Applying tattoo techniques to oil painting with Jose Perez Jr.



Jose Perez Jr. here and today I am walking

through my oil painting titled "The Key." I was invited to participate in a gallery event for fellow tattoo artist Carlos Torres' studio and gallery opening in Long Beach, CA.


The concept of"The Key" comes from my personal experience with tattooing. The 'key to my success' comes with a physical price.


Although there are many differences in tattooing and oil painting application and technique, there are ways to bring artistic decisions and layering that I apply in both tattooing and oil painting.





4 ways to apply tattoo techniques to oil painting:


1. Reference Images:


Search strictly for high resolution images online. Images should have even distribution of lights and darks. Contrast is key in creating depth and a focal point.


  • In Google image searches, click TOOLS, click the drop down menu under SIZE and select LARGE.

: GOOGLE > IMAGES > TOOLS > SIZE > LARGE


Search strictly for high resolution images online. Images should have even distribution of lights and darks. Contrast is key in creating depth and a focal point.


  • Can’t find a good image online?

For this painting, I took my own reference images, added some details and adjusted the tones and contrast in photoshop.

Take your own reference pictures!


This will take your reference image a step further, allowing you to control the lighting. Play around with light sources or add multiple light sources to maximize drop shadows and highlights in your piece.