Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Riley's Traditional Clay Smith Cams Tattoo....

 Traditional 'Clay Smith Cams' 
Woodpeckk Tattoo for my friend Riley,
right shoulder.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ellery and Arlyn's Bee Tattoos 'The Whole Process'

Ellery and Arlyn recently posted the following photos on their own personal blog,
and Ellery gave me the go ahead to repost them here.  This is a wonderful
pictorial essay of how their tattoos came to be, from the very first idea,
to the final delicate product, Art in the flesh....

Here is Ellery's explanation of how he and Arlyn ended up 
deciding to get matching bee tattoos for their wedding....

"We have this weird thing with bees.
A few years ago I read all these articles about the declining honey 
bee population and it freaked me out. On top of everything else, 
Einstein was quoted as saying that when the last bee dies, 
we have 4 years of life left! (Don't get too freaked out... 
this may just be a rumored quote... I checked

With yet another thing to keep me awake at 3:00 am, 
I decided to do whatever I could to help stop the declining bee populations
 - by this I mean turning down plastic bags at Safeway and 
making a loud statement to the cashier that I was 

Somehow this lead to Arlyn and I buying things that had bees on it.

I bought her a bee ring... 
bee shirts... 
commissioned bee art..."

Bee Jewelry

Bee Art

Bee Artist, Joseph Gilland, 
chatting in his beautiful garden, before getting down to business

Some of Joseph's Art, one of his earliest paintings, 
displayed on the fireplace in the tattoo studio.

Another of Joseph's paintings, this is an elaborated 
version of my 'Buddha Skull' design that I designed for 
my chest and ended up doing for my friend Dee, on her calf.

Dee's Buddha Skull Tattoo

This is the design that Ellery and Arlyn finally decided on

I printed out several to have extras just in case.

I cut one bee out and traced it over special stencil paper 
designed for applying images on the skin for tattooing.

Applying the stencil.
 Arlyn wanted her bee to sit just below the crook of her arm,  on a slight angle, 
and appear to be headed towards the beautiful lotus tattoo on her wrist...

We made sure Arlyn liked the placement 100%

Tattoo machines at the ready...

And off we go....

I used three different densities of black ink for lining and shading,
diluted with witch hazel for the bee tats. 

One 100% black ink, 
one 50% ink, 50% water, 
and one 10% ink, 90% water.

I started on the front let leg of the bee, then the head, using a fine 3 
liner needle and varying the use of pure black and diluted grey inks.

Very detailed, demanding work, I had to ask Arlyn
to hold her breath from time to time.

But for the most part we chatted away and it went 
very, very smoothly, taking only about 90 minutes,
start to finish. Arlyn reported that it was almost pain-free, 
she didn't suffer needlessly...

And here we have MY first bee tattoo. I'd like to try 
doing a wide variety of bugs and critters. 
I wanted to be a naturalist artist when I was a young boy, 
discovering rare animals and doing perfect drawings of them..
It's different, but this is even cooler...

Ellery's stencil is ready to go. 
Ellery's is on his left wrist.

When I did Ellery's bee, I benefited greatly from the 
experience of the first bee. I followed the exact same procedure, 
starting on the legs first, and working across the bee the same way,
only this one only took 50 minutes start to finish!

When my own wrist was tattooed by Autumn Skye, 
it honestly hurt like hell. But Ellery sat quietly smiling 
and said it didn't hurt at all. Amazing.

The wrist is nice because it is easier to move around than some parts of the body.

And here's Ellery's finished bee tattoo.

And here they both are together. Total elapsed time under 
the tattoo machine, 2 hours and 40 minutes.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ellery and Arlyn's bee tattoos revisited...

Ellery recently posted the whole story of their wonderful bee tattoos, with fantastic photos. I'm thinking I'd like to get him to do more! Beautiful stuff, thanks Ellery~!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Another skull tattoo design........

Fay's beautiful kids on her feet!

