I think that we've finally agreed that it is a finished tattoo. I thought we might be done a session or two ago, but she had some areas that she wanted to fill and tweak, and ultimately it really did help strengthen the piece and bring it all together.
From the get go, we were trying to balance something that would be super dense opening up to reveal more skin toward the top. How much is too much is very subjective (you don't know where the edge is until you've gone over it as they say), but I feel like we got it just right. Sometimes the person living with the tattoo really has an opportunity to absorb it and see it so much more than I can, and is able to notice things I might not have. Especially in a piece like this that has so many different elements all working together. She's got a really unique look with this one and it suits her very well.
I think this is a good example of the client really knowing what they want while still giving the artist enough freedom, and the tattooer really trying to tap into the client's vibe and style while mixing it with their own (and knowing when to listen to and respect their input, and knowing when to put their foot down and do what's best for the piece...)
In summary...I think it's a cool and original sleeve, and I'm proud of it.