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Adam Guy Hays: Death Waits Step by Step

By Adam Guy Hays

http://www.losttexan.us

A few months ago I took part in the “Fuck Art, Let’s Kill” exhibition put on at Nick Caruso’s Bound For Glory shop in Staten Island. It was a death and reaper themed art show. I’ve always been a big fan of drawing skulls and reapers and as excited as I was to be a part of the show the idea of trying to come up with something nice and original that would stand out was daunting. I decided to try to paint something a bit out of my comfort zone. I stuck to my preferred mix of watercolors, inks, and liquid acrylics, but I tried to give the piece a renaissance feel using those media.

Before I’d started this project I’d downloaded a bunch of books from IllustratedMonthly.com to my iPad. I thought I’d just grab a variety and see what there was in them. They were cheap enough  that I ended up getting a heap of really good stuff for a fraction of what physical books would cost. There was a lot of visual information there in a variety of styles. I found it handy when I was struggling for ideas in coming up with the composition for this piece. I flipped through the books on my iPad until I saw something that caught my eye. I saved the first two images (Ref. 1) because I was drawn to the composition. I started formulating the idea of doing a reclined death. It just seemed different. Like he was just kicking back like a dude on a lazy Sunday. There were some good examples of drapery in there as well. In the third image (Ref. 2), I really liked the candle’s being snuffed out and the light effects. The last image (Ref. 2) is the skull from the cover of the Illustrated Monthly book of skulls. I thought it’d be fun to paint an ancient looking skull with missing teeth.

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I’ve always done my brainstorming sketches very small. I like to do two or three tiny versions so I can work out the composition before dedicating time to the details in a full size sketch. I meant to take a photo before trashing the other tiny sketches but I just kinda forgot. I chose the sketch whose composition I liked best (Fig. 1)  and enlarged it on the copy machine to the size I wanted the final painting to be. I then laid tracing paper over the quick version and did some fine tuning to  flesh it out (Fig. 2). 

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This piece is 12″ x 16″ and is on a piece of Windsor & Newton Aquarelle paper. This is my favorite paper to use for most every project. It’s similar to Arches cold press in terms of durability, but the tooth of the paper is much finer and allows for much finer line work when you’re using ink. I usually cut my piece of paper larger than I want the final image to be and mask it off with orange artist tape. It helps me keep my compositional constraints in mind by giving me a border where a frame would be.  I also like to have an edge to test paint on that’s from the same ream of paper. Paper always ages differently and I think you have better results if you can test your colors on a piece of scrap paper that’s identical to the piece you’re painting on.  You can see what   my primary paints for this piece were in Fig. B. I used the FW Liquid Acrylic colors Flesh Tint, Crimson, Antelope Brown, and Purple Lake; the Dr. Ph. Martin’s Hydrus watercolor series Yellow Ochre and Burnt Sienna; and the Dr. Ph. Martin’s Slate Blue and Van Dyke Brown in the concentrated and transparent watercolors. The black i’m using is Speed Ball black.
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Tattoo Smarter not Harder

By Mickey Schlick

http://www.mickeyschlick.com / http://www.blaqueowltattoo.com

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I’m always trying to find answers to as many of the little issues that life throws at me as possible. I wanted to share some things that I think are applicable to our life in the shop. Often, I notice that many tattoo shops, especially street shops, lack adequate space for that most important or our chores, drawing. I wanted to cover a quick fix for this: a low cost, zero floor space, cheap drawing table.

Since my first gesture drawing class, I have been hooked on lap boards and I think they are a great solution when needing to move around is a must. Sitting in the chair and having the board at an angle against a table or the back of another chair gives a large drawing area and a much more comfortable angle. The other thing that most people don’t really notice is how much a horizontal surface can potentially skew a drawing.

Personally, I was looking for a more permanent fix and so I did some “figurin’” to come up with an idea that matched all of the benefits of having a large drawing table without loosing any floor space in the shop. The one thing about this plan in particular (which I am hoping that some of you will turn into ideas of your own) is that it is not very adjustable. So, as the old adage goes, measure twice cut once. On the upside, it is so cheap and easy that you can have multiple drawing surfaces in the shop that work for different people or drawing styles or projects for well under $100.

In our shop, most of the artists like to draw pretty big which we like because you can get a lot of life into the work when drawing with your whole arm. Personally, I’m about the newsprint because I would rather retrace my design with a marker on tracing paper than slide the rough onto the copier, or photograph it and deal with it digitally, but sometimes I can go big with it or sometimes I can work out a whole bunch of thumbnails on one sheet. Most papers have a larger style (I like 18×24), just think about what you like to draw on and then buy your table based on having enough room to draw and support your whole drawing pad and arms and whatever else you need, while still fitting the space.  Obviously, you don’t need to go that big, but you could go larger or smaller on the table or paper (all of the measurements for this will be unique to you and your situation, so I’m not going to get too deep into that. ) Just read this, think about the logic of it, then go out and build your own that is perfect for your situation.

