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Transition from paper to skin? Looking for advice.

I have a bit of a strange question I wanted to ask...But nonetheless I'm hoping to get your advice out of it.

How does one go about the transition of drawing realism to putting that same realism in tattoo form? How long does it 'normally' take?
I ask because I favor realism/portrait work/nature(animals/flowers) and I can draw all of those things bang on when using reference, but feel I'm not able to translate it in the same way when I'm tattooing yet.

I've only been tattooing about year now and let's just say I didn't have the best mentor ever when I was still in the apprentice phase. I draw very slow (and tattoo slow as a result) and am very light handed and feel that it's hard for me to get things to look the way I want them to on skin. I'm happy with the work I've done thus far considering the amount of time I've been doing it for, but when I draw great on paper and can't put it to skin yet, it gets kind of disheartening. I admire work like yours immensely and I basically just want to know if there are any sort of techniques you suggest or ways to improve or things to focus on, etc...ANYTHING you can suggest.
How long did it take for your work to get to the level it's at now?

I use good machines (Stigma Hyper for shading, M.Sharpz for line work) and want to try to get the most out of what I'm using.

My current/new boss at the new shop I just moved over to does great portrait work and is good friends to people like Bob Tyrell so I'll be keeping a close eye on what she has to say but doing color-work such as yours is something I'm more interested in trying to achieve.
I know I shouldn't set the bar too high since I'm still new, but any words of wisdom you could share would be amazing. I definitely plan on purchasing your DVDs also to see how you do things step by step.

In the mean time, thanks so much, if you're able to reply. Artists like yourself have me inspired and striving to keep my creativity up and to keep pushing at doing better and better.


RE:Transition from paper to skin? Looking for advice.

Everything you are asking is explained in detail in Mike's Animal Style video. It is worth every penny!
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RE:Transition from paper to skin? Looking for advice.

The transition takes time, its like you being a great oil painter, and you decide I want to be great at airbrushing cars. Well shit, you have to learn the tools first and there a ton of techniques you would need to learn as well.

Its to much to answer in one forum post,but i do believe if you check out my new Animal Style DVD,it will probably help you.

All in all its just a different approach and a deferent mind process, you need to find out what it is yourself..... and once you do, it will click.
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RE:Transition from paper to skin? Looking for advice.

yes I totally agree, get mikes animal style. if you have a good understanding of how to tattoo, then you will easily be able to pick out a great deal from his video. as mike would say::

"most artist think that there is one big trick to tattooing that they are looking for, but the big trick is knowing all of the little tricks."

give it time, the light will come on before you know it.

stephen stacey.
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