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.

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.

African Love Divinities (Digital Version)

African Love Divinities_Digital
These would be two female divinities of love and fertility from native African religion and mythology. On the left is the Egyptian Hathor, and on the right is the Yoruba Oshun (from what is now Nigeria). Sometimes I feel guilty for drawing so many more Egyptian or Kushite characters than characters from other regions of Africa, so I wanted to juxtapose an Egyptian with a West African person. Egypt was the first African civilization (as well the first ancient civilization from anywhere in the world) that I ever got into, but you can’t ignore the rest of the continent either.

Original colored-pencil version here.

African Love Divinities

African Love Divinities

I should have drawn this during Valentine’s Day, but the idea kissed me too late. Oh well, better late than never.

These would be two female divinities of love and fertility from African religion and mythology. On the left is the Egyptian Hathor, and on the right is the Yoruba Oshun (from what is now Nigeria). Sometimes I feel guilty for drawing so many more Egyptian or Kushite characters than characters from other regions of Africa, so I wanted to juxtapose an Egyptian with a West African person. Egypt was the first African civilization (as well the first ancient civilization from anywhere in the world) that I ever got into, but you can’t ignore the rest of the continent either.

Bastet the Feline Goddess

Bastet Smiles

Although the Egyptian goddess Bastet (or Bast) is best known for her domestic cat motif, she seems to have begun as a fearsome lion goddess like Sekhmet. Over time, her image softened up so that she became goddess of the home and domesticity (though she still had a protective role against evil spirits). For this portrait of her, I went with a black panther motif in reference to a recent superhero movie I saw (and enjoyed quite a lot).
UPDATE 2/17/18:
Bastet Colorized
This is the “colorized” version of my doodle of the Egyptian goddess Bastet. When you colorize pencil art this way in Photoshop (by drawing the colors on a layer with the “Color” blending mode over the original drawing), it makes it look almost like art created using colored pencils.

Confronting the Denwen

Confronting the Denwen

Our young Egyptian warrior and her lioness companion confront a giant denwen that has terrorized the countryside with its flaming breath.

In ancient Egyptian mythology, the denwen was a fiery, dragon-like serpent attested to as far back as the Old Kingdom. It was capable of destroying even the gods themselves, but could be defeated by the spirit of a dead Pharaoh. We can only hope our heroine and her pet have the same luck against this monster!

Practicing Braids

I’ve been teaching myself how to draw braided hair the past couple of days. At first it appeared difficult and tedious, but as I continue practicing this skill, this initial challenge has given way to fun. I think I’m getting the hang of it now.

Braids appear to have been a favorite hairstyle among the ancient Egyptian and Kushite peoples, but they are also ubiquitous among many other cultures across the African continent. One particular braiding style known as cornrows (pictured in the upper left and bottom drawings) appears to have originated in ancient West Africa before spreading as far afield as Ethiopia and even across the Mediterranean to classical Greece!

By the way, the character depicted in the bottom drawing is supposed to be Hathor, the Egyptian goddess of feminine love and fertility.