Reinventing The Tattoo - Part III Review Questions

Part III Review Questions

1) What are some qualities of the tattoo craft that are rarely found in other artistic mediums? - You only have one chance to get it right, where with other art forms you can try multiple different approaches to meeting a client's needs
- Because of this, there is more pressure than with other professions to understand the client's needs thoroughly
- Work must be done at a time when both client and artist are present- you can't do the work at your leisure and then mail it to them
- Every client will arrive with ideas for their tattoo, often influenced by work of yours that they've already seen. This can lead to some very productive mixing and matching of ideas that may not happen with the artist working on their own.

2) How can working in a second medium help a tattooist with their tattooing? - Alternative mediums allow tattooists to explore ideas and compositions for their own pleasure and benefit without any outside pressure to make the work look a particular way
- Any idea can be explored, including things that may be ill-advised on skin, and mistakes can be painted over or thrown away
- New techniques with the tattoo medium can evolve as a result of working with different tools, such as paintbrushes
- When so much of an artist's time and attention is devoted to the needs of others, it's a good thing to have a place to do your own thing
- Working in multiple mediums can result in exciting new artwork, which can lead to new opportunities as an artist that won't happen as a result of sitting all day in the tattoo studio
- If nothing else, it can prevent tattoo burnout!

3) What medium is probably the most similar to tattooing, in terms of technique? Colored pencils can be very similar to tattooing in terms of the kinds of hand movements the tools are worked with and the sort of image quality that can be achieved with them.

4) What are some of the ways that a tattooist can make use of a computer? - To assemble, upgrade and clean up your portfolio, both for printing and for online use
- To build and maintain an online presence, either in the form of a website or through a social networking site like MySpace, where people from all over the world can view your work
- To search for reference material using search engines like Google
- To scan, download, composite or manipulate reference materials to customize them for your projects
- To communicate with clients about appointments, show them drawings, receive references and body part photos from them and handle design negotiations in advance before their appointments
- To join and participate in art forums, where artists discuss all things related to the tattoo art form and profession (the Reinventing The Tattoo forum is an example!)

5) What are some major differences between oil and acrylic painting? The biggest one is drying time; acrylics dry much faster than oils. This makes it possible to layer paint much more quickly, but can limit how smoothly the paints can be blended. Both oil and acrylic paints can be mixed with various painting mediums that will affect their drying time, workability and finish when dried. Each of these various painting mediums has its own unique properties and will work with either oil or acrylic paints, but not both.

6) What are the biggest similarities between oil and acrylic painting? The major similarity is the pigments themselves- for the most part, the powdered pigments used for oils and acrylics are pretty much the same (not recommended for tattooing though!). The major difference is in application, not in substance.

7) What are some advantages of doing small paintings? Especially when first learning to paint, your technique will evolve rapidly. If you begin with a large painting, that means that different parts of the piece will be rendered with different variations of your technique, making for an inconsistent look. Small pieces can prevent this problem and will be easier to complete, meaning that as a beginner you will finish more paintings and learn more quickly. I can't tell you how many artists I've met who quit painting forever before finishing their first piece... and it's always because the piece is so large, completing it seems out of reach. Would you want to do a backpiece for your first tattoo? In addition, small pieces can be priced affordably and hung around your work stations for your clients to notice and ask about... not bad for business.

8) What are the reasons for tinting a canvas before starting a painting? Not all painting projects will call for a tinted canvas,and when used in the wrong projects it can result in a duller look with the finished piece. I use a tinted canvas in any project where I'm starting with lighter colors, which I have found allows the form and volume of the objects in the composition to be defined more readily. This can save a lot of time and make for a more intuitive way of defining depth in a piece. Since the tint color will influence the overall color scheme of the piece, it's important to choose a tint color that won't compromise the brightness of the painting's dominant colors.

9) When oil painting, what is the main advantage of starting with the lighter colors? Apart from the advantages you get from being able to define forms easily by starting with their highlights, in the case of oil paints starting with lighter colors will prevent the muddiness that can happen when light colors are put down later in a painting in the close presence of dark colors.

10) What's an example of an oil painting medium that dries fast? How about one that dries slowly? Do you know of any others not mentioned in this book? Alkyds such as Liquin and Galkyd are fast-drying mediums that harden into a glossy resin finish in 24 hours or less. Stand linseed oil is one of the thickest and slowest oil mediums and can take up to several weeks to harden.

11) What should be done if a project seems to be getting difficult? Remind yourself: Every project will have a hump that you'll have to push past. This will usually take the form of a period when the project doesn't look as good as it was looking earlier or in some other way doesn't seem to be living up to your expectations. This tough spot may be so minor as to be unnoticed or so major as to seem like a deal-breaker, but every project goes through this phase. It's a natural part of the life cycle of a project, and if you remind yourself of this it can help prevent the kind of discouragement that leads to the abandonment of a project.

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