Black and Grey S-curve

Monday October 28, 2019

With all this discussion about S-curves being a "safe" design strategy, especially for sleeves, I thought I'd show an example of something that was a bit of a departure, a black&grey sleeve that I did on fellow tattooer Gwooki. Black & Grey projects present a different kind of challenge, where all the significant shapes and movements in the piece need to be clearly represented by value alone, a challenge which many artists gladly take on because of its predictable aging process (a subject for discussion at another time and place). With this particular sleeve we started the composition at the top with a fairly conventional S-curving motif which curves over the top of the sleeve and follows through from the back of the tricep down to the front of the bicep. The remaining elements in the piece are intended to be more forceful and direct, using a sharply angled down-and-forward direction that carries all the way through to the knuckles. Using this strong diagonal composition was very effective in this piece but had to be handled the right way for it to flow naturally with the arm; you can read more about my approach to this design in the Flow & Fit chapters of your subscription... and while you're there, don't forget to check out the new Contrast seminar that we recently added!

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