Friday, January 14, 2011

Foto Friday!

Welcome back to my artblog! It's Foto Friday, which means we're using some photo reference(s) to make a nice piece of art. Oooh, purtty...

This post is actually a continuation of one I started yesterday. I was trying to come up with a new design for Egyptian deity Khepri, who got the short end of the stick in terms of deity design.


This process of refining a two thousand year-old(!) character design was incredibly fun. I started with Kheperi, and saw that he's got the basic Egyptian God accoutrement (fancy french word, there): bracelets out the wahzoo, collar, skirt and khat. I moved on to finding a nice image of the Scarab (or dung) beetle. Like so:

Nice looking guy, ain't he?

I tried first just using the head of the guy and plopping it down on Kheperi's body. This didn't really work though. I'm not sure why. It might be the fact that bugs are so much smaller than animals (such as the cow, jackal, even the frog) that were used for Egyptian deities, and so the enlarged head seems 'off'. It could also be the fact that humans seem to relate so much more to animals than we do insects. Insects can seems very foreign or alien when treated anthropomorphically. Either way, no go.

Here's what I did instead. I took the bug, enlarged him quite a bit and draped him over the shoulders of Kheperi. The middle segment (or thorax) became the 'head' of Kheperi, the back segments (or tergites) became just drapery in back of the head) and the head of the beetle becomes just a amulet or jewelry piece. I think it was pretty clever, if I do say so myself (and I do, it's my blog).

The rest falls into place, or at least seemed intuitive to me after studying this stuff for years now. The beetle has three pairs of legs or arms. The back pair just drape over, down back. The next pair, the middle, I stood straight up. It references the Egyptian bull or ram horns we often see. The front pair of arms solved two problems at once. I was pretty sure that if I included the khat, the design would be too busy or redundant. I instead laid the front arms down and in a bit, mimicking the khat and thereby eliminating it necessity.

Whew! Design done, I got down to the fun part. I used a pose from an art reference book I have. It's gone on a walkabout, but I'll post it up when I find it.



1 comment:

Stephanie Eve. said...

Great Friday project, Alonzo! I like that you're pulling references & learning things while doing this.. Enough so that I didn't cringe SO much when looking at the image of the dung beetle:)

& these days of the week thing are amazing!! Keep it up:)