Backpiece WIP Picture

If you Fav it, then you'd better read the desc and comment too! Read the whole damn thing!

A WIP shot of the backpiece design I've been working on for my up and coming tattoo. Scan didn't pick up on the graphite as much as I'd hoped it would, and I've tweaked it as much as I can in order to make it look alright.

Obviously it's not a finished piece. The dragon is still missing some of the flames, his two back legs and a bunch of scales. The Phoenix is pretty much done.

After I finish this sketch I'm going to head on over to the animation lab and trace it in ink to another piece of cardstock and clean it up so it looks really nice.

A bit of history behind the tattoo and my choice to get it:

I was born in 1988, the Chinese year of the Dragon. Dragons are naturally lucky people, and they're easy going and they generally love life. People born in the Year of the Dragon are healthy, energetic, excitable, short-tempered, and stubborn. They are also honest, sensitive, brave, and they inspire confidence and trust. Dragon people are the most eccentric of any in the eastern zodiac. They neither borrow money nor make flowery speeches, but they tend to be soft-hearted which sometimes gives others an advantage over them. Full of vitality and enthusiasm, the Dragon is a popular individual even with the reputation of being foolhardy and a "big mouth" at times. They are intelligent, gifted, and perfectionists but these qualities make them unduly demanding on others. They would be well-suited to be an artist, priest, or politician.

Too true. I take pride in being born in the year of the dragon, like so many people I know. Therefor, the dragon just makes sense to me.

And, in the year 1988, I was born on Williams AFB in Maricopa county, Phoenix, Arizona. Traditionally, the Chinese Phoenix (or rather, Feng Huang) has two heads, and is a composite of many different animals. Feng Huang never dies and gets reborn like the traditional phoenix does; he is one of 4 celestial gods in Chinese lore, the other 3 being the dragon, the unicorn and the tiger, but I'm not talking about them. In Chinese mythology, the phoenix is represented by the Feng-huang which personifies the primordial force of the heavens. It was thought to be a gentle creature, alighting so gently that it crushed nothing, and ate only dewdrops. The Feng does not exist in nature, it is the mythical bird of fire and represents the Confucian virtues of loyalty, honesty, decorum and justice. The Feng originated from fire being born in the "Hill of the Sun's Halo". Its plumage blends the five fundamental colours: black, white, red, green, and yellow. The song of the bird is the harmony of the five notes. Symbolizing the Five Cardinal Virtues; "Its colour delights the eye, its comb expresses righteousness, its tongue utters sincerity, its voice chants melody, its ear enjoys music, its heart conforms to regulations, its breast contains the treasures of literature, and its spurs are powerful against transgressors". The male phoenix is named "phuong" and is the yang, solar, fire bird, but as the female "huang" it is feminine, yin, and lunar. The feminine aspect, denotes beauty, delicacy of feeling, and peace. The Feng and the Huang together, symbolize everlasting love. As a bridal symbol signifying "inseparable fellowship." The Feng symbolizes a duality, the yin-yang, mutual interdependence in the universe. The Feng-huang or Fung; the "vermilion bird," the "substance of the flame." This bird, has three legs and lives in the sun. The Feng is depicted as a bird of shining colours with the head and comb of a pheasant and the feathers and tail of a peacock.

With that being said, the pairing of the Dragon and Feng Huang is thought to bring great luck and fortune. The dragon is Yang, the male, and the Feng Huang is Yin, the Female. Together the two bring good luck and fortune, and create a sense of balance that helps keep everything in it's natural order.

It took some time for me to figure out what I want, and I'm still thinking about this long and hard, to make sure this is what I really and truley want. If so, I need to start taking some money and setting it aside for this because it is going to cover my upper back between my shoulders. Please, if you have ANY tips, hints, critiques, suggestions, WHATEVER, I need to hear them! This will be a permanent piece of my own ortwork on my body and I want to make sure it's as accurate and correct as possible!! I DON'T WANT ANY MISTAKES ON THIS!!!

Artwork is © Lauren Smallidge, 2006, and will not be available to the general public for reproduction, distribution, or copying for any reasons. Please respect the fact that this is MY artwork going on MY body and it would crush me to find someone else walking around with this design on them.
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