Tattoo, Part Two of Three(?)

Went back to Eclectic Art on Friday to get the next round of work done on the tattoo. James had done the linework and initial shading at the beginning of December. This time, he started adding color.

It’s hard to say if this hurt more than before. Some of the thicker lines in December felt like pretty deep scratches. None of the coloring was that sharp, but he had to go over the same patch of skin again and again to get it all filled in, which wasn’t pleasant. And as I understand it, the needles are different for color and shading — more like a broad (but still very small) paintbrush made of needles, as opposed to the pen-tip style needle(s) for the lines.

None of it was too bad. But it was enough I couldn’t just doze off and take a nap ­čÖé

He set up a much more colorful palette this time, focusing on the colors for the grass and the dragon.

James' workspace, with inks

I paid a bit more attention to the tattoo gun this time. I’m fascinated by how it looks like a steampunked fountain pen. There are no ink cartridges or anything. He just dips into the color(s) he wants, mixing and blending as needed.

Tattoo gun

He started in on the dragon. At first, I couldn’t really see where he was going with some of his color choices. And it’s hard to watch someone painting your arm. So mostly I just laid there and played games on the phone.

Dragon, partially colored

Unfortunately, we had to cut things a little short. He had some family stuff come up, which I can understand. We’re going to try to do a longer session at the end of the month, but it’s possible we might need to do a fourth to finish everything.

Here’s what my arm looked like at the end of three hours of coloring. (This is the pic I shared on Twitter and Facebook.)

Dragon - mostly colored

I’m really happy with how it looks so far, but there’s a lot left to go. The tree will be getting watercolor-style foliage, and then there’s the moon and the night sky, along with finishing the dragon’s wings and the book and other little details.

But I love the colors and the lighting effects and the way the grass turned out and the shading… All of which makes me impatient to go back and get the rest done!

Aftercare is pretty much the same as before. There’s more oozing and seepage this time. Things look a bit gross underneath the bandage (a clear, breathable “tape” that covers the new tattoo, which is essentially an open wound). I debated sharing a picture, but nobody needs to see that. Let’s just say the grass looks more like mud now.

The one downside, aside from my impatience about wanting to finish, is that I need to avoid some of my exercise routine for a bit until it heals more. I may skip karate tomorrow night, too. Knowing my luck, somebody would decide it was the perfect night to punch me right in the arm…