Archive for May, 2012

29th + 30th may

Posted: 31/05/2012 in Uncategorized

I’m now working up at tribe 1 every other tuesday, so today was my first tuesday in the southside for quite a while. This will free up a workspace for Nik to work in Tribe 3 a bit more, where he can work with Alex keeping an eye on him.
It’s all a bit complicated, specially for me, but I’m sure we will all get used to it soon enough.
I wake up every morning and my first thought is ‘what day is it’ then ‘where am i working today’

Kevin and jason were both in to get more work done to their respective dragons

and i also had Chris in for a continuation of his black and grey piece, we added a portcullis today, but you’ll have to wait until next time to see it, as the pictures as they didn’t turn out. Big reflective shine all down them, boo.

In glasgow the next day i had Robert in. This is going to be a very different kind of piece for me, and it’s a bit of a fixer upper.
I should show you the pictures of his arm before we started talking about fixing it, another artist had done a pretty shoddy job on what was meant to be a japanese themed extension of a tribal piece.
You’ll see what I mean


First up Roz lasered a lot of the darker pieces to lighten them up, so that we could go over it all with a new design.
the idea here isn’t really to completely obliterate the old pieces, we decided that with the lasering that had been done, the old tattoo would really just form a sort of background texture for us to work around, and over. We will end up with a new, fairly abstract piece that doesn’t belie the struggle and path it took to get there, but tells a story. The story of the tattoo and the skin it’s on, and the whole process from old to new.
I do this kind of thing with pencil or charcoal on paper, where the partial erasing and redrawing is an integral part of the process and the finished piece.
Here’s an example of this from my sketchbook

of course doing this kind of thing on skin is pretty different, but I’m enjoying the similarities where they exist  😀

here is the first step of Robert’s new piece, we took shapes and directions from the old piece and carried them on, adding more pleasing and structurally sound design elements and texture.

also in was davie, we’re still working on his Samurai sleeve

I’m loving the weather, heat like summer…amazing!

Paul got his koi tattoo finished, it’s a black and grey piece only, unusual for japanese style pieces, but I like it

more japanese style, David got the rest of his sleeve lined. We are working to a 2hr a month budget here, so we might be a while with this piece, but it’s a great way of doing it if you are on a tight budget but still want big work

and on saturday I only had Brad in, we finished his soviet propaganda piece. I love this artwork, strong and basic, those propaganda art people certainly knew what they were doing

after that i had an appointment to do some painting, great way to start the weekend 🙂

bruce started the week off, we finished the scales on his dragon and will tackle the background and the flowers next time

and then our Roz got her balance restored so to speak, we finished the other side of the new additions to her blackwork leaves and vines. Phew, she can walk without a limp again now! Having just one of the sides done left her with a niggling feeling of asymmetry, glad that’s sorted  😆

and Jamie got more work done to his geisha girl, we brought her flowing kimono round the wrist to finish the sleeve off. Some more colour in the flowers here and there and hes sleeve is complete


the next day Nik and me went through to Glasgow, Nik was covering for Mark on reception, whilst mark is living the high life in Italy…..the usual culprits who get roped into covering for Mark are unavailable, Tim is in the middle of his degree show for art college, and maggie is only having a baby!
Just can’t get the staff these days haha!
no, seriously, massive congratulations to both of them  😀

I did some more strange additions to Bobby’s music sleeve, this is another piece that defies being described, you’ll just have to wait and see! It’s very much Bobby’s ideas, he chucked a load if images my way that he loves, to do with his interest in music, and now we’re busy putting them all together, watch this space.
Today we created a tree lined path which will have a wounded crane lying on it at a later date, it’s to do with an old japanese fairy tale and of course there’s a music connection which escapes me right now. I’ll get back to you on that one when Bobby’s in next time.

and Gill got her cherry blossoms coloured, we’re going for a stylised red look, next time we’ll be adding a few birds to the composition.
Gill is a burlesque dancer, this piece will look great as part of her act on stage!

New Boy Nik is starting his own blog! He will be talking about his journey as a tattoo apprentice, and posting pictures of his work, tattoo and other art related, check it out!

