Can you help me paint an elaborate tattoo?
Tattoos can certainly add visual interest to a character and are straightforward to paint. There are many tattoo styles to choose from and I’ve picked one that’s a mix of geometric and tribal.
Apart from the tattoo style, there’s also the age of the tattoo to think about. Fresher tattoos are more opaque, and the pattern on the skin may be raised, with reddish irritated skin around it. Older tattoos are faded and tend towards a greenish-blue tint if a conventional black ink was used. They may also be distorted according to the topographical changes of the skin they’re on.
A temporary fake tattoo and a real one will both fade, but in different ways. In the former, the pigment flakes off and may crack according to points of stress and the epidermal structure of the skin. A real tattoo becomes faded because of sun exposure, and suntanning also creates a layer of brown tint on top of the tattoo. Over time, the lines of a tattoo will become less crisp as well.
I’ve chosen a clean aesthetic for the character with a white colour scheme, to create a contrast with the tattoo.
To make the tattoo look less digital, I go over some layers with a grunge brush with the Transparency locked. To fit facial contours liquify the tattoo in broad strokes before refining.