I did this tattoo on my friend Kristen, she approached me with this idea for the lower part of her sleeve. We've been doing other stuff that goes alongside with surreal images based on things she likes.
On this specific design, she wanted the inspiration from this old Salvador Dali painting, "Ship with Butterflies Sails" which it was reworked on the early late 2000's by Vladimir Kush. Kristen also wanted me to do the ship sailing forward, so the whole front of the ship was showing, which is the other way around on the original painting.
I designed my own version, with my own selection of different butterflies, it was a little challenging but I ended up finding some good references and after a few hours in photoshop, this was the result:
The tattoo took several sessions, so there's layers to it. I re-saturated some areas, while leaving some with only one layer.
She has awesome skin but a little on the darker complexion, so I had to decide the amount of contrast and saturation so they will hold over time. That's a good reason on why to add an extra layer of pigment to the skin and why I do black twice on some areas.
She also had a distinct birthmark on her wrist shaped as an A and you can see it on the bottom part of the piece, towards the right side of the waves.
Here's some of the other layers:
Let me know what you guys think! Gonna try to do this on all the tattoos I finish and some from the past.