May 27, 2017, 07:11:58 AM

Author Topic: NinjaRaptor's Art Thread Redux  (Read 8611 times)

Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: NinjaRaptor's Art Thread Redux
« Reply #75 on: December 03, 2016, 03:00:44 AM »
Follow the rivers - a common and prominent element in their mythologies, if you look at the Old West from an Indian/Native American perspective. Very prominent in Egyptian mythology, obviously, and less obvious, dragons in the West have often been associated in caves, often with rivers flowing through them.

Just an idea.
The Gem Cutter
"Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There's always the possibility of a fiasco. But there's also the possibility of bliss." - Joseph Campbell

Offline NinjaRaptor

Re: NinjaRaptor's Art Thread Redux
« Reply #76 on: December 06, 2016, 09:43:31 PM »

This portrait is of a high-ranking military officer from the Roman Empire. I drew it after reading an article about the recent discovery of skeletal remains from Roman-era Leicester in the UK, six of which display what appear to be African physical features. That shouldn't be surprising when you consider that the Roman Empire straddled parts of Africa (including Egypt) as well as the Middle East and Europe. Of course its population would be multicultural and multiracial!

Recently they've discovered the dismembered legs of a mummy they think could be the Egyptian Queen Nefertari, the famously beautiful consort of Pharaoh Ramses II. That was part of my reason for drawing her yet again, but also my muse was otherwise a bit worn out for the night.

Spinosaurus aegyptiacus swims in the muggy waterways of Cretaceous Africa. I based the look of its environment here on the Sudd swamps in South Sudan, along the upper reaches of the Nile River.

This pod of mosasaurs must know their way across the vast Cretaceous oceans. I don't think anyone knows whether they were social animals like this, but one thing is for sure. As marine reptiles, mosasaurs must have always been voyagers.

Of course I was playing "We Know the Way" by Opetaia Foa'i and Lin-Manuel Miranda on iTunes while I was drawing this. It sure set the right mood for the piece.

Offline NinjaRaptor

Re: NinjaRaptor's Art Thread Redux
« Reply #77 on: December 17, 2016, 02:35:37 AM »
Spoiler for NSFW (nudity):

I'm channeling Sandro Botticelli's famous Renaissance-era painting "Birth of Venus" here, except I decided to do my interpretation of the same theme from a different angle. You got to hand it to those Renaissance artists, they were able to pass off all sorts of nude imagery as fine art.

The symbol scarred into her back may look exactly like our modern symbol for the female sex, but it was the design I found when I searched for online images of symbols representing the goddess Venus. So I guess it started as an icon of Venus before turning into one of femaleness?

A patrol of Roman legionaries marches through the misty forest somewhere in northern Europe, such as Gaul (France), Britain, or Germania (Germany). They should watch out for insolent barbarians lurking out there!

This is a portrait triad of three of the ancient Nile Valley's mightiest matriarchs. From left to right, we have the Ptolemaic Queen Cleopatra VII, the Egyptian Pharaoh Hatshepsut, and Kentake Amanirenas of Kush.

This man and woman come from the ancient Mauri culture that occupied the region of Morocco in northwestern Africa during Roman times. They were a Berber-speaking people who would raid the Roman provinces as far north as the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal), but part of their territory was incorporated into the Empire under the provincial name of Mauretania (not to be confused with modern Mauritania further south). Their name would later evolve into the medieval term "Moor", and it may be related to the modern Greek word mauros for "black" or "very dark" (possibly having something to do with their dark African skin).

I don't know for sure how the ancient Mauri would have dressed, as depictions of them that date to ancient times are hard to come by. I know I wanted something that didn't look too Islamic or Roman though, so I went with my imagination on this one.

A queen of the ancient Soninke civilization admires the sunset from atop her palace's highest tower.

The Soninke are a Mande-speaking people whose civilization is among the oldest in West Africa. They were the architects of the Wagadu (or Ghana) Empire which dominated the region before 1200 AD, but their oldest uncovered settlement may be that of Dhar Tichitt in southern Mauritania. This town of stone masonry dates as far back as ~2000 BC, making it contemporaneous with the ancient Egyptian and Kushite civilizations. Today the Soninke people number around two million, with significant populations in the modern countries of Mali, Senegal, and Mauritania.

As an aside, I founding drawing the architecture of the tower's parapet a lot more frustrating than I anticipated. I'm still not all that happy with how it came out, but I liked the woman too much to totally scrap the piece.

