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my BACKPIECE tattoo


Oct 25, 2004
Sydney, NSW
updated - 10th JUNE 2007 - a year in the making!
scroll down for the latest (and best quality picture)

im starting now to finally have a full back sized tattoo.
thought id share with you the progress (an estimated 10-15 sessions)

this is the first sketch (done on a postcard sized paper)

next session - in 2 weeks - will be the final sketch, on my back, in detail.
i will have a better picture, with much more detail then.

spoiler for the final sketch
Spoiler :

realising its quite hard to make out the details, here goes nothing.

it is all in a classic japanese style tattoo.
*main feature is a dragon, emerging from a water-bed and stream into the sky.
* both shoulders have rocky fountains, with streams of water flowing down.
* there is a spiral motif (top left, bottom right) that will act both as background and enhancement to the water.
* the dragon will have its head @ the top-middle of my back, inching upwards onto my chest. it will be in an S shape, staying mostly on the left side of the back.
* there will be some some patches of flowers under the dragons belly, as well as at the bottom.

updates will follow as the work progresses.

please feel free to post pictures of your tattooes, as well as nice designs you would like see done by people.

update 2 - Sept 17th, 2006
had the "final" sketch done thursday.
here are the rough results, in regards to composition.
details of course will be MUCH better, as well as posted here.
Spoiler :

update 3 - Sept 21st, 2006
Spoiler :

at last i found time to take some pix.

this is from the second session:
notice the cover work done on the lion.

third session:
lower back area.
this was the first time i have used a relaxant balm.
work wonders.
if youre ever going to get a tattoo done, especially a large one, ask the artist if he has any.
i hardly felt a thing.

and for an overall view of things....

JUNE 10th 2007 - almost DONE, after a full year (18 months if you include the drawing work and planning)
last session, which had some shading, and all of the dragons linework was a killer.
i almost regretted doing it.
The sketch is kind of indistinct so it's hard to get a good idea of what it's going to look like. Is it your design? How much is it going to set you back?
@ 7ronin
my idea, the tattooist designed the specifics.
we discussed this over 6 sessions by now, moving stuff around, changing it continually (at one point it had huge bamboo stacks, a rock garden and a samurai...)

i dont really know how much it will settle me back, but i figure tis about 12-15hours @ 100$ a session = 1200-1500 smackaroons.
possibly more.
i will sure update regarding this.
Wow! The Jive Talker is going full blown. Sweet. I want to see the colors when they come in.
Perfection said:
No pentagon?
but i WILL have a Statue of Zeus hidden somewhere the barbs cant raid :D

dont worry whomp,updates will be arriving directly.

classical, this is a basic sketch, 10x15 cm in size.

it will be mUCH more detailed.....

in 10 days or so :crazyeye:
thats when ill have th efull blown sketch done.
then the tattoo guy will have to do a proper job acording to theoutlines we will make then.

it will probably be about 3 weeks till the needle hits me.
.Shane. said:
Sorry, but after you age about 10 years that thing is going to be one horrible, ugly, indecipherable mess.

Actually old age will do a lot less damage than weight gain... So Soul_warrior will have an excellent incentive to stay in shape!

But it's to avoid that that I did mine on the wrist. It's a simple, tribal thing, that I can easily hide if I so choose :D
.Shane. said:
Sorry, but after you age about 10 years that thing is going to be one horrible, ugly, indecipherable mess.
basically, if i keep it out of sunshine, and take good care of it during the first few months, it can stay vivrant.
i have quite a few tattooes by now (9 actually) started 10 years ago.
the ones im NOT happy with are not the oldest, but rather the poor quality of them.

if your tattoo guy will do a proper job, as i KNOW mine does, it can keep forever.
it will have some changing over the years, but that is why it will be a rather simple design.
no 0.5 cm motifs, just big thick stuff.
even if it will go over a bit (which i dont believe it will) it will fit it.

here is a nice link to a detailed log of a full back piece

and the final pic from there...

[edit] - that is NOT my tattoo, nor my design.
its just a means to illustrate my vision. an example if you will.
MINE IS ON THE FIRST POST - just the basic sketch now.

see how thick the design is?
very few motifs.
MY design is different, yet the vision is the same.
Ow, thats got to hurt when you have to go through that :eek:.
CivGeneral said:
Ow, thats got to hurt when you have to go through that :eek:.
well, yeah :D
but its not done in one sitting... :eek:
its a few months at the least.

and trust when i say that the back is NOT that painful.

i have a KOI tattoo on my right ribs (waist > armpit)
ill post a pic ofit sunday, when i have access to a digi-cam.
That is a wonderful photo. The way the water plays with the bright crisp colours of the tattoo. Nice photography idea, with the fish looking as though it is leaving the water to explore the guys brightly coloured back.

Love to see your final sketch, soul warrior.
CurtSibling said:
Why do you want a giant goldfish on your back?

its not.
that pic was an example of the style and size i want.

mine is a dragon, same watery surroundings, add some rocky outcrops.

it is also to be done BLACK AND WHITE only.
no colours, just shadings, similar to the rest of my tattooes.

well that is a very personal thing tome, tattooes.
i have them done when i have meaningful (to me) periods in my life.
it is also a hobby of mine.
it (the process of designing as well as the pain) helps me focous onto things in my life.
it sheds light and helps me decide stuff.
** i have quite a few things i have to decide about in the near future.
all of which are what i consider to be life questions, such as:
do i want to be with my girlfriend? do i really want to marry her?
do i stay in Israel for good or do i (we) emigrate to quieter places?
did i pick a meaningful career path?(IT, working towards my systems engineer diploma) do i want to quit it and do something else?

the time frame of this tattoo (i've been working on it for about 3 months now) and the next 3-6 months are crucial to me.

maybe this is a way for me to finally force myself to grow up and make life effecting choices.
i am 34 you know, and i have to begin thinking practically too, not just with my guts.
Eran of Arcadia said:
I just can't think of annything I want to write on my body that I know I will still want in 50 years.
i totally agree.
tattooes are NOT for everybody.

they should have a lot of meaning to you, and you should have a great desire to have them.

tattooes have become a fashion accessory.
that is BAD.

my tattooes, have each a memory and a meaning.
i know when and why i did each one.
i remember the good times i had then (like my laughing tribal dragon on my foot) AND the bad times (waist swirl dragon - a VERY bad job :cry: which i will have to cover up someday).

tattooing is something that comes from within you.
there is no right or wrong time.

i, have had mine done over the last 16 years. i have had a couple of years when i had 3done in as many months, and periods of 3-5 years with no tattooing done.

i have NO REGRETS regarding mine.
some i might have to cover up as they were lousy work, but i still love them.
i have not tattooed ANYTHING i dont like now (and thats 16 years ago)
i am totally happy with my skin and will continue to be so.
Yeah, I think people have been getting tattoos because it is the cool, trendy thing to do, not because it really means anything to them. But imagine having permanently, surgically attached bell bottoms . . .

But I think that they work for some people.
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