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Creating Masterful Tattoo Art from Start to Finish

Fip Buchanan

with photography by Marc Balanky
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 233 p
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 2013 by Fip Buchanan 
This e-book edition: March 2014 (v.1.0)

About the Author
Fip Buchanan has been a tattoo artist for thirty-two
years, including management and ownership of tattoo
studios from New York to California. Among others, he
was the owner of Avalon Tattoo in San Diego from 1989
to 1997; worked at Ed Hardy’s Tattoo City in San
Francisco from 2005 to 2008; and has written and taught
the class “Large Scale Tattoo Layout and Composition”
at the Alliance of Professional Tattooists Tattoo trade
show and various conventions for the past two years. He
was elected Vice President of the Alliance of
Professional Tattooists in 2011; is a Bloodborne
Pathogens Certified instructor who teaches classes to
tattoo artists worldwide, most recently in Beijing, China
in 2011; and he currently owns Avalon Tattoo II in San
Diego, California, which he established in 1997.
Fip also does illustrations, skateboard designs, T-shirt
designs, acrylic paintings and murals. He is a graduate of
the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and his work has been
exhibited in galleries as well as published in the books
Forever Yes and Southern California Tattoo Road Trip,
and the magazines Tattoo, Skin and Ink, Prick Tattoo
and San Diego’s 944. Fip has specialized in large-scale
Japanese-inspired tattoos for the majority of his career
and is well known for his bold, colorful work.

I began tattooing in 1979 and it became my career in the
fall of 1984, right after I graduated from the Art Institute
of Pittsburgh. I have drawn all my life and was inspired
by my mother in that direction at a very early age. I do
remember asking my mother what a tattoo was as a child
and she responded “Don’t ever get one of those, you’ll
get blood poisoning!” Well, I’ve gotten way more than
one of “those” and still don’t have blood poisoning!
Fortunately the health aspects of tattooing have much
improved through the passage of time, and those risks
are way less than they were in days gone by. Now most
health departments require that tattoo artists get
blood-borne pathogen training, along with having strict
guidelines about sterilization and sanitation that every
tattoo shop has to follow.

Tattooing has evolved a great deal since I’ve been
involved with it. There are so many styles and trends that
have come and gone, and some of the better ones have
stayed. The language of tattoo design has expanded
tremendously, which is one of many reasons why
tattooing has become so popular. In the good old days of
tattooing, the imagery was very limited. A lot of those
standard designs, and the style they were tattooed in, is
now referred to as American Traditional. Even when I
first began tattooing in 1979, eagles, skulls, anchors,
cartoon characters, weren’t part of a specific genre. They
were just tattoos. Now there is American Traditional,
Tribal, Black and Gray, Celtic, New School, Realistic,
Biomechanical, Japanese, and who knows what else.

With the expanded design options, more people can
relate to tattooing, and find, or create, a design that
resonates with them. Therefore the demographic of
tattooing has expanded. With unlimited design choices,
the tattoo clientele has also become unlimited. Gone are
the days of pointing at a design on the wall and saying,
“I’ll take that one!” Custom tattooing is now the norm.
Anything and everything can be adapted as tattoo
imagery. But whatever it is, there are certain principles
that always apply. Doing artwork as a tattoo on a human
body is different than working in any other medium.
There is no defined border to your “canvas” per se. And
the surface you’re working on varies inch by inch as far
as contour, and even texture. It’s very important to
consider the placement of the tattoo, the flow of the art
with the body, even the colors and how they’ll look on
the skin you’re working with. How will age affect the
look of the tattoo? How detailed should the design be? Is
the person in the sun often? There’s a lot to consider
when applying art to skin.

In this book, I hope to help you learn to create masterful
tattoo-oriented designs with the knowledge I’ve gained
with thirty plus years of tattooing. I won’t be going into
how to actually apply a tattoo. That is way too involved
a process to cover in any book. To properly learn to
apply tattoos, you would need to seek an apprenticeship
with a qualified tattoo artist who is willing to spend the
time needed to train you. My goal with this book is to
help you to better understand the art of tattoo and how to
apply the principles of tattoo design to creating your own
unique tattoo art, and enjoy doing so. Have fun with
it—I do every day!

