Covering up an existing tattoo with another is an option for clients who do not wish to have the tattoo removed. A person may have received a poorly done tattoo or tattooed subject matter or a name on them that he no longer wishes to have visible. A dark-coloured or well-done tattoo is more difficult to cover up than a tattoo that was done by an unprofessional artist. Colours such as red, yellow, green or any light colour will not cover a previous tattoo that has black ink. This will sometimes limit the client's options for subject matter of the cover-up design.
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A tribal design that is filled in completely with black is a way to cover up a large previous tattoo. When the original tattoo is dark in colour, black is sometimes the only option to completely cover it. Tribal designs are for men and women, and can be drawn and tattooed from the size of a dollar bill to covering a whole arm in a half sleeve. This will work on an original tattoo that has not faded over time. Tribal will cover a large area like a bicep, shoulder or back piece.
Flowers, such as roses and lilies, are feminine options to cover up old tattoos. The folds and intricate parts of flowers, along with the leaves, mask the original tattoo and cover it well. The original tattoo blends together with the curves of the flower of the new tattoo to disguise it. For example, when covering up a name, the artist may use the circular loop in the cursive letter "R" in the original tattoo to form the centre of the flower.
The body of a panther is filled in completely with black ink and can cover an extremely dark tattoo. Curving the torso of the panther, as if the panther were in motion, like crawling or climbing, will disguise an original tattoo that curves, such as a crescent moon. This method also works well for vertical lettering or initials that run down an arm, calf or ribs that are solid black or tattooed originally in a dark colour.
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