Darl Papple’s Photo-Realism Tattoos

The Shop’s owner and tattoo artist Darl Papple specializes in photo-realism tattoos. While he often tattoos designs from other categories, today I want to focus on photo-realistic tattoos and better explain the difference between photo-realism and other styles. A photo-realistic tattoo differs from others, because it entails careful attention to exact details like highlights, shadows and texture. When you ask for a photo-realistic tattoo from Darl, you are asking him to tattoo what you see when you look at a real life thing or being the way it actually looks or a photograph of a real life item or being the way it actually looks in the picture.

Sometimes people get confused and think that by saying they wants a photo-realistic design, they are just looking for him to tattoo a picture or graphic exactly the way it appears on paper. That happens a lot, so I hope to clear up any confusion today.

To be clear, accurate duplication of a design  (tattooing something exactly the way it appears on the original design) should be expected with any tattoo from a professional artist, but it is not what defines photo-realism.

Photo-realism is a specific genre of art. Artists that practice photo-realism study a photograph of a real thing (ex: landscape, glass of soda or a human face) and then duplicates the image as realistically as possible in another medium.

Here Are Some Examples:

Below you see a drawing of a man looking at a feather in front of a diamond that Darl drew. It really looks like a man holding a feather in front of a diamond. But does it look like a real man holding a real feather in front of a real diamond? No. This is not a photo-realistic design.

This is a neo-traditional design. Neo-traditional designs put a new spin on the American traditional style, making it more modern by adding bold lines or using carefully chosen realistic parts within the design itself.

man feather

Here you see a drawing of a bottle of Coke that Darl also drew. It looks like a real life bottle of Coke.


This same photo-realistic definition is used in tattooing too.

The tattoo pictured below really looks like a rose. He enjoyed tattooing it. It looks beautiful. But does it look like a real rose? Nope.

This is not an example of photo-realism.


Now, this lion pictured below though … This looks like a real lion. The lion is an example of a photo-realistic tattoo.


Here are some other photo-realistic tattoos that Darl has done:

Photorealistic deer tattoo by tattoo artist Darl Papple in Michigan black and white photorealistic lion

Darl Papple photorealism tattoo artist in Michigan lip portrait sexy smoking 11150908_10202858421580862_7244286267429767107_n

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68189_10201805341854527_6818265952707092518_n Jackie Gleason portrait tattoo Michigan artist Darl Papple The Shop in Fowlerville

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You can find more examples of his photo-realism tattoos by finding Darl on Instagram or Facebook.

How Long Does It Take Darl To Tattoo A Portrait/Photo-realistic Tattoo?

Darl typically schedules portrait tattoos and photo-realistic tattoos to begin at 11 a.m. on a weekday and reserves the whole day for the tattoo. Photo realistic tattoos take an average of 4 hours to 7 hours to complete. After a two week healing period, Darl usually schedules a much shorter follow up appointment to add in extra highlights or to touch up any areas where the client might have compromised the tattoo by itching during the healing phase.

Scheduling An Appointment For A Photo-Realistic Tattoo

Darl is scheduling photo-realism tattoos between two weeks and two months out, depending on the size of the tattoo. Contact Darl by telephone or text at 810-569-5964 or send me (Deedee) a message through The Shop’s Facebook page. I can arrange either a free consultation or an appointment for you to be tattooed.

Price Of A Photo-realistic Tattoo By Darl Papple

Portrait tattoo and photo-realistic tattoos by Darl Papple typically range between $300 and $900, depending on size and subject. A $40 deposit is required to reserve an appointment. Deposits can be paid in cash at The Shop or by credit card or debit card through an email invoice that uses a secure PayPal-based invoicing platform. Darl offers free consultations.




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