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Another art post! Recently I finished a tattoo design commission for a guy who went to college with me, Chris.

He asked me for something involving a bear, and possibly music. It was pretty open-ended, so to start out I did a couple different sketches:

From here Chris really liked the lower left bear, and suggested a few changes and maybe to scrap the music idea…

Chris really liked the tree idea, but wanted to switch it to a tree growing behind the bear. And he wanted a bit more of a growl in the bear’s mood. I decided to flip the entire image, remembering that Chris said he wanted this tattoo on his right shoulder, and having the bear facing forward might be a better idea. Here’s the final pencil sketch:

Chris loved it so I went ahead with the inking:

Chris was great to work with, and I really enjoyed how the progression of this design came to be. And I do have to say, there is such a huge and wonderful difference when I get a chance to work with someone who is polite and understanding when it comes to design changes and time constraints. Having people like this to work with make the work itself so much more enjoyable!

When he gets the tattoo itself (which I believe he’s planning to do in colour) I’ll see if I can post a photo of that as well.