Tattoo: Finished Mermaid Back Piece

Tattoos are not for everyone, some people love them and have lots, some people love them and don’t have any, some people hate them and always say when you’re an 80 year-old wrinkly woman you’ll regret them. I say when I’m an 80 year-old wrinkly woman and look at my tattoos they are memories of my younger self which I would have trouble remembering by then!

I was, however, stupid when I was 16/17 and got a really shit tattoo which I did regret some years later and have always wanted a custom piece of artwork designed uniquely for me to cover the atrocity up.

Said atrocity with filter to make it less horrible.

Said atrocity with filter to make it less horrible.

I originally wanted some for of 40s pin-up woman but then researching tattoos I really liked the idea of a mermaid instead, slightly inspired by Fearne Cotton’s back piece, I asked Penny Wood who is amazing at drawing vintage style women to create a mermaid for me and back in October last year I had my first session.

First session - outline with some shading.

First session – outline with some shading.

The healing period wasn’t long at all, after about a week it was fine with a two a day application of Bepanthen, and around a month or so later I was back in for my second session this time with the colour added and the darker shading to cover up my old tattoo.

Second session - colour detail

Second session – colour detail

Due to the way my old tattoo was done, it was very heavy and dark so we made the decision to turn the smaller parts of it into a sleeve for the mermaid and rework it to look much better with the addition of clouds and dot work. I always had in mind that I would like my mermaid to have red hair, as we all know the Disney Ariel is the original mermaid and I wanted her to be an inspiration which Penny agreed with.

With the hair a flaming red, the other colours had to complement it so Penny chose a light blue, turquoises, purples and white highlights to make it work. I was back in for my third session in the new year, with more shading completed on the scales of the tail which were the most painful part due to the darkness needed to cover up the old tattoo. I must say that took a while to heal as my original tattoo was scarred so it was basically going over scar tissue. Major ouch.

Third session - detailed colour shading

Third session – detailed colour shading

After a longer break between the last session, I was ready to get it finished. With more detail added to the rock and with waves splashing against the rock added, as well as the skin shaded and more white and blue highlights added my mermaid goddess is finished. It’s a shame my tattoo is on my back really as I don’t see it often enough. Like I mentioned before tattoos are an acquired taste, I don’t mind if you don’t like it and think it’s huge, it is big but I love it. She’s a beauty.

Finished Mermaid.

Finished Mermaid.

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