Snakes are common subjects for tattoos and they make great designs due to their sleek lines and curves. However, creating a snake tattoo can be intimidating if you’re not confident with your drawing skills. This guide will take you through the process step-by-step and give you tips on how to create a stunning snake tattoo.
- Paper or Sketchbook
- Black ink pens – fine-liner, gel pen, or brush pen
- Markers or coloured pencils, optional
Step 1: Choose your reference image
The first step in creating a snake tattoo is to select a reference image. You can use a photograph or a drawing of a snake. Ensure it’s an image with clear lines and details that are not blurred.
Step 2: Sketch basic shapes
The second step is to sketch the basic shapes of the snake. First, draw a circle for the head and a simpler shape for the body. Then, add the curves and lines that define the shape of the snake. Make sure to capture the curvature of the spine and the patterns of the skin.
Step 3: Refine the shapes
Using your chosen reference image, refine the shapes you’ve drawn. Some areas will need to be altered slightly to ensure the look and feel of the snake are perfect. Start with the head, draw the nose, eyes, and tongue with careful attention to detail. Adjust the proportions of the body, neck, and tail to match the reference image.
Step 4: Outlining your drawing
With a fine-liner or gel pen, carefully outline the snake’s shape, filling in the details such as scales, patterns, and texture. Ensure you do not rush this process, as accuracy is key to producing an effective snake drawing.
Step 5: Add Depth with Shading
With a brush pen, lightly add shading to give depth and dimension to your snake tattoo, knowing where the light source is coming from and where to emphasize shadows will help make it look more striking. You can use hatching or cross-hatching techniques to capture light and shadows, but ensure that you are following the shapes of the snake’s body.
Step 6: Optional – Adding colour
For an extra touch of colour, you can use markers or coloured pencils. Add small amounts of colour if you are looking to give your tattoo a more realistic look.
Step 7: Erase pencil marks and clean up your work.
Once you’ve finished inking and adding colour, it’s time to take an eraser and carefully get rid of any pencil marks on your drawing. You can also use white-out to make corrections, if necessary.
Step 8: Scan or photograph your work and save
Once you’re happy with your design, Scan or photograph your artwork and save it digitally.
Step 9: Consult a Tattoo Artist or DIY!
With a completed design, you can now consult a professional tattoo artist to bring your design to life or you can attempt to ink the design on your own if you have the proper tools.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What’s the best way to perfect my snake drawing?
The best way to improve your snake drawing is through consistent practice. Start by drawing from photos before progressing to drawing from life. Take tutorials online or from books to help you build your drawing skills.
How do I know if my snake drawing is symmetrical?
To ensure that your snake drawing is symmetrical, you can fold your paper in half, mirroring the snake’s image, and then compare both sides to eradicate any distortions.
What can I do if my early snake sketches don’t turn out well?
Don’t worry if your early snake sketches don’t turn out well. What’s important is that you keep practicing. Make some alterations or adaptions to your image to suit what you find challenging in the current design. Break things down into simple shapes and tackle one element of the snake at a time.
Can I combine snake images with other elements and objects?
Yes, snake tattoos are popular in combination with other elements and objects such as flowers, skulls, and hearts. So, be creative with the shapes and textures of the snake to complement your chosen elements.
Can I use other colours besides black?
Yes. But remember, black ink gives depth and dimension to the snake’s design, while other colours complement the overall tattoo. You can experiment with various tones and textures to give it a unique design.
How long does it take to draw a snake tattoo?
The length of time taken to draw a snake tattoo will depend on the complexity of the tattoo and your skill level. As a beginner, it may take you a couple of hours to get the desired outcome. Practice and allow yourself ample time as it’s a creative process.
What’s the best way to take care of my snake tattoo?
After your tattoo session, follow the aftercare instructions given to you by your tattoo artist to help with healing. Ensure your tattoo is kept dry, avoid direct sunlight, and use dermatologically tested lotions and creams to relieve itchiness and prevent infections.