Table of Contents
Special Offer
What You’ll Need

The Consultation
Meeting the Client
Sketching and Placement
Keys to a Good Composition
Adding Interest
Location Matters
Overcoming Common Obstacles

From Sketch to Tattoo
Planning Your Composition
From Sketch to Tattoo
Adding Interest to the Composition
Black and Gray Tattoos
Unifying Design Elements
Adding to Existing Tattoos
Iconic Images
Asian Style Tattoos

Tattoo Style Art
Transfer Designs
Angel Wings

Artists’ Gallery
Chris Walkin
Craig Driscoll
Jen Lee
Juan Puente
Kahlil Rintye
Shawn Barber
Mary Joy Scott
Robert Atkinson
Shawn Warcot
Fip Buchanan
About the Author


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 243 p
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A Guide to Successful Tattooing-Guide to Sterile Tattooing Techniques

Huck Spaulding

illustrated by Ted Nwdan
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 128 p
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About the Author


Table of Contents


Making Mehndi Art with Easy-to-Follow Instructions, Patterns, and Projects

Brenda Abdoyan

1. Mehndi (Body painting) 2. Temporary tattoos
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 152 p
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 2012 by Brenda Abdoyan and Design Originals,, 800-457-9112,
 1970 Broad Street, East Petersburg,
 PA 17520. Photography by Brenda Abdoyan, Bajidoo, Inc.

About the Author
Brenda Abdoyan, a San Francisco-based child of the 1960s who considers
everything to be art, is principal artist and designer at Bajidoo, Inc., a jewelry
and design studio. Inspired by things from everyday life, she begins her creations
with realism and then sprinkles them with the spice of life. Recently, she won
top honors for the Designer Press Kit Award at a Craft and Hobby Association show.
She holds a degree in business administration and project management from the
University of Phoenix. After more than 20 years as a senior business analyst in
corporate America, she left it all to pursue her passion. Henna art was the road
that took her home. Her first YouTube video on henna tattoo design led to her
work being included in the March 2009 cable channel series My Art by Ovation
Television. From there, she has expanded her henna canvas to include leather,
wood, and bangles. Follow her at

A prudent question is one-half of wisdom. — Francis Bacon

My henna saga began with a trip to the Middle East in 2000. Unlike the henna
tattoo artist you may find on the beach in summer or in your favorite theme
parks, henna artists in the Middle East apply tattoos behind the blacked-out
windows of a beauty salon. The windows are blacked out to preserve the
modesty of the ladies inside; the henna application is a complete experience.
A friend (the sister of the man who would later become my husband) and I
entered the salon and were led up a dark, steep, narrow stairway. When we
reentered the light at the top of stairs, we were in another world. Aromas
assaulted us—cardamom spice in Arabic coffee (the essential oils used in henna
paste) and burning incense.

The room, which comprised the entire upper floor, had no stations where a
guest would sit in a specific chair for her henna application. Instead, the space
was nearly empty in the center with banks of ornately decorated pillows along
the sides. We simply sat on a mass of these overly soft pillows and the work began.

Since both my hands and feet were being done, four young girls worked
through the designs, one on each hand and each foot. These four girls talked and
giggled amongst themselves, only occasionally putting together a few words in
English to ask me questions about my prior experience with henna tattoos (at
that time, I had none). Something about those moments ignited a spark in me
that continues to burn.

While the use of henna for tattoos is difficult to trace, evidence shows that it
stretches back more than 5,000 years to the days of ancient Egypt when a henna
dye was used to stain the fingers and toes of the pharaohs prior to their
mummification. Henna tattooing has a long history among many Eastern
cultures. The designs tend to fall into four styles based on the region. The
Middle Eastern style in the Arab world features floral designs that do not follow
a distinctive pattern. In North Africa, henna tattoos are geometrical and follow
the shape of the wearer’s hands and feet. In India and Pakistan, the designs cover
more of the body, extending up arms and legs to give the impression of gloves or
more of the body, extending up arms and legs to give the impression of gloves or
stockings. Henna tattoos in Indonesia and southern Asia are often blocks of color
on the tips of the fingers and toes.

