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Submitted on
October 14, 2013
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Women Pirates of Project Blood and Steel (Concept) by Gambargin Women Pirates of Project Blood and Steel (Concept) by Gambargin
Listen to the Anthem of Pirates of the Historically Wrong Sketch Series Project: Blood and Steel, based on the Historical 17th Century Timeline.…

This is a conceptual sketch which I have been working on the past few days and finally got it together on my day off today! Project Blood and Steel is originally intended as a spin-off historical drawings to depicts women warriors of the 17th century, after finishing with the medieval series previously. In all its glory of wars and prestige of the 17th century world, we cannot deny, that the age of exploration also gave birth to the golden age of Piracy which forever recorded in the annals of our history.

While most of the image of pirates that stuck in our mind would be that of the bearded, one eye Englishman who shouted "Arrrr" akin to the famous "Blackbeard", media portrayal of pirates could either fall into the image of antagonist (The Legend of Peterpan) or heroic (Pirates of carribean perhaps?) . Especially for women pirates, the image of seductive, ruthless, femme-fatale are more than common, more often than not pictured together with "provoking" outfits. I have to admit, when studying about pirates, especially female pirates, there are more fantasy elements than historical facts, you actually discover a lot about "the golden age of piracy" when you actually study them. To be fairly honest, i initially thought there were only 1 type of pirate (the image that is in your mind as well), but after a good read, I've discovered more than what i wanted, hence, the creation of this drawing! :D

Pirates have existed since the dawn of civilization, but their prominence grew when Europe was waging wars on each others in the 16th-17th century. The first major era of golden age, or "buccaneering", was started in early 1600 when Anglo-French privateers were issued letter of marquee to attack rival Spanish ships in the Caribbean and eastern Pacific. The end of the European conflict saw many privateers "jobless" and turned into piracy, capturing and pillaging any ships that they came in contact with. However, this is just one of the many era of piracy in the world, as there will be various other pirates that are explored in this project. On the other hand. Female pirates did exists and there's even a page dedicated for them in Wikipedia!

Still, given my tendency to over-generalize things, there will be A LOT of anachronistic elements, historical inaccuracy or even stylistic touch, so by all means, I'm open to suggestions and feedback :). The characters are briefly mentioned in the section below:

From Right to Left -

1. Lalla Taljat binti Adherbal "The Canavar of Mediterranean Sea"

One of the most feared and ruthless pirate in the Mediterranean Sea, Lady Taliat is a Maghreb Corsair, based on the Barbary pirates that reigned terror of the same sea during the period of 16th - 19th century. At one part, they were the "protectorate"of the Ottomans, and were responsible to the capture of almost 1,25 millions, that were then sold into slavery (their main source of avenue). Not many people draw female pirates in oriental attires, so here she is! =P

2. Gerda Dirksdochter van Zeeland "the Beggar"

Many pirates were recorded and disappeared into obscurity, but only a few changed the course of history. Such is the role of Gerda "the Beggar", a dutch pirate that operated in Europe's northern coast. The reason why i chose the dutch amongst many others to represent European pirate in the series, is actually from the her nickname. "The Beggars" or "Geuzen", were basically a group of protestant Dutch people (low countries) who were opposing the Haspburg Spain rule over the Netherlands in 1566. Some of them operated in the sea and were called "Water Beggars", who not only raided Spanish ships, but also responsible in capturing many coastal settlements from the Spanish hand. Their role as 'pirates' played an important part in seeding the seeds of independence to the Dutch people, contributing to the long Eighty Years War that ended in Dutch Victory and her independence.

3. Isabel Hernandez de Alvaro "The Dahlia of Caribbean"

People often associated pirates with Caribbean, so i included a stereotypical image of Caribbean female buccaneer (minus the revealing clothings) in this series. Although, most pirates who operated in the Caribbean were of anglo-french origins, the spanish did hand out letter of marque to Iberian privateers to disturb english, french, and dutch merchant ship. Isabel Hernandez de Alvaro is probably not your typical lowlife 'pirate' that lived on plunders and cheap grog, she is a noblewoman privateer with her own ship, crews and perhaps with a much more radical taste of adventures than the common court ladies of the time.

4. Yang Rong "The Dragon of Yellow Sea"

The Chinese have their own pirates and problem of piracy, probably since the first kingdom that knows how to navigate along the sea. But nothing strikes more than the story of Ching Shih, who commanded the largest pirate fleet of 300 junks and 40,000 pirates, challenging the Naval power of the time such as the Qing, British and Portugese in the early 19th century. Yang Rong is based on her historical counterpart, as such, her criminal origins would create an image of calculating, deceptive and ruthless women pirate in the series.

5. Onizuma no Kaede "The Dragon Princess"

Onizuma no Kaede would probably be the most anachronistic pirate of the entire series. She is based on the Japanese Wako pirates that operated along the coast of japan, china and korea. Composed of outcasts and rejects of the strict feudalistic japanese society, the Wako sought piracy as a means of life. Anyone who knows japanese can notice that her name is a (very bad) translation of Kaede of Onizuma, denoting her noble background. Perhaps, she has lost everything from the constant war and decided to lead a life of piracy? think of a japanese female yakuza =P

All of the characters are still in their early concept stages and i will explore each of them individually, when i have the time (God knows when). So as always, any feedback or suggestion are most welcomed :)


I would like to thank these fellow deviants for their contribution in inspiring the drawing:

:iconmistasilentkiller: , :iconbrowncoatmando: and :iconobsidianplague: (I still haven't forgotten about your japanese female pirate :D)

More on Historically Wrong Sketch Series Project Blood and Steel HWS Project Blood and Steel - Faction Map v.1.0 by Gambargin
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HK09 Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2014  Student
wow this is just impressive!
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014
Thank you, pirates are certainly quite awesome! :)
InYuJi Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014  Professional General Artist
Women pirates are pretty bad@$$
ANd love your drawings
Gambargin Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014
Thank you! They certainly are pretty badass in my opinion!! :D
christi0anggraini Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
ini keren bgt , hahaha, bisa buat komik . Btw, lu cepet bgt yah kalo gambar , g lama bgt hahahha
Gambargin Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2013
Wah, biasa aja kalee =P, kurang lebih sekitar 2 ato 3 jam untuk gambar gini, tapi kebanyakan gambar di Tram ato Train pas mau berangkat Kerja :)

Klo gambarmu mah detail banget, ame shading nya, pasti lama klo mau buat satu :o
christi0anggraini Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
itu lama gara2 kecapean abies kuliah sih ehehhe. soalny polusi d jkrt parah bgt. tapi hebat gambar lu bagus2 :D
Gambargin Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2013
Polusi Jakarta mah, gawat. Pas pulang jalanan tambah maceeeet!!!! Terutama motor...:(
suyuku-san Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2013  Professional Writer
I loved the history on pirates, even have a few books on them, but it's really hard and rare when you want to find information on female pirates, well known or not. So I thank you so very much for doing this, I know you have your own thing and all but if you ever find more it'd be interesting to see your interpretation of them. :) :pirate:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013
Thank you so much, i'm glad that you like the drawing. I agree, finding stories about Women Pirates are hard, and most media portrays them unrealistically (at least in my opinion) and mostly related to the Caribbean.

I'd draw some of them as privateers, and some as pirates, hopefully people will sea the contrasts :D
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