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66pens87

Japanese traditional sleeve ??

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So great news for myself. I have my consult with an amazing tattoo artist here in Portland. I am getting a full shoulder to wrist sleeve. This tattoo will contain a hanya, 1 koi, big dragon, with cherry blossoms and wind bars to complete. Full

Color. My question is, I have no idea how long to expect this tattoo to take. I know I will find out Friday a ball park time, but I'm too excited. More importantly, I want to know if the full thing can be lines in one setting. So this question is for people that have had a sleeve done at the same time and not just pieces together over years. I'm thinking 15 hours or so?

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@66pens87, it's hard to say how long a sleeve would take to complete. There are many factors. How fast is the artist? How well do you sit? How well do you heal? How many breaks do you and your artist take during sessions? How large are you? The larger the arm, the longer it will take as there's more coverage to fill. A lot of artist don't like quoting time because of all the varying factors. As long as you show up for your appointments, you should be good. After your first session or two, you'll probably get a gauge on some of the above and you'll probably be able to figure a ball park time.

 

Have fun starting a new tattoo!

Edited by Lance

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Thanks sir for the reply. I figured those would all be take. Into consideration. I have a traditional American sleeve but pieces it together over 10 months. First time I have used this guy but I guess he is a big deal here in Portland. I am a big guy with big arms, I never take breaks (don't smoke and eat on the fly) so we shall see. Gonna be interesting.

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Hey --- great topic!

So I am exactly in your boat. Getting a Japanese dragon sleeve done here in Austin, Texas. Like you, I estimated this to be about 15 hours/3 sessions. But I am in that far now and we probably have 5-8 more to go.

You can read a more detailed update on how it's going here:

So, my sleeve is a 7/10th length, almost full. The first session was the linework. I don't know how your artist works, but mine the design was drawn freehand (after a lot of consultation, obviously). This took a few hours of mostly standing up. It was fascinating. He would draw it and be nearly done, then look at it and say -- no, the head needs to be an inch to the right - then wipe it off and start again. He would do multiple layers in multiple colors getting more detailed with each layer, and he erased amazing stuff many times because he wanted it to flow with my body correctly, and had to re-draw it. I think this is really important with your piece, especially with multiple elements. I was planning on tattooing to the wrist, but since I wear a watch, the 7/10ths made more sense. And putting the dragon head on my collarbone just never looked right, despite that being one of the more traditional locations. So as he is drawing it on you - think about how the pieces fit onto your body... and also.... think about what parts you want to look at all the time. If am not at the computer working, I am golfing, so what was on my top/inner forearms was important because that's the area I'll be looking at most. I had fewer flowers put there so I wasn't distracted by the pink that will go in there later.

Here are a few pics I didn't put into the other thread:

i-8swL5Z2-L.jpg

First layer. This was erased. and Re-done.

i-F4x2PWz-L.jpg

Then the linework. Ouch. We did this in about 3ish hours:

i-r6gqDqR-L.jpg

A month later we did all the shading in one 5.5 hour session:

i-tWrdpP7-L.jpg

The healing of the shading was just awful. The Y of my arm got immediately dry and cracked making moving my arm very painful for 4-5 days and mildly painful for another 4-5. Applying Aquaphor those first 3-4 days just inflamed the whole arm it and - just - ouch. I had to really baby it, and luckily I work from home and can work shirtless for a few days and wash/re-ointment frequently. If I had to put on a dress shirt (or any shirt) and go to work and move around I would have been really sorry. If you do this much coverage, wash it a lot, because I had a few areas flare up looking like they were going to get infected, but luckily just got really heavily scabbed.

So my artist went to Europe for 10 weeks, and I had to wait all summer for coloring! But like you, I was thinking 15 hours/three sessions. And I felt like one more 5.5 hours session like the shading would be enough to finish up almost entirely. Nope!

Last Wednesday we did 5.5 hours (all I could take) and only got in green and red:

i-ht7K5zx-L.jpg

Takes awhile to get some of that color in, I guess. This part on the shoulder hurt/bled a lot:

i-ghmPn3W-L.jpg

The ditch was bad. Real bad.

i-F8VmR53-L.jpg

Healing the color has been about 60% as bad as the shading. I probably could have shirted up and worked a job with movement had I needed to... but it would have still been really uncomfortable. Healing the ditch is no joke. Those scales are all scabbed now, and I rarely scab on my tattoos. Ouch.

So now I'm hoping one more 5 hour run will do it, but I doubt it. Just the flowers - by the numbers, could take a few hours themselves (there are more on the back of the arm). So I'm guessing it will be 5 hrs next month, then another 2-3 after that (fingers crossed).

Take lots of pics, especially during if you can. I always wish I had snapped more after.

Here is a video of the shading. You can compare that spot to the above pics to see how dark we got it eventually. Takes awhile to lay down those greyish areas on the windbars/clouds:

https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-znxv7VN/0/1280/i-znxv7VN-1280.mp4

 

 

Edited by otisc

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Wow man. Thanks for the post. It does look like we are on the same road just about. I have a sparrow on each side of my chest so no Japanese on my chest. And I will go all the way down to my wrist. I like the 7/10 look a bit more but I have an American traditional sleeve on my other arm that runs to the wrist. I think it would look weird having one end shorter then the other.

