Sunday, January 9, 2011

Suikoden Back Piece

Outlined this the next day after that Durga/Flowers sleeve.  Definitely put some stress on the hands this week.
This is Hitentaisei Rikon, one of the famous 108 Heroes of the Suikoden.  It is my homage to Kuniyoshi's print from his Suikoden series.  He had the existing tattoos on his back and didn't want to cover them, so we had to work around them the best we could.  We discussed a few ideas for the back and we was particularly drawn to doing a warrior image.  He did a bunch of homework on his own and chose a few characters and images from Kuniyoshi's book that appealed to him.  After a little consulting we realized that this print would fit the space on his back perfect.  Most large traditional tattoos taken from the Suikoden use a pose that Kuniyoshi drew, and then the artist will tweak the robe patterns and such to his own liking or style.  I had planned on doing the same but at the last minute I really wanted to try and reproduce the original as faithfully as possible.  Never really seen it done exactly like this and it's been very fun to channel the straight wood block style (down to every pattern and line thickness...)  In the print he is standing on a rock outcropping, and here he his perched on one of the older tattoos.  Next session we will be outlining the rest of the open spaces on the back.  Think lots of flowers (but I do have another idea in mind)...

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