Surrealist nude graphite pencil drawing

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Cleopatra – 22-12-18

Egyptian Ambition

When I saw the reference picture I was inspired to turn the model sitting in a bath into Cleopatra with lots of foam around her. There she is, reclining in a donkey milk bath for the sake of my Egyptian ambition. After my last graphite pencil drawing ‘La Langue Verte – 14-12-18’ I wanted to add a drawing to the Out of Egypt series, depicting an anctual historic figure. Naturally Cleopatra was the one, given the fact that I like beautiful women. Nefertiti was my second choice but she has no obvious link to the bath.


I focused on the attractive angular body shapes and try to mimic the milk bath tonal shifts from body to milky water. The cat came later and was essential to improve the overall composition. Of course the cat wears an Ankh necklace. Cats know things and are portals from life to the other side. On the wall there are cartouches of pharaos before her and of course my own cartouche as a signature in honor of those grand ancestors.

Perspective View

The perspective view on the cat and the camels is full frontal. The bath however is seen in an angle from above. It adds to the rather surrealist flavor I was looking for. I was lucky though, the knee and lower leg I used to depict mountains in the negative space. Such serves as a link between both perspectives and worlds.

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Graphite pencil drawing (Pentel 0.5 mm, 3B) on Canson Bristol paper (21 x 29.5 x 0.1 cm) – A4 format)

Artist: Corné Akkers

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