I had a great time on holiday in beirut, sun and sea, sensibly avoiding the troubled area of lebanon. I feel recharged like a fully loaded AK47 you’ll be pleased to hear, so bring it on!

I was back at work on saturday, as it was only a short holiday, and continued on John’s backpiece, today we got down to some colour, various shades of blue in the scales of the dragon

and i pretty much finished darren’s piper sleeve, I’d like to see it all healed to check up on bits like the elbow and wrist, and I’ll get the final photos then. Although the pictures I took on saturday there are by far the best I’ve taken of this sleeve so far, the ones before that were just horrible for some reason.
I know that this sleeve is all about movement, so pictures will never really capture that, maybe I’ll take a video of it and post that up for you to see…

quick blog as it’s late and I’ve not packed for tomorrow yet, I’m off to Beirut for a hoilday early in the morning  😀
5 days of sun hopefully, can’t wait…

my last two days were surprisingly floral, with the exception of a couple of black and grey pieces,
starting off with Viv’s cherry branch. We were incorporating her old tribal piece, so i gave the stems a black calligraphy style look to blend in with it a bit

next i continued with some roses (and a skull)

the next day I had Roddy in for a bit of non floral polynesian style work

and gerald for s definitively non floral portrait. This isn’t finished, it was a bit of a spur of the moment design choice, and we didn’t have enough time booked to complete it.

and last but certainly not least, Lisa got some more orchid blossoms added to her collection

ok, off to pack, see you next week!!

it’s been two of those days where things happen in strange groups. I’ve noticed this before, but this time it’s two days in a row! Is it a conspiracy to bring some kind of order into my chaos??

the first day was all about dragons with double lined black scales and red belly scales
first Bruce

and then Rhuaraid!

the next day was about flowers… first Rachael with the start of some roses, I’ve included her pink curls to show you where my inspiration for the negative space came from  😆

and then it was melissa’s turn to get a flower, this time a gladiola, in colour to be fair. It’s also the start of a larger piece, this one will go all up her leg and side, with different flowers

I’d brought New Boy Nik through to Glasgow with me to do some work. He normally works in Tribe 3 in Edinburgh, but we felt it was good for him to get a change of scenery. Nik is still at the apprentice stage, but he is coming along amazingly well and is proving to be a proper natural. We’re well pleased!

Paul was in to get a koi tattoo, he was keen on the koi idea, as it represents determination and the overcoming of obstacles as it swims upstream.
We got a fair bit done, still more shading and refining to do of course, but no colour this time

Dougie was in again to get the last bit added to his rose tattoo. He had originally come to me to get help with a poor piece he had done elsewhere, and we rescued it with a softly shaded background of white roses. later we added a couple of butterflies, and today the whole thing got brought down and a dragonfly added

The next day was glasgow, and i had two concept sleeves in.
First one was Dave, we are working on a volcano/ hell sleeve, and today probably felt pretty hellish as we went over his elbow…

the the snow queen piece, a sleeve based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson. Lesley, who used to work for us before she went back to France, started this piece off, and the two central figures and the flowers on the forearm are by her.
I added the snowy part above, the pigeons, a few more flowers and the small sad figure by the elbow. It’s turning into a really interesting piece, and for some strange reason i’m particularly fond of the wee pigeons!

happy beltane, everyone! I went up the hill for the fire for the first time in ages, always a good laugh, and a worthwhile celebration, bring on the warm months  😀

My first customer was in for the start of a sleeve, he has a few images in mind to represent his new life, away from drugs and crime and the jail. He’s been on the straight and narrow for a few years now and isn’t looking back, nowadays he’s working outdoors on the outer hebrides. Now there’s a wholesome life for ya!  Not even a phone signal..

and our very own Roz was in, we filled in a gap between tattoos on her chest, and we’ll be doing the same on the other side, as Roz is into symmetry, and having only one side done is just wrong. Now we just need to find the time to do the mirror image! Our own tattoos always tend to take a back seat.

the next day was weegie wednesday, starting off with barry and a new dragon and koi sleeve. We got a nice chunk done, drew it on, lined it and even got some basic shading down

next in was Melissa, another artist had done a daisy chain and some writing on her foot, and now she fancied some colour and another flower added. The original flowers were a bit too regular and simple for her, so we added some more random petals behind the original ones