A boat in the storm
When you look at this tattoo you will most likely be looking at the Hannya mask or Oni mask if that is what you think it is. (I am calling it a Hannya mask for the record)
What I was all into however when tattooing it was the idea of that little boat tucked down in the lower back part of the arm fighting through the storm.
I really like that theme… it is life.
This tattoo was done in 3 sessions and as I did it I sent pictures to a friend via text because I thought she would dig it. She did, but wanted to see it all together. Luckily I was able to take a healed pic about a month after the guy’s last session and stick it all together and send it to her.
Even though I took the time to take some decent pics I am including it in my Random Tattoo Phone Pics section of this site because of all the texting that went on.
So… the cool story. This tattoo was done on a guy who way back in the day I knew as a kid. He was one of my son’s childhood friends. It is weird, but I never really thought of any of those guys growing into men and getting cool tattoo work from me.
He was a cool kid, and he is a cool grownup now.
Time frigg’n flies.
This wasn’t his first tattoo from me, but it was his first major piece.
As for the art, he brought me a picture he found online of the basic mask as a tattoo in the same area, but more centered.
I left the mask alone more or less, but fixed a few things that bugged me in it (which the client agreed needed fixing) and added in all the swirly clouds, extra flames, wind, and water by drawing on him with a ballpoint pen. The boat and water came about after I suggested the tattoo needed a bit more subject matter than just the head/mask and clouds. A bit of shooting ideas back and forth brought the boat into play and made me get into the water theme for the lower half. It all turned out pretty cool I think.
As for tattooing it… I lined it with a triple needle tight liner using a cutback with the juice turned really low. I wanted a super light pencil style line so the shade would make the bulk of the design up rather than lines, but thought using just a blood line would make the overall affect a tad to soft.
I then used two different shaders to finish this baby out. One was a jackhammer setup with an extra long and slow stroke. I used that setup for the hair and the lower border because I wanted it crazy black without being to dense looking. I then used a soft shader with a pretty normal (for a long stroke) setup to do the rest of the shade. I slightly overlapped the sketch lines so it wouldn’t look to crisp, but I never cut my ink at all (used it as straight black) so it would still hold definition from a distance and have good contrast pop. I was quite satisfied with the results as I was able to get pretty darn busy with all the stuff going on, but it is still really easy to see it all from a distance.