k.ink

My First Ever Portrait Tattoo Practice.

34 posts in this topic

I know his eyes are not very much in line but this happened at stencil stage so i have learned to treat my stencils more carefully as after all they are the foundation.

But nobodys face is symmetrical right? fuck it its rubber skin anyways and i got a long way to go i do know......

post-22304-1276098994_thumb.jpg

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not bad at all for a first. Good values also, would still like to see a bit more black in places like the hair maybe. Sometimes with portraits you have to bump up the contrast to see where the true blacks should go.

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Good start, but the thorns look a little made up. find reference, even make a crown of thorns, as its the twisting detail and sharp tonal values underneath the thorns that will make this peice a cracker. Every picture needs areas of skill, kind of like gymnastics where its about 90% twirly dancing with a few stunning moves thrown in, and a final finish. Art, especuially portraits are the same, the eyes and the crown are where you need to show off your skill and effort. It all need to be good of course, but just pay close attention to some of the small details. Its looking good though , and remember to repeatedly view it through a mirror to check your progress.

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Noble's right. Contrast is very important on portraits. Some more shades would help bring out the features more and give everything more separation. Also... my biggest thing about portraits is make sure the eyes have some kind of shadow on them. Our eyelashes, brows, etc. usually create a bit of a shadow on our eyeballs and portraits need that. haha. I don't think it's a bad start at all though.

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first mistake; using rubber skinn

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first mistake; using rubber skinn

and why is that tez?

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Looks good k.ink, for rubber skin as well that stuff is awful but it serves a good purpose and better than messing up your own skin or someone elses. you only have to look at the amybird tattoo timeline thread to see what can be achieved with that stuff.

On a side note did you use the thicker or thinner stuff for this portrait? I have the thin stuff and it sucks big time !!

agree with cyanus on the thorns they do look rushed / made up a little :)

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im down for what noble said, i would add that when approaching a portrait to think of the whole thing as simple shapes. you'll find this easier if you "bump up the contrast" in photoshop or darken the image on a standard photocopier. the next step is too not fear black...

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i think its a good start and i call b.s on who ever said your main problem was using practice skin. ive tattooed real skin and different types of practice skin and i can vouch for its validity as a medium for tattooing. just make sure youre using the right stuff and not the thin chinese crap. its not the same as skin (and yes, its not pig skin) but you can still judge needle depth and practice technique with it , so dont write it off just cos its artificial man.

Edited by Wolfie
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i think its a good start and i call b.s on who ever said your main problem was using practice skin. ive tattooed real skin and different types of practice skin and i can vouch for its validity as a medium for tattooing. just make sure youre using the right stuff and not the thin chinese crap. its not the same as skin (and yes, its not pig skin) but you can still judge needle depth and practice technique with it , so dont write it off just cos its artificial man.

thanks. but i find the thin stuff great, i purchased the thicker stuff before and it was solid an shit, i couldnt use it, but i get great results with the thin stuff.

as for the thorns, i used a certain reference for the crown....i just tested the idea, kinda like the thorns are just hangin there, like light is behind them or something. obviously the guy that did the original tattoo did a better job than me, below is where i got the thorn idea from, it happens to also be a tattoo done from the same reference i used i think. its the same pose anyway.dont know who did this tattoo but they are good.....

post-22304-1276526014_thumb.jpg

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fake skin is shit in my opinion, get some pigskin to try tattooing but careful it takes ink super quick

course the BEST medium for practicing portraits is paper....

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fake skin is shit in my opinion, get some pigskin to try tattooing but careful it takes ink super quick

course the BEST medium for practicing portraits is paper....

everyone to their own, i like it.fake skin.

Paper? ya its a good medium for portraits....that defeates the whole purpose of the tattooing medium dont it. then again some might agree that painting would be the best medium.again everyone to their own.

i get what youmean about the pigskin. thats why i chose to use the rubber skin.

last time i practiced anything like this on pigskin the different diluted black shades came out the same, the lights came out just as dark as the darks. i got no values at all.

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get yourself photoshop and reduce the contrast down so you get some true black to work from..( on your stencil..)... then, lay the black in, and work backwards to light grey...

Edited by Noz187
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the thing about fake skin is that no matter how much you like it, it isn't like real skin. so if you tattoo fake skin for years and become the grand master of tattooing fake skin, that doesn't mean youll be able to tattoo real skin, at least not as well as you would with practicing on pig. pig is the closest thing to real skin, and thats why you should use it. thats also why if you ARE tattooing fake skin, you should always wrap it around someones arm or a bottle while you tattoo, to further emulate the real deal.

if you like fake skin, thats great, everyone on here is just giving you good and valid advice. i understand that you like what you like, but every time someone gives you advice on here you seem to argue with them. everyone here wants to help, that's why this site is so great.

