Sean Rakos

A real learning experience.

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Recently I was allowed to repaint a few pages of flash from a tattoo legend and it really opened my eyes to my lack of power in my own tattooing. Anyone have any suggestions of great flash to repaint? Or a story about how you had a real eye opener after studying old flash?

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Recently a guy at our shop repainted a set of Pinky Yun flash(the set with that badass tiger sheet). Pinky is one of my favorite tattooers, but some of his stuff has way too many lines. I hear he wasn't the biggest fan of putting in color, which considering most of his flash is black and white is plausible. So I guess what I am saying is it wasn't really a project you could just repaint, you had to take out some lines and figure out color, but the designs are top notch.

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I learned how to draw banners, roses and other staple 'old school' images by tracing, redrawing, painting and embroidering a lot of Rollo and Jerry flash.

Currently I'm working on re-doing (in hand embroidery and paint) the classic black and white Rollo sheets. Right now I'm on the 'odds and ends' sheet. It's the same size as the original. Entire outline is hand embroidery and the colour is a mix of embroidery and painting.

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When I got serious about art, I started by redrawing Eddie Poferl stuff. Then I bought the SJ books, started drawing those, and redrew the Eddie Poferl stuff because I had 'cleaned up' the EP stuff the wrong way. IMO, SJ is still the best for learning shading and layout. Now I go out and find the stuff they referenced in the first place and redraw it for efficiency of line.

It may sound weird for a non-tattoo artist to go through this process, but when it came to learning how to draw and paint powerful images, there isn't a system that works as well this has for me.

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I have a friend who's an old school graffiti artist that does commercial work. He has tons of graffiti reference books and typography stuff as well. I'm of the opinion that a great artist has a great library to work from.

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I have a friend who's an old school graffiti artist that does commercial work. He has tons of graffiti reference books and typography stuff as well. I'm of the opinion that a great artist has a great library to work from.

I completely agree reference is everything!! I'm working on redrawing some Jerry and rollo stuff to help with my composition and how to keep open space even on small tattoos. Some great suggestions! Thanks

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