Darl Papple, owner and artist of The Shop, specializes in photo-realism and portrait tattoos.
Choosing A Portrait Artist
Let’s say you ask yourself, “Who should I go to for a portrait tattoo?” If you live in Michigan, there are several talented artists to choose from to get quality portrait tattoos. There are a lot of talented portrait tattoo artists in Michigan.
Here is what you don’t want to do though. Please do not go to a portrait tattoo artist unless they are familiar with drawing and tattooing portraits of faces. They aren’t the easiest tattoos, and you don’t want to end up with a portrait tattoo that only resembles the subject or worse – makes the subject look bad! Just because a tattoo artist can rock out awesome lines doesn’t mean that they can tattoo a portrait. Actually, lines generally have little to do with a photo-realistic portrait.
Look at a photograph of a human face. The face has highlights, shadows and texture, but it isn’t the same as a line drawing. So, please make sure that if you want to get a portrait tattoo, your artist knows how to draw portraits! Darl has been drawing commissioned portraits for purchasers for literally decades. His background is portraits.
Choosing The Subject
Pick a photograph in which the subject looks the way they really do and you will be amazed at the feedback you get. I have three portraits tattoos that Darl tattooed on my right arm and I get compliments about them every day that I wear a tank top. It is the best feeling. Every single day that my portrait tattoos by Darl Papple are visible someone will say something like, “That looks so real!” or, “Hey, that’s that the Vulcan science officer from Star Trek!” Yes, yes it is Commander T’Pol.
My favorite compliment though came from a seven year old. While I was volunteering at a local school, a sweet little boy came up to me and said, “Hey! You have Caesar on your arm. I love Planet of the Apes!” He was so excited. It was really cool. But even more importantly in regard to choosing a tattoo, my Caesar tattoo is such a photorealistic replica of Caesar’s face that the seven year old was able to differentiate his face (with zero attire, props or other visual clues) from the face of a typical chimpanzee.
Of course, sometimes people want portraits of their loved ones tattooed on them. Here’s the best advice I can give on that:
Choose a portrait that has the highest definition. Darl will tattoo the picture exactly as it appears. If the photo you choose has less definition, you will see less definition. If the portrait you choose has the subject making an unusual face, that’s the face you will get for your tattoo.
How Much Do Portrait Tattoos Cost?
This really depends. If Darl loves the portrait or the subject that you have chosen, the cost will come down. If you let him choose the photo of your desired subject, the price will come down. Portrait tattoos do take a lot of time, but since Darl prefers portrait tattoos, he tries his hardest to keep them affordable for people who appreciate photo-realism the way he does.
If we have a large cancellation, you can sometimes get really great deals on portraits. So, be sure to follow us on Facebook in order to be made aware of last minute openings.
Generally speaking, normally priced portrait tattoos from The Shop will range between $300-$400 all the way up to $900-$1,000 depending on the size and subject. If you message the shop or text Darl [(810)569-5964], we can get you a firm quote before you even book your appointment, so that there are no surprises.
Don’t Forget You Can Also Order Portrait Drawings
Maybe you aren’t into tattoos. Maybe you need the perfect gift. Darl’s portrait services also includes portraits in mediums besides ink-on-skin.