Egyptian wall art has fascinated the world since the discovery of King Tut's tomb. This simple style reflected the life and death of the ancient Egyptians. Highly stylised and deceptively simple, this art form has been replicated as a visual motif throughout the world. If the subject of Egyptian art appeals to you as an artist, the key to recreating these famous scenes lies in understanding how the pictures are used to represent life in Egypt. Once you master these icons, you can replicate them first on paper then later on your walls and other places to create your own Egyptian tomb.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Photos of Egyptian art
- Drawing pad
- Graphite pencils
- Coloured pencils
Gather some photos of the art on Egyptian walls. A good portion of this art is on the walls of tombs, but not all of it. You'll use these photos as references for your own Egyptian art drawings. The most interesting drawings include hieroglyphics, Egyptian gods and daily life in ancient Egypt.
Make some practice sketches of some of the photos you like the best. This will give you a feel for the composition in the art, the use of colour and the use of symbolism in the art. As you sketch, try to replicate the lines of the drawings exactly as you see them. If a line curves to the left, try to draw the exact curve of the line. The closer you get to replicating the lines as you see them, the closer your drawing will look to the reference photos. This is the basis for all good realistic art.
Put down the basic shapes on your paper when you're ready to begin the drawing phase after your sketch work is done. Many if not most of the objects you see in the real world can be reduced to basic geometric shapes. For example, if you're drawing the head of Anubis, you'd dry a triangle that's laying on its side to represent the nose, a rectangle for the head and triangles for the ears. Blocking the basic shapes also allows you to centre your drawing. If you do this, you won't run out of paper because you've started out with a drawing that's too large.
Block in the basic letter forms (hieroglyphics) if your reference includes it. These are usually in the background, and generally speaking, it's easier to draw the background as one of the first tasks in the drawing process.
Fill in the detail lines using gesture drawing. Gesture drawing is the process of creating the detail lines of your drawing by scribbling them in. You do this by trying to replicate the lines exactly as you see them, and if you miss the mark and the line isn't quite right, keep scribbling until the right line shows up.
Get rid of the extra lines that gesture drawing created by erasing them. The lines that should be left are the ones that make your Egyptian scene look the most like your reference photo.
Colour in your Egyptian art with coloured pencils, recreating the colours just as you see them.
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- "Sketchbook for the Artist"; Sarah Simblet; 2005
- "How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way"; Stan Lee and John Buscema; 1978
- "Lines and Measurements"; Art Instruction Schools; 2006
- "Basic Shapes"; Art Instruction Schools; 2006
- St. Petersburg Times: Egypt: Art and Architecture
- Egypt Art Site: Welcome Pyramid Acres