Goddesses of Love

Goddesses of Love

These three goddesses are the Greek Aphrodite, the Egyptian Hathor, and the Norse Freya. Each of them had love and fertility as part of their domains in their respective cultures. Also, this gave me an opportunity to draw a trio of women from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
UPDATE:
Goddesses of Love - Colors
My three goddesses of love—the Greek Aphrodite, the Egyptian Hathor, and the Norse Freya—now have some color for further beautification!
Picking Aphrodite’s skin tone was a bit tough as I wanted her to have a tawny Mediterranean complexion, but adding highlights made it seem paler than it was supposed to be. Also, I added a Norse valknut symbol to Freya’s cheek partly to indicate her Norse identity, but also because I think “tribal” face paint looks good on ancient Northern Europeans.

O Mighty Isis

O Mighty IsisIsis, the mighty Egyptian goddess, ascends to the sky to cast another one of her magical spells. Will she bless someone who needs her help, or rain destruction upon her enemies?

I wanted her pose to look like a comic-book superhero this time. In fact, there was a superhero character based on Isis who got her own show in the 1970’s and eventually became part of the DC Comics continuity. Unfortunately (but also predictably), they had to cast a European-American woman to play this African goddess.

Isis the Enchantress

This is the digitally colored version of something I posted earlier…

Isis the Enchantress

Isis, who is perhaps the most famous of all the Egyptian goddesses, is ready to cast one of her magic spells. According to Egyptian mythology, she obtained her powers after learning the sun god Ra’s “secret name” (since the Egyptians believed learning a person’s secret name would allow you to control them magically), but for the most part she would use them for benevolent purposes such as healing and protection. This helped make Isis one of the most popular deities in the whole Egyptian pantheon in ancient times; even the Greeks and Romans would adopt her into their own religions.

Ma’at the Goddess of Justice

Ma'at the Goddess of Justice

In the ancient Egyptian worldview, Ma’at was a concept representing truth, justice, and order in the universe. It formed the basis of morality that every Egyptian citizen had to follow and every Pharaoh had to uphold. Sometimes the Egyptians would represent Ma’at as a goddess wearing an ostrich feather under her headband. This feather was a symbol of truth against which the hearts of the dead would be weighed on a scale; only if the heart weighed less than the feather could the dead enter the afterlife.

Hathor

Hathor

Hathor, the Egyptian goddess of love, beauty, and fertility, takes a stroll amidst the fields of Aaru (which was essentially the Egyptian conception of heaven). The staff she’s carrying is called a was-scepter, and it’s believed to represent power and authority. Both gods and kings could be portrayed as wielding the was-scepter in Egyptian art.

Wrath of Sekhmet

rage-of-sekhmet

Sekhmet, the Egyptian goddess of war, has just gone through a destructive rampage. One Egyptian story claims that the sun god Ra sent Sekhmet down to punish some mortals who conspired against him, but when her rampage went out of control to the point of nearly destroying humanity, Ra had to get her drunk with beer dyed red to look like blood. As would have befitted her role, Sekhmet had as her animal totem the lioness, which would have been among the most formidable predators known to the ancient Egyptians.

Rite of Bastet

rite-of-bastet

Bastet, the ancient Egyptian goddess of music, is perfectly at home performing this ritual dance. I wanted the background to look like a nighttime celebration, with the flames coming from something like a village bonfire. If this piece had a soundtrack, I imagine it would be intense and jubilant drumming.

Time for another art dump…

yoruba-princess

This would be a princess of the Yoruba, a people native to the West African country of Nigeria whose history may go back to the Nok culture around 1000 BC. They are the people who venerate the divinities known as Orishas, such as Shango and Oshun. Many of these divinities were associated with rivers and streams, so I gave her background and dress a watery color palette.
the-zulu-demeter
My portrait of the Zulu fertility goddess Mbaba Mwana Waresa, who presided over agriculture, rain and rainbows, and beer. She was said to live in a house made of rainbows up in the sky, and one story has her falling in love and marrying a mortal man in defiance of the other gods. Mbaba Mwana Waresa has been called the Zulu Demeter because of her similar niche in the Zulu belief system, and I put a pot on top of her head in reference to certain statues of her Greek analog (which also have her wearing some kind of bowl-like vessel).
the-new-stegosaurus
 Apparently Stegosaurus had a longer neck than we thought, or so I’ve been recently informed. It was time that I updated my portrayal of this iconic Jurassic dinosaur.
playfighting
I took an earlier sketch of two Tyrannosaurus rex play-fighting and gave it both a digital color job and a backdrop. The original sketch was modeled after a photo I saw of two young tigers engaging in the same playful behavior. I think of T. rex as essentially filling a tiger-style niche in its native Cretaceous ecosystem, so sometimes I like to give it tiger-like behaviors.
mistress-of-the-megantereon
I find prehistoric humans fun to draw because their attire and way of life leave so much more to the imagination than their counterparts from recorded history. It’s almost like you can design them any way you want.

This woman’s pet is not the Smilodon, but another saber-toothed cat called the Megantereon which originated in Africa around seven million years ago before spreading to Eurasia and the Americas. I don’t know for certain if there would have been any surviving populations of Megantereon in Africa by the time anatomically modern Homo sapiens showed up 200,000 years ago, but I wanted to give her a companion that was recognizably prehistoric.

And yes, there is some inspiration from the game Far Cry: Primal here. You can even pretend that she’s a remote African ancestor of Takkar the Beastmaster if you like.