This woman would be an African immigrant to Renaissance-era Italy (and yes, there were some Africans living in certain parts of Europe at that time). You could think of her as being an African peer of the famous Mona Lisa. In fact, I had originally set out to draw an African Mona Lisa before the composition became its own thing. I'm very fond of the idea of taking something from the so-called "Western Canon" and putting an Africanized spin on it.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2016, 03:55:30 AM by NinjaRaptor »

Offline NinjaRaptor

Re: NinjaRaptor's Art Thread Redux
« Reply #78 on: December 21, 2016, 11:45:32 PM »

A young Cleopatra VII gets her hair braided by her mother along the banks of the Nile River. As she works, Cleo's mom promises her daughter of the future greatness that may await her. And so the seeds of Cleopatra's ambitions are sown...

The identity of Cleopatra VII's mother remains unknown for certain (although her father would have been Ptolemy XII), but here I was working with the hypothesis that she may have been a native Egyptian concubine. In which case, she might have told stories to little Cleo about the great Egyptian Queens of the past, including the mighty Pharaoh Hatshepsut. Now imagine how inspired a young Cleopatra might have felt if she ever learned who Hatshepsut was!

I had a tough time drawing the pose of Cleopatra's mom braiding her hair. Even finding decent photo references took some digging through the Internet. Nonetheless I thought it made for a cute mother/daughter moment.

This glamorous beauty would be a Queen of ancient Zimbabwe. In the local Shona language, her title would probably be something like Mambokadzi (since that is their word for "queen").

My portrait of the largest and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex specimen found thus far, the one called FMNH PR 2081 (better known as "Sue"). In life the dinosaur would have caught a bad case of Trichomonas gallinae, the scars of which remain on their skull. Not to mention numerous other injuries (e.g. broken ribs, a torn tendon on the right arm, and a damaged shoulder blade) and pathologies obtained from a violent predatory lifestyle. Sue would have been approximately 28 years old by the time of death, which is old as far as T. rex specimens go.

A rainstorm is brewing over these jungle-swathed hills in the Late Cretaceous. I've been looking at paintings from the so-called "Romantic" period of the 19th century, which often feature storms brewing over lush landscapes, and I wanted to try out that subject matter myself. The prehistoric creatures portrayed here are the pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus northropi and the sauropod dinosaur Alamosaurus sanjuanensis, both from the Late Cretaceous of North America.

Offline NinjaRaptor

Re: NinjaRaptor's Art Thread Redux
« Reply #79 on: December 31, 2016, 12:52:18 AM »

This is a digital painting of a professional elephant huntress, or gbeto, from the West African kingdom of Dahomey. This all-female hunters' organization would later evolve into the famous "Dahomey Amazons" which had a more military focus. But I have to say the idea of women hunting elephants is pretty badass already.

I was practicing a more painterly technique when rendering this. I think it came out a bit muddy, but it was good to try out a new art technique. As they say, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

A simple doodle of my second-favorite dinosaur (its arch-nemesis T. rex being my first obviously). Since the horns are curved forward in this individual, it would have to be a mature animal since those of younger animals apparently curved more towards the back. And I rather like how zebra-like the stripes came out.

Something I drew for those friends of mine who celebrate Kwanzaa.

This is a character concept for a warrior princess from ancient Kush (in the region of Sudan called Nubia), whom I've named Makeda. I conceived of her as a brash, passionate, and idealistic young woman who fights on behalf of "undocumented" Arab migrants, whom the Egyptians have captured and detained for deportation. Her story is going to deal with the theme of so-called "illegal immigration" and how governments react to it, even if the setting is removed in time and space from the modern US.

Offline NinjaRaptor

Re: NinjaRaptor's Art Thread Redux
« Reply #80 on: January 02, 2017, 06:11:24 PM »

Drawing of the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses II, or "Ramses the Great", on 11 x 14'' bristol paper. The inspiration for this was a large sculpture of the Pharaoh exhibited at the British Museum in London, UK. I think he came out looking rather magnificent personally, even if his head ended up a little too big.

More practice with digital painting techniques. I'm calling this one "Beauty of the South", since if Europe is the West and Asia is the East, Africa would probably be considered the South (dunno how the Americas or Australia would fit into this though).

Doodle of a cavegirl who has styled her hair into short dreadlocks. Because sometimes you simply got to treat yourself to some more prehistoric African booty.

