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Author Topic: Tyrannohotep's Art Returns
Tyrannohotep
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Inspired by the "Afrofuturism" movement, I've been toying with the idea of giving my original character Nefrusheri a futuristic redesign. She'd still be an Egyptian warrior princess, but from the future---that is, an alternate future where the ancient Egyptian civilization (aka Kemet) is still going strong. Not only would more advanced technology allow the characters to do things that they couldn't do with Bronze Age tech, but it also lets me give Nefrusheri an affinity for hip-hop. Because I just love the idea of a rapping Egyptian princess!

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It's Thanksgiving today, and what better way for me to celebrate that than to draw a couple of the Wampanoag people whose generosity inspired the holiday to begin with? For those of you who don't know, the Wampanoag were an Algonquian-speaking Native American people who lived in the region of Massachusetts and Rhode Island prior to colonization by the English in the seventeenth century. They're best known as the people who taught the Pilgrims how to grow corn and take care of themselves in the New World, inspiring the first Thanksgiving celebration. Unfortunately, they still ended up decimated by European plagues and invasions, which is why Thanksgiving isn't a particularly popular holiday among Native Americans today, but you still got to pay the Wampanoag nation the respect they're owed.

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Isis, the Egyptian goddess of wisdom and magic, spreads her wings in flight beneath a starry night sky. Because when you've drawn Isis as much as I have, sooner or later you got to show her with her wings.

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Deinonychus antirrhopus, a larger cousin of the Velociraptor, pokes its head out of the undergrowth deep in the jungles of Early Cretaceous North America (115-108 million years ago). I really like portraying raptors like this as having a mix of reptilian and avian characteristics.

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Watch out, it's an angry T. rex storming after you!

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This began as simple practice in drawing front-view portraits, but I wanted to imbue her with a bit more character and so made her a divination priestess from ancient Mali in West Africa. A number of traditional African religions have women responsible for divination, so it wouldn't surprise me if the Malians had female diviners too (at least prior to converting to Islam).

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'Tis another fantasy world map I doodled in Photoshop. The names of continents and islands are all taken from various myths, legends, and folklore, as I was inspired by the concept of fictional "past ages" used by writers like J.R.R. Tolkien and Robert E. Howard (the creators of Middle Earth and the Hyborian Age, respectively). And that's all I'm ready to say about this world at the moment, really.

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This is a lovely young female specimen of the Garamantes, a (presumably) Berber-speaking people whose civilization spread across the desert of modern-day Libya in ancient times. They had horse-drawn chariots, irrigated agriculture for their cities, and a history of both trade and conflict with the Roman Empire. Much like the kingdoms of Egypt and Kush along the Nile, the Garamantes would have acted as a commercial intermediary between the Mediterranean and sub-Saharan regions. Their civilization seems to have fallen as a result of Vandal conquests in North Africa and a drop in the local groundwater that fed their crops.

I couldn't find a ton of sources on how Garamantes women would have looked or dressed, so I let my imagination fill in the blanks with this character's look. However, her tattoos and face paint are inspired by those of modern Tuareg people who roam the Sahara today.

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A young warrior of the Garamantes people stands alert amidst the dunes of the Libyan desert.

To reiterate, the Garamantes were a (presumably) Berber-speaking people whose civilization lay in the desert of what is now Libya. They had a history of recurring conflicts with the Roman Empire, but were also trading partners whose commercial routes would have connected the Mediterranean and sub-Saharan regions.

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Tacfarinas (d. 24 AD) was a leader of the Musulamii people, who lived as nomads in the Algerian Sahara south of the Roman imperial provinces of Numidia and Mauretania. Although once an auxiliary fighter for the Romans, he abandoned this position to lead his people in a rebellion against his former masters. His forces were able to harry the Roman legions before a final defeat in 24 AD, after which he committed suicide.

As for how Tacfarinas would have looked, I couldn't find any sculptures or other images of him dating to his time, so again I let my imagination fill in those blanks. That's one of the fun things about drawing historical individuals as obscure as this dude; you have a lot more creative leeway in reconstructing their likenesses.

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These are a couple of characters I created for a small "historical fantasy" project. The chick on the left is Tufayyur, Queen of the Garamantes in what is now Libya, and on the right is a Roman imperial officer named Claudius Atticus. At first they begin on bad terms with one another, but eventually they'll have to team up to defeat a villainous sorceress and her army of bandits in the North African desert.

