Introducing “The Rose Tattoo”, which is part of my contemplation series. This was a lot of work and I have gained a great respect for the tattoo artist who designed the model’s body art. I have always wanted to do a painting of a man with a tattoo. The biggest challenges, of course, were to make the figure three dimensional and have the tattoo appear like it was on his skin.
Below are some process shots as I developed the drawing.I used both pastel pencils and sticks in developing the figure and background. Thanks to my model John Carrasco, a popular local professional model who is beautiful both inside and out. The original painting is pastel 18 x 24 on sanded board. Prints are available.
The focal point is, of course, the tattoo on the arm. That is the area with the most attention and detail. The face and beard are secondary focal points with detail because they are in the light. While it may appear you can see every hair in the beard, it is actually quite loose in rendering. I just used the side of the pastel pencils to create the base color and patterns of the hair, then drew in some single hair details.
The rest of the image, including the background, is painted more loosely with less detail and more emphasis on value to create the 3-dimensional affects. If you look at the original up close you can see the looser strokes in these areas.