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If everybody says that pig skin is better, than I don't understand why you would disagree with them all. I understand "to each their own," but at this point in your tattoo learning experience, you don't really have that. If you were putting in the different blacks and getting the same thing, than you may be doing something wrong. Changing your medium to revolve around your technique isn't the answer to figuring it out, IMO. Everybody has given good advise here about the rubber skin and pig skin. I've never used pig, and I've used rubber skin for about 10 minutes. I've tattooed a few grapefruits, than started up on my legs. I started a portrait of a lion on my buddy's back because its forgiving and I can experiment without putting the likeness at risk. Its a good square foot big, so its plenty of practice (I'm not saying that I think thats what you should do). A human portrait requires exact likeness, or its not that person anymore. You're experimenting with values and technique to get the values you're looking for, so something like animals or the like are perfect for that type of practice with keeping the obvious error factor down, IMO.

Tez is right about the paper being the best medium for practicing portraits. Almost any artist will tell you the same thing. He wasn't talking about "tattoo" practice, but "portrait" practice in general. Pencil is the starting point for pretty much all mediums. Its hard to paint a portrait if you can't draw it first. I'm not by any means saying that you can't draw, I'm just supporting his point.

You wrote: "last time i practiced anything like this on pigskin the different diluted black shades came out the same, the lights came out just as dark as the darks. i got no values at all." ----------> this might not be the pig skin, but the technique / diluted ink / machine speed / voltage / etc... If you didn't nail it the first time on pig skin, don't go backwards and change from something close to skin to something not as close to skin because you didn't get what you want. Practice and research or your learning curve will take the hit. There is a reason pig is different than rubber. Pig is real skin. Rubber isn't.

Edited by Kilowatt
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If everybody says that pig skin is better, than I don't understand why you would disagree with them all. I understand "to each their own," but at this point in your tattoo learning experience, you don't really have that. If you were putting in the different blacks and getting the same thing, than you may be doing something wrong. Changing your medium to revolve around your technique isn't the answer to figuring it out, IMO. Everybody has given good advise here about the rubber skin and pig skin. I've never used pig, and I've used rubber skin for about 10 minutes. I've tattooed a few grapefruits, than started up on my legs. I started a portrait of a lion on my buddy's back because its forgiving and I can experiment without putting the likeness at risk. Its a good square foot big, so its plenty of practice (I'm not saying that I think thats what you should do). A human portrait requires exact likeness, or its not that person anymore. You're experimenting with values and technique to get the values you're looking for, so something like animals or the like are perfect for that type of practice with keeping the obvious error factor down, IMO.

Tez is right about the paper being the best medium for practicing portraits. Almost any artist will tell you the same thing. He wasn't talking about "tattoo" practice, but "portrait" practice in general. Pencil is the starting point for pretty much all mediums. Its hard to paint a portrait if you can't draw it first. I'm not by any means saying that you can't draw, I'm just supporting his point.

You wrote: "last time i practiced anything like this on pigskin the different diluted black shades came out the same, the lights came out just as dark as the darks. i got no values at all." ----------> this might not be the pig skin, but the technique / diluted ink / machine speed / voltage / etc... If you didn't nail it the first time on pig skin, don't go backwards and change from something close to skin to something not as close to skin because you didn't get what you want. Practice and research or your learning curve will take the hit. There is a reason pig is different than rubber. Pig is real skin. Rubber isn't.

ya but when i used the same ink mixtures and voltage and hand movement and depth with the rubber skin i got better results. anyways what has this got to do with the tattoo itself. anyways,i asked for oppinions about the artwork not the medium its on.thanks for your time tho seriously.

and im not trying to do a portrait in pencil ive been doing that for years and its my fav work to do, im simply trying it through tattooing now.

so its the artwork im looking for oppinions on. and what i can do to improve the tattoo. right now however im doing it on rubber skin, after that ill try elevate to pigskin. i have practiced pigskin before for lettering and color work which turned out well,

but i find it hard to get decent looking black and grey on pigskin however i find it easier on rubber skin.

but as i said, i want oppinions on the actual artwork i did, not the mediums.:-D

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the thing about fake skin is that no matter how much you like it, it isn't like real skin. so if you tattoo fake skin for years and become the grand master of tattooing fake skin, that doesn't mean youll be able to tattoo real skin, at least not as well as you would with practicing on pig. pig is the closest thing to real skin, and thats why you should use it. thats also why if you ARE tattooing fake skin, you should always wrap it around someones arm or a bottle while you tattoo, to further emulate the real deal.

if you like fake skin, thats great, everyone on here is just giving you good and valid advice. i understand that you like what you like, but every time someone gives you advice on here you seem to argue with them. everyone here wants to help, that's why this site is so great.

dude, im not arguing with anyone i just want oppinions on how i did the artwork of the tattoo, the tattoo itself not the medium its on.

like, does the tattoo look good?, if you had this exact tattoo on your arm or other place as it appears on the practice skin would you be happy with it?, if not what would you think should change?, thats all im asking for.

i should have made that clearer at the start.

when i feel confident enough doing any tattoo i start on fakeskin ill then move to pigskin for the same tattoo and then eventually to human skin when its practiced enough and all the flaws have been ironed out.i do that with every tattoo i practice.fake skin then pigskin.i practice the same tattoo over and over again till i get it perfect.