I did the names of my dear friend Fay's son and daughter
on the outside of each of her feet. 

'JesseJane' is spelled as one name, and there is also 
supposed to be an 'i' between the second 's' and the 'e'
in 'Jessie'. Fay only noticed it afterwards, and the missing 
letter was added and it really isn't noticeable, luckily!

No typos with Kane's name. Both of them came out really nicely,
and Fay say like a real trooper, considering where these are!

Some ink of my own....

This 'All Seeing Eye' was Dave Nicholson's
piece de resistance to bring my sleeve all 
the way down to wrap around my hand.

Dave did an incredible job of blending the shapes
of the fire and smoke that were already there.

I had these Polynesian tribal lotus symbols done on my hands
by Rose who works out of Parksville. Beautiful!

Dee's Firefly Goddess

A banner with the inscription 'Firefly Goddess'
that is held on each side by the classic old 
school swallows that were already there.

Designed, approved, stenciled, and tattooed
between midnight and 3:30 AM.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Laura's 'Map of the Universe' tattoo....

This is one of the most complex and detailed tattoos
I have attempted thus far, and I was extremely happy 
with the results! Laura is too! A friend of mine, Che-Che, 
sent me a photo of a very similar tattoo that he is interested
in getting. I showed it to Laura, and before long there it was!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sid's Hummingbird design

A new Hummingbird design for Sid. His brother is also getting
a hummingbird tattoo, they are for their mother...

Leanne's kids portrait tattoo

My friend Leanne asked me if I'd like to do a portrait of her
four beautiful kids for her, as a fairly large back upper back piece.
This is my first stab at the design, and she hasn't seen it yet. 
(This is only a Photoshopped rendition of what the 
final tattoo might look like)

I think the flowers really add some warmth to it....

Monday, June 25, 2012

Design for Gary's son's tattoo over his heart.

Gary's been a fisherman his whole life, and is passionate about 
life on the water, so he wanted to frame his son's name 
with something that would reflect that. I love drawing water, 
so this is a design I am extremely comfortable with, 
and appreciate doing as well! Can't wait to ink it!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Mouse's mouse tattoo

Mouse found a photograph of a tattoo
that read, "Daddy's Little Mouse". We lost the 'Daddy's Little' and 
I softened up the illustration a little bit too, this one is more subtle than the original,
but I cannot claim it as an original, it's from a pre-existing design. Nice execution!

It was really satisfying to finally do this tattoo for Mouse (AKA Mary-Anne)
She is a dear friend, and she had told me that she wanted this tattoo over 
two years ago. It's really cool to finally have done it, and it's a beauty!

Matching Wedding Bees for Arlyn and Ellery

My dear friends Arlyn and Ellery had me create matching bee tattoos, an extremely 
special honor as the tattoos are in honor of their getting married this year! 
Both of them sat so very well, and claimed that there was no pain whatsoever.
(well, almost) Very sweet little tattoos, I think that they will heal 
quite differently from each other, and touch ups will probably be necessary. 
But they look really fine and lovely and it was such an honor. Ellery and Arlyn were also my first official customers to travel over from the mainland expressly to get tattooed at
'Elemental Tattoos'~!

Doug's Gee-tar tattoo...

My good friend Doug Longland has wanted to cover up this tiny, sad little 
skull & crossbones for many, many years. So I sat with him while he described what he wanted and
I came up with the drawing below as I sat there with him, on the spot.

I did the tattoo in two sessions. After the first session I was not entirely happy with the tattoo, 
I felt I had tried to do more than I should have, maybe rushed a little bit. But when I did the 
'touch-up' finishing session, it went very well, and I was able to really pull the tattoo together,
and I'm quite happy with the final product, and Doug just LOVES it! 

This tattoo has healed beautifully and the shading
is quite a bit lighter and more subtle than it looks
in these photos. I'll post a photo when I get one.

Frank's tribal spiral...