Around 10 years ago, I did this incredibly fun piece. Fast-forward a whole decade, and Gracie contacts me to say she wants to revisit the work for an overhaul. This was a perfect opportunity to practice one of the concepts I preach in my tattoo seminar--that "an artist's work is never finished," that it's okay to rework and revisit tattoos as much as needed, to be flexible and experimental in one's approach. There was nothing "wrong" with the 10 year aged tattoo on the left, aside from some predictable fading in the sky background, yet with the old ink settled in over so much time and my skills much developed in the meantime, a lot could still be done to make the tattoo better than ever. Working in layers like this allows for a wider degree of subtlety and push/pull of contrast, as some of the original ink layer is left alone in order to appear soft and pastel-like.
By Nick Baxter