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Kurgana

Building up an area with an existing tattoo

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I'm starting to plan what to get on my upper arm where I already have an older, small and not-really-the-sort-of-style-I'd-go-for-today type tattoo that I don't want to cover up or remove, and I was hoping to bounce some ideas off you guys and maybe see if some of you have done something similar (please share a pic or two if you can!).

The existing tattoo is a delicate-looking small (8x3 cms or so) scrollwork piece with a tiny blue rose and my husband's name (cringe away if you like, I don't mind :D)  picked from the cheapest category of wall flash due to our equally small and delicate student budget at the time. So regardless of the artistic quality etc, it's obviously very important to me. Unfortunately, it's bang on in the middle of the top half of my upper arm that is badly in need of some tattoos in the near future...

My plans include three separate pieces for each member of my family, possibly tied together with some sort of filler, shoulder-to-elbow coverage wise. I'll be getting a hawk (at the moment I'm leaning towards the head only), a blossom (have to decide which flower, definitely won't be a rose, possibly a peony?) and a crescent moon (possibly filled with some sort of pattern/design). These will be in full colour, looking at a neo traditional/traditional style. The composition is going to be awkward at best with the old tattoo in the middle, and while I haven't discussed this with the artist I have in mind yet, I think the only way to make it work would be to tattoo the moon "around" the old tattoo, with the blossom in front of the shoulder and the hawk underneath the moon or on the inner bicep (or vice versa). 

 

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I wish I could find it, but I read a post somewhere (maybe here) about someone who incorporated an old four leaf clover tattoo into their sleeve; I want to say it was a traditional Japanese style sleeve...? Not sure. But it worked out fine with him.

I think with a traditional/neo-traditional piecemeal approach, you can incorporate all those elements with some negative space or filler around them with no problem. You might need to retouch the older tattoo so it looks like it "belongs" there, but I think it could easily work. Something like this as far as placement, maybe in a different style if you want: intricate-traditional-american-tattoo-gu

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Thanks guys! I'm obviously going to discuss it all with the artist, I was just looking to clear my own mind a little since I'm having some trouble visualizing it all so I'll be more certain about what we'll be aiming for before bringing my half baked ideas to him :). In fact, this is probably going to be the tattoo(s) where I'll just tell him these are the elements and style I want included, you have the space from here to there, please go wild with it. 

(And yes, the existing tattoo is around 16 years old and hasn't seen much sun protection, so it's definitely due some retouching)

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