Design for a full back balck and grey tattoo. A beautiful naked girls sits in the jungle hugging a smiling lion, in the background a waterfall, on top of that a tiger is going away. Illustration by the best tattoo artist Jerry Magni. Bergamo, Milan, ItalyAfter almost two years of studying and experimenting with my Biomechs and with 3D models, which have also given place to two tutorials for, I felt the urge to go back to drawing something “anatomical” and this client’s request came at the right time.

A full back piece, what better project to start drawing again without compromising on dimensions?
Even though there is an old tattoo that needs to be covered up at the top and part of it will have to be laser removed.

Initially the project had to portray the profiles of a lion and tiger facing each other (at shoulder blade height), below them a waterfall and a small lake with a lion emerging from it and walking towards a nymph lying on its bank.

A tattoo dedicated to a separation and to the newly found piece of mind. The lion and tiger represented the client and the person he’s separating from, the waterfall and lake the experiences and discontent flowing away, and then the same lion (again symbolizing the client) emerging from the lake invigorated and going towards his new partner.

The project seemed pretty interesting but in my opinion it didn’t convey the message properly and the composition, in addition to squashing the lower part of the drawing, would have diverted the viewer’s attention toward the past instead of the future.
So I suggested revisiting the composition without compromising it, discarding the tiger and lion that, considering their size, would have turned all the attention towards the upper part of the drawing (the past) taking away from the lower part (the future), where the presence of yet another lion would, amongst other things, have made the concept even more redundant.

So I suggested modifying the drawing from something that is about to happen to something that has already taken place, the lion would not walk towards the nymph but would already be in her arms. This image would occupy most of the back, the waterfall would be kept in the background and, in order to preserve something from the past,  at the top of the waterfall we could have added a tiger walking away or some ruins, symbolizing something leaving its mark despite not working anymore. A broken bridge above the waterfall could have eventually symbolized the impossibility of going back and reunite.

The client was torn between these two options but after showing him some sketches he went for the tiger that walks away.

Once having chosen the overall structure of this full back piece, I just needed to start drawing.

During the first two days I focused myself on drafting the composition and on preliminary sketches. Once I was happy I printed the sketch and started applying shadows.
The last day was dedicated to finalizing the drawing.

Below you can see the 4-day process condensed into 12 minutes and at the end a view of the details and finished drawing.

Finally, a short video with the design applied to a 3D model, after I made some changes to the lion’s muzzle which didn’t convince me completely.

Now it just needs to be transferred on skin 🙂