How did he do that linework?

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Lionel from Out of Step, an artist working across Europe. This amazing piece was done on Kna‘s wife while Lionel was guest spotting at Temple Tatu in Brighton, UK. Be sure to click the picture to zoom in so you can see the tattoo’s crazy linework… I’m assuming that the hair’s calligraphy was done with a fairly radical custom needle configuration, almost like a custom brush. The entire tattoo took a bit under three hours to do.

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

64 thoughts on “How did he do that linework?

  1. OMG that’s amazing! The linework reminds me a little of the effect you get when you run a loaded mascara wand along your skin.
    Hmmmm, Perhaps I should not drink so much when I apply make-up!

  2. I wonder if these customers have a say in what or where they would like their tattooed or is it just up to him?
    looks rad though!

  3. if i ever go overseas I’m taking a wad of dough just for him and he can do whatever he wants on me, i have’nt seen work from him yet that I was’nt copletely in love with

  4. Creep: Lionel spends a long time discussing with the customer as to what they want but generally unless they ask for something specific he’ll interpret it in his own style.. but he does draw it on and do stencils first.

  5. duh, it’s a magnum pulled in a straight line instead of doing the little circular motion that you normally do to fill in the entire space. magnums are a flat double stack of needles spread apart a bit.

  6. a magnum is a flat needle with the alternating needles spread forwards and back. this is achieved by weaving a razor blade through the needles beofre the finalsolder is done to hold them in that position. if a mag was pulled in a straight line across the skin it would produce teh same effect as a flat. it looks like needles were staggered in an up and down fashion so that some contact the skin and the others end up just being spacers. it looks like you would need 9 needles of a heavier size to achieve this

  7. i’m planning my study abroad trip to france just so i can get work done by lionel.

    i’m absolutely in love with his work :)

  8. I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again. Lionel is the man! I can’t wait to get tattooed by him, although it’ll be a couple years before I can get to Europe.

  9. Shannon, you said back in January that you were going to post an interview with Lionel – are we ever going to see it? Thanks!

  10. It’s interesting, but it won’t age very well. The tattoo itself should look fine over time, but it wont have the same effect forever.

    Correct me if I am wrong.

  11. i’d like to see her other work too btw. but looking at this, i thought something was off, though i couldn’t pinpoint what.. now i realize it’s the lack of eyebrows on the girl. but it’s still nice!

  12. I think it looks realy good but it just doesn’t fit with the rest. All the tattoos are different in style and to me it makes it look messy. On their own they’re all really beautiful though.

  13. yeah, seriously, i have been checking back looking for that interview and thought that i had missed it somehow. i love his work.

  14. it actually looks like one big cohesive piece … if you go to the IAM page, on the 2nd mod page of Kna’s wife’s pics, you see the whole thing.

    lovelovelovelovelove. lol

  15. i’m really curious about how this will look in a few years. will the fine lines stay as crisp and seperated or will they bleed together?

  16. i’m with 11 and 16. i can’t see that holding together very well over time. I don’t think half the tattoo artist out there don’t get that tattoos fade over time, no matter how much starbright you put in somebody, in twenty years it’s gonna look like mud if everything was done with super fancy fades inside line work done with a 3 liner. but what do i know, all i have is black work and traditional.

  17. its not crap or anything, i really don’t see why everyone is creaming their panties over this though

  18. I don’t find it pleasing to the eye at all :(

    I’m sure the artist has gobs of talent, but this just looks kinda sloppy and half-finished…

  19. the linework reminds me of when in elementary school art class they teach you to draw ribbons by holding two pencils together, keeping them at the same angle, and spacing, and squiggling all over the paper to make streams of ribbons. almost like a calligraphy technique.

  20. I generally really like his work, but not this one. His style is always very loose, but this one just looks messy.

  21. Pretty cool, but I’m with the rest and wonder how it will hold up over time. I’d like a tattoo with linework that you would see on paper currency.

  22. Willing to bet the artist makes all their own needle assemblies. That is too cool.

  23. Honestly, I think this looks like it was done by a scratch artist, I don’t see what the big fuss is about. Pretty much looks like crap to me.

  24. i find this really interesting. i’m not crazy about the things at the bottom of the face though. what does it say? sky?
    but overall, i like it. its different

  25. wow – thats amazing so different. I checked out his other work it definatly stands out from other peoples styles.
    I love it!

  26. yeah, just wondering if anyone can be bothered replying..i went to the link of this guyswork, and some of thetattoos were out there, very cool , but a few looked, welll awful…a fewlines an dstuff…am i missing somthing …purely looking at it from a “if a complete unkowndid this from their dinky wee shop” , are some of the shots posted not lionels work? or am i truly not in the loop? please fillme in..

  27. though i guess thatsthe whole debate on art in its entirty really answer my own question…its all bout whos apreciating it..hahaha

  28. Katie (49) – It says Skye which is my daughters name. She is a cloud and her name is the rain :)

  29. I do not and never will understand why people want a tattoo that look slike a 2 years old drew something on you forever and the technique is a large mag dragged across the skin instead of the normal circle technique

  30. You don’t need to understand why any person gets any tattoo. It’s a personal choice that has nothing to do with you, Mignon.

  31. lionel is amazing. super simple bold work. the same reasons people love classic japanese work. simple bold and eye catching.

  32. i met him and saw him tattoo when he was working at temple, nicest guy ever and his work is so awesome!

  33. god i love this man
    hurry up and come to the US lionel!
    i will fly to anywhere in the US to get tatted by you…

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