Posts Tagged ‘dragon tattoo’

September, and my time to pack my bags and go to work in Hamburg for a week, at my friend Charly’s studio ‘Jungbluth’. I have some lovely regulars in Hamburg, including of course Martje, who is getting quite a bit of work done including this colourful goddess we are working on. The goddess is Kwan Yin, the goddess of compassion and mercy- or as Martje calls her ‘the vegan chick’ πŸ™‚


Danker decided to get some another wing/ feathers kind of shape to connect to one we did a while ago, and to connect with another, older piece to make a sleeve. We got some of the shading done, and apart from finishing that next time, we also want to add some dates in the gaps. The dates will be in a rough typewriter font, done in a punky ‘ransom letter’ kind of graphic style, with splashes of red and black. Danker sings in a punk band, so this look will be perfect for him.

Christine is getting a fairy backpiece, we did the last session on this when Christine was in scotland, travelling around in her beautiful campervan. We were all pretty jealous of her motor!

Lisa got a dram catcher on her side, this piece was a struggle for her from the first dot til the last, poor lisa!! We tried everything for the pain, numbing creams of all types, but nothing really worked. I felt terrible. Some people are just very sensitive to pain, and the ribs are famously tender. We got there in the end, but I would love to get a chance to work on it just a bit more…poor Lisa will probably kill me though.

Even though I only go to Hamburg twice a year, I’ve managed to do a full back piece and a chest piece on Marko, just chipping away at it every time I’m over. (Actually, he did come to Scotland once in between, too. Good old easyjet flies direct these days) This time we started on a half sleeve, as usual Marko has a wonderfully eclectic mixture of graphic elements he wants to include, my job is to fit them together and make it work. The top is a masked lady that on first glance could also be a butterfly, going into a softly shaded city scape with trees and a wee figure crossing a tight rope. There is also some lettering in there, we made a good start on the basics, but I can’t wait to see this finished!

back in Edinburgh, I had Gerald in who has decided to take his sleeve down onto his hand. He likes this illustrative skull, which works well with the work we have been building up on his arm over the years. make that decades haha!

We also added a little bit a script on the forearm, it’s from a bottle of jameson whisky πŸ™‚

Ian was after a night sky to tie together some existing pieces he had been collecting on his upper arm. Once this has settled in I will revisit it and make sure all works together with the older tattoos.

Mark is getting a fiery dragon in warm colours and with autumn leaves, as a contrasting colour we added some teals to the belly scales and crest. Some yellow in the flames and hair will finish this off nicely.

also working on some pink roses as scar cover up

Laurenne fell in love with the mon mon cats

(by artist Horitomo), so we designed one just for her, with peacock feathers. This is just the first session, there will be flowers surrounding the cat and background, love it πŸ™‚


I had two weeks off at the beginning of august, one for doing Edinburgh festival stuff/ lazing around in the garden (which was great πŸ™‚ )

and one pretty much for fecking jury duty. I was cited for the tuesday and managed to shift enough appointments to make it just about work,Β  ended up with 4 days off to do my jury duty. Of course I didn’t get picked the first day, got asked to come back on the third day, didn’t get picked, etc, and in the end I was excused. What a monumental waste of everyone’s time! Next time I’m called, I’m going online and booking a hotel for the dates- anywhere- and say I have aΒ  holiday booked and i can’t make it.

Anyway, rant over. I did some tattooing in the second half of august, so here goes!

roses are a popular choice, and I did a fair few recently. Here is Colin, who is getting a lot of roses eventually, with a few other objects of his choice in between. Roses compliment pretty much anything you put them with, a design classic that manages to be romantic without being sugary- I think that’s because of the thorns on the stems, they have a bit of a sinister side.

Dave is working on a dragon and foo dog sleeve, today we added a wee pagoda in the background. Nothing makes a scene look more japanese than a pagoda (although I did find myself wondering what actually goes on inside of them. I will look it up) (it’s a place of worship. must be small congregations)

my next piece is very romantic, Helen wanted a tattoo based on her wedding flowers. We chose the main features of the bouquet for her tattoo, and although there is still a bit of work to do, the resemblance is already there

Alex was in for a couple of finishing touches on his geisha and tengu sleeve. (The tengu artwork is not mine)

I covered some old self harm scars with some cute, illustrative daisies. I wish more people with these type of scars would chose to get them covered with a nice tattoo, it makes a remarkable difference.

