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Saffron Skies by azhrarn Saffron Skies by azhrarn
Well. What to say...this picture sat in my head for weeks and refused to go away until I painted it. So I did. Not sure if I'm particularly thrilled with the end results, but I think I did learn quite a bit off doing this one, so hopefully the time spent was worth it.

A closer look if you'd like.

EDIT: Since I've gotten so many requests for the stories behind these three, here they are, brief bios. From left:

Claris lived his former life as a palace courtesan, famed for his pristine beauty, who nevertheless clawed and schemed his way up the ranks of the imperial hierarchy. It became inevitable that his many enemies would catch up with him, and force-feed him a taste of his own poison, in the form of a venomous philter. His perpetrators (too cowardly to finish the act of murder) were ready to toss his unconscious body out to sea when they caught sight of Vierstein's ship -which had arrived unsuspectingly in the nick of time- and fled.

Mistaken for a forsaken damsel in distress by crewmates who then thanked their lucky stars or sundry deities, he was brought onboard for Vierstein's 'inspection'. Initial hoo-ha aside from the discovery that -she- was really a -he-, Claris was allowed to stay on the Lorissia for his novelty; a living curio. The philter had a potent side-effect, and he has no memory of who he once was. It is ironic that he is now as pure and virtuous as he looks. He acts as Vierstein's confidante, and occasionally, uncalled-for conscience. And yes, he really can't use that gun to save his life.

Renard Vierstein helms the Lorissia, and he and his crew scour the seas looking for the vessels of the rich to loot. It is not uncommon for his ship to leave, laden with all manner of luxurious goods, a tableaux of a trade vessel left high and dry, glorious in its nakedness, a puffy-faced, spluttering merchant, and many a mooning daughter. Vierstein who apart from sharing the plunder equally with his mates, often indulges in his vagary of distributing a portion to the poor, at the villages and settlements the ship docks at. Hence, a cheesy, popular title he became christened with, -Robin Hood of the Seas- is not entirely without merit.

He is not a -pirate- per se, not being truly a part of this motley sea-bound fraternity, but there is a grudging respect between them. He does not (unbidden) intrude into their territory and neither they in his. Those unsuspecting few (having a lack of foresight in addition to the lack of one physical eye), who make crude remarks regarding faggots and the like, learn quickly, for nothing teaches a lesson faster than a cleanly severed limb. Vierstein himself has perfect eyesight in both eyes, and wears the patch as a fashion statement, perhaps to taunt his fellow 'brethren".

It is not known exactly what manner of thing drove him to a life of piracy, but it is rumored he was once a nobleman's swordsman, or even of noble blood himself.

Kieri likes to say he was orphaned at an early age, and is good at the invention of various sob-stories with regards to his short, wretched(?) existence. In reality, he was the only son of a fairly well to do peasant farmer, who ran away from home, boredom and his destiny of tending crops for life. He snuck onto Vierstein's ship bundled with a sack of potatoes, discovered only after the Lorissia was well out to sea and having nearly asphyxiated to death.

In exchange for not being shark-bait, Kieri began life on the high seas by cleaning up the slops and performing other manner of menial tasks. He, however, quickly displayed a true aptitude (in addition to his natural enthusiasm) for various forms of combat. His slight form and instrinic deftness would have made him a perfect candidate for reconnaissance, or other stealth-related tasks, however his overzealousness for danger and any sort of -action- usually means he's often used as "the bait" on land, to provoke and lure away would-be security from whatever clandestine activity his crewmates might be doing. A job he thoroughly enjoys.
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krazycon Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Broken Fighting Dome (Arrggghhhhh) LOVE IT
Danone-chan Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2013   Artist
Pikachus nuzzles cheeks Big La. Big La. Big La. Big La. Big La. Fox Emote hi hi hi 
Oksana1 Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013
I also thought that blond and red-haired ones were girls... Very beautiful. I'd love to read a story about them!
FantasyBoudicca Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nice story and epic art, but I thought Claris and Kieri were girls truth be told.
HungerGamesGirl12 Featured By Owner May 18, 2013
Your art blows! I'm serious this is great
DJaked Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
This was in an amazing mod called Fall From Heaven. Your art is amazing.
zevranarainai1 Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013
This is just awesome! I love it. The colors, the characters, everything is just perfect
xXRedSunBlueMoonXz Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
this is beautiful i could see myself reading a story about these three men or boys.. keep it up
GarnetRedverne Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2012  Student General Artist
wow! i wish i could draw like this...
debbiegirl Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012
Seriously love this and the biography of the three boys. Wish there was a book of them that I can read. They seem so intriguing...
LoveEqualsArt Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2012  Student General Artist
Okay, I have to admit it. I thought the blonde and the redhead were girls. This picture is very beautiful, though. (:
Velvedere Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Not gonna lie.

