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Kylie Heslop

Tattoo - Airbrush - Visual Art

Currently working at 

Chris Cashmore's Tattoo Power

shop 6, Mitchell Retail Centre

43 Brookes Street


Photo 29-8-20, 9 50 29 pm Photo 29-8-20, 9 50 16 pm

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Step by Step

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People have often asked "How do you do that?"  

So I have put together the progress photos of some of my projects, from the begining sketch to the finished result.  


Every painting goes through a number of steps of building and layering to get to the finish.   I like to layer colours to add richness and depth, and usually start with solid opaque colours to form a good base.  Towards the end I will use transparents and candys to add richness and depth.


Creating original designs and adding a personal touch to the work is a favourite part of the process whenever doing comissioned work .  By adding something that connects the owner with the artwork just makes it that little bit more special.    

'Richo's Circus' Chopper

It all starts with a sketch and grows from there.


Clowns, gangster, guns, skulls these are the main subjects sugested by the owner.  Then told 'go for what you like'


So with the use of a photo from facebook, I started sketching.  The idea to keep only a slight similarity in likeness.  


He was quite suprised but loved the sketch and the idea.   The rest of the design was pretty much created on the bike.      

After transfering the sketch and working out placement for the rest of the design, I began to base the image using white.  This gives a good solid foundation and is often when I create a lot of the design.


All the little skulls are drawn freehand with the airbrush.  No stencils have been used in this design, other than a freehand shield to create some sharp edges and texture.


Once happy with the design and the white base I begin with the lightest tone, for this an opaque light blue.  Slowly building on the tone and a small amount of texture.  

After rubbing back some highlights with an eraser I begin with the next colour.  mid tone blue slightly more transparent then the light blue.  

Here i really begin to establish the shadows and form of the face.  


As this image is mostly made up I have to really concentrate on where the light source is coming from, and really work out how the shadows form on the face.


I have also added some texture to the background by combining lots of dagger strokes, squiggles and the Texture FX stencils which i just love, love, love.  


Please note that these photos are taken with my phone at different times of the day, so some are natural light and some are not.  

Here I begin to add the lightest colours of the mouth, an opaque pink/peach colour and a yellow/off white for the teeth.  

I also use the pink for around the eyes and the facepaint.  

Now you get to see the reference image which the whole design was based on.  


I continue to refer to this photo for reference on how the mouth looks and to help create a sense of reality in the characture.  

I also want to keep the expression and character of the owner.

After using a darker red to paint in the lips, tongue and darken the facepaint.  I use a transparent dark redish grey to really build and darken the shadows.  This is when the painting really begins to come together and start to pop.


By using a redish grey it also helps to cancel out some of the blue and create a rich and believable contrast for shadows and dark areas.    

Ive now painted in the darker blue on the jokers, hands and guns.  All using the same steps as for the face.  


The colours for the clothing and hats are filled in, then using the same dark as on the face I paint in the folds and shadows.   I also use an orange base for the noses and hair.  

Here some highlights are added, the base of the hair is formed and gold is painted onto the balls of the joker hats.  


The little skulls have been developed by adding a darker blue/purple colour.  I then used another layer of white to paint back in the detail.  

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Here the finishing touches are added.  Some smoke to frame the edges, which also flows onto the guards.

Some more detail is added to the hair and candys are used to add even more depth and life to the shadows.  



I have photos of the finished bike coming soon