Monday, 19 April 2010

Odyssey Concept Sketches: Egypt

As the Proprietor said the other day, the main problem with Egypt is that whilst real Egyptians probably had warm garments of one sort or another for their nippy winter nights, but very little of it seems to have imprinted on our cultural imagination which is more made up of the infamously expensive Cleopatra film (staring Elizabeth Taylor in the titular role) and the Mummy films than anything else. Anak-su-namun in the the opening sequence of The Mummy was wearing little more than jewellery and body paint.

Melting perfume cones seem somewhat out of the question (though points for anyone who's trying) and Odyssey's Egypt favour greens in particular (rather than blue, which I presume is in part due to other nations also having blue high on their list).

The Egyptian priestess to the left is wearing a cream-coloured dress and cape, beaded collar and matching snake headdress with beaded veil. She also wearing gold-plated vambraces with a red gem. Her decorative apron (for a lack of a better word) has on it the Djed symbol and hieroglyphs that can be roughly translated as "All life protection" (I'm sure people who know better will correct me in the comments).

We refrained from drawing any circular capes which were worn by the historical Egyptians to keep warm mostly because they're very dull to draw (being a giant circle of cloth with a hole cut in the middle for the head).

The Designer and myself came to an agreement that we would be trying to push for less naked torsos in these Egyptian concept sketches and then he went off and drew the architect to the right with the dubious abs, shirtlessness and exposed knees. After the exceptionally ornate woman (above) he wanted to draw a more low status man, possibly an attendant.

The Mercenary confesses to have been the least inspired by Odyssey's Egypt in terms of costume (which is why two of the three sketches here are done by the Designer - you could probably tell by his much more meticulous attitude to detail, my sketches tend to be much blobbier) and the woman in the brown leather armour (below) was only made Egyptian during the inking process when the Designer, hovering behind me (as usual) pointed out that the armour seems to fit the description of "leather bands on the torso".

This was, of course, Egyptian cultural armour and hence I added in the Eye of Horus and the eyeliner. But now I'm not quite as sure about its Eyptian status upon rereading the costume guidelines since it does also imply that the bands should either be in the shape of a rough harness or a complex overlapping arrangement. Still, she does serve for an example as to how the details make an outfit and tip it from culture to another. I like that she wears a darker shade than the Designer's more traditionally cream and pastel wearing Egyptians (he gave me rather detailed instructions in the margins about the colours for sketches after realising my Purple habit).

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