To be honest, drawing this kind of sexy African cavegirl art can be a guilty pleasure. It's real fun to draw for me, but I am aware of the "primitive and savage African" stereotype which has historically been used to rationalize anti-African racism and oppression. But then, there's a ton of art of European cave- and jungle girls out there, so why not throw in some African cavegirls into the mix?

Offline NinjaRaptor

Re: NinjaRaptor's Art Thread Redux
« Reply #81 on: January 03, 2017, 12:44:35 AM »

This is a colored version of my earlier "cavegirl" doodle, with an environment added to give her something to stand in.

Offline NinjaRaptor

Re: NinjaRaptor's Art Thread Redux
« Reply #82 on: January 08, 2017, 08:37:17 PM »

An Egyptian queen in a pondering sort of pose. Her outfit and pose are loosely based on the portrayal of Cleopatra in the game Civilization VI, wherein she is the representative leader of the Egyptian civilization. I've been working on a mod for that game and think an image like this would suit it very well (provided it becomes possible to make custom leaders for that game).

Doodle of an elite Egyptian warrior tasked with the responsibility of guarding the Pharaoh's person. The khopesh/spear hybrid weapon he's wielding is my invention of course (albeit inspired by the Japanese naginata), because Rule of Cool and all.

'Tis a simple portrait of a babe donning a Rastafarian hat (or "rasta cap"), like they wear in Jamaica and other Caribbean countries. In other words, she would be a rasta chica, mon!

A portrait of Giganotosaurus carolinii on the savannas of Cretaceous South America. This is the dinosaur that was touted as being "bigger than T. rex" when it was discovered, though some more recent research has called this claim into question (that is, it may have been only slightly if at all larger than the Tyrant King). Regardless, it remains a rather magnificent theropod dinosaur any way you look at it.

Spoiler for NSFW:

A prehistoric Homo sapiens woman on the savannas of Africa, sometime before early women started putting on clothes. Unless you count her primitive jewelry and leather bands as clothing.

I recently encountered an interesting hypothesis on Quora that humans in the Homo sapiens lineage may have invented clothing originally for men, with the idea being to accentuate their male reproductive packaging. This would mean women in the early days of our species could have gone around mostly naked since their genitals didn't stick out as much. It's a speculative scenario at this stage admittedly, but I can obviously see the appeal behind it. ;)

Of course, Neanderthals and related hominins who had colonized northern Eurasia before modern humans did would have probably invented more extensive clothing for both sexes, since they would have needed protection against the cold. But that would have probably been an independent invention.

Offline NinjaRaptor

Re: NinjaRaptor's Art Thread Redux
« Reply #83 on: January 09, 2017, 08:39:25 PM »
Spoiler for NSFW again:

A young Stone Age huntress surveys the prehistoric landscape for prey atop a rocky outcrop.

I drew her pose referencing a 2008 photo of the gorgeous Nigerian model Oluchi Onweagba, where she was crouching on a rock like this. As often as I tend to draw from imagination, photo refs can be very helpful when drawing tricky poses.

Doodle of a woman with an antelope-headed staff. I think she's probably a healer or mage of some sort, though she also looks like she could be a village headwoman or other leader. Really, after my two recent drawings of naked prehistoric chicks, I wanted to do a female character with more clothing on. I don't want to come across as too artistically fixated on naked women.

Thutmose III (1481-1425 BC) was the Pharaoh of Egypt who came after his aunt Hatshepsut. Since his military conquests (numbering at least seventeen campaigns) expanded the borders of the Egyptian empire to cover northern Syria all the way southward to the Nile's Fourth Cataract in Sudan, he has been named the "Napoleon of ancient Egypt".

Around the forty-sixth or forty-seventh year of his reign, he had his predecessor's monuments and depictions destroyed or defaced for unknown reasons. Some historians think it was to ensure a smoother succession for his son Amenhotep II, since "erasing" Hatshepsut's record would deny her surviving relatives their competing claims to the Egyptian throne. However, Thutmose built his mortuary temple right next to Hatshepsut's, so it may not necessarily be the case that he meant any hard feelings towards his aunt.

Offline NinjaRaptor

Re: NinjaRaptor's Art Thread Redux
« Reply #84 on: January 28, 2017, 09:03:53 AM »

The forces of evolution have given this Egyptian maiden a luscious set of lips, and she is going to employ that asset to full effect. Now that she's puckered up, here it comes...

Two individuals of "Blasian" (African/Asian), specifically ancient Chinese and Egyptian, heritage. I imagine they're a brother and sister whose parents split up for some reason, so each sibling grew up exposed to a different cultural upbringing. As always, the fun thing about drawing mixed-race characters is mixing the different cultural influences in addition to the phenotypes.

