Archives for posts with tag: black and gray tattoo

realistic rose realistic rose closeI have developed a healthy obsession with tattoos that really challenge me and put me outside my normal style. Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of tattoos that have no linework. Just shading or color blocking. I kinda like it. It produces a result that’s soft, a little realistic and in my opinion, feminine (depending on the design subject).  This is my execution of that technique. I’mma do more.

This was created with a #08 15 bugpin curved magnum and intenze ink watered down with a mixture of distilled water and witch hazel.



angriest ram close angriest ramI seriously get a kick out of the clients I have the opportunity to work with. I appreciate the constant challenges they bring to me. I do have to admit though… Some times when I send them the drawing to approve and they reply to me “Change this, that, make this more…” I get kinda frustrated because in my brain it’s perfect for them and that’s the way it should be. Then I work in the changes they asked for and I look at it and think “Yeah, they were right about that one.” It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does I listen to my gut and listen to them. This is one of those examples. I sent the client a drawing that was perfectly fine but I also sent an additional drawing for just-in-case purposes… He loved the back up and here’s the result. Angry Aries.

This was created with a 7 liner, #10 17 bugpin curved magnum and Eternal and Intenze inks.

black swan black swan close


Have you ever seen that movie Black Swan? Crazy! I love that movie. Not for the racy scenery but because of the whole concept of losing yourself in what you love most to make it successful. Powerful message. Nonetheless, this client wanted a ballet inspired tattoo to represent her love of dance and of the movie. II have a habit of really diving into tattoo designs to create the most original piece I can for a client. So for this I watched the movie a few times so I can see nuances within it to better understand how I’mma approach this piece. Some important pieces that had to be included were the ballet shoes, the dancer be on her toes enpointe, and that she be in the 4th position. I’m no dancer, I can barely get my leg up so I had no clue what in the world she was talking about. Then I got a text with the client in the correct position. That served as a basis for this and away I went. We mutually loved the design and it’s execution was on point. I love getting challenges.

This was created with a 3 bugpin liner, #08 11 bugping curved magnum and intenze zuper black and silverback gray wash inks.

Boss Dog headBoss Dog head closeThe love we have for our pets can sometimes be compared to the love we have for our children. After all, dogs are similar to children in that you have to clean, feed, walk, and care for them. Some people go so far as to give them housing, clothing, gourmet foods and the crazy list goes on. This client obviously loves his pit bull dog. He said that he rescued him from a neglectful neighbor and they’ve been best buds for the past 7 years. He named him Boss and asked for the tattoo to be on the back of his head! This being my second time I’ve worked on someone’s head, I felt a lil more comfy doing it. Whe I drew out the dog, I realized the client looked kinda like a pit bull and the dog was perfect for him.

This was created with a 7 liner, #10 15 curved magnum and intenze inks.

double cherub double cherub close double cherub close 2I wish I was able to make this up.

This client approached me with one of the most challenging designs I’ve had the pleasure of creating. He asked for two cherubs. One with a gas mask and the other wearing a pair of Jordan 3s. For those not familiar with Jordan brand sneakers, Michael Jordan is a NBA (basketball) player who was claimed to be the sports most talented personality. He played with the Chicago bulls during the 90s and Nike endorsed with a sneaker of his own. His sneakers, Jordans, are the brands more iconic shoe and causes people to wait in long lines when they are released in stores. To date, there are 23 different models and numerous offshoots of the shoe. This client is a very strong fan of the jordan 3 thus getting them etched into his skin. Back to the design… I had a very difficult time planning this one out because no idea felt strong enough to put onto the client. When his appointment day came, I just drew it directly onto him and this is the result, two sittings later…

This was created with a 7 liner, #08 15 bugpin curved magnum #08 17 bugpin curved magnum, and intenze ink

The United States Department of Agriculture is the reason we are eating meat and veggies for the most part. Them bastards regulate a lot of stuff thankfully. This tattoo makes perfect sense for this client. He’s returning client and a butcher. Been one for a long time, and it looks like he plans on carving meat for many more years. I enjoyed doing this tattoo because it reminded me of doing a logo, something I haven’t done in a while.

This was created with a 9 tight liner, #08 17 bugpin curved magnum and intenze and silverback inks

Portrait memorial pieces are always sentimental and I take great pride in doing them well for the client receiving it. I know I gotta make sure it’s the absolutely best I never knew I could do. The woman depicted had a condition for a long time and never shared it with her children til she was in her last months of life. Kinda good she did that because she wouldn’t have been able to live the full life that she did. We all want to protect the ones we love from danger of all kinds, whether controllable or not. But sometimes its best to just allow the ball to roll where it wants to go instead of trying to control it. Let is have fun without being hindered. That’s what she did. A very unselfish decision. She allowed everyone to live life to the fullest, including herself.

This was created with a 3 tight liner, 7 tight liner, #09 17 bugpin curved magnum (fits in a 15 flat tip. had to get the bigger areas covered more effectively), #08 15 bugpin curved magnum (on my slower machine so I can get all those subtle details in the shadows on the face) and intenze zuper black, eternal gray wash system and for the really light areas, Silverback gray wash X1 (in case you’ve never used Silverback inks, they are really beautiful to use and they heal very nicely, although kinda light for my taste. But if you’re looking to get that light shadowed effect, Silverbacks are the goodness).

I like this client. He just asks me for my opinion, we work out some ideas, and then he says “Alrighty.” There are days I wish all folks were that easy to work with, but then variety of life wouldn’t happen. On the other side of this arm is a dreamcatcher I did, so this is an extension of that theme. Big feathers, big eagle head in the feather, big all around. Booyah!

This was created with a 9 liner, 17 bugpin curved magnum and intenze zuper black ink (that’s my ish!!!)

Billie Holiday died at a young age. Too young if you asked me. That woman was able to sing!!! This is the first session where I listened to music while tattooing, specifically music of the person whose portrait I’m doing. This became a huge influence for this piece, which was perfect and helped me really sculpt the piece. The client wanted Billie Holiday in particular because of a Jazz Appreciation-type class she took in college. Lady Day sang and touched her in a way that made her want a portrait of the woman emblazoned on her inner bicep.  I really liked doing this because of the zone I got into. Felt good, I think I’mma do it again… listen to certain music to help influence the piece I’m working on.

This was created with a 3 bugpin supertight liner, 15 bugpin curved magnum and intenze ink.

Tip: Pay attention to the gage of the metal of your needle. Different gages offer different results for different tattoos. the gage is indicated on the packaging of the needle. For instance; 1215 CM is the normal curved magnum. Normal thickness of metal. I like to use this when I’m working with big areas of color. But 0815 CM is the bugpin curved magnum, I love to use this for black and gray work, makes softer tones due to the thinner metal being used.

Kevin Hart is a hilarious lil S.O.B. In one of his skits, he was quoting his uncle who was in prison for a while. During his stint, he picked up some phrases that he repeated to Kevin when he was released. One of those phrase was “SAY IT WITH YOUR CHEST!!!!”, as he pounds his chest with his fist and growls the phrase. When I heard this part of the skit, I peed my pants from laughing so hard. During the creation of this piece, that skit was all I heard in my head. Funny thoughts. But this phrase is as true as it gets, No pain, No progress.

This was created with 7 tight liner, 3 bugpin supertight liner, 15 bugpin curved magnum and intenze zuper black ink.

Tip: When you’re working on certain parts the torso (like chest, stomach, ribs, etc.),  it’s definitely best to lay your client down and work on them. Not only does it alleviate some pain and comfort them, but it allows you to have a steadier hand and to work in more comfort.