Some tattoos get done in one session, and some take many. Brad wanted a Japanese dragon and he wanted it bright and strong. Thats exactly the type of tattoo work I like to do and I was very excited about the project. In the initial drawing consultation he described what he would like, we looked at some references, and I took some measurements to help me plan the tattoo. Brad and I began this tattoo knowing it would take a few sittings because there were 2 very solid tattoos that had to be covered as part of the design.
Heres a picture of the 2 tattoos we covered:
When Brad arrived for his first tattoo session we sat right down and got to work. I was careful to locate elements of the design in places where I knew the color would mask the old tattoos. We tattooed for 3 hours and I managed to lay down the entire outline and some of the black. We made great progress but nevertheless, after the first session it was clear there was a long way to go. After our session, Brad took a picture of the outline. The photo is a little bit low resolution but you can at least get a sense of the progress. After 3 hours the tattoo looked like this:
The first session we got the whole outline in and some of the preliminary black, in the next session, 6 hours into the tattoo, we began to prepare the underpainting of the scales and background. Fortunately, Brad sat perfectly every session and was patient about getting the results he wanted. As a result I was able to concentrate on every detail along the way. Soon the tattoo started taking shape:
In the 3rd session the entire tattoo started really looking clearer and brighter, and we felt like huge progress had been made. At this point it started getting pretty hard to tell it was a coverup tattoo at all. 9 hours into the tattoo and the 1/2 sleeve looked like this:
At last we got to the final session, the last 3 hours. This is where a large amount of final detail work, color touch ups, and tightening of the outline took place. Using the last session to really perfect the tattoo gave me a chance to go over every area and make those colors pop out. Both Brad and I were very pleased with the final results as seen below:
Some tattoos definitely require patience, but in the end it pays off.