Just started up what"s looking to be a really fun one.
The tiger is just the first phase of a piece that will cover the rest of his back and go down the left side on to the hip/thigh area. It will be standing on some rocks and there will be a rooster and a chicken on part of the rock formation, and another chicken attacking the tiger's tail down on the side.
I like that the symbolism is personal to him and there's a little element of humor to it. My job at this point is to take the elements he's requested and make it into a workable and dynamic composition.
I'm liking how the tiger fits on exactly half of his back and its neck and head arch over the other side.
A lot of times I'll take a picture of the person's back during the first consultation, blow it up to 11X17" and make a bunch of copies. It seems like a pretty good size to draw thumbnails and work out ideas. Sometimes if the drawing is working well on that smaller scale, I'll just blow it up and use that for a stencil. Drawing a full backpiece actual size can be tricky...Working out proportions properly and not doing too much unnecessary detail just to fill up space. Doing the smaller studies really helps see the big picture and understand how it will look on someone...