Thursday, June 12, 2014


Recently finished the color on this kirin (actually the first kirin I've ever been asked to do)...
Normally, I outline the whole arm first, then shade all the background, then the flowers, then the main image.  I think in my excitement to finally do a kirin, I really wanted to focus on the animal and let it be the complete center of attention, so I just concentrated on its design and layout with no serious thought put into the background at this point.  It was nice to change up the approach and try something new.
 There's definitely a trap that I fall into of over thinking some projects, to the point of getting  a little overwhelmed and stressed.  Not in a negative way, but there's a lot of thought that goes into laying out these larger pieces and you can get really wrapped up in all the different possibilities.  Just focusing on the kirin, with no thoughts of the future, was pretty freeing mentally.
Trying to take it one step at a time and trusting that you know what to do, and that the next phase will work out and fall into place.
He's interested in finishing his body in a fairly traditional Japanese style, so holding off on the background right now might even be advantageous in the long run.  Drawing larger sections of background at once would be a little different for me (like do the foreground on the back, sides and chest, then all the background as one).  Seems like it could be a good opportunity to follow the stylistic path I've been going for, but trying to see it from different angles and execute it with slight variations.  It might seem trivial, but sometimes when you've been doing things the same way for a long time, those little tweaks can really open up some new doors mentally.
His enthusiasm and respect for Japanese tattooing helps rekindle my own love of this stuff and want to keep experimenting and evolving...

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