windowtoart: "PAINTING": Egyptian Style Painting Egyptian Painting Fable Part 1 Choices
As one of our special "Art History" studies in Introductory Art, we studied an ancient culture known for its art style, symbols, and communication by story-telling--the Egyptians.
We loaded the art room with many books on the subject and began acquainting ourselves with the characteristics, methods and rules of this long ago society. There was much to discover and be able to imitate, and so we began.
These 8.5"X11" practice sheets enabled a discovery search. The first required (1.) A BORDER DESIGN from an Egyptian painting and a question of why borders were used; (2.) 3 PATTERNS that were inspired by nature; and (3.) 12 HIEROGLYPHIC SHAPES and a question of the purpose of them.
The second practice sheet was to find (4.)3 ANIMAL HEADSHAPES and the question of what they indicated; (5.)How HANDS were placed on arms; (6.) Show how FEET were placed;(7.)Show a PATTERN of visual TEXTURE from a mummy, collar, dress, etc. and (8.)Show a typical Egyptian HEAD with hair and eye details (These were the easy parts.)
Then came the most difficult part of all--drawing human figures. Actually, the rules that had to be followed were a great assist in making body proportions more accurate for introductory art students. However, this still was a challenge.
In designing the human figure, the Egyptian artists tried to make all art work uniform.
A "grid" of 24 equal squares was used to construct the human body so all would be the same size. "'0" was where the feet were placed, "6" was the knee, "13" the waist and elbows, "19" the shoulder, "22" the middle of the eye and "24" was the top of the head.
1. A "front view"eye on a side view head.
2. Front view upper torso and side view legs.
3. Both feet and perhaps hands are alike.
4.Animal heads on human bodies ( VIP's only).
5. Multiple lines or shape repetitions to suggest "motion" or "many".
6. Different "stories" in the same design.
7. Many repeated textural and nature patterns.
8. Hieroglyphics to tell the story.
9. Colorful border patterns.
All this was in preparation for the painting to follow. However, before we began sketches, we read a story that so nicely told and with wonderful illustrations explained how communication for people was achieved using all the tools we practiced above.
The story can be read on the next two pages (for easier downloading). It is called NUT'S CHILDREN (pronounced "noot's"). Do take a look!