Many of the historical styles of henna tattoos remain popular today, but their
use has grown to include Celtic designs, Chinese characters, and American
Indian symbols. Because of the temporary nature of henna tattoos, many people
have begun experimenting with designs that express their individual styles and beliefs.

Culturally,  the most common modern reference to henna tattooing is its use in
the most common modern reference to henna tattooing is its use in
traditional Hindu wedding ceremonies. Intricate designs, known as Mehndi, are
applied to the bride’s hands and feet to symbolize her commitment to her
husband-to-be. Since the henna paste must remain on the skin for a couple of
days, it restricts the movements and tasks of the bride. Its application gives her
time to reflect on her upcoming marriage.

Henna is like many things: What you get out of it is directly proportional to
what you put into it. While I started learning about henna in 2000, I only began
to work with henna paste at the beginning of 2008. Yes, you read that right. The
first henna tattoo I made was on my right foot. I sat on my patio and drew on my foot.

I did a terrible job. I made the paste wrong; it was too thin. I had no
coordination to create the images I had seen in books and online. I was
completely frustrated. Even worse, after all my trouble, my ugly little tattoo
image never even got dark! In no time at all I figured out that knowing the
history and traditions of henna was fulfilling on one level, but tattoos wouldn’t
just spring forth from my hands because I had studied so diligently. To find
fulfillment, I had to do more work in an entirely new direction.

This book is my way of helping you skip some or all of my frustration. I’ve
included an extensive section on making henna paste and applying it (page 12).
You will find information on the basic lines you’ll need to master before
creating beautiful tattoos. Don’t skip this section! The better control you have in
making the basic lines—which are the foundation of all henna tattoos—the
better your finished tattoos will look.
be able to adapt these designs. I’ve also included the templates I use to develop
new designs. Just follow the shape of the hand or foot to create your own unique
henna tattoos.

Finally, the stain left behind from the application of henna paste is not just
ideal for skin, but it also works well on other mediums, including wood and
leather. Henna designs applied to the latter may fade a bit, but they won’t wear
off like the henna tattoos applied to your skin! Check out some of my ideas for
henna on objects on page 98.
If you try henna tattooing and have difficulty, snap a picture and email it to
me at I will respond as quickly as I am able with some suggestions.

A random event on a short holiday was the spark that quickly caused a
firestorm of creativity deep in my heart. From the first instant that henna entered
my life, it was kismet. I hope this book provides a similar spark of passion in
you. So let’s get started making the paste and creating beautiful henna tattoos.
Brenda Abdoyan, Bajidoo, Inc.

Table of Contents

Making Henna Paste
Applying Henna Paste

Your First Tattoo
Finger Tattoo
Lace Glove

Additional Elements



The first step in mastering the art of henna tattoos
is to make sure you have the right materials on
hand. The items you’ll need to create your own
henna tattoos are not costly, but you’ll want to
have everything readily available before you get
started. After that, it’s practice, practice, practice!

Insider Secrets from Top Designers on Working Smart and Staying Creative
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Book Details
 495 p
 File Size 
 120,160 KB
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About the Authors
Laurel Saville is the author of many books and articles on design and designers. She
is also a corporate communications consultant, brand strategist, and copywriter and
the author of numerous essays and short stories along with the award-winning memoir,
Unraveling Anne, about her mother’s life among the artists and hippies of Los Angeles in
the 1960s and 1970s, as well as her tragic decline and death.
Steve Gordon, Jr has been a professional graphic designer for more than ten years.
He’s run the full range of the career path with experience including production design,
in-house design, and agency and studio work, and is currently an independent designer
and creative consultant under the moniker RDQLUS.
A self-described born creative, Gordon specializes in identity design and branding. As
the son of a draftsman, he had dreams of being an architect but found his way into the
field of visual communication and graphic design. An avid and self-taught illustrator as
a youngster, Gordon still draws on lessons and skills learned and earned as a former graffiti artist.
Steve has been a featured speaker at the HOW Design Conference as well as a member
of the HOW Design Conference Advisory Committee. He is a frequent contributor on the
“Reflex Blue” podcast at, and constantly looks to write and contribute to his
local design community, various design publications, blogs, and websites.
Joshua Berger is a founder and principal of Plazm, an award-winning design studio and
publisher of Plazm magazine. He is the winner of Gold Medals from the Portland Design
Festival and the Leipzig Book Fair (with John C Jay), and has been recognized by design
publications and award shows including the AIGA Annual Show, the Art Directors Club, as
well as 2004 and 2008 honorary exhibitions at ZGRAF in Zagreb, Croatia.
Sarah Dougher is a composer, writer, musician and educator living in Portland, Oregon.
Sarah teaches at Portland State University in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
department and her academic interests focus around gender and popular music and
issues related to homeless youth and food security.

