When designing a tattoo for a customer I often spend a lot of time creating concepts, there are a few reasons for this but these are well explained in my previous article Pin Up Tattoo Design – Creating A Concept. In a lot of my Time Lapse Videos you can often see guideline drawings and sketches appearing in and out of focus beneath the final design being created. In this article I will be explaining the importance of drawing with guidelines.
Drawing With Guidelines
My concept drawings are often rough ideas of the layout for the design, this means they never look particularly pleasing to the eye but take up a lot of time and paper. Instead of just using these concepts for feedback from the client I often use it to mark out where I am going to put shadows, tone, colours and other drawing techniques that customers generally are not very bothered about.
Drawing A Flag
In this case the part of the design which needed the most concepts, corrections and guidelines was the flag being held by the two lions. In the image above you can see a guideline sketch with lines marking out where I am going to add shadow, ink and any other features when completing the final design. Guideline Sketches in most cases are solely for my own use. This means they often look messy and confused, as long as I understand them it does not matter. You might actually be able to see this Drawing Guide being used in the Time Lapse Video above.
Concepts, Reference Images And Guidelines
Being that this image is for my own use it meant I needed to create a concept for my client to view. But also I needed a reference image, not for tracing but to put down my own idea of where the light would be coming from. With all these sketches being created it meant that for this particular part of my design I would end up drawing four reference images just for the flag. This does not include layout sketches piecing the design together, in all a lot of flag drawings.
Flag And Lion Coat Of Arms
I have only talked about the amount of sketches and concepts I have created for one section of my drawing. For the whole Lion Coat Of Arms each section was meticulously planned, sketched and put down on paper to make sure the design would come out looking exactly as I and hopefully my client wanted it.
This is an example of the amount of work that goes into creating a custom tattoo design. One of the most exciting aspects of designing a custom tattoo for a client is trying to put down on paper what is initially only an idea. As people are often mentioning a tattoo is for life. What customer is going get a design they do not like tattooed permanently onto their skin. This is why it is important to make sure that each design created is exactly as the customer wants.
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