I so badly want too much in this Japanese tattoo. Hannya mask, koi, dragon, samurai. But from what I have read about the tradition, is that the tattoo should contain 2 things in a battle. I.e. samurai and a dragon.

I could do without the samurai, but hanya, koi, and dragon is a must. Koi on the forearm with waves and hannya work around the elbow/pit and the dragon on the shoulder.

Thanks again. I'm gonna follow your story.

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I'd definitely leave out the samurai. The concept of a swordsman battling a dragon is a completely Western concept. You will never see man battling dragon in traditional Japanese tattoos. The koi and dragon existing in the same piece makes total sense because one evolves into the other. 

Post some photos when you get line work done!

 

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Thanks again. That just simplifies it for me. Now I have that damn hannya mask I want. If I can get that mask and it makes sense, I'd be happy. My consult appointment is today. Have the cash ready and he said it would be about 4 weeks and we will start needle to arm. Excited and nervous on this one.

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1 hour ago, otisc said:

I'd definitely leave out the samurai. The concept of a swordsman battling a dragon is a completely Western concept. You will never see man battling dragon in traditional Japanese tattoos. The koi and dragon existing in the same piece makes total sense because one evolves into the other. 

Post some photos when you get line work done!

 

Not entirely true. From my understanding, dragons are neutral, but the majority of the time tend to be good omen. There are many instances in which dragon fight humans. Tamatori the pearl diver running from Ryujin is a good example of a ryu/human conflict. Or Susanoo who slayed the dragon Orochi to save Kushinadahime. Or the dragon that was eating children that the goddess Benzaiten soothed with her beauty, and latter (in some stories) married the dragon. There are other instances in which a witch transforms herself into a dragon as well, and stories of multi-headed evil dragon. Although rare, there are certain instances in which ryu fight swordsman.

But as for your tattoo, less is more. If I were you Id just go with a dragon skeeve with nothing else, but thats just me.

Screenshot_2016-06-10-13-00-13.png

Screenshot_2016-06-01-22-33-16.png

Edited by a_beukeveld

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Interesting conversation. This is what forums should do...bring a community together in a positive thought process and not flaming others.

I definitely agree less is more. But where I struggle is, though I love traditional Japanese work, this is the only section I'm dedicating to this style. And to me, koi is a must. Along with the dragon. So

Many decisions to make in 5 hours.

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29 minutes ago, 66pens87 said:

Interesting conversation. This is what forums should do...bring a community together in a positive thought process and not flaming others.

I definitely agree less is more. But where I struggle is, though I love traditional Japanese work, this is the only section I'm dedicating to this style. And to me, koi is a must. Along with the dragon. So

Many decisions to make in 5 hours.

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The koi and dragon is a great image. There is a Chinese legend of The Dragon Gate, where the koi that ascends the waterfall and reaches the peak is transformed into a dragon. In Japan, the koi repressents hard work, dedication, and confidence. The koi s a symbol used on Boys Day, in hopes that your sons would be like the koi. The koi swimming the waterfall and being transformed into a powerful beast repressents over coming obstacles in ones life and attaining greatness and success through hard work and dedication. The dragon ascending into the heavens repressents success in life.

I think you should have the koi on your forarm and dragon on you upper arm. Its a beautiful image, and great story. The hannya repressents anger, jealousy and sarrow, and can be used as a symbol of change, (usually paired with maple leaves for this reason) a repressentation of the full swing of human emotion, (sarrow and mourning to bitter hatred and jealousy) or the dark side to something that was once beautiful. As far as motifs go it doesnt really fit. Id leave it out of your sleeve and get a seperate one-point style hannya elsewhere on your body.

But this is just my western impression of the info I have. I encourage you to do your own research.

I can see the tattoo now, with the koi on the forarm paired with rocks, water and sea grass, transitioning to the dragon on your upper arm paired with clouds and whirlwind. Really beautiful.

Edited by a_beukeveld

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50 minutes ago, 66pens87 said:

Thanks for your thoughts. You seem to have knowledge when it comes to this topic. I think the hannya will be taken out for sure. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

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I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

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So had my consult today. It is going to be awesome. Saw his other Japanese sleeves and was amazed. So we are going with the koi and dragon themed sleeve. He was

Mentioning something about the koi collected a pearl and on his way up changed to a dragon or something like that. Anyways, his waves are some of the best I have seen. Seems like such a simply thing like water would be easy, but his just stands out. Also some windbars and cherry blossoms. He said in about 3 weeks he will have it drawn and ready for outlining. Put the deposit down and just waiting for the call. It's happening y'all. A bit nervous, but it's more excitement.

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J_bradburry3 is his IG. Some of the things he does, I'm not a fan of. I

Mean technical application is there, but the style as a whole I don't like. I am a solid American and Japanese traditional guy. He has some beautiful Hannya masks on there and other killer Japanese pieces. That was all I cared about.

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