So I’m on Facebook far more than I should be, but really who isn’t. (I feel like more people give up FB for Lent than chocolate! Am I supposed to be keeping tally of these things?) and one day I come across this cute little chibi Mary. Under any other circumstances I’d usually go “urgh, cliche. Keep scrolling.” but I found it too cute, I also had a sudden desire to draw Mary.
I haven’t been drawing people half as much as I usually do, so I’m way rusty. The idea of trying to draw a beautiful woman and make it presentable beyond sketch-book only worthy is intimidating right now, but I have a bonified lazy plan.
A few weeks (a month?) ago I drew Miss. Josephine Montileyet
Enjoyed it so much I tried my hand at Sister Nightingale. While I enjoy a good challenge, I wanted all my portraits to be the same size and I really just wanted to colour them in.
I’m a pro at trace and change.
My Mary was going to be a lovely portrait in the same style as all my other recent ladies, I just had to decide how I wanted her to look.
Was I going to make her into a Irish-German looks too much like me Mary? Historically correct Mary? Modern Jewish-y Mary? Da Vinci Mary? The possibilities were endless.
Y’know, I’m still not sure what I picked, but she’s drawn. She looks really white to me, but I modeled her after this picture
Okay only sort of. I needed a reference for a headscarf that wasn’t Leliana or a Hijab and this is all I could find, but I really liked her nose.
BAM, linework done, not more problems right? Wrong. I still don’t know what colours I want to make her.
Scarf is easy.
I like the blue with golden stars of the night sky veil and that’s what I’m sticking with
Ignore the crappy doll I made and focus on DollDivine’s beautiful pattern. That’s the look I wanted on my veil. So off I went doodling away till I decided on something simple enough that it’s within my patience levels but attractive enough i won’t loose pride over it.
Is it too heretical to say these sky veils totally remind me of the Egyptian Goddess Nut?
and in case you can’t see it in this image: a blue Nut for you.
I’m not going to diatribe you with stories of original cultures who related Mary to their mother goddess figures and how that affected evangelization in those regions, but it’s a fascinating read, if it’s the sort of thing you’re interested in. With New years coming up and the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God on it’s heels it’s a great time to look up information on the woman recently named The World’s Most Powerful Woman (though I recommend finding an accurate source, as I really don’t trust NatGeo on matters of religion).
Now that I’ve gotten 510% off topic, rewinding back to my drawing: I still had to decide what colour to make her skin. In fact I still haven’t decided how dark I want her to be. I’m leaning towards a similar tone as my Josephine or maybe matching her to look like the artists in the Prince of Egypt chose to make the Israelites? (if you haven’t watched this movie go watch it now, religious or not. Excellent Animation, music, and vivid story telling.)
In the end I’ll probably mix a colour, and just wing it. I’m horrible like that, but forward planning with keep me from impulsively making her an Armenian red head.
All that was left to figure out was her Halo. Without it she just looks like ‘lady with blanket over her head’. No bueno.
I hit up the internet to look up classical traditions for halos, tattoos, drawings, you name it.
I loved the geometric approach of the tattoo design, but I’m still not 100% sold. I like a bit of lacy detail work. I don’t have the paint I want to do it in yet anyways, so I’ve got time to fiddle.
Maybe a simple lace border?
Last night I transferred the image over to watercolour paper from my sketchbook design and actual progress is about to begin!