Can you help me paint an elab­o­rate tat­too?

ImagineFX - - Imagine nation Artist Q&a - Tan replies

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.

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