I started with a very complicated idea, which I won’t get into, but I will say looking back that I don’t know how my head got that far up my ass. I had spent all this time planning out this awesome drawing table with a support frame and a bunch of super heavy wood with a crazy detailed stain. Sounded good until I realized that it was going to be entirely too heavy for the wall and the stain didn’t go as easy as I thought it would. In the end, what worked the best was to keep it simple, use this 24″ x 48 1/2″ MDF for like $10. I just had them cut right there at Home Depot, to like 24″ x 36″ then painted it to match the wall that it was going to hang on with paint from the shop, so that you can barely tell it’s there at all. Very low impact, even visually. It’s great!
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Finger Waves With Jeff Gogue

Check out this amazing instructional video Jeff made about drawing finger waves.  His new DVD, Tattoo as I see it is available for pre-sale now on http://www.unicyclebrand.com.


Rocket Girl Redux: Step by Step

By Adam Guy Hays

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A while back I decided I needed a new banner, as I’ve been using a shitty Kinko’s copy of one of my old ones for while now. I thought it’d be a good excuse to do another step-by-step of my painting process. I’ve included the photos of the references I used. I’m a big believer in having true life references for all projects.

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I started with an image that my business partner Mike Bellamy drew and that has been our shop’s longtime logo. I wanted to keep the overall composition more or less the same but make my own version. I changed up the proportions, added a tiny RR logo , and gave the girl more Alphonse Mucha styled hair. I love that art nouveau stuff.

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Typically when I’m sketching I like to use Prismacolor Col-Erase pencils on heavy vellum, which can stand a fair bit of abuse from erasing and sketching. The Col-Erase pencils are pretty good at staying where they’re put and not smudging too much. Some details in here are just plain pencil too.
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Larry Brogan: How to Throw an Opening Party

Courtesy of Larry Brogan and Tattoo City
I thought I would send some info about our Grand Opening of my Tattoo City and Flower of Life Art Gallery located at 1601 State Street in Lockport, Illinois. Over two hundred people, including the mayor of Lockport, various city officials and reporters from the Lockport Legend newspaper. Friends traveled from far and wide, from Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and even Canada, to share in the occasion…  (more…)


Travel Tips: DIY Wet Panel Box

melissa-fusco-0By Melissa Fusco
For those of us who may have the chance of painting away from our home studio’s, you may find this box to be handy for carrying wet panels. The summer of 2011, I attended a week-long landscape painting workshop in the wet lands of New Jersey and built a more simple wet panel box for my everyday travel. I kept the box in my truck and was able to transport wet panels from the days location to my accommodations, where I continued working on each piece. Instead of the Jenga-like game of panel stacking while on the road, and the stress of limiting the fix-ups that may need tending to due to all the movement, or worse… ruining a piece all together; here’s an inexpensive, custom and rewarding project that can be used for multiple trips…  (more…)


Just Eat It: Asian Chicken Soup

By Stiff
My inspiration for cooking can come from a variety of things. Sometimes I get inspired by having a dish from a restaurant that I’ve never had before and try to replicate it at home. Sometimes inspiration comes from recipes I may see on television. I mostly get inspired by the certain items I see in the grocery store or farmer’s market.

Sometimes I fail at the outcome of what I’m making and sometimes I succeed. I just like to try new things and expand my horizons when it comes to testing new ingredients or cooking methods. James, my husband is a great guinea pig. He will generally eat whatever I make and is honest about how the food tastes. Unlike James, I myself am much more critical about how my food turns out. (more…)


Larry Brogan: Tattoo Convention Booth Set Up Part II

By Larry Brogan
Courtesy of Tattoo Road TripIn part one of Tattoo Convention Booth Set Up we touched on things such as having promotional items such as business cards and stickers, proper banner size and good overall lighting. In part two, I’ll talk about keeping your items safer from theft, helpful display tips and a continuation of proper lighting…  (more…)


Just Eat It: Veggie Bake

By Stiff
My inspiration for cooking can come from a variety of things. Sometimes I get inspired by having a dish from a restaurant that I’ve never had before and try to replicate it at home. Sometimes inspiration comes from recipes I may see on television. I mostly get inspired by the certain items I see in the grocery store or farmer’s market.

