Aug 042013

Pirate Tattoo Design

I absolutely love pirate legends and mythologies so when I was asked to create a Black Beard Pirate Tattoo Design I couldn’t have been happier! Just typing Black Beard into google brings up all sorts of references, information, character art and design. I wanted to avoid all the Black Beard character designs that faced me from my searches but needed some decent reference images and ideas. Especially when it came to drawing a his beard.

Sculpture Reference Images

So I was really looking for a grizzled face reference image preferably with a beard. I ended up using ancient sculpture reference images from Character Designs a great resource for artists. It turns out a lot of the male ancient Greek deity sculptures have brilliant beards to choose from.

Black Beard Pirate Tattoo Design Concept

Faces In Tattoo Designs

I often have to turn down customers asking me to draw a loved ones face into their custom tattoo design. Whenever an artist draws from a photo it will never be perfect. To draw a loved ones face means capturing that persons essence which is entirely possible for artists (why else commission artists to create portraits) but not very easy when another artist, in this case the tattooist, is copying from the first artists drawing.

In this case though it is not a problem at all as the only feature people really know about Black Beard is that he has a big black beard, obviously! This left me free to draw a face that would fit Black Beards profile without worrying about copying a reference image exactly.

Pirate Tattoo Design Concept from Dark Design Graphics

A Custom Pirate Tattoo Design

Featuring a Cougar, Bear, Eagle and or course Black Beards Ship ‘The Queen Anne’s Revenge’ the difficulty with this design was how to tie all the features together. After researching the legend of Black Beard I found out that he supposedly tied lit fuses to the plaits in his beard to strike fear into his enemies! What better way to give this pirate tattoo design a mysterious atmosphere than having thick smoke from his beard curling and twisting around the cougar and the bear.

Custom Pirate Tattoo Design

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