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March 27, 2006
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Kushiel: Phedre's Marque by justira Kushiel: Phedre's Marque by justira
This is more or less how I envision Phedre's marque from the Kushiel's Legacy series. I drew upon several ideas for this design I'd seen, mostly the one on the cover of the books and one that was deemed "official" and dispalyed on the author's site for a bit. Although lately I'm not liking this design very much, so I might redo this. That, and the blood droplets suck.

For those of you unfamiliar with the series, I first of all urge you to read it [link]. It's a brilliant work of historical fantasy, and if you like fantasy, history, linguistics, weird psychology and/or sex, you'll love these books. Mind you, the sex is extremely tasteful, though there's rather a lot of it, seeing as the books are about a courtesan. Never fear, though -- the sex scenes are less about the sex and more about the characters' reactions to it.

Secondly, a short explanation. This is supposed to be a tattoo that spans the length of the main character's back, starting at the nape and ending around the tailbone (that' how I interpret it, at least, though I'm pretty damn sure the full-length is canon). It's a briar rose with blood droplets.
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:iconpicklepeckle:
picklepeckle Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014
Would you mind if I got a slightly adapted version of this for a tattoo? I really want a briar rose twined around my lower left leg and this is fantastic. Added to that, I love the Kushiel's Dart series, so that would be an added reason for me to use this design.
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:iconjillykaren:
JillyKaren Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2011
I think this is lovely.
Reply
:iconladyniah8504:
LadyNiah8504 Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2011
Wow, I'm speechless about this. I got into the books about a year ago, and this is friggin awesome!!!
Reply
:icontoxicpunkchick:
toxicpunkchick Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2011
i LOVE these books! ive read them so many times...
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:iconushiyasha:
ushiyasha Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Looks great :)
I have listened to all the audiobooks, they were amazing :D I am so excited for Naamah's blessing
Reply
:iconlaeoukka:
Laeoukka Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Have you drawn Alcuin's marque? I'm curious to see if others envision it the same way I do.
Reply
:iconmartynha:
martynha Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2010
it's beautiful!!!
can you tell me the meaning of that tattoo? what does it represent?
Reply
:icontenebradomina:
TenebraDomina Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2010
I'm readind the first book right now.
This marque is rapresented (I'm not sure that this word really exist - I'm Italian) very well, and it's so similar in my fantasy
Reply
:iconunconsciousbeauty:
UnconsciousBeauty Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2010
This is absolutely beautful! Although I have not read the books, I will be immediately. Sounds right up my alley. I was looking for some artwork with a sleeping beauty inspiration, and it's just perfect. You seem so gracious to everyone inspired by this, do you mind if I cut it down a bit and use this for my text tattoo? I feel I must have your permission. TIA!
Reply
:iconjustira:
justira Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2010
Dang, I am SO sorry it took me forever to get back to you! Life's been pretty hectic, and DA pretty low on my priorities =(

Now that I'm here -- yes! Feel free to use it! If you post any pictures, I would love to see them =)
Reply
:iconmommy-silver:
Mommy-Silver Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Would you mind if I use this for a real life embroidery for a cosplay/LARP costume? I love it to bits!
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:iconjustira:
justira Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2010
Sure, that sounds awesome! I'd love to see it when it's done =D
Reply
:iconrosa-mondhase:
rosa-mondhase Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2009
Absolutely great story! I am reading it now and it is so fantastic! I can't wait starting the second book! :heart:
Reply
:iconhadesgoddess:
hadesgoddess Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2009
I think this is one of the best Marques i've seen for Phedre.... Have you thought of doing Alcuins?
Reply
:iconsilversoulmate:
SilverSoulmate Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2009
The book sounds interesting, maybe I'll read it... ;) Your picture is great!
Reply
:iconhanatsuki89:
Hanatsuki89 Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm in love with this series of books too^_^
On the 2nd book cover there was an illustration with Phedre's back with the tattoo, but I absolutely love more this version of yours!
And the red drops make a beautiful contrast.
Instantly faved :D
Reply
:iconrockstarr2277:
rockstarr2277 Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2009
luv it!!
Reply
:iconotterbane:
Otterbane Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah, beautiful! You do it such a greater justice than the weak versions portrayed on the book covers! Absolutely fabulous!

I'm reading the second one again, because I got the third waaaaaaaaay after I had finished the first two! So I need to remember what happened!
Reply
:iconstarshinesim:
StarshineSim Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2009
I LOVE IT!! Was very dissapointed with the picture of both Phedre and her marque on the book covers,,,this is more how I imagined it...intricate and beautiful. Well done.
Reply
:iconjibril84:
jibril84 Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2009
Finally, I did it! Here my Phèdre [link]
with your marque.
:)
Reply
:iconsvqn:
svqn Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2008
Oh, sweet, this is SO much more like what's described in the books rather than what's on the covers :D
Nice, thanks for the rendition :) Also... you might consider converting it to a vector work, to get sharper edges and to be able to tweak the droplets if you're so unhappy with them ;) I can only recommend a wonderful free application: [link]
Reply
:iconjustira:
justira Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2008
Oooh, thank you very much! This was ink on paper, so of course it bleeds a little. I hadn't considered making a vector drawing out of it, but that's actually a very good idea! Thank you =D
Reply
:iconun-paysage-choisi:
un-paysage-choisi Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2008
Yes, I've always hated the depictions of Phedre and especially her marque on the book covers. Of all the marque versions drawn on Deviantart, I've liked yours the most; it's a lot closer to Carey's descriptions than others'. I like the "heaviness," it expresses "the bond and the lash" much more than delicate elegant lines.
Reply
:iconmagickal-alexandra:
Magickal-Alexandra Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2008
I think its beautiful! i plan on getting a tattoo based on the cover art, except with red and purple blended petals. when i get a scanner i'll post my drawing.

and the books are ::drool:: awesome!
Reply
:iconjustira:
justira Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2008
Thanks =)

I do enjoy the books, and I wish there was more art for them...