In Late Cretaceous South America, around 70 million years ago, an Austroraptor cabazai scavenges on a deceased sauropod.

Austroraptor was a dromaeosaurid dinosaur (or raptor) characterized by a relatively narrow snout and short forelimbs. Most paleoartists depict it eating fish, and it very well may have done so most of the time. But who's to say it didn't treat itself to something different every now and then?

These two warriors from very ancient times, she an Egyptian and he Sumerian, have formed a close bond and will fight to the death for one another. It's been a while since I last drew couples like these, and I thought a pairing from two of the world's earliest civilizations would be particularly interesting.

By the way, if you don't know where Sumer is, it's located in the southern part of Mesopotamia (now Iraq, in the Middle East).

Offline NinjaRaptor

Re: NinjaRaptor's Art Thread Redux
« Reply #85 on: January 28, 2017, 09:08:10 AM »
Spoiler for This one is more NSFW:

When Alexander of Macedon (or Alexander the Great) entered Egypt in 332 BC, the native Egyptians were actually grateful because they hated the ruling Persians and happily handed him control of the country instead. And so began the Ptolemaic Dynasty, the period when Egypt entered the Hellenistic cultural sphere around the Mediterranean. As you can see, this Greek dude is clearly happy for the, ahem, Egyptian bounty he now has has the opportunity to savor.

(Seriously speaking, I know not all African women have big shapely butts, nor is it even the main reason I have a special soft spot for them. But a little junk in the trunk is still welcome on a woman.)

From left to right, we have an Emperor of China, a Shah of Persia, an Egyptian Queen, and a Mansa (emperor) of Mali. Inspired by Sid Meier's Civilization game series.

These Egyptian explorers, who have docked somewhere along the southernmost coast of Africa, are offering a friendly greeting to the local San population. The San, for better or worse, don't know what to make of these strangers from the opposite end of the continent.

This was inspired by a story related by the Greek historian Herodotus, according to which the Egyptian Pharaoh Necho II commissioned a sailing expedition that ended up circumnavigating the entire African continent. Whether or not it's true, it's an exciting premise for an art piece juxtaposing two different African cultures together (although in the original anecdote, the crew was of Phoenician descent).

As for the San (or Bushmen), they're a hunter-gatherer people who are aboriginal to Africa's southernmost extremity. Their Khoisan language is distinctive for its many click-like sounds (watch the movie The Gods Must be Crazy to get an idea what it sounds like).

Offline NinjaRaptor

Re: NinjaRaptor's Art Thread Redux
« Reply #86 on: January 29, 2017, 01:05:31 AM »

It's so easy to
destroy and condemn
the ones you do not understand.
Do you ever wonder
if it's justified?

--- "Destroyed" by Within Temptation

Suffice to say, recent happenings in my country brought both this image and the song to mind. That is all.

Offline NinjaRaptor

Re: NinjaRaptor's Art Thread Redux
« Reply #87 on: February 04, 2017, 09:55:47 PM »

Character design for an Egyptian warrior who has the special responsibility of protecting the Pharaohs' tombs from robbery and vandalism. Her black jackal helmet is of course an allusion to Anpu (Anubis), the jackal-headed god of embalming in the Egyptian religion.

Tyrannosaurus rex gives its legs a wash with its own tongue. This was inspired by photos of tigers cleaning themselves that same way, though admittedly I have no idea if T. rex would have possessed the anatomical flexibility to pull the same trick off. If not, it probably would have either immersed itself into a body of water or maybe entrusted smaller creatures to peck the bugs and parasites off its hide.

Offline NinjaRaptor

Re: NinjaRaptor's Art Thread Redux
« Reply #88 on: March 11, 2017, 04:46:25 AM »

Around a year ago I drew my version of the Egyptian goddess Isis as she was portrayed in the RTS game Age of Mythology. But since I've grown embarrassed at how I drew people and their anatomy back in those days, I've opted to take another shot at the same theme to showcase my current skill level.

This is an illustration for a mod I made for the game Civilization VI. It adds the Pharaoh Hatshepsut as an alternative leader for Egypt (the default is the Ptolemaic Cleopatra).

You can download the mod from the Civ VI Workshop on Steam here.

This young warrior queen is resting on the back of her tame elephant during a warm African afternoon.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2017, 04:58:38 AM by NinjaRaptor »


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