If you have some, and have been advised that your only option is a skin graft, please come and see me!

my next customer, Kirsty, had had some lasering done on her old tattoo and was ready to get it covered. Kirsty had come across some manga style graffiti and loved the colours and chunky fluidity of it. We used these elements to our advantage, and will add a cute manga girl (not the ones in this artwork) and some drippy spray paint style background, too.

I’ve been tattooing some bright and colourful work on Alex, and she surprised me this time by saying she had experimented with her eyeliner on her tattoo, and was now in favour of some more black in the background.

this has the advantage of helping to bring out the different animals and figures, and tones down the overall brightness of it. I like it! I liked it bright, too, but the more muted effect really brings out the shapes.( the nymph piece at the top is not by me, I’ve just been adding on to it)

Another sleeve in progress, this one is for Elliot, and we are going for lots of movement and detail

and to finish how I started this blog- some roses. This will be a half sleeve of mostly black and grey ones, with maybe one coloured one somewhere. Samantha’s son has black and grey roses tattooed, so she is getting, some, too. It’s a family affair πŸ™‚

oh, and a wee piece i did, it’s reference to Dougie’s Hebridean heritage

hello again!


I’ve had quite a bit of time off tattooing in the last few weeks, first there was the festive period with it’s holidays, then I’ve had some major cancellations due to my customers not being able to travel on account of floods or other weather related issues. And on top of that i had a week off to do some painting (more on that later). I feel like I’ve been skiving!

Diana’s St Cuthbert tattoo got a red starry sky added, as it is in the original medieval manuscript. The original image is a square, so we opened up the edges a bit to make it flow on the arm a bit better

Then i had a Chrysanthemum day! The first one was on Stevie,Β  who is extending a piece on his upper arm into a full sleeve. he also opted for a peony to go alongside his chrysanthemum, and the whole thing will be in colour eventually.

initially he thought he would have to go for black and grey, as the piece on his upper arm in black and grey. However, i know he loves colour, so i suggested we could lay some colour over the existing black and grey piece, and then do the rest as bright as he wanted. You can have colour put over a black and grey piece, as long as you don’t mind your colours looking a bit muted.

next chrysanthemum was on mark, he is also extending an upper arm piece to a full sleeve. mark wanted to accompany his chrysanthemum with a skull, also a nice choice! you can’t whack a good skull, not in my books πŸ™‚

Alex is working on a japanese sleeve, and as we had a gap under his upper arm, we went for an ornamental bat. bats are popular in japanese and chinese art, and i can see why. They are very decorative

Craig is starting a dragon and koi sleeve

I haven’t posted a picture of Ozzy bill’s black work for a while, we still occasionally have the odd hour of filling in his arms/legs.

Laurenne had come to me for a cover up of a post operative scar on her ribs, we did some cherry blossoms and butterflies to mask it. now laurenne has got into it, and wants more tattoos πŸ™‚

further down her back we started on some more cherry blossoms and some other flowers, with a ladybird and a bee, incorporating an old butterfly tattoo. we are also adding a robin perched on the branch next time. I can see this piece growing πŸ˜‰

I have been working on a dragon for johnny, he has incorporated lots of his own quirky ideas and colours, making it look quite unique. I love the simple style of the dragon and the vibrant colours against the dark background

a wee add on to leasley-ann’s peacock, we are now bringing the wind and cherry blossoms up and over the stomach from her hip, i think the overall idea is to make it flow all the way around onto her back- a lovely wrap around tattoo!

Now, a wee bit about my painting. I am working on a series of the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse, using my trusted frog prop as the horsemen, and suitable ornaments for the horses.

This week that i had off, i started on ‘Pestilence’ (or ‘Conquest’), who wears a crown and holds a bow, riding a white horse.

