The Illustrated Man

Emily’s Half Sleeve Lion Tattoo

The main subject is the lion face. I drew it not photorealistic but a little more human. A ferocious animal, we talked about creating a feeling of calmness and put any aggression on the back burner. I based the idea on "Aslan" from "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe".

black & grey half sleeve tattoo with lion and lotus flower

The tattoo also contains a Buddhist mantra, a mountain range, a scarab beetle, a swastika on the elbow, a waterfall and, on the shoulder blade, stylised stars and an arrangement of Japanese bats with a galactic background; all requirements of Emily’s concept of her perfect tattoo. The layout and illustrations were all mine but the concept was all Emily’s.

black & grey half sleeve and shoulder tattoo with lion, Buddhist mantra and bats

This tattoo was relatively slow in producing because of the amount of thinking that was involved. Probably 10-15 hours work but the tattoo evolved over four to five years. Working with Emily was always a pleasure.

black & grey half sleeve and shoulder tattoo with lion, stars and bats

I have been asked many times to reproduce this tattoo again. I get asked “How much is that tattoo?” Emily’s concept is not for sale!

I have received e-mails along the lines of “I live a long way away and can’t possibly come to you. I like this or that tattoo but could you either send me the artwork or tell me which book you got it from?” Nearly every tattoo I create is the collaboration of my client’s concept and my drive to produce unique tattoos.

9 responses to “Emily’s Half Sleeve Lion Tattoo”

  1. Emily’s tattoo is one of my favourites; there’s something magical about the way Steve has portrayed the Lion, managing to convey wisdom, strength and love into his face, and the mantra makes an unusual and exsquisite border. I’m lucky to have seen this work progress, each time wondering how Steve managed to make an already stunning tattoo even more beautiful.
    I only wish you could see this in the flesh.

  2. wow…very detailed with lots inside it…i like how every tattoo is unique, hence why i dont like tattoos you can pick off the wall…
    only problem is i think the next tattoo i have thought if will have too many things to include..:S…….weel see if its possible…once i get back from my RTW trip

  3. its claire again from newquay that tattoo is fab! u have done a great job, as always.

  4. Hi Steve where are based now heard Weymouth want something bit special for me my and other half would very much like you to design it. Sumo.

  5. Hi

    As newly registered user i just want to say hello to everyone else who uses this board <:-)

  6. What is bumburbia?

  7. Wonderful! I love tattoos

  8. Hey, this sleeve is breath takingly beautiful.. i would love this on my arm..
    there is something about the lions face..

  9. Love it