anonyrrie: Illustration Friday - Imagine

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Illustration Friday - Imagine

I have always loved imagining what life was like in different times and places. What would it be like, for example, to time travel and visit ancient Egypt and be able to see the architecture and art that I've only experienced as photographs in books? Many years ago, I had the privilege of taking a course on ancient Egypt taught by Bob Brier, a well-known Egyptologist. It was a little bit like time travel as he shared his knowledge and passion for a culture that existed so long ago. These drawings are from a paper I wrote and illustrated on ancient Egyptian costume.

The ancient Egyptians were very concerned with aesthetics, and it is natural that this concern pervaded their costume. Their garments were of usually made of woven linen that varied in texture from very thick to almost transparent. When ornamented, garments were either dyed or painted in colors such as deep warm purple, indigo blue, dull madder red, dull apple green, and dull yellow-orange. In ornamentation, the Egyptians used their favorite decorative motifs on everything: temple walls and ceilings, tombs, furniture, jewelry, and clothing. The two most frequently used details were the lotus and papyrus put into varied geometric patterns and colored rhythmically. The drawing above shows the goddess Isis wearing an elaborate hawk headdress.

The most characteristic piece of ancient Egyptian jewelry was the pectoral. This drawing depicts a pectoral from the 12th dynasty (1991 - 1783 B.C.). It was made of gold inlaid with carnelien and lapis lazuli.

Lady and gentleman in festal costume of the New Kingdom (1570 - 1070 B.C.)

left to right: figure with the hawk-feather headdress of Isis, princess, prince

Music was an integral part of the ancient Egyptian lifestyle, whether played in temples, at the banquets of the rich, or in the ranks of a marching army. The musicians themselves had little if anything distinctive about their dress, with the exception of the royal harpists from the tomb of Ramses III (1194 - 1156 B.C.). Here the harpist wore a voluminous New Kingdom robe that fell loose but was rounded off at the bottom to prevent its trailing on the ground.


Blogger Darla, Pencil Portrait Artist said...


12:40 PM  
Blogger cream said...

Great Egyptian insight, Carla. Love the drawings!So neat and precise!

1:02 PM  
Blogger ValGalArt said...

WOW! carla i have always been fascinated with egypt and this was a nice walk through your amazing drawings and words. Love it! Thank you!!!

1:11 PM  
Blogger zordis said...

U wonder if these people were gods or human. They had much more tecnique and their beauty was excepcional.

Nice details and so interesting.

1:24 PM  
Blogger melba said...

I get excited every week to see you Illustration Friday always compliment your pictures with such interesting information. I love these drawings. Many times I see Egyptian painting on handmade paper..I think the type of paper is called parchment. What kind of paper did you use? Did you add the background color just for Illustration Friday?

1:29 PM  
Blogger Amy Zaleski said...

What a fantastic series! The solid background colors accent the black and white drawings so nicely. Those ancient Egyptians sure were fascinating indeed. Thanks for including the information to go with each's like a mini-art history course!

2:21 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Wow! You out do yourself each week! This reminds me of the old saying "the rich get richer and the poor pooer!"

2:33 PM  
Blogger isay said...

actually, i have been thinking about on what will be your entry this week.

these are absolutely beautiful drawings. I love the details in all of them but my favorite is the first one and the last. the harp is simple and beautiful and has a very beautiful body design(don't know how it's called).

My husband have been to egypt unfortunately- before we have met and have bought and kept really beautiful stuff and paintings. it is my next wish of place to visitnext year. see you there(who knows)!

3:15 PM  
Blogger Teri C said...

What a fabulous piece of art and history you have given us!

4:34 PM  
Blogger Caroline said...

Thank you for the beautifully illustrated guide to anceint Egypt.

The most unusual is that harp - what a strange place to put a head! - but imagine what the sound must be like. (I love harps someone plays one locally and its great to walk past when she is practising but it doesn't look like this one!)

4:35 PM  
Blogger raim said...

Lovely drawings...

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Majeak Ann said...

