Hatshepsut – PAGE 1 – SOURCES

This is Page 1, Panel 4 of my “Greatest Queens of History: Hatshepsut” story, which has been scripted to be 30 pages. I spent a fair amount of time doing research on Egypt, the New Kingdom (18th Dynasty, which is approx 1550BC – 1292BC) and Hatshepsut herself, so I’ll list my sources below and what I had to consider when I put this picture together.

Note: Much of my visual sources are not from Hatshepsut’s reign itself, because her tomb and the tombs of Thutmose 1-3 has been grave robbed, and no funerary items from it survive. So when I draw on visual sources for this story, I tried to use sources from the same 18th Dynasty, A fair amount of it came from the tomb of King Tutankhamun, or Amenhotep III.

  • Hatshepsut and Thutmose II are depicted here as Pharaoh and Pharaoh’s Great Wife, both in ceremonial dress for this part of their coronation ceremony. The coronation ceremony is a long, ritualistic affair that takes days, and none of this is depicted here because we know very little about it. They ascended to the throne young, so they’re depicted as children here.
  •  Thutmose II is wearing the Pharaoh’s Nemes headdress, false beard and holding the symbolic crook and flail, while Hatshepsut is wearing the Great Wife’s vulture headdress. Both are also wearing the broad collar necklace, which like the headdresses is a ceremonial thing. Neither of them would have wandered the palace dressed in this manner on a normal day. Both would have worn eyeliner though.

Thutmose I and his mother. Wall painting from the upper Anubis chapel of Hatshepsut’s temple at Deir el-Bahri, early 18th Dynasty. Source: Roehrig, Catherine H. et al. “Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharaoh”. PG 8.

King Tutankhamun’s death mask, which has the unusual double uraeus of a cobra and a vulture. Typically, it’s just a cobra.Source: Wikipedia

  • The two throne are based off the throne of Tutankhamun for Thutmose II, and the throne of Princess Sitamun, daughter (and eventual wife) of Amenhotep III. Both of these are funerary items, but it’s safe to assume that they were used in the Pharaoh’s life, though funerary items aren’t necessarily everyday items for Ancient Egyptians.

Replicas of Tutankhamun’s throne on the left, and Princess Sitamun’s throne on the right. Souce: Wikipedia

  • The throne is on a raised dais which has several steps, which can’t be seen here. The dais has a kiosk thing over it, which is depicted here – it should have cartouches of the Pharaoh’s name and scarab beetles on it, though we can’t know for sure.
  • The servant holding the ostrich feather fan has real hair. Servants were not allowed to shave their hair and wear wigs – that was reserved for the upper classes. Hatshepsut may well have been bald because she would have worn elaborate wigs.
  • The wall paintings are of waterlilies, which grow along the Nile River. Since the palace from Thutmose I’s time didn’t survive, we have little idea of what the throne room would have been like. It’s safe to assume that the walls are white-washed, and painted with images of Egyptian flora and fauna. In this instance, I thought it best to keep the throne room neutral, with references to the Nile (considered the source of all Egyptian life) rather than to any fauna, since different animals have different connotations in Egypt.

This is from the tomb of Nakht, which is known as Theban Tomb TT52, part of the Theben Necropolis. This appears to be an Egyptian official, and I copied the background from this tomb image. Source: Wikipedia

This is Page 1, Panel 3, showing the group of children from Thutmose I’s harem. To be honest, these children should all be naked, since it’s considered perfectly acceptable for Egyptian children of a certain age, whether male or female, to run around naked. I don’t feel comfortable depicting naked children though, so I thought I’d put generic clothes on them. The girls are wearing diadems and girdles, and both boys and girls have shaven heads with locks of hair on the side, which is to prevent lice.

Two young princesses, Nefrure and Nefrubiti, wearing elaborate sets of jewelry, including diadems and girdles. Painted reliefs from Hatshepsut’s temple at Deir el-Bahri, early 18th Dynasty. Source: Roehrig, Catherine H. et al. “Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharaoh”. PG 202.

