As with any conception, idea, or tattoo design, it all starts as I study my customers brief. For this full sleeve adventure tattoo design request, I was immediately absorbed, with a mass of amazing action packed adventures, most of which I’d like to try out myself! After reading how he loved snowboarding, mountain biking, kite boarding, hiking, basically anything that involves adrenaline and a total love for the outdoors, it was hard not to be addicted!
Feature Filled Brief
To my surprise ideas for a layout were already developing, working from a brief, listing about fourteen different features ranging from Mount Rainier to a Zurich train. My main challenge, besides fitting the whole lot in a full sleeve, was this design had to be a black and grey design with an injection of intense sections of colour throughout the piece.
How To Prime A Canvas
Excited to proceed, I began unrolling the canvas, sliced it to size, and carefully stretched over a wooden frame, after fastening down and dampening the canvas I allowed it to stretch and dry out as later I would apply the Gesso. This is very similar to white acrylic paint, only thinner, this prepares the surface for painting, making the surface slightly textured and ready to accept acrylic. After creating a fleshy tone and sanding to a smoother finish I got to drawing.
Creating A Full Sleeve Adventure Tattoo Design
After being presented with a stack of excellent reference images such as Orion Nebula, and vivid sunsets, I decided at once that this would be my starting point. I began making a start on the Orion Nebula and dazzling sunset which was to be nesting behind Mount Rainier. From here I needed to brainstorm a while and try to envision the treeline and lake, doing this gave me a good position for our wakeboarder.
Having a rough scene and a perspective in scale, I pencilled the snow-covered trees then worked back towards the mountain, to set the scene for the action landscape for the snowboarders jumping off the helicopter to ride the cliff face. From this point, all I had to do was arrange the sections of colour throughout the design…
Focusing on the wrist area of this full sleeve adventure tattoo design, I outlined the ocean scene with a kiteboarder relishing the waves. The long lines of the kite, reminded me of the electric cables on the Zurich train, thus providing the perfect border between the deserts of Las Vegas, and the ocean. This intern gives the impression of the mountain biker riding waves which later transform into trailing dust that carries up the design back into mountains.
I sent the rough concept off for review, my customer was great with his feedback, loving the ideas, I went straight back to the easel and sketched in a classic favourite of mine, the iconic Volkswagen Camper, the perfect ending to this full sleeve adventure tattoo design. What really pull this design together is the harmonising points of red that can be seen among the action scenes throughout this full sleeve adventure tattoo design.
Mountain Peaks & Snowboarding Tattoo
It wasn’t long before the real fun began! Painting the rich and multi-coloured Nebula and blazing sunset. With Mount Rainier I switched from colourful paint markers to deep blacks and washes of cool greys.
The Classic VW Camper
With the rendering process going well with casual detailing here and there, I found myself working on the piece with such ease. It wasn’t long before I was finishing off with a personal favourite of mine, the VW camper and ocean scene. The area really sets off the design really well. Such a thrilling fun piece to work on, it has been a true pleasure and has even made me want to go on an adventure or two myself.
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