I am also fascinated by is in my agenda(as soon as I can) to visit interesting and mysterious places like this.
-Marjorie Ann

6:25 PM  
Blogger eni said...

wow I like lapis lazuli, and gold a lot but maybe next time you could take it easy on the carnelien.

6:59 PM  
Blogger Toni said...

This weeks entry of yours I really enjoyed. Love the history lesson and the illustrations are superb!!!
I love how this time you kept the drawings black and white. Sounds like that must have been an interesting and inspiring class.

7:40 PM  
Blogger constanthing said...

I'm a fan of Egyptian art too, and your drawings are so well done. It's a good summary of the traits in Egyptian art too, thanks for the short lesson!

8:06 PM  
Blogger Mustashrik said...

brilliant egyptian studies carla! keep this good work up ;)


10:03 PM  
Blogger The Whippy Curly Tails said...

Carla, I love these! Wow, speechless.

The black & white effect is nice.


10:48 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

You've been busy, Carla, and it was worth the effort. Lovely post, beautifuly illustrated. I became interested in Egyptian pictographs a couple of years ago and did a couple of small paintings using them. I always meant to do more.

11:45 PM  
Blogger The Tart said...

IMAGINE.....I have discovered your secret movie muse to much of your elaborate art work.....

The Yellow Submarine, by The Beatles!!!!

I just finished watching the DVD and all I could think of was: "Did Carla draw the illos for this movei?...this looks like her touch!"
Your lovely ladies could all have lead parts in the movie...I could see them all telling those Blue Meanies what to do with their clowns,apple dropping top-hatted gentlemen and that smug blue glove!

The coffee is causing my blabber, oops....anywho girlie, I love this b&w post of yours.
The beauty is in your attention to the detail...and this work demonstrates it the best, to me!

Hmmmmm, note to self, don Cleopatra eye wear/eyeliner look-- with black outfit tonight.
IMAGINE, being one of Carla's lovely ladies!

What a night this will be....Thanks Carla!

The Tart

11:37 AM  
Blogger Ginger*:)* said...

These are exceptional line images. I give you an A+ on the paper and the artwork. I always loved books that contained line art such as this. I could get lost in your illustrations for hours. What wonderful work!

12:50 PM  
Blogger frank h said...

Beautiful works
Interesting post
Thank you very much, Carla!

Really nice
I was an egyptian neighbour for almost 20 years, crossing the line and go to the Red Sea coast , then I have some first-hand knowledge about the modern Egypt (most from their beautiful coral reefs).

Your drawings are awesome!

1:08 PM  
Blogger The Tart said...

Check back at Vals cute pink house site...I have you involved in a game of Croquet with Andrea.

Off to get black eyeliner!

The Tart

1:50 PM  
Blogger St John Street said...

The new work is really awesome I love that kind of art super job. oh thanks for stopping by it's always appreciated.

2:32 PM  
Blogger The Crafty-Girl™ said...

Wow! These are all so beautiful and rich with even captured the way ancient egyptians drew people with mis-proportioned limbs and features! I've always loved their symbols and hieroglyphics...what a collection!

3:40 PM  
Blogger Christine Lim Simpson said...

You have put your knowledge into superb use. Excellent take on the subject. :)

Also thanks for recapture my memory with ancient art. A few years back I was lucky to visit the British Museum. They have a pretty extensive collection of Egyptian artefacts, ornaments and monuments. Their website may interest you.

5:07 PM  
Anonymous irvine said...

oohh beautiful! looks like you draw for encyclopedias too! ^_^

7:13 PM  
Blogger LDahl said...

I was able see the British museum collection when it came to Kansas City when the museum was being remodeled. Your drawings remind me of a piece of linen I saw in that collection. It was hard to imagine someone that long ago had made it. One of the few times I was stunned over a piece of cloth:))) Love these drawings!
I have to tell you these are excellent!!!
I'm a big fan of Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten):))))

11:07 PM  
Blogger coffee81 said...

reminds me of the song ' one night egyptian '

12:11 AM  
Blogger Isa said...

Without imagination humanity will be lost.

4:32 AM  
Blogger monicalee said...

