Digital Texturing Over Temple Walls in the Small Amun Temple at Medinet Habu Using Procreate

Apr 22, 2021

There is a vast, largely unexplored territory in epigraphy that is underrepresented in publications, namely the visual representation of color. In the early days of documentation, painted details were either omitted for the sake of clarity or indicated only to mark painted outlines. When fully represented, these were usually shown with some sort of black and white pattern fill. Several outstanding field projects, however, created color copies of certain scenes to indicate the original’s vivid colors and elaborate decorative elements.

Today, since digital photography provides accurate and cost-effective color representation, there has been less impetus for the inclusion of color information in epigraphic recording. Nevertheless, representing color as a visual part of the drawing can be very rewarding in certain cases, and digital color enhancement can open up a new level of data distribution. A good candidate for presenting a scene in color is when the degree of paint preservation visible on the wall does not sufficiently reflect the original quality of detail.

Combining basic hues for each color allows a large variety of transitions when replicating pigment on the wall. In our case, Derwent color pencil textures were digitized, and artificial brush strokes were created based on their texture and style, preserving the handmade feel of the original. Various types of these color pencil “brushes” were designed in Procreate and tested out in the field. As soon as the result became satisfactory, the epigrapher could apply these digital color enhancements over a much larger area, achieving the quality of the color pencil work while exercising greater control over the process.

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