Tattoo Design Stages

This is a sample of a tattoo design project that I completed for a friend in summer 2017, as an example of the process I usually go through for designing a tattoo concept drawing.

Her description was to have an orca whale whose tail would turn into birds, and she gave me the pictures below.
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“My idea was to kind of have the watercolor look so it looks better when the surrounding kind of turn into birds. Like the ink blots or whatever.”

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I sent my initial sketches that I sent her with a few variations of the design, pictured left below. When she picked the one that she liked best, I refined the design and sent her two more sketches (pictured right).
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After receiving some feedback on the design, since she was still undecided between the two poses, I gave them each a watercolor background in the colors that she chose! She ended up choosing the design on the right.
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Final

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The tattoo (below) was not completed by myself. In all honesty, I don’t think that it’s a good representation of the artist’s skill. The advice that I would give you, for the best possible result, would be to have the artist redraw the concept drawing that you bring to them, so that they’re tattooing a design that they are 100% sure of, and with their own flair as well. This, along with choosing an artist with a strong portfolio, is the best way to ensure that you have a good finished product!
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Tattoo