Your tat idea sounds cool; I hope you post it soon!
Reply
:iconaloneandshutin:
AloneAndShutIn Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2008
i hope you dont mind but im using this picture as a base for my first tattoo, im going to have the tattoo guy draw it up but its gonna be a mix between this and the picture on the book
Reply
:iconelegaer:
elegaer Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2008
Lovely interpretation!
Reply
:iconmalloriel:
Malloriel Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
I have to agree that I didn't like the cover art version of the marque either and I did exactly what you did. Yours is a vast improvement over the one on the cover, but I see a lot of similarities as well. It is lovely, let me say. You've very much captured the tribal feeling expressed in the description much more than I have, but I focused a lot on trying to express the idea of the lash, and how it tapers and flows. I likes it, though. ^_^
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:iconmalloriel:
Malloriel Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you ^_^ I'd hoped for elegant. And really, I think heavy is an okay quality for something tribal. Thick bold lines are almost expected within their designs.
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:iconjustira:
justira Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2007
Thanks for such a nice comment! I did like some things about the cover design but it just didn't capture the feel I got for the tattoo or even match its canonical description much. I took a look at the versions you have in your gallery and I really like how elegant they are -- mine's rather heavy ^^;
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:iconambiepetals:
AmbiePetals Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2007
Love love love! Much better than the original cover art mark.
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:iconanelim:
Anelim Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2007
I also agree with the previuos speakers, this marque is just great! Much better than the one on the orginal cover.
Reply
:iconforgottenangel7:
forgottenangel7 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2007
I have to agree with above commenters.This is much closer to how I imagined the marque.In fact when it loaded up I just sat there in astonishment because it was EXACTLY how I imagined it!!!I dislike the marque they use on the covers,it's too broad at the top and where are the red blood droplets?!Overall great work the best rendering of her marque that I've seen.
Reply
:iconchey5033:
Chey5033 Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2007
i love the books so much!!! they are great!! i love your drawing!!!
Reply
:icontalvitera:
talvitera Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This looks much closer to the book's description of the marque than the design on the cover! Beautifully done. :heart:
Reply
:iconpope-moses:
Pope-Moses Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So, a comment given a hell of a long time after the actual submission, but I love it. Probably the best well developed marque I've seen of hers. Very nice. ;)
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:iconbjj:
BJJ Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2007
Pretty Design! I'd love to get a tattoo like this! :D
Reply
:iconpoeticnobody:
poeticnobody Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2006  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
That is exactly how her marque would have looked... great job!
Reply
:iconrideaseeker629:
rideaseeker629 Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2006  Hobbyist Artist
this would make a hella tattoo omfg wow if i dint have two on my back already i would go for this(only if you gave me permission of course) this is so awesome!!
Reply
:iconjustira:
justira Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2006
Thank you, I'm really honoured! It's incredibly flattering to hear that someone would actually consider tattooing this!

If you ever do decide to, you have my complete blessing =D

Until then, nice hitai-ite in your sig XD
Reply
:iconrideaseeker629:
rideaseeker629 Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2006  Hobbyist Artist
yay! hitai-tai?
Reply
:iconfairebarbell:
fairebarbell Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2006
very awesome, I love the entire series and this is much more like what I saw by the description than the cheesy cover art.
Reply
:iconjustira:
justira Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2006
Oh wow, sorry, my browser spazzed and I replied twice >.<

I'll, uh, just take this opportunity to thank you for the :+fav: ^^;
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:iconjustira:
justira Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2006
Thanks! I adore the series so much, and I've seen some stunning designs for the marque but none that seemed to follow canon closely. I tried here, but I might end up reworking it a little. I'm glad you like it, though, and I'm glad to see someone else who enjoys the series =)
Reply
:iconjustira:
justira Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2006
Thanks! I adore the series so much, and I've seen some stunning designs for the marque but none that seemed to follow canon closely. I tried here, but I might end up reworking it a little. I'm glad you like it, though, and I'm glad to see someone else who enjoys the series =)
Reply
:iconharumi-chan:
Harumi-Chan Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2006
that sounds way interesting, I'll have to check it out :D
Reply
:iconjustira:
justira Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2006
Do, do! Let me know what you think =)
Reply
:iconstrangeonepirate:
StrangeOnePirate Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2006  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very nice, though I'm unfamiliar with the book.
Reply
:iconjustira:
justira Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2006
It's an excellent series, though probably not for everyone. But I think I listed a good bit of the qualifications for enjoying the books in my description =D

As always, thanks for taking a look.
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:iconstrangeonepirate:
StrangeOnePirate Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2006  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
xD I might like it.


And, as always, you're welcome :3
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