Tatuaggio su schiena in bianco e nero con ragazza sexy che abbraccia un leone, sullo sfondo una cascata. sopra le rocce una tigre si allontana. Bellissimo tatuaggio realizzato da jerry Magni, miglior tatuatore, Bergamo, Milano, Lecco, Como, Brescia

Choosing the best tattoo artist

Being second choice can be bad, but when a client disappointed by the previous tattoo artist chooses you because he believes you are the best artist for his project has a whole other flavour.

Being considered the ideal artist after careful research brings a certain satisfaction.

A comeback and a cover-up

After almost two years studying and experimenting with my biomechs and with the use of 3D models, which also gave birth to two tutorials for tattoosmart.com, I felt the need to go back to drawing something “anatomical” and this client’s request came just at the right time.
An entire back piece! What better project to go back to pencil and paper without having to compromise on size?!
Unfortunately there was an old tattoo that needed to be covered, but given the size of the new piece I didn’t worry too much.

Ideas and meanings

The project proposed by the client, and studied with the tattoo artist he had previously contacted, had to include the profile of a lion and a tiger facing each other (at the height of the shoulder blades), below them a waterfall with a lake and a lion emerging from it and heading towards a nymph lying on the edge of the lake.

A tattoo dedicated to a separation and to newly found serenity. The lion and the tiger represented the client and the person he is separating from, the waterfall and the lake the experiences and negative feelings flowing away and the same lion, again representing the client, coming out of the water invigorated and heading towards his new partner.

The project itself was interesting but in my opinion the setting did not convey the message in the best way, so I suggested reviewing the composition without completely distorting it.

Disegno per tatuaggio su schiena. Donna nuda nella gungla accucciata con un leone che si lascia accarezzare, sullo sfondo una cascata e in cima una tigre se ne va. Illustrazione di Jerry magni, miglior tatuatore Bergamo, Milano, Lecco, como, Lugano, Monza

My vision

Eliminate the tiger and lion that, given their size, in addition to “crushing” the underlying part of the design, would have focused attention on the past, diverting it from the positive part of the design (the future).

Furthermore, the presence of a second lion would have made the concept redundant.

So I suggested changing the design from a becoming to something accomplished.

Instead of a lion heading towards the nymph, a lion already in the arms of the nymph. This image would have taken up most of the back, the waterfall would have remained in the background and, so as to not completely eliminate the past, at the top of the waterfall we could have added a tiger leaving or some ruins, representing something that leaves a mark despite it being no longer accessible, maybe a broken bridge over the waterfall could have represented the impossibility of going back.

The client was torn between these two options but after showing him some drafts he went for the leaving tiger.

The process

Once the setting for this full back piece was decided upon, it was time for me to start drawing.

The first two days were dedicated to composition drafts and preliminary sketches. Once satisfied, I printed the sketch at actual size and started sketching the shadows. The last day was dedicated to finalizing the drawing.

Below you can see the 4-day design process condensed into 12 minutes, and at the end an overview and details of the work almost completed. Almost, because the face of the lion didn’t convince me at all first time round so I decided to redesign it.

The final version (further down in the second video) was way better.

I would have preferred the nymph to have a more sensual face, a more aggressive character, like a queen of the jungle, but the client wanted something milder and sweeter. Using his own words “… I don’t want a slut on my back …” 😀 😀 😀

Coming to terms with the body

I had studied the design in order to use the nymph’s hair to cover the old tattoo but when it was time for the stencil we realized that it wasn’t feasible. Working on the human body has many variables, in this case a very deep fold on the right side of his back.

At the first meeting I thought that I could use it as a separating point between the arm and the side of the nymph, creating a sort of interesting 3D effect. Only when I applied the stencil did I realize how deep it really was.

There was no way of keeping the design without deforming the nymph’s body in an exaggerated and absolutely unsightly way.

Luckily, the left side of the back had a much smaller fold that wouldn’t have distorted the design excessively, so I eventually decided to flip the design.

I had to intervene on the lion’s mane, but adding more fur wouldn’t have affected the aesthetics as much as deforming the anatomy of the nymph.

However, the hair could no longer be used to cover the old tattoo at this point, but luckily the tattoo was very old and with a few laser removal sessions it faded a lot, resulting almost invisible among the vegetation of the new design.

I obviously had to redo the stencil, so the first session was postponed.

Fast as the wind

A back piece generally takes several hours of work, and although over time I have become pretty fast, even more so with black and grey, I didn’t expect to finish the piece in a short amount of time, especially considering the fact that the sessions never exceeded 3 hours. Instead I managed to amaze myself by completing the piece within the minimum budget. A piece which I’m sure the client wears with extreme pleasure.

Below the gallery showing the design process and the end result one month after complete healing.