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i think its a good start and i call b.s on who ever said your main problem was using practice skin. ive tattooed real skin and different types of practice skin and i can vouch for its validity as a medium for tattooing. just make sure youre using the right stuff and not the thin chinese crap. its not the same as skin (and yes, its not pig skin) but you can still judge needle depth and practice technique with it , so dont write it off just cos its artificial man.

thank you also for that, i agree.

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??

Edited by Kliff
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??

???

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If you want us to judge it properly as a portrait, it would help to see it side-by-side with the reference photo....of....Jesus? lol...erm :)

Did you do an awesome pencil version first?

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ya but when i used the same ink mixtures and voltage and hand movement and depth with the rubber skin i got better results. anyways what has this got to do with the tattoo itself. anyways,i asked for oppinions about the artwork not the medium its on.thanks for your time tho seriously.

and im not trying to do a portrait in pencil ive been doing that for years and its my fav work to do, im simply trying it through tattooing now.

so its the artwork im looking for oppinions on. and what i can do to improve the tattoo. right now however im doing it on rubber skin, after that ill try elevate to pigskin. i have practiced pigskin before for lettering and color work which turned out well,

but i find it hard to get decent looking black and grey on pigskin however i find it easier on rubber skin.

but as i said, i want oppinions on the actual artwork i did, not the mediums.:-D

Well, you have issues that should be ironed out with your artwork on a different medium which you're already familiar with. If you're focusing on your "artwork" which is what you want feedback on, than why are you complicating it with tattooing it? Its too difficult to determine the line between your artwork and your technical tattoo ability. You have issues with this, some you've already mentioned. I'll give you an honest critique when I see it on paper as I know it won't be distorted with lack of understanding the medium you're practicing your artwork on.

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Well, you have issues that should be ironed out with your artwork on a different medium which you're already familiar with. If you're focusing on your "artwork" which is what you want feedback on, than why are you complicating it with tattooing it? Its too difficult to determine the line between your artwork and your technical tattoo ability. You have issues with this, some you've already mentioned. I'll give you an honest critique when I see it on paper as I know it won't be distorted with lack of understanding the medium you're practicing your artwork on.

the art work of the tattoo........i want feed back on how the tattoo looks.

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not bad at all for a first. Good values also, would still like to see a bit more black in places like the hair maybe. Sometimes with portraits you have to bump up the contrast to see where the true blacks should go.
Good start, but the thorns look a little made up. find reference, even make a crown of thorns, as its the twisting detail and sharp tonal values underneath the thorns that will make this peice a cracker. Every picture needs areas of skill, kind of like gymnastics where its about 90% twirly dancing with a few stunning moves thrown in, and a final finish. Art, especuially portraits are the same, the eyes and the crown are where you need to show off your skill and effort. It all need to be good of course, but just pay close attention to some of the small details. Its looking good though , and remember to repeatedly view it through a mirror to check your progress.
Noble's right. Contrast is very important on portraits. Some more shades would help bring out the features more and give everything more separation. Also... my biggest thing about portraits is make sure the eyes have some kind of shadow on them. Our eyelashes, brows, etc. usually create a bit of a shadow on our eyeballs and portraits need that. haha. I don't think it's a bad start at all though.

these are the kind of answers im looking to get. about the tattoo and what i can do to improve the artwork of the tattoo. eg lashes, contrast, crown etc.I hope i made myself clear this time. i suck at asking questions cuz clearly nobody gets what im asking for.

i aint arguing with nobody im just loggin on everyday to people tellin me i should use rubber skin or pigskin etc and the whole thing is just totally going off the subject.ill work on rubber skin then wen ive ironed out the flaws there i will move to pigskin and so forth. untill then im just asking for what i can do to improve the tat as it is now. eg style the thorns different, does the nose look right, are the eyes off,does the hair suck and what can i do to improve all these things. thats what im looking for.

thanks.:-D

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but as i said, i want oppinions on the actual artwork i did, not the mediums

the medium is pretty much irrelevant, the problems you are having are contrast, depth, matching values, having the right shadow shapes ect ect ect, these rules apply to ANY MEDIUM. so when we say do work on paper it is because you have to understand these concepts to get the result your after.

the tattoo is too wide the original has a thinner face. the eyes are too flat they dont curve around the skull like they do in the original. youve put too much shading around the cheeks and lost all your lighter areas (and the shading isnt smooth enough and looks like hair). you didnt go dark enough in many areas like the hair and under the chin, the actual shapes of shading are wrong again like the cheek for example. you didnt use any/enough white for highlights as was in the original. yours doesnt have a neck. your missing alot of mid-tones. the lips are too long and thin it looks like yours is pouting.

like I say do some portraits on paper

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