Ben is one of my most loyal clients, and has been working with me for years on his tattoos. Last year his beloved dog Jackson died; Ben wanted to commemorate and remember him with a calf tattoo. He decided to use the Traditional American or Old School style of tattoo, as I draw them. Now Ben can look down the back of his leg and see Jackson's face looking back at him. He wrote this moving eulogy to Jackson and is allowing me to share it: “I picked you up at Petco in Baton Rouge. I was 22. You were 8 weeks. I filled the shopping cart with too many dog toys and treats. You were with me during my last few days at LSU. We moved into our first house together. You were incredibly protective and wouldn’t leave the yard even if I left the gate open. You taught foster puppies how to be dogs and they loved you. We rode across the country together to Portland. You were the easiest apartment dog ever. Jessica [Ben's wife] immediately fell in love with you. Abbie learned from you; she is an incredible dog because of it and you had an amazing amount of patience with the littles. You collapsed last week and I knew the end was near. This morning you collapsed for the last time. We were all here when it happened and I hope we were able to bring you some comfort during your last moments. I will never forget you and what we went through together. I promise. I’ll miss you.”
Here are some pictures of the drawing, outline, gray shading and final color stages.