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Sleeve Designing - -1

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Hello and happy holidays!

I am looking for some advice on designing sleeves for clients ( or large scale work in general).

What method do you find best for getting an accurate layout of the client's arm so that the design you come up with will fit nicely when it comes time for stenciling?

I've tried a couple techniques that aren't very effective for me. I look forward to any advice that will help me be less awkward. Thanks!

Sierra


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RE:Sleeve Designing - -1

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if it shall be a over all design covering a complete part of a body, i will rather use freehand transfer than stencils, because you always will have problems with fitting to before done flows/lines/areas... , no matter which genre the design is. the human body isn't exactly what you could call a plain and straight canvas, but the transfere stencil is more or less and thus a pain in the arse for exact positioning around an arm for example- there always will be a few lines and areas that won't meet at the right points and spaces like intended and layouted before. to keep a long rant short: no matter what you'll do, it won't fit.

the only thing similar to stencilling is imho creating an exact design for the job before you start tattooing. i personally do that on a cintiq as perfectly as possible with the original photos of the client, so i also can show him/her how i think it will come out in the end and then i'll draw it freehand with tombow and sharpies. until now i kept all my clients very happy with that way.
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RE:Sleeve Designing - -1

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I have done that before with mixed results. I can't get really fine details with sharpies. I've tried pens too to get finer details in, but they always fail on me. What do you do to get tighter details going?

I've seen artists like Damian Robertson post pictures of their pencil sketches and then stencils on the client that look just flawless. It boggles my mind.

Sierra
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RE:Sleeve Designing - -1

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depends also a bit on the sujet and the drawing skills. as you can't "erase" on the skin so easily as on paper- sure, you can get off the most of it with desinfection alcohol again, but you always will destroy parts of the "good" parts of the drawing- i start to draw with very light colours like guy aitchison tells in "reinventing...2nd ed." and work over it again with increasing dark colours in the later steps, so that the darkest colour will be the final result of the freehand drawing just ignoring the "mistakes" of the earlier drawing passes. then you optionally can start to blend it with the lighter colours again to get details like shaded areas and stuff- more a thing for the client to understand and get an idea how picture dynamics will turn out in the end. this step makes a very big difference than a normal stencil, as you can work it out really perfectly with different tones and gradiations like you never could with a regular transfer- and you can decide on your own preferences how perfect you'll need the final result. when you feel confident enough in your skills, you can also skip drawing the smallest details to avoid chaos in the drawing and add them completely freehand during the tattoo process, what i always do. and never forget to explain that to your client to stay clear of nervosity and doubts about forgetting something. and- of course- you shouldn't forget it ;o) working that way is imho the best way you can do and besides that it teaches you not to become a slave to your drawing- surely stuff like portraits should still be done by stencilling and staying as close as possible to the stencil during tattooing, but even with realistics you are free enough to change small details to the better- but the ability of optimizing the design on the fly during tattooing- you always will stay aware of what you're doing and there won't turn up any doubts resulting of already accidentally wiped off parts of the stencil: when you drew it on your own, you still have in mind what it was meant to become, way more than with classic transfer methods, where you just concentrated on exact line copies of the reference when you made the stencil...
just watch the videos of guy a., he shows that much better than i can eplain in words.
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RE:Sleeve Designing - -1

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here i found a nice example for a very good readable freehand sharpie sketches worked out the blending way i described.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEW02s-gVDk
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RE:Sleeve Designing - -1

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thank you so much for the advice. I actually hadn't thought of that level of detail with using sharpies. I always just try to toss the design on as quick as possible and then figure it out as I tattoo. I also used light to dark sharpie, but never even thought about planning out the shading with them.

I do have another question about this method. Do you charge the client for the time spent drawing? I know going into that level of detail means spending quite a bit of time drawing and I know if I wasn't charging for that time I'd be more inclined to rush. I just don't know how I'd explain to the client that they are being charged for time that isn't spent with needle-to-skin.

Thanks so much again! I have bookmarked that video.

Sierra
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RE:Sleeve Designing - -1

ok maybe this will help you, this is what i do:

first i make a big sketch that the client can see which way/direction the tattoo could look like.

if hes allright with it,

i sketch the design on the skin of the client, this way i can make a nice flow and i can see what needed to change etc...

if the sketch on skin is done ill "copy" it with a transparent adhesive foil... i hope you know what i mean, if not, i can send you a link.

THEN i draw the final design for my stencil.

i know this is a lot of work but this way you can get the best results because you have enough time to change things etc...

if you just draw a big arm sleeve freehand youll always find some things in the end you would like to change.

this way i made several nice sleeves.
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RE:Sleeve Designing - -1

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Thanks for the advice! I know what transparent adhesive foil is. I've used that to trace the body parts I'm designing pieces for. I just can't usually get a nice border or idea of flow.

I will definitely take this idea into consideration. I like it.

Sierra
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RE:Sleeve Designing - -1

Hi, Thank you toidi & SierraKay to discussing this subject. This is my forst time on this forum so I'm not sure how it works and if the message that I'm sending will arrive to you..
I want to buy this "transparent adhesive foil" that you both have mentioned but I don't know how it looks like. Can you give me a link of a supplier or a name of a brand? That would be really helpfull!!

So if I understand correctly how the foil works; When I make a freehand drawing on the skinn with markers, and I apply the foil over it, then my skinn-drawing copies itself on the foil?? If something like that exists, it would save me a lot of time and trouble, thanks you so much in advance!

cheers,
www.facebook.com/esctado
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RE:Sleeve Designing - -1

Hi, Thank you toidi & SierraKay to discussing this subject. This is my forst time on this forum so I'm not sure how it works and if the message that I'm sending will arrive to you..
I want to buy this "transparent adhesive foil" that you both have mentioned but I don't know how it looks like. Can you give me a link of a supplier or a name of a brand? That would be really helpfull!!

So if I understand correctly how the foil works; When I make a freehand drawing on the skinn with markers, and I apply the foil over it, then my skinn-drawing copies itself on the foil?? If something like that exists, it would save me a lot of time and trouble, thanks you so much in advance!

cheers,
www.facebook.com/esctado
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RE:Sleeve Designing - -1

Thank you soooo much for this conversation! I have a full sleeve (client wants one session outline, one session fill) to blast out this weekend and the stencil for it is giving me hell as far as transferring from 'paper' to arm, Idk why I kept expecting perfection, as with smaller pieces. Reading that other people are in the same boat, it really helps my confidence that I'm not doing anything wrong, its just the way things work lol. Took my stress level from 9 to about 4.5....thanks so much!
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