from that of the region’s modern Bantu- and Khoisan-speaking inhabitants, but resembles that of Upper Paleolithic skulls from Europe. Therefore, it’s likely that this guy was somehow related to the Northeast African population from whom all modern humans outside of Africa splintered off between 70-50,000 years ago.

Garamantes Warrior Girl

Garamantes Warrior Girl

A young warrior of the Garamantes people stands alert amidst the dunes of the Libyan desert.

To reiterate, the Garamantes were a (presumably) Berber-speaking people whose civilization lay in the desert of what is now Libya. They had a history of recurring conflicts with the Roman Empire, but were also trading partners whose commercial routes would have connected the Mediterranean and sub-Saharan regions.

Girl of the Garamantes

Girl of the GaramantesThis is a lovely young female specimen of the Garamantes, a (presumably) Berber-speaking people whose civilization spread across the desert of modern-day Libya in ancient times. They had horse-drawn chariots, irrigated agriculture for their cities, and a history of both trade and conflict with the Roman Empire. Much like the kingdoms of Egypt and Kush along the Nile, the Garamantes would have acted as a commercial intermediary between the Mediterranean and sub-Saharan regions. Their civilization seems to have fallen as a result of Vandal conquests in North Africa and a drop in the local groundwater that fed their crops.

I couldn’t find a ton of sources on how Garamantes women would have looked or dressed, so I let my imagination fill in the blanks with this character’s look. However, her tattoos and face paint are inspired by those of modern Tuareg people who roam the Sahara today.

 

Nefrusheri’s Bust

Nefrusheri's Bust

This is a sketchbook portrait of my original character Nefrusheri. She was this Egyptian (or pseudo-Egyptian) warrior princess I created for a fantasy story wherein she had to retrieve a magic staff stolen by the Chinese (or pseudo-Chinese). Unfortunately, I am still stumped on the plotting process, but I don’t want to give up on it since I’ve given up on way too many projects in the past. Somehow I am going to figure out how to make it work!