The Original Backpiece Sketch
Ah, the back. Finally the back. The shoulder tattoo in the previous web page was done in two sessions (of about two to three hours each). In the weeks between the sessions, Greg was working on sketches of the image that I had selected for my back–the Japanese dragon.
You’ll see in the final tattoo, that most of the elements in this sketch are still present, though in a slightly different layout. Some of the variations that we considered included a dragon with mouth open or attacking (and hence more hostile–no to that), a female dragon (smaller and more gracile–no to that), and whether or not to include a pearl of wisdom (yes to that please).
The oriental dragon can be a creature of either the sea or sky. We had already begun a sky motif on the shoulder and so this dragon was also of the sky (which I would have chosen if given the chance, although honestly, I hadn’t really thought of that when we did the initial wind and clouds). Flames spontaneously erupt from the four limbs of the creature, with the flames trailing off in thin tendrils.
The small circle with dot and a sort of check mark is Greg letting himself know that I’d like to have the dragon hold the pearl of wisdom. After talking about this sketch, Greg took measurements of my back in order to create the final full size design. The above was originally drawn about 11 x 17 inches.