Wow! What a great quick history lesson!

7:13 AM  
Blogger Afterthoughts Ltd. said...

Carla, love the drawings AND the history lesson! cool!

10:05 AM  
Blogger modroom said...

And they worshipped cats too, so they must have been very cool people. I'm signing up for your posts. I hav'nt done detailed work for a long time, you seem talented at detail and expression. PS yes he can throw it over his shoulder.
....::::::: )

12:19 PM  
Blogger rocket said...

Carla, my painted jeans are washable, I painted them with fabric paint and dyes, and then I ironed them with maximum heat, they also went through a cold salt wash (to fix the color).
Your Egyptian works are very detailed. You must have very good eyes and so paitient as well. Love your works.

12:26 PM  
Blogger greenfreak245 said...

this reminds me of the scenery in egypt. pyramids and sand.

2:30 PM  
Blogger steve said...

These are great drawings! I like how you showed different examples and wrote about them as well. Top notch stuff!

2:46 PM  
Blogger Lily and Lucy White said...

Thank you for the tour, Carla!
It is so great to have bits of education while one is having fun –I envy your students!
And thank you for visiting and being such a bright and warm presence! Lily White.

5:03 PM  
Blogger anthony said...

nice images,some of them could be translated into block carvings. have you considered doing any block prints with them?

7:45 PM  
Blogger Twisselman said...

Wow! Always an education visiting your blog. But your wonderful illustrations make learning fun in spite of my normally dull self. Thanks for the post!

9:00 PM  
Blogger Twisselman said...

Oh, and regarding Neil Young and After the Gold Rush: Yes, a great album. I've been a Neil Young fan for nigh these many years. His hilltop ranch is not far from me here on the central coast of California.

9:24 PM  
Blogger Urban Convert said...

Great Egyptian art. What I like is that it has authentic look but it's still very much yours. I detect a bit of ancient Greece in the portrait with the blue background.

9:32 PM  
Blogger Paige Keiser said...

Excellent line work! I would love to live back then too but two health insurance or novocain (sp?) ;-)

10:00 PM  
Blogger anne said...

oh! i love that egyptian instrument! just gorgeous!
your work is great!

2:23 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Egyptian art and frontalism is such fun to do and you've done a great job with these pictures.

4:17 AM  
Blogger Rachelle said...

Very intricate and beautiful line drawings Carla. Learned a little something about ancient Egypt as well!

5:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful drawings. I really like the pose on the top one.

9:20 AM  
Blogger Wilnara said...

Carla-Absolutely beautiful drawings! I use to imagine myself during that era also. It's nice how you capture the details in each drawing and the history you portrayed. It feels like you took a walk amongst there life too!!!!!!!

9:50 AM  
Blogger Tony Sarrecchia said...

I'll take Egypt for one thousand, Alex.

Seriously, great illos and discussion notes.

11:33 AM  
Blogger Shano said...

Very nice! You really did your research. Informative and beautiful! I like your bold colors and captions with the illos. Well done!

12:37 PM  
Blogger Serapio Calm said...

Beautiful work! You should do history book illustrations!

1:51 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

Excellent Carla. Well done. I love all things Egyptian. Cheers!

1:52 PM  
Blogger String said...

Wonderful - beautiful and a subject I was talking about with a friend this afternoon so nice to check out your blog and see it there!

2:17 PM  
Blogger LudaChristian said...

These are very cool.... Ancient Egypt was such an ornate period, artistically speaking. Lots to look at & lots to appreciate.

Nice job.

8:34 PM  
Blogger GoldenOwl said...

I find this very appealing, especially now since I live in Fort Lauderdale and King TuT is in town. I will hopefully be seeing him soon lol and many interesting things. I really don't know if they will allow cameras, but if they do, then expect a few pictures. See you, ~Golden

12:09 PM  
Anonymous angelique said...

great drawing subjects. My favorites are the third & fifth pictures. The ancient Egyptians have such a dramatic, fascinating history. I love these intricate line drawings that illustrate your entry so well. Nice touches of color.

