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The Chronead by suburbanbeatnik The Chronead by suburbanbeatnik
This is an illustration for Nyki Blatchley's story "The Chronead," appearing in the anniversary issue of Dark Valentine magazine. (It is also, alas, the last issue as well. You can download it here.) It's about a time-traveling nymph who whisks her modern-day lover back to the first century BC to meet Cleopatra and her two ladies-in-waiting, Charmian and Iras, and manages to change history. (You can read an interview with the author over at Stephanie Dray's blog: [link] )

There is actually a bit of an art nouveau influence in this-- I modelled Cleopatra after one of Mucha's Moet et Chandon girls. I figured it would give her a suitably regal and exotic air, but I could still keep her in suitably Greek/Hellenistic clothes. (Yes, Cleopatra, in reality, did not dress like Anne Baxter from "The Ten Commandments," or any other Hollywood movie Egyptian for that matter. She was a Greco-Egyptian, like an inbred royal version of the folks seen off the Faiyum mummy portraits.)

This is a very mixed media piece. For once I didn't use acrylic-- I used inks, pens, colored pencils and goauche.
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:iconnuitsdeyoung:
NuitsdeYoung Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
This is gorgeous!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner May 17, 2018  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you!
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:iconofficermark:
OfficerMark Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
You are exactly right ... Cleopatra Thea Philopator (nowadays called "the 7th") was a Hellenistic queen who wore the Greco-Roman fashions of her day. However for certain ceremonies in the capacity as a priestess of Isis I'm sure she donned an Egyptian costume.
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:iconalene:
Alene Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2011  Professional General Artist
Ooh, this must be the mixed media piece. It came out fabulously! The colours are gorgeous, and there's a lovely fluidity to their poses which matches their expressions beautifully. =)
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! I'm so glad you like it. :D
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:iconfallencherryblossom9:
FallenCherryBlossom9 Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Very pretty :)
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! :)
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:iconrosengeist:
Rosengeist Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Professional General Artist
Mrrrrreeeeooooooww!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I can't tell you how tempting it was to put a cat in this drawing, but somehow I managed to resist. :3
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:iconrosengeist:
Rosengeist Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2011  Professional General Artist
Ha, well when you have such adorable references near to you, how can you not?
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:iconlycanthropeful:
lycanthropeful Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Oooh, very awesome! I love the attention to detail, particularly in the clothes (but the accuracy in Cleopatra's appearance is noted, definitely :)). Very nice composition, too!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Why, thank you much! Though strictly speaking... Cleo should be less attractive... here she looks like a cross between the Moet et Chandon girl and Lucy Lawless. Oh well. :XD:
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:iconlaurengreiner:
LaurenGreiner Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Professional General Artist
This is stunning. I definitely see the Mucha influence in her face and pose, as well as the way her gown drapes around her body. I absolutely love how much effort you put in all of your work to make them historically accurate. Cleo wasn't an Elizabeth Taylor, although I am a huge admirer of that film. Anyway, the brushwork in this is really nice. And, hey! Mixing it up a bit with gouache! I've always wondered, but forget to ask - what do you paint on?
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks for the lovely comment! I painted this on Holbein mixed media paper, which is available in sketchbooks at Blick stores. I don't know if I went to THAT much effort to make this historically accurate-- I never could stand the cartoony fake "Egyptianness" of most Cleo portrayals, and I've always been a big fan of the Faiyum portraits. :XD:
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June 3, 2011
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