Meretseger the Cobra Guardian

Meretseger the Cobra Guardian

Meretseger was an Egyptian goddess whose role was to protect the Valley of the Kings and other tombs near the city of Waset (or Thebes) in southern Egypt, in the area of modern Luxor. She was one of several deities in Egyptian mythology to have a cobra motif (another one being Wadjet, who was a protector of northern Egypt). For my interpretation, however, I also drew upon the nagas from southern Asian mythology (think of them as people with snake bodies), simply because I liked that look for her.

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Serket the Scorpion Goddess

Serket the Scorpion Goddess

Serket (or Serqet) was an Egyptian goddess known for her scorpion motif. Originating in the country’s northern region (known as Lower Egypt), she was a protective goddess with healing power against the scorpion’s venom. In some variants of the Osiris story, it is Serket who protects Isis with her scorpions while the latter gives birth to Horus. Other roles Serket performed in Egyptian mythology were watching over the souls of the death and punishing evildoers with scorpion stings.

Of course, my portrayal of Serket as a woman with a scorpion’s body is inspired in large part by the character of the Scorpion King (played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) in the second Mummy movie with Brendan Fraser. You have to admit, the scorpion-centaur look is kinda neat.

Surrounded

Surrounded

These two warriors appeared to be trapped atop a rock surrounded by a pack of ravenous raptors. But they will not go down without a fight to the death!

With this piece, I wanted to channel my inner Frank Frazetta. Recently watching the old animated film Fire & Ice (which Frazetta helped produce) on Youtube put me in that mood.

The King and Queen of Egypt

The King and Queen of Egypt

This would be an early-morning doodle of the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses II (1303-1213 BC), aka “Ramses the Great”, and his Queen Nefertari. I’ve drawn Nefertari so many times now, and I’ve done Ramses II a few times too, but I don’t remember drawing them together on the same piece of paper for a long time if ever. Nonetheless, it appears that Ramses was quite fond of his Queen, since he granted her one of the most lavishly decorated tombs in Egypt’s Valley of the Queens (as well as numerous sculptural and painted depictions of her beauty).

UPDATE 6/3/18:

And this would be them in digital color…

Pharaoh Ramses II and Queen Nefertari_Colors

Oya in Colored Pencils

Oya in Colored Pencils

After doing a drawing of the Egyptian goddess Isis in colored pencils, I wanted to try out the same medium again with another African deity. This one would be Oya, the orisha (divinity) of storms in the mythology of the Yoruba people of Nigeria. Sorry for the clouds in the background looking messy, but I do like her pose.

Mother of Modernity

Face of Modernity

This would be the face of an early Homo sapiens woman, among the first of our species (circa >300,000 years ago). You could say she is the mother of modernity since she would represent the ancestors of all modern people. I personally find it fascinating that modern human beings, with all their ingenuity and creativity, first emerged in the so-called “Dark Continent” of Africa before some of us migrated elsewhere. There were other waves of hominins that left the continent earlier (e.g. Homo erectus, and then the Homo heidelbergensis ancestors of the Neanderthals and Denisovans), but our lineage was the one that stayed in Africa the longest before its dispersal across the world.

Isis in Colored Pencils

Isis in Colored Pencils

This is a colored-pencil drawing of the Egyptian goddess Auset (better known as Isis) standing in the fertile fields of the Nile Valley. This time, I was inspired by the “Classic Mythology” trading cards published by PernaStudios, although I’ve personally never been satisfied with how most of their artists portray the Egyptian deities. Unfortunately, I didn’t draw this on a 3.5×5” card, so it wouldn’t be eligible for submission to their card set. Still, it gave me an opportunity to return to my oft-neglected colored pencils.

Cobra Mage

Cobra Mage_Shaded

I wanted to kick myself out of a little drawing slump, so here’s an Egyptian sorceress of sorts with her magical cobra-headed staff. Yes, I know it looks a lot like the hypnotic staff Jafar had in Disney’s Aladdin, but it presumably has different powers. Maybe she uses it to get snakes to do her bidding?

Egyptian Mermaid

Egyptian Mermaid

May is apparently considered the month of the mermaid nowadays, so here’s an Egyptian mermaid to celebrate. The fish on which her tail is based would be the Nile perch (Lates niloticus) which is native to the Nile and numerous other rivers and bodies of fresh water throughout the African continent.