My method of painting is quite traditional, working from a still life set up, and in oils. Once I have set up everything just so, i start painting life size (‘Sight Size’) until I’m happy with it. Once it dries, i can varnish and hang it, hopefully with the three other horsemen/frogs of the apocalypse. I’ll keep you posted…

here is my set up with the painting roughed in (minus the wee crown, bloody thing kept falling off. frogs are not designed for wearing anything on their heads)

and here the finished picture







Tom got his kelp tattoo finished, we had drawn it on and outlined it last time, today we added grey shading, which really brings out the nice shapes formed by the leaves. Are they leaves? I dont really know, but i do know that kelp makes a great tattoo πŸ™‚

Scott also got his tattoo finished, in his case a full sleeve, with a dragon, a foo dog, a peonie and a wee picture of his daughter. Scott now has two sleeves, which we did this year, so his transformation has been quite remarkable!

Andy also got his tattoo finished, a dragon, with colours chosen by him. the combination of the dark blue and the yellows is striking

David’s half sleeve is finishedΒ  πŸ˜€

and Steven is still a long way off, all the colour still to go in this phoenix and flower piece

Russell wants a black and grey sleeve of two kois and lots of splashing water, today we drew it on and got the outlines down

I had a couple of customers in who weren’t too keen on having their picture on the blog for the whole world to see, and that is of course absolutely fine! I am always honoured that customers let me use their picture, but of course if someone would rather not, I completely respect that, it’s not for everyone.

Dave is getting a specific piston design, in this case it represents a broken femur, which is more about the struggle to fix an engine than a broken bone. We spent a lot of time figuring out how this idea would best translate on the leg and where to position it. We got a bit done, but it’s still quite rough and unfinished looking- specially the top part of the piston, you’ll get the idea i hope

Sheena added a foxglove to her collection of ‘favourite things’Β  πŸ˜€

Brian got the last of the colour added to his dragon, but now that it’s all complete, he thinks a bit more lasering in the wave on the forearm would really bring it all together, so Roz will be working on that.

In the meantime… I bring you Brian and his blue/green dragon πŸ™‚

David is working on a Horiyoshi samurai warrior with a tiger. The samurai is in bright colours, bright against the black and grey tiger and background. The tiger still needs some shading, but we are getting there

Fiona is getting some old stars covered on her forearm, they had been lasered well to a light grey, so we were quite free to use colour over the top

Ryan got his black koi in blue water finished, in a nice reversal of the usual use of colourΒ  πŸ˜€
The effect is a lot more graphic and punchy

Happy belated Solstice, dear people, where has this year gone??

David got the start of his dragon 1/2 sleeve done, lines today and we got a bit of colour in, too

Barry got the finishing touches on his sleeve, it’s been slow progress as barry lives in Dubai and can’t come in as often as we’d have liked. But now it’s done, and I can show you a photo of barry with his sleeve.
The sun in Dubai is messing with my colours, that bloody tan doesn’t show them off to their best advantage… maybe I can get another picture when he’s all peelywally like the rest of us!Β  πŸ˜†

Another one to get his sleeve finished was dave, his phoenix came along in record time, and his skin is nice and white, so the colours glow.
I don’t want to sound like some horrible racist when I say that from a tattooist’s point of view, the white the skin the better for colourful work. This is from a purely artistic standpoint of course!!
I took some of Dave’s pictures outside as it was nice and sunny, and the colours really pop in the sunlight

More colour next, we added a bright red poppy into the black and grey ones, it’s a nice contrast

Brian is getting more done to his dragon, all of today’s session was taken up putting darker blue detail into the scales. Time consuming, but the effect is worth it, giving the dragon a kind of serpent like texture visually.
there will be yellows in the belly scales and crest.

Ross is working on a phoenix which is wrapping around some older work (not by me), and also we still had the last bit of colour to put in his dragon sleeve. One of the autumn leaves had been lasered a bit until recently, but now we reckoned it was light enough to take some colour, which was the last piece of the puzzle.

his dragon sleeve

And last but not least, Mark got the start of his koi and dragon sleeve and chest piece.
we managed to find some time to do a bit of shading after we finished the outlines