2011/05/14

Illustration Friday: "Safari"

Jean is the local Guide of The Dunes. Here he's waiting for his client to recover from lunch.

Did you know that when the troops of Napoleon's Egyptian Campaign, having marched for three days without water, reached the Nile, they were so overjoyed at seeing water that some of them died from drinking too much? And those who feasted on the watermelon crops, got dysentry.

Years ago I happened upon this story while researching the history of the Rosetta stone and found myself enthralled by this French occupation that left the accompanying scientists and artists literally stranded, building new laboratories and and workplaces for themselves. The Linda Hall Library has a little on the background history and some wonderful illustrations (mainly portraits of the members) from the publications that followed the expedition. 
This reminds me of a book I've been wanting to get every since, it's by Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti who, a contemporary of the occupation (1798-1801), wrote a journal about events in Cairo at the time. Parts of this book has been translated into English and I think it would be interesting to read that point of view as well. I'll bump it up on my endless book wish-list!

I left the details of the holes on the paper because I thought it gave the image more of that travel journal feel. I'm rather pleased with that actually but I had a hard time figuring out where all the awkward looking limbs of the camel were supposed to go!

15 comments:

  1. Love the camel's face and the holes too! That is interesting about the French. I love reading diarys of people who lived long ago, especially if they have traveled.

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  2. Great picture and educational text.
    Funny how you had to fold the long legs under the camel's body.

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  3. veerrrry nicely drawn and love the "atty-tude" on the dromedary. "-))

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  4. great, I love its face and the texture of the paper with the holes too.

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  5. Fantastic! I think you have captured the camel beautifully! Having been on a few camel rides ( fun not anything more exotic) I think you nailed the expression too.
    What a bonus, a great illustration to look at and an educational piece as well. Thanks I enjoyed both.

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  6. Beautiful piece; I love the "travel journal" feel. And I enjoyed the interesting post as well!

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  7. Great post and wonderful illustration! :)

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  8. *giggle* you made my day with your wonderful drawing! have a phantastic rest of the week :-)

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  9. I keep looking at it and it amazes me that each time it looks like it s moving.. u caught that movement so incredibly well! almost like an animation not a sketch! Very nice lines, color and again perfect capture of expression and movement!

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  10. I love it:) this was one of the best 'safari' pics on IF to me:) and the camel is so funny!

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  11. Great illustration of a camel love its expression. The bit of history was interesting as well, not many people realise that water is toxic when drunk in large quantities especially when dehydrated that is information that I had found out recently.

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  12. Heisann!
    Interesting story with a lovely illustration. The lines are so soft and gentle, just like the camel himself!

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