HANG YOUR INK.Dark heart.Tattooed leather Art.Design and inking stages

Here is a piece I worked on recently for an exhibition

Its about A3 in size, its called Dark Heart

Its got quite alot going on, so I thought I would break it down into my thinking on motifs and how I created it….

It combines alot of things I have in a sketch book for later use…

The first idea came from a design I was working ( a tattoo chest piece for a client)  (moth, stylised roses, anatomical heart, with moth ribbon surrounding it) http://puncturedartefact.wordpress.com/2013/06/14/custom-your-ink-bespoke-tattoo-design-heart-with-moth/

I thought I would keep one of the stitches fort a larger piece



I added an elongated version under the skull, with the rays onto the ‘collar bone’

……. I wanted it to fit with my ‘botanical series’ so that dictated the motifs I chose

(go to www.puncturedartefact.com, so see the series)

So, I chose ‘sweet peas’ as the flowers (one of my favourites!) You can see a few here, quite stylised and in keeping with my open line style


Added, stylised bees,bugs,moths (of course!)

The all ‘seeing eye’ was also taken from a tattoo , from my sketchbook (go to symbol no 8 for) https://puncturedartefact.wordpress.com/2013/05/31/symbol-8-all-seeing-eye-symbolism-in-tattoo-art-culture/ for a look at the symbology behind this motif. It includes the 4 elements symbols, of air,water,earth and fire (the triangles at the edge!)


I then added in the birds (ravens & a swallow and scissors motif)


The skull is a new sketch and I added in a ‘cross bones’ originally but then changed it to a cross  made from daggers with moth handles


The finished piece is made from premium veg tan leather, dyed to a soft pale tan

Inked with 1 needle.. took an age!

Here is it in stages of development …

darkheart.blog2 darkheart.blog3 darkheart.blog5 darkheart.blog6 web.darkheart.blog7framed

The final design



Here is is in our handmade reclaimed wood frame 🙂

I am now working on another A3! inspired by anatomy and medical illustrations ….