Can you help me design and draw a sleeve tattoo please?
Luis Carvalho, US
I want to create two focal areas for this character design: one is the robotic head on the human body and the other one is the tattoo design showing a human skull, to serve as a visual link to the character’s missing head.
I start with a quick line drawing and after blocking in the colours I detail the body and head. I want to keep the whole design simple, so as not to distract the story that I want to tell.
The tattoo design itself is one of my old works, but I thought it fits the idea perfectly. It was originally created for a start-up T-shirt design company, which wanted to sell postapocalyptic themed clothing designs. The skull of the human soldier with the crow on top symbolising death contrasts nicely with my character, who’s lost his humanity.
I place the original design on to a Multiply layer and distort it to match the character’s arm. I recolour it slightly so that it has a more vivid tone and push the blacks so that they have a blue hue similar to that of old tattoos. The final step is to bring back some highlights and some skin colour on top of the tattoo. Don’t forget that the tattoos are under a layer of skin, so the skin still retains most of its reflective qualities.
Create unique tattoos for your characters and treat them as part of the overall design and story.
It’s crucial that you integrate the tattoo with the skin by follow the
shape of the body.