Cinderella

Cinderella

Did you know that the oldest recorded variation of the Cinderella fairy tale was set in ancient Egypt?

According to a brief account by the Greek historian Strabo, an Egyptian courtesan named Rhodopis had one of her sandals carried off by an eagle, which then dropped it in the Pharaoh’s lap. Once the Pharaoh’s men identified the sandal as hers, Rhodopis became his wife, and he buried her within the third pyramid at Giza. Of course, over the centuries the story would be embellished into a classic underdog tale, which Walt Disney would adapt into the animated movie we all grew up with.

For my interpretation of Cinderella, I combined influences from her original Egyptian background and the Disney design. Her sandals are supposed to be made of glass like in the Disney version.

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Pharaoh’s Guard

Pharaoh's Guard

This is a concept for a royal bodyguard from an Egyptian-style fantasy culture, wherein the Pharaohs and their belongings are guarded by skilled female warriors. I doubt the real historical Egyptian Pharaohs had female bodyguards like this, but I took some inspiration from the “Amazon” warriors of Dahomey as well as the fictional Dora Milaje from Wakanda in the Marvel Comics universe.

People who have been following my art for some time may recognize elements of the character’s design from my earlier character Nefrusheri, whom I initially conceived as an Egyptian warrior princess. That’s intentional on my part, as I was toying with the idea of making Nefrusheri a royal guard of sorts rather than a princess. But those may not be mutually exclusive; maybe Nefrusheri was born into royalty but then signed up for the guard?

The Violence of Sekhmet

The Violence of Sekhmet

Sekhmet, the Egyptian goddess of war and violence, is on another one of her bloodthirsty rampages. Apparently she was so fond of the taste of blood that the sun god Ra, in order to restrain her, got her drunk with beer dyed red to look like blood. Ironically, however, she also had healing as another one of her aspects, so she must have been more than a one-dimensional killer.

Nefertari is Miffed

Nefertari is Miffed

The Egyptian Queen Nefertari is feeling all miffed now, for whatever reason. Maybe her egoistical hubby Ramses II is getting on her nerves again.

More than anything else, this was an experiment with a different approach to coloring than my usual. I recently saw an art book where the artist apparently did all their coloring under the pencil lines without any inking at all, and it was a look I wanted to try out myself.

I’ll Be Waiting for You, Forever

And I'll Be Waiting for You

“My love, you march to war defiant,
May God returneth you triumphant.
And you’ll be brave, be strong, be true, my love.
And I’ll be waiting for you, forever…
— Angela Van Dyck, “Forever” from the Rome: Total War soundtrack

A Greek soldier fighting for the Ptolemaic army receives a goodbye kiss from his native Egyptian lover. She promises him that she’ll be waiting for his return, either back home or in the afterlife. This was inspired by the song “Forever” from the soundtrack to the first Rome: Total War game. It’s an awfully sweet and romantic song considering the game is about military strategy and conquest, but somehow I find that contrast adds to its beauty (the song “We Are All One” from the Medieval: Total War soundtrack is even better).

A Ptolemaic Affair

A Ptolemaic Affair

A Ptolemaic Affair

A Greek immigrant in Egypt enjoys some intimacy with one of the local ladies. I want to say this takes place during the Ptolemaic period, when a dynasty of Macedonian origin ruled Egypt and numerous Greeks settled in the country. But even before this period, there were Greek mercenaries fighting for the Pharaohs at least as early as the 7th century BC. Regardless of the time period it takes place in, please enjoy the steamy make-out scene!

Ptolemy IV and Agathoclea

Ptolemy IV and Agathoclea

After recently drawing Agathoclea, the scheming mistress of Ptolemy IV of Egypt (221-205 BC), it was only fair that I do a picture of her having some quality time with the Ptolemaic ruler himself. Since Ptolemy IV had a reputation for drunken revelry and debauchery, I figured that he could have put on quite a bit of excess weight from all the eating that would have gone with that partying (although you wouldn’t know it from the more flattering portraits on his coinage). As for what Agathoclea would see in him, my interpretation of their relationship is that she was simply using him to get her brother Agathocles on the throne (and I wouldn’t be surprised if they had something to do with his death in 205 BC). He may crave her beauty now, but he better watch out!