Archive for February, 2017

20th- 8th February

Posted: 09/02/2017 in Uncategorized

A sleeve in three sessions! that’s what can happen if you can sit for the whole day (7 1/2 hours) and are only getting black and grey mostly. It’s hard going, but Brett sat like a rock, which helps.

There is a great story behind the design of this sleeve

there was a girl in Japan who was searching for her long lost father. In her search she came across a priest and a young girl, the priest explained that he was about to sacrifice the girl to the dragon who lived in the water below the rocks. This dragon terrified the local community and could only be placated with the regular sacrifice of young virgins, the power the dragon held was because he was in possession of a magical statue of an emperor. This statue he kept in a cave, but if the local people could get the statue back, they would be free.

Our hero decided she would jump into the water pretending to be the sacrificial virgin, but she would have a knife and kill the dragon, get the statue and release the people from the reign of terror.

here she is, about to jump in with her knife

the dragon is lured out of the cave thinking a virgin was about to be sacrificed, leaving the statue unguarded

the priest and saved virgin child stand by….

we leave you to imagine the ensuing slaughter….

anyway! here are some nice roses. By the time we have added teal to all the leaves and finished off the roses with any detailing they need, the scars underneath will be well disguised, which pleases me greatly. I love covering up scars with something pretty.

more pretty flowers, this time on Jo, she is getting cottage garden kind of flowers, done in an old fashioned illustrative style, from botanical books. We toned down the colour and the realism to capture that effect. (Except for the fox, that was from a photo of a fox in Jo’s garden). This will be a whole sleeve eventually. Sorry about the quality of the photos

Paul is working on a nautical sleeve, we already did a ship at the top, and now there is a mermaid looking up at it. We are gong for quite an illustrative, collage-y feel for this sleeve, in black and grey

Jason was in to get a sleeve, and unusually he wanted it to include the hand from the beginning.

Now I’m a bit old fashioned when it comes to hand tattoos, to me it’s not the place where you start your collection, but where you get tattooed once you have earned your stripes and run out of space. Back in the day when you saw someone with their hand tattooed, you’d think ‘whoa, they must be covered, respect’.  I tattooed my hand when I’d been working in the industry for 20 years, feeling that I’d paid my dues.

That seems quaint and marks me out as an old timer who adheres to an old type of tattoo etiquette, I’m aware of that, but I don’t really mind. I know that now there is a general feeling that ‘getting tattooed where no one can see it, is a waste of time’. The new tattooists on the scene either are unaware of the old school etiquette, don’t care about it, or are aware but really, really want that picture of the hand tattoo on their instagram, so they flaunt it.

Jason already had one tattoo when he came to me- on his hand. Now I can see from the quality of the piece that the tattooist lacked experience, specially when it comes to hand tattoos, so he was still new to the game. I found myself wondering if he had considered any of the above, or that jason is a young guy and the hand tattoo might get in the way of getting a job or any of those things that used to concern us as tattooists.

I’m not bemoaning the passing of some golden age of tattooing, some of the ‘rules’ we used to have were pure crap, and a lot of the innovations and trends coming into the tattoo scene these days are amazing and lift our industry from ‘craft’ to ‘art’. I’m just a bit surprised to find myself witnessing the evolution. I just went off on one there, didn’t  I, sorry.

Coming back to Jason’s tattoo, seeing as he already had his other hand tattooed, and he actually now wanted some major coverage, I was happy to jump in and go right down onto his hand. It was admittedly great fun to be able to design the piece to come right down to the knuckles, there is a lot of movement in the hand that lends itself wonderfully to the flow of the piece.

First session we drew it on and did the outline, two weeks later he came back for another session when we did some of the background shading

here’s a wee dragon wrapping round an old, even weer dragon 🙂

Mark has been working on his sleeve for a number of years now, we got side tracked by the backpiece we did on him in the meantime… but now we are actually getting there. Thankfully for Mark we ran out of time just as  was tackling the elbow. The tentacles in the waves will have to wait

Samantha is working on a 3/4 sleeve of roses. There is some colour and background to go in, but we are getting to the end

More roses, they do make good tattoos, on Colin’s sleeve. This  black and grey piece is all about family, the time of his marriage is on the clock face, his family crest and we will be adding some more script at the top over the shoulder. There is a cover up of some lettering on the inner forearm, the original tattoo had been lasered to lighten it a bit, which made covering it so much easier.