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This portrait shows my character Tufayyur, a Queen of the Garamantes in the Libyan Sahara. Although the Garamantes were a real North African civilization, Tufayyur herself was a fictional character I created for a little "historical fantasy" story. In it, she and a Roman military officer named Claudius were supposed to team up against an evil sorceress and her army of desert bandits. To be honest, the plot still needs fleshing out if not a total reworking, but I still kinda like Tufayyur's design.

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These are portraits of two theropod dinosaurs (Tyrannosaurus and Baryonyx) and an African-American chick in a cartoony style, which I doodled while listening to a online seminar on autism and exercise. The "webinar" turned out to have been a huge waste of time (it was directed not at autistic people themselves but to their parents and therapists), but at least I found something productive to do when it was playing.

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This warrior is unsheathing her sword from its scabbard behind her back. No name for her yet, but I imagine she's some kind of adventurous bounty hunter or mercenary who does her fighting in exchange for coin.

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This tough (yet prepossessing) cowgirl wields a couple of revolvers out on the plains of Texas. Apparently between a quarter and a third of cowboys out in the Old West were African-American, but I don't know how many (if any) of them would have been women.

The prairie in the background is based on my personal memories of Plano, TX, where I spent my preschool and kindergarten years. For the most part the place looked and felt more like the quintessential American suburb than anything evocative of cowboys or the Wild West, but I remember there were expanses of grassy plains and woodland here and there.

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Tyrannosaurus rex recently heard certain primates claim he's incapable of roaring because certain distant relatives of his, the birds and crocodiles, don't. He begs to differ and wishes to voice his opinion on the matter as loudly as possible.

Mind you, there's no guarantee that any dinosaurs were capable of roaring, either. It's hard to say without finding their fossilized vocal chords. I just find the argument that dinosaurs couldn't produce roar-like vocalizations (because extant birds and crocs don't) rather unpersuasive. Birds and crocs may be the closest living relatives of extinct dinosaurs, but they're still further removed than house cats are from lions and tigers. So their usefulness as proxies for how extinct dinosaurs might have looked and acted is rather limited in my view.

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Listening to some heavy metal music put me in the mood to draw this sexy devil babe. I have to say she came out, shall we say, quite bedazzling?

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After doing the sexy devil girl, the next logical step was, of course, to follow up with a sexy angel girl. Because who says angels can't be sexy as well?

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This is my interpretation of Anput, an Egyptian goddess who presided over embalming and mummification. She was the wife of the jackal-masked Anpu (better known as Anubis), with whom she had their daughter Kebechet (goddess of embalming fluid). Here, she's holding one of the four canopic jars which held the deceased's organs during the mummification process.

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I know I've drawn a ton of African jungle girls over the years, but I don't think I will ever tire of the archetype. The thing is that most of the jungle girl characters you see in media like comic books, movies, or literature are castaway European women, usually blondes. They're rarely women of color whose people might actually be native to the jungle. That's a major reason why I've taken it upon myself to draw all these African jungle heroines. Besides, as I always like to say, sexy jungle girls are just plain fun to draw.

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I did this Diplodocus as a commissioned piece for one of my DeviantArt followers. Diplodocus was a more lightly built relative of the sauropod dinosaurs Apatosaurus and Brontosaurus, with whom it coexisted in the late Jurassic of North America (155-150 million years ago). We know from skin impressions that Diplodocus had spines of keratin running down its back and tail, rather like a modern iguana.

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For this portrait of Cleopatra VII, I drew inspiration from her portrayal in the game Assassin's Creed: Origins (which I have recently started playing). Of course, I still had to "redesign" certain aspects of her look.

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This is a work-in-progress drawing of a jungle queen character with her tame T. rex. Trust me, this will look so much better once I ink and color it in Clip Studio Paint!

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The matriarch of a jungle empire stands with pride atop a high platform with her tame T. rex. Because few steeds are more fit for a jungle queen than the tyrant king of the dinosaurs himself.

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Film producer Barbara Broccoli recently suggested that the next actor to play the character of James Bond could be a woman, or alternatively a black man. I thought, "Why couldn't we have a Bond who was both black and female?" And so my design for "Jane Bond" was born. Of course, the Afro was inspired by a character from the old Bond films played by Gloria Hendry.

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I'm having more fun with my theme of girls with their tame dinosaurs. This one's riding her Triceratops through the jungles of her domain, armed with her spear (in addition to her steed's three horns, of course).

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This is the first of two commissioned pieces I'm doing for one of my cousin, who wanted illustrations of the Hawaiian goddesses Pele and Poli’ahu. Pele is well known as the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes and fire, whereas Poli'ahu was the goddess of snow (and a fierce rival of Pele's according to legend). Stay tuned for Poli'ahu tomorrow!