Sometimes I fail at the outcome of what I’m making and sometimes I succeed. I just like to try new things and expand my horizons when it comes to testing new ingredients or cooking methods. James, my husband is a great guinea pig. He will generally eat whatever I make and is honest about how the food tastes. Unlike James, I myself am much more critical about how my food turns out. (more…)


How To Not Be A Dick At The Tattoo Shop

pinup_0By Emily McCombs
(This post originally appears at xojane.com.
I used to do this dweeby game when I was about 20 and had recently moved to New York, where I would imagine my teenage self viewing my current life. Like, somehow a movie device portal would open up and she’d get a glimpse of her future life and she’d see me like, at the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe!!! or kissing a really cute guy who’s totally in a band! (more…)


Just Eat It: Winter Pasta Bowl

By Stiff
My inspiration for cooking can come from a variety of things. Sometimes I get inspired by having a dish from a restaurant that I’ve never had before and try to replicate it at home. Sometimes inspiration comes from recipes I may see on television. I mostly get inspired by the certain items I see in the grocery store or farmer’s market.

Sometimes I fail at the outcome of what I’m making and sometimes I succeed. I just like to try new things and expand my horizons when it comes to testing new ingredients or cooking methods. James, my husband is a great guinea pig. He will generally eat whatever I make and is honest about how the food tastes. Unlike James, I myself am much more critical about how my food turns out. (more…)


Just Eat It: Pumpkin Bread

By Stiff
My inspiration for cooking can come from a variety of things. Sometimes I get inspired by having a dish from a restaurant that I’ve never had before and try to replicate it at home. Sometimes inspiration comes from recipes I may see on television. I mostly get inspired by the certain items I see in the grocery store or farmer’s market.

Sometimes I fail at the outcome of what I’m making and sometimes I succeed. I just like to try new things and expand my horizons when it comes to testing new ingredients or cooking methods. James, my husband is a great guinea pig. He will generally eat whatever I make and is honest about how the food tastes. Unlike James, I myself am much more critical about how my food turns out. (more…)


Just Eat It: Spaghetti Squash with Sautéed Pork

By Stiff
My inspiration for cooking can come from a variety of things. Sometimes I get inspired by having a dish from a restaurant that I’ve never had before and try to replicate it at home. Sometimes inspiration comes from recipes I may see on television. I mostly get inspired by the certain items I see in the grocery store or farmer’s market.

Sometimes I fail at the outcome of what I’m making and sometimes I succeed. I just like to try new things and expand my horizons when it comes to testing new ingredients or cooking methods. James, my husband is a great guinea pig. He will generally eat whatever I make and is honest about how the food tastes. Unlike James, I myself am much more critical about how my food turns out. (more…)


Just Eat It: Tofu Stack

By Stiff
My inspiration for cooking can come from a variety of things. Sometimes I get inspired by having a dish from a restaurant that I’ve never had before and try to replicate it at home. Sometimes inspiration comes from recipes I may see on television. I mostly get inspired by the certain items I see in the grocery store or farmer’s market.

Sometimes I fail at the outcome of what I’m making and sometimes I succeed. I just like to try new things and expand my horizons when it comes to testing new ingredients or cooking methods. James, my husband is a great guinea pig. He will generally eat whatever I make and is honest about how the food tastes. Unlike James, I myself am much more critical about how my food turns out. (more…)


Just Eat It: Rigatoni and Meatball Pie

By Stiff
My inspiration for cooking can come from a variety of things. Sometimes I get inspired by having a dish from a restaurant that I’ve never had before and try to replicate it at home. Sometimes inspiration comes from recipes I may see on television. I mostly get inspired by the certain items I see in the grocery store or farmer’s market.

Sometimes I fail at the outcome of what I’m making and sometimes I succeed. I just like to try new things and expand my horizons when it comes to testing new ingredients or cooking methods. James, my husband is a great guinea pig. He will generally eat whatever I make and is honest about how the food tastes. Unlike James, I myself am much more critical about how my food turns out. (more…)


Just Eat It: BBQ Pulled Pork

By Stiff
My inspiration for cooking can come from a variety of things. Sometimes I get inspired by having a dish from a restaurant that I’ve never had before and try to replicate it at home. Sometimes inspiration comes from recipes I may see on television. I mostly get inspired by the certain items I see in the grocery store or farmer’s market.

Sometimes I fail at the outcome of what I’m making and sometimes I succeed. I just like to try new things and expand my horizons when it comes to testing new ingredients or cooking methods. James, my husband is a great guinea pig. He will generally eat whatever I make and is honest about how the food tastes. Unlike James, I myself am much more critical about how my food turns out. (more…)


Just Eat It: Chicken and Kale Salad

By Stiff
My inspiration for cooking can come from a variety of things. Sometimes I get inspired by having a dish from a restaurant that I’ve never had before and try to replicate it at home. Sometimes inspiration comes from recipes I may see on television. I mostly get inspired by the certain items I see in the grocery store or farmer’s market.

