This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

My New Tattoo: Session 9

New needlework today. The pain scale was pretty good. There were moments of sheer fire-stinging pain but overall, a comforting pain (for me) throughout the hour and a half process.

The hard part with new work is applying the stencil on where it needs to be. Kathryn is great at this because she has such patience. She is in no rush to do anything until the image is on just right. Mind you, she only charges her time when she has the needle in her hand, so time is money to her -- but she doesn't let that interfere with her artistic process. Admirable.

Anyway, I had to be stripped from the top down and "roll my pants down to there", where there is mid-hip and lots of butt to showcase. I don't know whether to call it fortunate or not, but the butt showcase wasn't a problem since it was facing her. The other part -- the top half -- was facing the flimsy privacy curtain. Did I mention there are like three inch gaps on either side of this curtain?

And I couldn't cover myself with my hands because it throws off the balance of how the stencil appears on my back. So I stood there, for minutes on hand, just repeating to myself "Please no one walk by. Please no one walk by." I don't know why the hell I care, but I did. Someone did walk by but I was able to cover...

The new work, as shown in the picture (you can compare it to the back picture in The Dragon post) is more of the body of the dragon. I wanted to show how the initial outline of the tattoo looks. Hopefully, when you see how Kathryn fills in the work you can appreciate the amazing eye she has.

The first part in the process is what I would describe as technical: even though it's based on her drawing, it is the stencil -- the outline -- of one piece of the overall picture. This gets placed properly (according to the artists' eye) and then she outlines this with the ink.

The next part is filling in the outline with a finished touch -- finishing in any gaps, adding definition, etc. Sometimes this outline includes some of the shading, depending on how much time we have left.

The shading is the third part, which with the second part, is all artistic. She has this on her drawing (on paper), that she refers to while she shades with the needle. It's really incredible and I'll take another shot of it after the next appointment, so that you can sort of see this process as it takes place...

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