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Somewhere around 5000 BC, a Neolithic woman on the African coast gazes at the Rock of Gibraltar across the strait. One time, while my family and I were vacationing in Spain, we visited Gibraltar on the country's southernmost tip and could see the African continent from its summit. Of course, northernmost Africa has become thoroughly assimilated into the Arab/Islamic and Mediterranean spheres of influence, but this woman would represent one of various indigenous peoples in the region during earlier times.

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Tyrannohotep
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People from New Guinea and other islands in Melanesia often get confused with Africans since they have retained dark skin and tightly curled hair from the African ancestors of all modern humans. However, they actually have received less African admixture (within the last 50,000 years) than so-called “white” Europeans!

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Tyrannohotep
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These are portraits of the first two individuals in recorded history to establish extensive nation-states, or what we may call empires. The darker-skinned dude on the left is Narmer, a monarchic chieftain from southern Egypt who conquered the north around 3100 BC and brought about the first dynasty of a united Egypt. On the right is Sargon of Akkad, who conquered the Sumerian city-states of Mesopotamia and brought much of the Middle East's Fertile Crescent under his control between 2334 and 2279 BC. It's hard to say whether Sargon knew anything about Narmer's conquests before undertaking his own, but I personally find the thought very tempting.

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This T. rex portrait is based on the specimen MB.R.91216, which is on display in Berlin's Natural History Museum after its excavation in Montana's Hell Creek formation. Nicknamed "Tristan Otto" (or simply "Tristan"), the specimen has recently appeared the BBC documentary The Real T. rex with Chris Packham (although I can't say I'm a fan of how they portrayed the animal).

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Queen Nefertiti claps back at somebody who just dissed her. And believe me, Egyptian royals are not the sort of people you want to receive an angry clapback from...

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This is a portrait bust of an original character of mine named Queen Rashekhu of Djakhem. She's the protagonist of a short story I'm working on, wherein she leads her army to battle against the forces of a rival kingdom. Oh, and she rides a tame Tyrannosaurus rex named Apekhuri.

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This is a portrait of Velociraptor mongoliensis, a jackal-sized dromaeosaurid dinosaur which prowled the deserts of Asia during the Late Cretaceous (around 75-71 million years ago, to be precise). Although this is one of the dinosaurs that most likely had feathers, I chose to give it a scaly crocodile-like face since that's what I now believe to be an ancestral characteristic of theropod dinosaurs (we know the tyrannosaurid Daspletosaurus and the carnosaur Neovenator had that type of face, for example).

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This is concept art for Apekhuri, the tame Tyrannosaurus rex whom my original character, Queen Rasekhu of Djakhem, rides into battle. The curved structure strapped to his neck is the Queen's saddle. Some of the inspiration for Apekhuri's jewelry comes from the "Carnosaur" trained by the Lizardmen in the game Total War: Warhammer II.

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This woman is a shaman from the Natufian culture, which occupied the Levantine region of the Middle East between 14-11,000 years ago. They would have lived as hunter-gatherers, but they appear to have settled down and built permanent villages instead of roaming the land as nomads, and they most probably were among the forerunners to the region's earliest farmers. The woman's "headband" is actually made of dentalium shells strung together, and the beads of her necklace would have been fashioned from bones and animal teeth; both are based on Natufian jewelry recovered from the site of El Wad in what is now Israel.

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This is my reconstruction of a Homo sapiens individual from 36,000 years ago, whose skull was uncovered near the town of Hofmeyr in South Africa. One remarkable finding is that this skull's morphology is distinct from that of the region's modern Bantu- and Khoisan-speaking inhabitants, but resembles that of Upper Paleolithic skulls from Europe. Therefore, it's likely that this guy was somehow related to the Northeast African population from whom all modern humans outside of Africa splintered off between 70-50,000 years ago.

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If Jesus of Nazareth were a real historical figure, I like to imagine that he would have looked something like this. This isn't the first time I've drawn a portrait of Jesus, but it's a subject I like to return to every once in a while as my drawing style evolves. Here, I've chosen to depict him as a man of predominantly Palestinian Jewish heritage, but with a suggestion of African ancestry. Since the region of Palestine (which includes modern Israel as well as the West Bank and Gaza) is right next door to Africa, it seems likely that the Hebrews and other Semitic natives of the area would have admixed with African peoples such as the ancient Egyptians and Kushites. Indeed, up to 20% of Palestinian men (and 30% of Jewish men around the world) have the African Y-chromosomal haplogroup E. As for Jesus's turban here, it's speculative on my part, but something like it might have come in handy for a busy carpenter sweating under the desert sun.