Sometimes I fail at the outcome of what I’m making and sometimes I succeed. I just like to try new things and expand my horizons when it comes to testing new ingredients or cooking methods. James, my husband is a great guinea pig. He will generally eat whatever I make and is honest about how the food tastes. Unlike James, I myself am much more critical about how my food turns out. (more…)


Larry Brogan: Building a Solid Portfolio

By Larry Brogan
Courtesy of Tattoo Road Trip Your portfolio is your most important tool. Why? Because it gets you the JOB. Your portfolio is what sells your skills… (more…)


Just Eat It: Lasagna Pie

By Stiff
My inspiration for cooking can come from a variety of things. Sometimes I get inspired by having a dish from a restaurant that I’ve never had before and try to replicate it at home. Sometimes inspiration comes from recipes I may see on television. I mostly get inspired by the certain items I see in the grocery store or farmer’s market.

Sometimes I fail at the outcome of what I’m making and sometimes I succeed. I just like to try new things and expand my horizons when it comes to testing new ingredients or cooking methods. James, my husband is a great guinea pig. He will generally eat whatever I make and is honest about how the food tastes. Unlike James, I myself am much more critical about how my food turns out. (more…)


Just Eat It: Peanut Butter Bites

By Stiff
My inspiration for cooking can come from a variety of things. Sometimes I get inspired by having a dish from a restaurant that I’ve never had before and try to replicate it at home. Sometimes inspiration comes from recipes I may see on television. I mostly get inspired by the certain items I see in the grocery store or farmer’s market.

Sometimes I fail at the outcome of what I’m making and sometimes I succeed. I just like to try new things and expand my horizons when it comes to testing new ingredients or cooking methods. James, my husband is a great guinea pig. He will generally eat whatever I make and is honest about how the food tastes. Unlike James, I myself am much more critical about how my food turns out. (more…)


Just Eat It: Tater Tot Hash Poutine

By Stiff
My inspiration for cooking can come from a variety of things. Sometimes I get inspired by having a dish from a restaurant that I’ve never had before and try to replicate it at home. Sometimes inspiration comes from recipes I may see on television. I mostly get inspired by the certain items I see in the grocery store or farmer’s market.

Sometimes I fail at the outcome of what I’m making and sometimes I succeed. I just like to try new things and expand my horizons when it comes to testing new ingredients or cooking methods. James, my husband is a great guinea pig. He will generally eat whatever I make and is honest about how the food tastes. Unlike James, I myself am much more critical about how my food turns out. (more…)


Just Eat It: Pumpkin Bowl

By Stiff
My inspiration for cooking can come from a variety of things. Sometimes I get inspired by having a dish from a restaurant that I’ve never had before and try to replicate it at home. Sometimes inspiration comes from recipes I may see on television. I mostly get inspired by the certain items I see in the grocery store or farmer’s market.

Sometimes I fail at the outcome of what I’m making and sometimes I succeed. I just like to try new things and expand my horizons when it comes to testing new ingredients or cooking methods. James, my husband is a great guinea pig. He will generally eat whatever I make and is honest about how the food tastes. Unlike James, I myself am much more critical about how my food turns out. (more…)


Just Eat It: Ham and Potato Pie

By Stiff
My inspiration for cooking can come from a variety of things. Sometimes I get inspired by having a dish from a restaurant that I’ve never had before and try to replicate it at home. Sometimes inspiration comes from recipes I may see on television. I mostly get inspired by the certain items I see in the grocery store or farmer’s market.

Sometimes I fail at the outcome of what I’m making and sometimes I succeed. I just like to try new things and expand my horizons when it comes to testing new ingredients or cooking methods. James, my husband is a great guinea pig. He will generally eat whatever I make and is honest about how the food tastes. Unlike James, I myself am much more critical about how my food turns out. (more…)


Just Eat It: Savory Pumpkin Pie

By Stiff
My inspiration for cooking can come from a variety of things. Sometimes I get inspired by having a dish from a restaurant that I’ve never had before and try to replicate it at home. Sometimes inspiration comes from recipes I may see on television. I mostly get inspired by the certain items I see in the grocery store or farmer’s market.

Sometimes I fail at the outcome of what I’m making and sometimes I succeed. I just like to try new things and expand my horizons when it comes to testing new ingredients or cooking methods. James, my husband is a great guinea pig. He will generally eat whatever I make and is honest about how the food tastes. Unlike James, I myself am much more critical about how my food turns out. (more…)


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