When I first got a DeviantArt account, one of the first things I did was find this picture and favorite it.

I don't even remember how I found it (probably stumbled across it in a Google search) but this picture has been at the top of my favorites' list since...oh...2006?

Even without the descriptions you gave (which I also love) there is such a sense of character here. All three of them look so different, but complimentary because of their differences. I can just imagine this being the cover to a book series I would read about the trios' various misadventures.

The fact it's gorgeous besides doesn't hurt, either.

Fantastic job. And thanks for enriching my life a little more. =)
EnkerZed Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
they're ALL men! :eyepopping:
IdaLarsenArt Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
This art work has been featured in my latest 'Pirate Art feature' news journal:
:pointr: [link]

- If you prefer not to be featured, drop me a note and I'll remove it asap :)
oushida Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012
Fantastic piece and a truly interesting story.
ibdreamy Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2012
Beautiful..and I love your characters.
Junablossom Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
beanybot Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2011  Student Writer
RB-Illustration Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2011   Digital Artist
I know you submitted this YEARS ago and haven't been seen on dA since. But on the off-chance you do ever come back, I just had to say that I LOVE this. :heart: I read all the profiles and they all sound so interesting - if this was a book I'd read it in a heartbeat. Also not complaining that they are three very sexy pirate men! ;D Your painting skills are amazing. :D
kumoriNox Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2011
The painting is just beautiful, but I was wondering if you are going to or working on a story about these characters?
crazy4creations Featured By Owner May 20, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awsome work
dragonssilver Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2011
I want to read the story behind this picture. Seriously, the backstory is so complex and interesting, and the image gives an excellent sense of depth and character to the three that you just want to learn more. I am severely disappointed that this is not a book that you are illustrating a cover for or something.
shitaka Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You have an amazing talent. I'm starting to do a fan art. It's my first painting over all. Do you think i'll be able to draw without reference? Keep up the great job. ;)
Jamethial Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2010  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
This is beautiful and the characters are sooo enticing! >3<
CastleOfClouds Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2010
Wow, great (: nice work! Looks amazing :aww:
Heercums-N-Oxymoron Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2010
Is there a story to go with this awesome pic?
SRTA001 Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2010
did you get this from fall from heaven II for civ 4 or did they get it from you? cuz this is the first time ive ever seen any of the civ artwork up on deviant art. great job ether way tho :)
FicktionPhotography Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
:dance: This has been featured in my latest journal, found here: [link] :dance:
Spearminty Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2010  Student General Artist
Coloring here is very impressive *o*
ArtEnthu Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2010
good work.. :trophy: Online Digital pAINTING Competition :trophy:
Teslaflux Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2010
That's very good but I've seen it already at Civilization4 Fallen from Heaven 2
Teslaflux Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2010
That's very awesome but I've seen it already at Civilization4 Fallen from Heaven 2
helle-d Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2010
It's so beautiful.... would you consider making it a print?
oro-elui Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
wonderful work.
TamagoStudio Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2010
I have not words for this marvellous art.
TheCrimsonEffect Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2010  Student Photographer
your work is beautiful.
Little-islander Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2010
It is very nice, however... I won't lie I thought that all of them were women... be careful with the faces, necks and hair... the were all too pretty and soft to be features of a man, let alone a pirate.
novogrond Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
the artwork is an epic within itself
nzglking Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2009
This amazing, from the painting to your story telling. This should either be an anime, video game or movie or anything haha. You have true talent
Felt-heart Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2009   General Artist
This is really good! I love all the little details you put into it. I think the time was well worth it
mike-reiss Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Absolut fantastic Image.
Well-deserved FAV & LOVE :-)
helle-d Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2009
Would it be possible to buy a print...?
Mihzrael Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2009
Great details, good colors. Speechless!

MoonkissedSunrose Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
very cool
R-o-z-e-t-t-a Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2009  Student Artist
Nice)))I like this picture!
Greta-Heron Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Great Pic and wonderful story!
Silver--Sky Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, beautiful detail, and lovely colours! Well done!
eternitygirl Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2009
Not to say anything, but I thought these types of characters seemed familiar...


Only with a bit of gendr differences...
Samiraku Featured By Owner May 28, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Your work is inspirational and exquisite!
ladyHAJZL Featured By Owner May 27, 2009
Superb, superb, superb!!!!!
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Submitted on
August 22, 2003
Image Size
227 KB


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