Designers’ days are filled with wrangling in those isolated
ingredients of type, color, form, image, and copy into something
ordered, arresting, and compelling. It’s a strange brew
of art and commerce, what designers do. Many of the tools
of the trade—from PMS and CMYK, to grids, palettes, picas,
and pixels—are an expression of a designer’s requirement
to corral the creative into some kind of service.
This need to control the artistic impulse also expresses itself
in designers’ proclivity for maxims, precepts, and rules.
Use sans serif type for headlines. (Unless, of course, you’re
designing for the Web.) Make every client think they’re your
only client. (Except when you’re trying to show your industry
experience.) Stay focused on your career. (But taking time
off is pretty grand, too.) And herein lies the rub: for every
design decree, there is a counter commandment as well.
However, as we set out to collect the most cogent and
helpful of all of the above from a wide range of highly
opinionated designers—big names in large firms, to solo
practices and up-and-comers—we were struck by the overall
consistency of good advice and successful practices.
We were struck by another thing as well: the generosity of
designers in their willingness to share their hard-won
lessons. The best designers are united in their passion for
the beauty and necessity of what they do and follow habits
only because they contribute to the larger good of design,
designers, and the clients their work serves. So whether
you’re starting out or well established in your career, we
think you will find everything from helpful hints to deep
wisdom in the following pages. You may choose to break
the rules you find here, but as they say, it’s always best to
know them first.
–Laurel Saville

Table of Contents

Chapter One:
Chapter Two:
Chapter Three:
Chapter Four:
Chapter Five:
Chapter Six:
Chapter Seven:
Chapter Eight:
Chapter Nine:
Chapter Ten:
Chapter Eleven:
Chapter Twelve:
Chapter Thirteen:



First published in the United States of America in 2011 by
Rockport Publishers, a member of
Quayside Publishing Group
100 Cummings Center
Suite 406-L
Beverly, Massachusetts 01915-6101
Telephone: (978) 282-9590
Fax: (978) 283-2742

- A Reference for Creating 2D and 3D Images -

B.J. Korites

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Book Details
 365 p
 File Size 
 10,569 KB
 File Type
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 978-1-4842-3377-1 (pbk)
 978-1-4842-3378-8  (electronic) 
 2018 by B.J. Korites

About the Author
B.J. Korites has been involved in engineering and scientific
applications of computers for his entire career. He has
been an educator, consultant, and author of more than
ten books on geometric modelling, computer graphics,
artificial intelligence, simulation of physical processes,
structural analysis, and the application of computers
in science and engineering. He has been employed by
Northrop Corporation, the Woods Hole Oceanographic
Institute, Arthur D. Little, Itek, and Worcester Polytech.
He has consulted for Stone and Webster Engineering, Gould Inc, Wyman Gordon, CTI
Cryogenics, the US Navy, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, and others. Early in his career he
developed mathematics and software that would find physical interferences between
three-dimensional solid objects. This found wide application in the design of nuclear
power plants, submarines, and other systems with densely packed spaces. He enjoys
sailing and painting maritime landscapes in oils. He holds degrees from Tufts and Yale.

About the Technical Reviewer
Andrea Gavana has been programming in Python for
almost 15 years and dabbling with other languages since the
late nineties. He graduated from university with a Master’s
degree in Chemical Engineering, and he is now a Senior
Reservoir Engineer working for Maersk Oil in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Andrea enjoys programming at work and for fun, and
he has been involved in multiple open source projects, all
Python-based. One of his favorite hobbies is Python coding,
but he is also fond of cycling, swimming, and cozy dinners
with family and friends.

