Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tattoo Design, Part 1

This weekend, my friend asked if i could sketch up and design a tattoo for her. She wanted me to draw one half on her back so she could see how it looked, and then take the design to an actual tattoo artist.

In this case, she wanted to get wings on her back. She didn't want angelic wings, but more "tribal" wings. She sent me a link to what she had browsed, and pointed out which designs she liked the best.

I referenced the wings, and took the two styles to create the original, digital mock up (right).

I used GIMP (freeware version of Photoshop), my Genius Tablet, and about twenty to thirty minutes to get to the point that I liked how it looked.

I took a full piece of paper, and quickly sketched up a larger version to lay out on her back. The thing was, I thought she wanted wings going across her back, and she was thinking of them going down.

When she came over, I took a standard red, ball-point pen (it might've been a Papermate??) and inked up her back. I had to adjust the size and position of the layout, but it seemed to fit alright. At this stage, I really like using red ink, because it comes off easier then black ink (especially Sharpie), and you can start light and darken up details you like.

It was at this point that I could stand back and see how it all lined up. Her friend suggested a few changes that I worked into the black ink version on the wing taper and filling it more up at the shoulder. I then used a black Sharpie to outline the details I wanted, and to finish inking in everything (left).

She really liked how it looked, and wanted me to make a final copy so she could take it to the tattoo artist. I took some of the pictures I had shot mid-process, and traced over the design on her back. I added a few details that I thought were needed, and below is the final digital copy.

See the second part!

Anyone that is interested, here are the tools I used (if you didn't catch them above):
-GIMP program (it is free by the way)
-Genius tablet
-Red ball-point pen
-Black Sharpie
-Camera (Canon Power Shot SD1200 IS for those really wondering)

If you are interested in getting a tattoo design, go ahead and email me to ask for design rates. The small thumbnails are for the protection of the designs.

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