Think about where you want the portrait. Even though your back may be your bodies biggest canvas, you won’t be able to admire the likeness from there. The most popular place to have a portrait tattoo is on the outside or inside of the bicep. The inner bicep is a great place for a portrait tattoo because it is subtle enough, but you can still enjoy it. Many people choose the outer bicep, back, or calf so that the portrait is more prominent and the memory of their loved one or their favourite celebrity for all to see. Take some time to think about where you want your portrait tattoo.
Think about the style
You don’t always have to go with the direct and photo-realist portrait. Perhaps doing an exact likeness isn’t the way to go. The style of illustration can act as an expression of the persons character. It also can make the work a lot more aesthetically pleasing. Just because you are a huge fan of Ricky Gervais doesn’t mean your girlfriend wants to see him smiling at her every time you rip off your shirt. Maybe get his animated likeness, instead of a photo. Think about the style you want your to have.
Picking Tattoo Artist
Choose your tattoo artist wisely. Be sure that your tattoo artist can actually do portraits. Portraits are incredibly hard to do, there are professional artists that cannot do portraits. Take a good look at their past work. Just because a tattoo artist is good at skulls or roses does not indicate they can ink your favourite uncle on your arm.
Keep in mind that the tattoo artist doesn’t know this person personally or the way that you do. You can quickly become disappointed with their work if they draw the portrait just as they see it. Take your time in choosing your artist, look at their work, and share with them why this person is important to you. Getting a portrait tattoo is typically an intimate tattoo, be patient and you will be much more satisfied with the outcome.
Portrait Tattoos are an great way to honour loved ones or celebrate your favourite person, but they can be risky. If you are patient, do some research, and really think about the tattoo you will much much happier with the outcome than if you just walk into a parlour with a photo.