How to draw a tattooed arm in 3 simple steps

A niche skill, admittedly, but you never know when it might come in handy.

How to draw a hairy, tattooed arm
A perfect hand every time.

We asked Spanish illustrator Paco Rico Torres how to paint a hairy, tattooed arm. Here’s what he had to say…

01. Start with the skin

How to draw a hairy, tattooed arm
First draw the skin, emphasising veins.

I paint the skin, trying to emphasise the veins, the shape of the bones and skin imperfections (the skin spots are on a separate Multiply layer, which is convenient for painting the hair later on). There isn’t too much detail on the arm because it’s going to be covered with hair.

02. Getting hairy

How to draw a hairy, tattooed arm
Next, start to depict the hair

Then I start to depict the hair, which involves me painting a greyish tone over the arm, and some brushstrokes to create the visual effect of hair pointing in one direction. Then I paint the hair outline on the arm and hand, and introduce some extra hair with thin brush strokes.

03. Ink time

How to draw a hairy, tattooed arm
The final step is to add the tattoos.

I add the tattoos on a Multiply layer over the hair, and paint over them using further layers to integrate them better with the skin (some extra hair, some extra lights, for instance). Finally, I mix some textures and paste them over the image on a low Opacity Overlay layer.

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