Step 5: deciding on the size and placement
My artist printed the design out, so I could put it on my leg to see if the size was big/small enough. We changed the size 4 times before finding the right one, but the final result was perfect.
The next step it applying the stencil to your leg, and getting your tattoo,
As it is normal with most tattoos, she first applied the stencil, and checked that everything had transferred well. In the corner of the cameo, you can see that she corrected the design by hand with a special marker. If you don't like the placement, the size,... now is the time to tell your artist. This can easily be wiped off and put on again to make it fit your body and the design you want. Some artists will directly sketch on the skin with a special marker instead of using a stencil. Both methods work just fine.
There were four parts to my tattoo: At the very beginning she did a small part of red already, and that was really really painful! But it was necessary since otherwise those tiny drops wouldn't be visible anymore at the end of the tattoo. A part from that she followed this order:
Line work, which was ok, and once I'd gotten used to the feeling, some areas just hurt more than others. Still this felt painful when she was actually tattooing me, but once the needle didn't touch my skin anymore the pain was gone and I never had any burning feeling afterwards.
Black: the back of the cat skull, the eyes, nose and the drips underneath the cameo are plain black. This was one of the worst things for me, especially the lowest drips. They hurt a lot more! This is because she has to make sure the black is opaque and therefore go over the same part multiple times.
And finally color: which was similar to the plain black, except that she needed to go over it multiple times to get the pigmentation right and since there where multiple shades of red, that the flow between them was perfect. We also decided that the vine and leaves should have a touch of green. It looks awesome and makes the key stand out even more.
It took about four and a half hours getting all of this done, including some small breaks. Afterwards, she told me that it isn't usual that you are able to get a full tattoo like this one done in one session, especially not the first time. So I am pretty proud of myself that I was able to stand the pain and just go on with it.
And this is what it looked like right after the session before she wrapped it up in plastic wrap. Keep in mind that my leg is a bit swollen in here. For the aftercare, be sure to look at part three that will be online next Friday!