Whenever I go to an art museum I love to spend some time in the Ancient Egyptian Art section. I love seeing all the details and symbology in the work they created. Most of this art comes from the tombs and monuments. Unlike most artwork Ancient Egyptian art was never meant to be seen by the common public, but created for the divine and deceased as a sort of conduit for the spirit to have contact with those on alive on earth and those passing on to the afterlife.
Traits of Egyptian art:
The work stayed the same for 3,000 years.
The work was often very flat, no depth to any of the paintings.
Hierarchical Proportions were used to show importance. The Gods and Pharaoh were usually depicted larger than other figures, while servants, animals, and other details were painted in a smaller size.
Most tombs were painted with scenes from daily life and the rituals and ceremonies that took place throughout their lives.
The figure was often depicted with the head and legs at a side view and the torso shown at a frontal view. The legs were often parted when standing.
Much of the work, if not all, had symbolic meaning and everything was sacred.
Color was used to represent power and prestige. Often the colors were the same, blue, black, green, red, and gold.
For this exercise, you will need to look for a painting, or a couple of paintings, you love that you'd like to use for inspiration. Sketch out an idea for a painting, using Egyptian symbols and designs. Decide on what kind of paint you'd like to use. I used Gouache for this exercise. Paint your painting in a similar style as the painting you are using for inspiration.
A few Reference Images