1:15 PM  
Blogger Jules said...

Wow. Just wow Carla. I like the harpist the best. Maybe because of the way his robe imitates the harp strings.

4:27 PM  
Blogger Tiffy said...

Yes. I miss the grass hahaha.. Summer and fall really went by too fast this year. And now it's almost Christmas... Glad to see your designs and illos of Egyptians. I like the Egyptian's accessories. Great job Carla:)

5:55 PM  
Blogger Shishany said...

It's stunning,love it...Really it's a great job...

12:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The whole Egyptian series is great.


3:45 AM  
Blogger Aravis said...

The Egyptians have always captured my imagination as well. This was really wonderful, Carla!

1:12 PM  
Blogger gudbrandsdottir said...

Great details in your always :) Very nice.

3:20 PM  
Blogger Alina Chau said...

Beautiful drawings!! These are great!!

4:58 PM  
Blogger Tony LaRocca said...

Beautiful artwork, but lets go a bit further. What did the ancint Egyptians use for toilet paper? I mean, only the pharos could have afforded papyrus to wipe their tushies, and there probably weren't enough oasises with palm fronds around...

6:52 PM  
Blogger Leezy said...

Carla, Carla, Carla

You astound me!!! Well, I have already said that - but not just with your work - which is as beautiful as ever - but the fact that we are soooooo on the same plain. I am obsessed with ancient egypt and it's always the part of any museum I naturally gravitate to. I like to think I have a past life connection or something because it all makes so much sense to me. I even tried my hand at learning heiroglyphics .... tough but very interesting .... that's one place I would love to travel back to through time if I could.

your drawings are incredible, thank you for sharing them.

Happy Christmas!

7:11 PM  
Blogger carla said...

Thank you all for your comments! These are really old drawings, and it was fun to take them out and scan them.

Tony, you nut...I have actually been googling ancient Egypt and toilet paper! I have only been able to trace toilet paper back to ancient Greece and Rome in a very quick search. Now I'm on a mission!

Leeza...I know it's going to be really awesome working on the Journeys project together, because I do think we have many similar ways of looking at things. I think it's going to be so cool to see what comes in the mail each month:> I actually did learn the hieroglyphic alphabet when I took the course on the ancient Egyptians...if I find it, I'll scan it and send it to you.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year:>

7:38 PM  
Blogger Mick said...

I can't believe I didn't comment before this! I must be slippin'...anyways, this is a terrific series, Carla. :)

8:58 AM  
Blogger Knitting Painter Woman said...

Lovely switch from treacly holiday illustrations that are omnipresent!! I so much enjoyed historical fiction from Ancient Egypt as a pre-teen... and was so perplexed as an adult when local Bible Thumpers protested non-Christian fiction for their kids. (I never had the nerve to tell them that a lot of so-called Christian literature, was in fact FICTION... and that fiction means NOT TRUE. Oh well. As always, I appreciate the thought and detail of your work. Hope you don't have too many papers to grade.

1:50 PM  
Blogger val said...

Just wanted to stop by to wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season and a joyous new year.
By the way, these Egyptian images are beautiful.

3:58 PM  
Blogger Ian T. said...

A clean simple image in a classic style. The blue and black areas bring out the contrasting textures of the linear areas - nice use of line and shape!

I don't know if I'll do IF next year, but I plan to link to you soon and keep coming back here whatever...

Thankyou for your intelligent, supportive discussion, on your own pages and across the artblog world!

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Ian T.

6:38 PM  
Anonymous Joan Lansberry said...

I like these very much. I saw that pectoral at the Met Museum last May:
You've captured it well!

3:19 PM  
Blogger Gerald said...

These are such a great series of illustrations. Thanks for stopping by. The sun is definitely fighting with all its' might, but is losing dearly. Rain has started again...just in time for lunch. New Year's was quiet this year, wouldn't have it any other way...relaxation was the key. Hope you had a great New Year's yourself.

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We added your name on the directory :), apologies, sometimes a lot of blogs and we can forget someone ;)!!! Your lasted work are great :)

7:11 AM  

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