As you can see, I finally started the half sleeve on my arm. I’m very happy with it so far. This is just the outline mind you. I go back in early January to start the shading and color. It is still evolving in my mind so it may take me a few months to finish it completely. You can’t see from the pics but it extends up onto my shoulder blade. That wasn’t what I had originally planned but to get the scale right it had to.
I’ve been gung-ho to get it started but the the biggest delay has also been with me. I knew I wanted a DNA helix but I couldn’t come up with a design that matched my vision, looked good, and complemented my form. I’ve seen a lot of tattoos that looked good but didn’t look good on the person. Anyway, it was Luke’s idea1 for the multiple strands. As soon as he mentioned it, I was sold on the idea! We talked and he created several sketches for me to choose from (I was really impressed with how much prep work he did). He also clearly got the look and the design were equally important to me. He never once tried to sell me on “his version” or change my mind. He listened to what I wanted and filled in the gaps. I really appreciated that.
Having finished the brainstorming, we got started on a stencil to show me how the final product would look. The end pieces are strategically placed in case I decide to add on more later.2 By the time he got the stencil on me, I almost wet my pants I was so happy.
To be honest, I didn’t think we’d actually get to the outline. We spent an hour just modifying and updating the design. But, as luck would have it, his appointment right after me called to cancel. The outline took about 2 hours. I have no problem admitting by the end of the 2 hours, I was more than ready for him to stop. The outer arm part wasn’t bad but the inner bicep hurt like a bitch! By the end, my pain tolerance had completely waned. I’m grateful he did the inner arm part first.
There was a moment about half way through where he totally flattered me w/o even knowing it. We were just exchanging small talk and he mentioned he’d never done anything like my design before and thought it would look very original. I’ve always wanted artwork that didn’t come off like I’d just picked it out of a book. He also wants pics of the final product for his art book.
Anyway, I’m extremely happy so far. The outline by itself looks awesome! It flows well with the muscle and covers most of my upper arm. Having had a chance to get used to it, I do have a couple tweaks though. I think the middle and lower strands need to be extended a bit to finish off the balance on my arm. Then comes the color and shading. The outer strips on each strand will get shaded to give’em a 3D look. The inner chemical bonds will be opposing colors that fade together in the center of each one.3 I’m also concerned about the open spaces between the strands. Nothing definite there yet. I wanna see the finished look before adding anything new. Oh, and one more thing, my inner shoulder seems a little bare. *giggle* Again, we’ll see how the final image looks before adding more.
I’m still excited, can ya tell?