Visual Sources

  • Cooney, Kara. “The Woman Who Would be King: Hapshetsut’s Rise to Power in Ancient Egypt”. USA: Crown Publishers, 2014.
  • Hope, Colin A. “Gold of the Pharaohs”. Australia: Museum of Victoria, 1988.
  • Roehrig, Catherine H. et al. “Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharaoh”. USA: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2006.
  • Galford, Ellen. “Hatshepsut: The Girl Who Became a Great Pharaoh”. United States: The National Geographic Society, 2005.
  • Shaw, Garry J. “The Daily Life of a Pharaoh”. Dr Gary J. Shaw. Al Rawi: Egypt’s Heritage Review, issue 5, 2013. Web. 7 Sep. 2017.

Colouring Tests: Fabled Kingdom Chapter 2

After my colouring tests for Chapter 1, I’ve now moved onto the colouring test for Chapter 2 for “Fabled Kingdom”. This is different to Chapter 1, because these are all scenes set at night, which means that the colours would all be darker and duller. I had to use the same palette as Chapter 1, because I don’t want the colours to look different chapter-by-chapter, and the end result is that the colours turned out somewhat dull.

I’m not quite happy with these colours, but I realise that if I were to use the same palette, this sort of thing is unavoidable. That said, I’m currently moving onto my next project, which uses the same palette from a totally different drawing style, so I may put this down for now, while I do my next work.

Digital Watercolour – Chinese Opera Singer

This was a gift, done in digital watercolour in Clip Studio Paint. I like the brushes in CSP, but unfortunately, even now, I can’t really get used to the way that you need to press down hard on the drawing tablet to get the watercolour function to behave the way it’s supposed to. Believe it or not, it tires out my hand, and I much prefer just using the airbrush function in Photoshop CS to colour.

This was also the first colour picture I’ve done that I inked digitally. It was a disaster – I hate digital inking and it seems that nothing has changed. It’s much faster to ink by hand, so that’s what I’ll continue to do. I inked it based off the sketch below.

New Art Style & Character Designs

As you may all know, I’ve been working on doing colour art, and as such, has been shaping my artstyle to suit a more simple, streamlined way of colouring.

This has been an interest process – the colour tests for Chapter 1 of “Fabled Kingdom” may have turned out looking lovely, but that kind of colouring just took too long. The colouring style matched the linework, so if I need a simpler style of colouring, I need a simpler style of linework.

So, here are my first attempts – it’s a pretty established style already, since it seemed to have grown fully-formed from my head due to the number of other artistic influences I’ve had over the years. It leaves the “manga” look somewhat, but not by actually as much as it seems. The character on the left looks Disney-influenced, while the character on the right is influenced by lesser-seen but distinctive anime styles like “Kill la Kill” and “Gurren Lagaan“. The one in the middle is a mix of both.

Also, I’m grappling with the RGB vs CMYK issue. I can’t seem to grasp how different RGB vs CMYK is when it comes to how it looks on a screen, and how it looks on print. This is something I need to investigate more, but I have another project apart from the one above which I’m working on, so I’ll be doing that too.

Here’s a colour test attempt for Simon, the character on the right.

Celebrating a 20 year reunion

My old high school reunion happened the other day, with the class of ’97 from Meriden celebrating at a local cafe. As a gift to a bunch of 20-year old friendships, I decided to draw a reunion picture of everyone, using a style I haven’t tried before. It’s a soft watercolour look, which is a first for me – most of my other work has very strong colours. This went for deliberately soft and feminine.

This is a cute, super cartoony style which I thought my friends would like, which they did. I used some tools I haven’t before, namely a Uniball-eye pen from Mitsubishi (ultra-micro). This claims to be a waterproof and fade proof pen, and I used it probably because I was hoping to use watercolours for this picture.

I ended up doing digital water colour, using warm colours like yellow and pink. This was done in Clip Studio Paint with its watercolour function, only the second time I’ve done it (I normally use the airbrush function of Photoshop CS2). The results were nice, which was unexpected – I’ve not done any soft watercolour I’ve liked before, but I think I’m starting to get the hang of this colouring thing. I also worked from very loose sketches – as seen below.