Clients who come to me asking for a Japanese tattoo always leave me a little confused. I know that based on the assumption I’m good at drawing and that they like my work they think I’m the right person to fulfill their every request, but it doesn’t exactly work that way.
As much as I appreciate the history, the philosophy and well-executed Japanese tattoos, it’s still one of those styles I don’t consider mine and I’m pretty sure there are artists out there who are far more suitable than me for that style.
But this client, like others, had already decided it had to be me.

I told him that as much as I could try to imitate that style I didn’t have the expertise to create an authentic Japanese tattoo, consequently he would have had my own personal interpretation that would have ended up being very different from traditional Japanese tattoos. In my opinion he would have had a fake Japanese, hence the title of the work.
That was fine by him, what mattered was that a dragon, skulls, flowers, and the inevitable waves be present.
Even though this style doesn’t belong to me I have to admit that studying this design has been more stimulating than expected.

I had decided to finish this piece one area at a time and I managed to do so in the first session, finishing the skull, the peony and the outline of the waves on the forearm.

FINTO GIAPPONESE 2But in the following session the client asked me if it was possible to finish the outline in order to have an overview of the entire piece. He was obviously in a hurry to take a look at himself and show off his tattoo 😛
Not being an impediment to the work I decided to fulfill his request. I was hoping to be able to finish the entire outline in that second session but after almost three hours the client had already reached his breaking point so I had to tattoo many of the lines roughly so as not to lose track. I would refine the remaining lines in the following sessions.

In the third session I finished working on the lines, shaded the waves on the forearm and inner and outer elbow area, which is definitely one of the hardest areas to work on. Once again, after working without any problems, at the stroke of the third hour his pain tolerance abandoned us.

One last sitting was enough to finish the piece.
I didn’t think I would be able to finish this work so quickly. The outlines had already been done but I still had to add shading to almost half of the piece so I thought I would have needed more time.

Black and gray is generally faster than colour but the working process for this entire piece turned out to be one of the fastest ever.

Look at the images of the working process below.
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