La Virgen

I’m not sure when or how to drop in a proper timeline of where my journey in life has been taking me. It’s been interesting, for sure, but too much to type up in a blog post where I want the main focus to be on what I’m currently working on. In short, I turned to the blooming tattoo industry for my source of happiness and income. It just seemed right for me and had been on my mind since 2013. The great thing about this career path is that I get paid to draw and can still focus on side/personal projects in my downtime.

The one thing I still like to do, which I feel like a lot of other non-legendary tattoo artists do not do, is research, study, and draw the tattoo (unless it’s a quick walk-in.) This here is an example of that. The client had a small space in between a few other tattoos, which he wanted to fill up with a Virgin Mary piece. I opened up my, “Fashion: A History From the 18th to 20th Century” book and channeled some knowledge learned in a clothed figure drawing class I had in art school, and came up with a portrait of Our Lady, customized to fit the empty space on his ankle.

This drawing took quite an adventure to get to it’s final stage. Since the veil was done from memory, I had a lot more freedom with it, but that also meant a lot of manipulation. In the end, the client never followed through with his appointment and is now, pretty much, up for grabs. So if you’re in the California Bay Area, get in touch with me and we can make it a permanent work of art on your body. Until then, it exists here as a walkthrough of my process. Thank you to those who read this far.

Until next time.

La Virgen

Portrait Study

Another study from the great reference book, “The Hula Kahiko Collection,” by Kim Taylor Reece. This was a close-up portrait of one of Mr. Taylor’s subjects that caught my eye when I first flipped through the book. I knew I had to draw her.

I used my go-to technique of sharp angles and upsidedownedness to get the her likeness.



The image cropped off her hair so I had to draw up a stylized interpretation of it, which was a happy accident (RIP Bob Ross.) Everything else was just an effort to get a nice silhouette. The final touch was adding bits and pieces of micron for the darks. It’s necessary for that nice pop.

There are definitely some things I wish I would’ve approached differently, but that’s the objective with these studies; is to try things you think might have otherwise worked out. For example, before the island/ocean background, I had just made up a wreathe of very made-up leaves and it just looked… off. I couldn’t really figure out what I didn’t like about them, but I went based on instinct. That’s when drawing with a light line in a light color (I prefer Prismacolor Col-Erase pencils for this) really helps out. I was able to change that out easily.

Thank you for looking and maybe reading. Bless all

Portrait Study