All of us at Chapel Tattoo were recently asked to paint a sheet of flash for a shop set, which I thought was an excellent idea. I’m really glad we were made to do it because I’ve always meant to try painting flash, but never did for some unknown reason. I’m not sure my style of painting is very suitable for it, and I definitely added some embellishments here and there that you wouldn’t bother trying to put in a tattoo, but I think the designs could easily be modified or adapted to be tattoo-able, which I guess is the idea anyway. Whether they end up being used or not, I had fun painting this sheet and might even try doing some more one day.
I’d been playing with some small sketches of magic and witchcraft inspired images for some time, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to flesh them out.
The full page: (click for bigger res images)
Mandragora, or mandrake. I am super fascinated by the folklore and mythology surrounding this plant, so will probably paint more of them in time.
The spider lady was an excuse to paint a lady face with some creepy extra eyes and legs; I like images of animals crossed with humans, or humans wearing animal pelts, because to me it suggests the transformation of a witch or shaman into their animal form.
Hissing kitty. Included because it’s a popular image for tattooing, and because cats are common familiar animals. And because, well, it’s a cat.
Ritual objects. Once again, skulls are such a timeless tattoo image that you can’t really go wrong with them; I included the other objects to resemble a ritual alter setting.
Hand of Glory. This is an intensely strange and grim piece of folklore that you can read about here.
Voodoo doll or poppet. This was inspired by a protective doll that a friend made for Shaun, and that has always fascinated me. I feel like the creation of dolls for magical purposes is a really powerful and intuitive way of working that I’d like to try some day.
This sheet was mostly painted with Indian and Sepia inks on Arches watercolour paper, with a few touches of white gouache which was originally there to cover some boo-boos, but that I included more of because I like the blue-ish colour it created. The background was painted with good old black coffee dregs from my stovetop coffee maker. I’m not sure what’s happening with the prints of this set, but when I do know I’ll be sure to post the details up. I saw all the finished sheets the other day and it’s really nice seeing all the contrasting styles and personalities in our shop reflected in the designs.