Table of Contents
About the Author .............
About the Technical Reviewer ..............
Acknowledgments ....
Chapter 1: Essential Python Commands and Functions
1.1 Programming Style   2
1.2 The Plotting Area   3
1.3 Establishing the Size of the Plotting Area   4
1.4 Importing Plotting Commands   6
1.5 Displaying the Plotting Area  8
1.6 T he Plotting Grid  8
1.7 Saving a Plot  8
1.8 G rid Color   9
1.9 T ick Marks  9
1.10 Custom Grid Lines   11
1.11 L abelling the Axes  13
1.12 T he Plot Title  14
1.13 C olors  15
1.13.1 C olor Mixing  16
1.13.2 C olor Intensity  19
1.14 O verplotting  20
1.15 B ackground Color  23
1.16 T he Plotting Area Shape  23
1.17 How to Correct Shape Distortions  26
1.17.1 Applying a Scale Factor When Plotting   27
1.17.2 The Best Way: Scaling the Axes in plt.axis( )  27
1.18 Coordinate Axes   29
1.19 Commonly Used Plotting Commands and Functions   30
1.19.1 Points and Dots Using scatter( )  31
1.19.2 Lines Using plot( )  32
1.19.3 Arrows   33
1.19.4 Text   34
1.19.5 Lists, Tuples, and Arrays   36
1.19.6 Arrays   41
1.19.7 arange( )  42
1.19.8 range( )   43
1.20 S ummary   43
Chapter 2: Graphics in Two Dimensions   
2.1 Lines from Dots  45
2.2 Dot Art  50
2.3 Circular Arcs from Dots  52
2.4 Circular Arcs from Line Segments  59
2.5 C ircles   60
2.6 D ot Discs   64
2.7 E llipses  68
2.8 2D Translation   75
2.9 2 D Rotation  78
2.10 Summary  100
Chapter 3: Graphics in Three Dimensions
3.1 The Three-Dimensional Coordinate System  101
3.2 Projections onto the Coordinate Planes   104
3.3 Rotation Around the y Direction   106
3.4 Rotation Around the x Direction   109
3.5 Rotation Around the z Direction  111
3.6 Separate Rotations Around the Coordinate Directions  113
3.7 Sequential Rotations Around the Coordinate Directions   121
3.8 Matrix Concatenation   129
3.9 Keyboard Data Entry with Functional Program Structure   133
3.10 Summary  141
Chapter 4: Perspective
4.1 Summary  152
Chapter 5: Intersections
5.1 Line Intersecting a Rectangular Plane  153
5.2 Line Intersecting a Triangular Plane  166
5.3 Line Intersecting a Circle   181
5.4 Line Intersecting a Circular Sector   181
5.5 Line Intersecting a Sphere   187
5.6 Plane Intersecting a Sphere   196
5.7 S ummary  201
Chapter 6: Hidden Line Removal
6.1 Box   203
6.2 Pyramid  212
6.3 Planes   218
6.4 Sphere   225
6.5 S ummary  233
Chapter 7: Shading
7.1 Shading a Box  236
7.2 Shading a Sphere  246
7.3 Summary   253
Chapter 8: 2D Data Plotting
8.1 Linear Regression   265
8.2 Function Fitting   269
8.3 Splines   275
8.4 Summary   283
Chapter 9: 3D Data Plotting
9.1 3D Surfaces   297
9.2 3D Surface Shading   305
9.3 Summary   319
Chapter 10: Demonstrations
10.1 Saturn  321
10.2 Solar Radiation  331
10.2.1 Photons and the Sun   331
10.2.2 Max Planck’s Black Body Radiation   333
10.2.3 The Sun’s Total Power Output  334
10.3 Earth’s Irradiance  344
10.3.1 The Earth Sun Model  346
10.4 Summary  351
Appendix A: Where to Get Python ....... .......... 353
Appendix B: Planck’s Radiation Law and the Stefan-Boltzmann Equation ........... 355
Index . ........................ 359

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I would like to thank my wife, Pam, for her patience during the many long days and
nights that I spent writing this book and for her understanding of the distant stare I
sometimes had while off in another world thinking of math and Python, two of life’s great
joys. I would also like to thank everyone at Apress, especially editors Todd Green and Jill
Balzano, who made the production of this book a fast and seamless process.
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