Both Rob and I have regularly covered the work of British tattoo artist Ferank Manseed (email@example.com) here on BME, enjoying his hand-poked machine-free tattooing. Today he touched up one of the geometric palm tattoos that we featured in the past that had less than perfect healing — even with the best technique, palm tattoos can be unpredictable. I’ve seen some people’s last perfectly on the first try, and other people’s skin never seems to be able to accept the ink. This is due to the fact that the palm has especially think and calloused temporary skin — the artist needs to punch through this layer to make it last and place the ink in the stable layer, without going so deep that the ink spreads, or is absorbed and removed by the body. Since going too deep can leave a permanent blown out tattoo, and not going deep enough just falls out, many artists choose to err on the side to too light. Next to the bottom of the foot, the inner surface of the hand — palm and fingers — is the most difficult anatomy to produce a good tattoo on. Anyway, Ferank shared with us photos of this palm tattoo. From left to right (and you can zoom in to this), these photos show the tattoo fresh, then how it healed after this first session, and finally mid-session on the touch-up.
EDIT/UPDATE: I should add two notes to this entry. First of all, the middle picture was taken eight weeks after the first one. Second, and this is perhaps most important, the client was a fellow tattoo artist, and thus has to both wear tight gloves and work with their hands every day, which greatly complicates healing.