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Tribal Designs

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Tribal Designs

Post by mespo on Sat Mar 21, 2015 11:34 am

I am really struggling to do tribal designs....just on paper alone! I won't even attempt it on anyone until I'm more comfortable. I know I will love it and do well at it once I get the flow and how to connect everything but I go blank when I have the pencil in my hand. How did you learn tribal designs easily? Maybe I'm overthinking it too much as I often do with most things! :-)
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Re: Tribal Designs

Post by Forest-Fairy on Sat Mar 21, 2015 3:08 pm

I hate painting tribal designs, I never feel like they look right unless I copy something line for line.

It's a certain style I just haven't gotten into. :/
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Re: Tribal Designs

Post by jlirie on Sat Mar 21, 2015 4:20 pm

if you are just learning the style and trying to come up with original designs off the top of your head, guess what? No (that's emoji for "not gonna happen", lol).

like everything else, the secret to learning it is to copy, copy, copy good designs - types of strokes, getting clean lines, motifs, position on the face or body, etc.

once you get the hang of the elements and they become a habit, you will be able to come up with your own adaptations, or original designs.
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Re: Tribal Designs

Post by missmolly on Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:53 pm

The Fundamentals of Tribal:

1. The strokes, tribal designs are almost entirely thin thick to thin strokes, with variations of their direction. These strokes can be in flowing lines, or in curves. Another important basic stroke is the back stroke, a thin thick thin line that extends back towards the end of a curved (C stroke) or linear stroke.

2. The flow, flow is extremely important. It makes a tribal design work. To create it focus on keeping your lines in a similar direction, lines can vary so long as there's another line that reinstates the flow. Use curved thin to thick to thin lines to create large u-shapes between two other thin to thick to thin lines. When interweaving and overlapping lines keep the flow in mind. Ask, where does the eye travel in this design? What spots look off? Chances are it's because the flow of the design is slightly off.

3. Negative space. Create this by keeping the spaces between similar lines the same, consistent negative space creates flow within the tribal design to make it more pleasing to the eye. It will give your tribal designs a more expert tattoo look to them.

Those are the three basic elements, try to keep them in mind when practising tribal designs. Personally I find copying tribal designs frustrating, but I enjoy drawing/painting them out myself with a looser reference to other tribal works.

Please ask questions! I will try my best to clarify anything.

It's 11:00 here right now, and I have to work tomorrow, but if anyone would like some example photos that illustrate what I'm talking about please let me know and I'll do some up asap.
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Re: Tribal Designs

Post by mespo on Sat Mar 21, 2015 11:44 pm

Kookyclowns, I'd love to see some samples but it's not rush....whenever you have time. I am a visual learner so that will help a lot. Sounds like with most things, it takes a lot of practice to perfect the designs and become comfortable with it.
Thank you again for all the feedback. This is such a helpful forum!
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Re: Tribal Designs

Post by jlirie on Sat Mar 21, 2015 11:52 pm

nice step by step explanation, kookyclowns Smile
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Re: Tribal Designs

Post by thouartbeautiful on Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:56 pm

Thank you Kookyclowns!
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Re: Tribal Designs

Post by fesspenter on Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:25 pm

Jay Bautista and Pashur have an excellent guide book on Tribal design that has step-by-step pictures. Kookyclowns has a superb written explanation of Tribal Designs.
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Re: Tribal Designs

Post by missmolly on Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:35 am

I can't get image posting to work.

Here is a link to a quick step by step. It shows the techniques I mentioned, and gives and example of the how the designs are constructed with the elements mentioned in my previous post.http://1drv.ms/1FtNvTS

As you can see, it starts with thin to thick to thin lines, and then those lines are connected by thin to thick to thin c - stroke curves. Back strokes are added and filled with curves. For the line that travels underneath, it's a broken thick to thin to thick line.

It's painted in metallic black instead of regular black so it does look semi grey, but I think it gets the idea across. Make sure to have a very good load of paint, loaded back and forth (not swirled) so that you have an edge to start you thin to thick to thin lines with.
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Re: Tribal Designs

Post by Kal on Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:05 am

I attempted tribal around a shamrock last weekend Sad

Why the heck did I do that? No line.

Result: "F-it, Your Shamrock is surrounded by funky spiderwebs."
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Re: Tribal Designs

Post by jlirie on Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:49 am

ouch Smile

on the other hand, some of these look kind of webby..

http://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&q=tribal+shamrock+design&revid=612504973&sa=X&ei=cjYQVdiPCYuyggThoYCQBg&ved=0CDUQ1QIoADhk

google images is my friend for all things face painting and design related.

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Re: Tribal Designs

Post by AuntieStacey on Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:38 am

Paschur's tribal class on FABA TV helped me a lot.
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Re: Tribal Designs

Post by anniel on Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:21 am

It's ok Kal, Ireland is so haunted...it was themed work.
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Re: Tribal Designs

Post by anniel on Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:36 am

Beautiful explanation KC, my last tribal ended up looking like henna as I just kept trying to make it work. (Fortunately it was a tween girl, so she was pleased.)
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