Ideas to fill in a tattoo?
October 13, 2016 8:58 PM   Subscribe

I have a wolf print outline tattoo - meaning there are four toe prints and the bigger heel print, obviously.

I had intended to use it as a "window" - like if you were looking through a window shaped like a wolf print, where you could see some parts of what you were looking at - the parts that aren't part of the footprint would block the view of some parts. I hope this is making sense. I had wanted a wolf howling at the moon all inside this view we have through the wolf print window - but do you think that will work? Could all of that fit and look good and right? And for posterity and curiosity - any other ideas of what could be through the looking glass of this wolf print?
posted by jitterbug perfume to Media & Arts (11 answers total)
Maybe a view of some wolf habitat?
posted by stowaway at 9:11 PM on October 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

What will fit depends greatly on how big the outlined print is. Is it a little one on your ankle? A gigantic one that takes up your whole back?
posted by contraption at 9:22 PM on October 13, 2016

Response by poster: Probably 2.5" X 2.5"
posted by jitterbug perfume at 11:24 PM on October 13, 2016

2.5" square is tiny in the grand scheme of tattoos. You'd lose a lot of detail putting the wolf + moon in there. What about just the moon?
posted by mollymayhem at 11:34 PM on October 13, 2016 [3 favorites]

Brambles and branches in silhouette are good for this(foliage in tattoos is timeless as well), and you could do a gradient with a moon within the upper portions of the prints. With such little space any kind of wolf within those would look pretty wonky(although a silhouette of a wolf head in one may work,). Generally trying to continue a piece of art through "peephole" style composition can lead to improperly lined up subject matter. Working in silhouette with a lot of natural shapes really helps to tie everything together harmoniously.

Also, you're going to need an artist that does finelining for this. A lot of traditional-style tattoo artists are not well versed in small details and could easily mess this kind of piece up. Take a look at the smaller tattoos an artist can do before you pick them. Professional stick and poke/bamboo needle artists are also very good at small work like this.
posted by InkDrinker at 11:34 PM on October 13, 2016

Response by poster: I measured. No other way to say this... it's actually 6"x5" face palm
posted by jitterbug perfume at 12:25 AM on October 14, 2016 [8 favorites]

This is completely dependant on the tattoo and the image you want. Do you have an artist in mind? Did you want a realistic wolf or something stylized or traditional style? This is the perfect thing to bring to an artist to consult with.

In case you want to do some legwork to see if it's something at all feasible or that you like the idea then do this:
1) Take a photo of the tattoo as dead-on to the camera as possible.
2) Increase the contrast so the black outline is dark and the skin is lighter.
3) Overlay photos of illustrations of wolves/tattoos/photos in the poses you like. Set this top photo to a lower opacity and/or "multiply" setting. Lots of photo apps out there or Photoshop or similar. Just anything you can layer photos in. Then you can see how the images line up and if you like it.

I like this website (wolf category) and search hashtags on Instagram for inspiration.

But again, I'd go in with some inspiration and an idea and see what you can work out. They may be able to move elements around or use different styles to get the effect you want.
posted by Crystalinne at 12:34 AM on October 14, 2016 [4 favorites]

Best answer: The wolf print stands in for the wolf. So you don't need another wolf in there. That would be redundant. If it's a window, what does the wolf see? Moon is cool idea because of transformation (werewolf?) but what else is important to this wolf who has left a print on your body?
posted by Jason and Laszlo at 3:32 AM on October 14, 2016 [8 favorites]

Filling the shape with pattern could work well. It would look as if the paw-print had been cut from a scrap of patterned cloth. This would also serve to emphasise the overall shape. The pattern doesn't necessarily have to repeat, but it needs to be fairly close-packed and coherent, without huge gaps between motifs.
posted by Grunyon at 5:40 AM on October 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

I like the idea of it maybe looking like a wolf print on a forest floor that's filled with water and is reflecting what's above it. Moon + night sky + lovely tree outlines maybe? With maybe a little distortion so it looks like the reflection in a puddle?

Good luck!
posted by helloimjennsco at 9:19 AM on October 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Contact seenickdraw on Instagram, I bet he could do something for you (you'll have to scroll down a bit, but he does this very thing - look for the boot print art).
posted by kattyann at 1:08 PM on October 14, 2016

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