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Horemheb, who reigned from 1319 to 1292 BC, was the last Pharaoh of Egypt's 18th dynasty. But before then, he was a soldier of common birth who became the military commander-in-chief during the reigns of his predecessors Tutankhamun and Ay. Upon seizing Ay's throne for himself, Horemheb set out to erase mention of the weaker kings before him from official records, revive the country's deteriorated strength, and restore the traditional Egyptian religion in place of Akhenaten's "heretical" cult of Aten. You could say he wanted to "make Egypt great again".

This would be Horemheb while he was still a general. I'm not entirely happy with how the proportions of his figure came out, but I rather like his dreadlocks.

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It's been a while since I posted a shaded-in pencil drawing anywhere on social media. This one is a bust of a Kushite queen, modeled after a gorgeous South Sudanese model named Angeth Thiong Akur ("agiakur" on Instagram). Although Kush was located in what is now North rather than South Sudan, cute South Sudanese girls always remind me of Kushite queens.

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This is based on wall paintings from the tomb of the Egyptian Queen Nefertari (labeled Tomb QV66), which show her raising her arms up with open palms in adoration of the gods. However, my main reason for doing this was to practice coloring an African person's palms accurately. If you look at the palms and soles of African and other darker-skinned people, you'll notice they always have this distinctively paler, pinkish color. I say it's time I stopped neglecting this when coloring my non-European characters.

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Tyrannohotep
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Everybody's favorite Ptolemaic Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra VII, now in an experimental cartoon style. Here I wanted to channel comic book artist and animator Bruce Timm, who's famous for his work on the cartoons of the DC animated universe.

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Linda Fahr
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NICE...VERY NICE...

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---lnnnnn*

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quote:
Originally posted by Linda Fahr:
NICE...VERY NICE...

Thanks!

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I wanted to see how my cartoon-style Cleopatra would appear in color. This time, I chose to give her a "redbone" complexion, like that of the actress Gabrielle Union. Given her Macedonian ancestry (at least on her father's side), Cleopatra VII most probably wouldn't have been a super-dark girl, but I still prefer a browner look for her. Or maybe she's collected a slight tan from the bright Alexandrian sun.

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Alexander III, the brilliant Macedonian prince and general known for conquering the mighty Persian Empire, stands in the hilly countryside of his native homeland. For some reason, a lot of modern portrayals of Alexander depict him as a blond-haired and blue-eyed, practically Nordic-looking guy. I used to do that too in some of my older art, but since then I've grown sick of that look and so colored Alexander as more Mediterranean (i.e. dark hair and tan skin) this time. That seems more likely for most of the ancient Macedonians anyway.

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Listening to some more rap music (in this case, by Lady Leshurr) got me in the mood to draw another hip-hop urban babe. Designing chicks from this archetype has become quite fun. "Shawty", by the way, is slang for "sexy woman".

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As a follow-up to my cartoon-style Cleopatra, I thought it was only fair to do a cartoon-style version of her Roman paramour Mark Antony. I'm still trying to emulate the style of comic book artist and animator Bruce Timm, which is why Antony here has such a distinctly broad chest under his cape.

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My original character Rashekhu, the young Queen of Djakhem, is dressed for a busy day of governing her jungle civilization. A glamorous getup like this would be her "business uniform", so to speak. However, when leading her troops to battle on the back of her tame T. rex Apekhuri, Rashekhu would ditch the long skirt for something shorter and more practical in combat.

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Linda Fahr
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ADORABLE...

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---lnnnnn*

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^ Thanks again!

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Khalida, High Queen of Lybaras, stands in the desert of Nehekhara, armed with her serpentine Venom Staff of Asaph. She's a character from the Warhammer universe created by Games Workshop, and one of four faction leaders introduced in the recent Tomb Kings DLC for the game Total War: Warhammer II. Although I've drawn Khalida here in the prime of her life, she and all the other people of Nehekhara are fated to become the undead Tomb Kings, who are essentially a whole army of angry Egyptian-style mummies and skeletal warriors. They, after the dinosaur-riding Lizardmen, are probably my favorite "race" in the whole Warhammer universe.

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Settra the Imperishable, Priest King of Khemri and conqueror of all Nehekhara, is another one of the so-called "Tomb Kings" from the Warhammer universe by Games Workshop. For those of you unfamiliar with Warhammer and its universe, the Tomb Kings are basically this race of undead mummies and skeletal warriors from the Egyptian-style kingdom of Nehekhara, with Settra being one of their most distinguished leaders. This depiction of Settra would represent him in the prime of his mortal life, prior to his becoming an undead Tomb King.

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