Details of 'Anachronistic Kemet I' - Thoth and the Hyper-Gogen - Book cover
For the first series of Gogen books, I used some of the cat paintings that I already have decent photographs/scans of - that series was for Uber-Gogen and Ultra-Gogen puzzles. For the Hyper-Gogen books, I thought that it would be nice to create the anachronistic fiction of the Hyper-Gogen existing during ancient Egyptian times and one of the Egyptian gods is doing a puzzle - in this case Thoth, the creator of writing amongst other things.
You can see on the back cover that the challenge to find out what the hieroglyphic on the front cover say so I am not going to do that job for you.
This is a comparison between the actual papyrus and the book cover. You can see that there are differences in colour, mainly the red.
The process is: paint; scan; process; separate; print; send me a copy; photograph the original and print next to each other.
I can tell you that on the monitor I am looking at at the moment, the green of the malachite and the red of the cinnabar are reproduced fairly accurately in the photographs of the original. However, you can see that those colours have changed fairly substantially by the time it has been printed.
This is the cropped scan as used on the book cover. The colours used are:
Cinnabar - border and sun headdress
Yellow Ochre - hieroglyphs
Orpiment - clothing
Green Earth - hieroglyphs
Malachite - border and Surface Thoth is standing upon
Egyptian Blue - border and Thoth's headdress
Lapis Lazuli - hieroglyphs, border and vertical lines
Lamp Black - Thoth's head and neck
Chalk White - The hyper-Gogen board and Thoth's clothing
Lead White - Owl (letter 'M')
23kt Gold - Thoth's wrist bands, cartouche border and divisions on main border
Note the spaces at the top and bottom for the lettering to be added in production of the book cover.
This is a close-up of Thoth with the Hyper-Gogen. You can see that two square of the puzzle are different colours and that they have hieroglyphs in - 'P' and 'G' in shell gold that has been left (along with the gold in the headdress) whereas Thoth's wrist bands are in burnished gold.
The burnished gold has a surface layer that reflects light like a mirror that follows the surface of the papyrus;
The gold that has been left unburnished:
overall, reflects light equally therefore looks the same colour regardless direction of the light source and the contours of the surface; and,
on the smal scale, catches light and glistens.
As a result, the gold reflects light in three ways according to how it has been used.
This is a close up of the left side and you can see the gold in the border - unburnished.
You can see the scale of the painting with the natural surface of the papyrus.Papyrus is made from two layers - running at right angles to each other - of thin strips of a reed that grows in Egypt and allowed to dry.
It was the first man-made, lightweight writing surface - other early writing surfaces include slate and animal skin. This could be made by people in large quantities, relying on something that grows abundantly and doesn't take long to produce so there is not a real problem of supply and demand. This is why we see ordinary daily use on old fragments of papyrus.
This is the cartouche. The hieroglyphs say 'Paul Grosse' and it has the determinator for script and man.
The shell of the cartouche is burnished shell gold.
This is a small part on the right hand side with the letters 'R' 'T' 'D'. The 'R' and the 'D' are red with cinnabar and you can see the small pieces glinting in the light. The same goes for the 'R' which is lapis lazuli and like the cinnabar, is genuine and made by grinding rock so those little flat faces catch the light every so often.
you can see that on this scale, the gold powder of the shell gold looks quite coarse.
This is the papyrus illuminated from behind. You can clearly see the crisscross lines of vascular bundles from the reed slices now.
On thing to notice is that in the previous image, the colours are opaque insofar as even though they are transparent, they block out enough light so that you would have to stare really closely in order to be able to see the papyrus beneath whereas here, you can see right through them.
The difference is that here, light is travelling through the pigment just once whereas looking at the pigment illuminated from the top as in the previous image, light travels through the pigment twice.
Close up of the top left.
Close up of the bottom right.
Note that the burnished gold of the cartouche is not solid - again, it reflects enough light to appear solid.