Alex de Pase is an Italian tattoo artist who was first inspired to create tattoos by a friend who had learned the skill in jail. The friends built their own home made tattoo kit with bic pens, sewing needles and other items found around the house. Over two decades Alex de Pase has mastered his own tattoo technique and is now creating stunning photo-realistic tattoos with decorative, artistic elements.
Photo-realistic Portrait Tattoos
De Pase is a master at creating beautiful portrait tattoos in a photo-realistic style. Often his portrait tattoos will seem to have more life in them than the photograph that he used as reference. Many photo-realistic tattoos lack the realistic textures that de Pase creates in his art. The eyes of his subjects are often convincingly wet, and the artist doesn’t leave out the fine lines and skin textures around the mouth and eyes that add to the realism of the portrait.
Alex de Pase often includes artistic elements that add to the beauty of the portrait tattoo. Often these design elements will appear as though painted on the face, as seen in the picture above, or painted over the finished artwork. The image below shows sugar skull tattoo designs painted on the woman’s face as though she is wearing sugar skull make up. On her forehead are floral designs that seem to be painted on top of the image of the woman, adding depth to the design.
Many of Alex de Pase’s portrait tattoos are influenced by the art of Dia de los Muertos, the Mexican Day of the Dead. The event is celebrated with sugar skulls; edible sweets made in the shape of a human skull that are decorated with flowers, jewels and other happy designs. Although many sugar skull tattoos appear almost cartoonish in nature, de Pase has brought the fad to a new level by creating exquisite photo-realistic portrait tattoos of people wearing sugar skull make-up. Learn more about sugar skull tattoos in Celebrate the Day of the Dead with Sugar Skull Tattoos
Photo-realistic Animal and Insect Tattoos
Although many of Alex de Pase’s tattoos are portraits, he also creates a number of nature-inspired tattoo designs. The textures of fur, feathers or insect carapaces all provide the artist with a new challenge as each must be tattooed in a different way to create a convincingly realistic effect. Animal tattoos are also symbolic, which means that not only are Alex de Pase’s animal tattoos beautiful, they are also meaningful.
Insects are becoming more popular as tattoo designs because of the role that insects have played in folk lore and religious cultures. Often an insect is associated with a certain deity and performs an important task in the realm of the Gods. Because of this connection with spirituality and religion, insects often become symbolic of certain actions such as guardianship, renewal or carrying messages. The most popular insects for tattoos are often beautiful winged insects like butterflies and dragonflies, but the underdogs are making an appearance in tattoo art too in the form of beetle, snail and bee tattoos.
Tattoo portraits of animals can often contain the same emotive appeal as a portrait of a human face. Our brains read the expression on animal’s faces in much the same way as it reads the facial expressions of humans. Direction of gaze, the tilt of the head and the shape of the mouth can all give clues as to how the animal was feeling at the time that the photograph was taken. One animal that exhibits similar facial expressions to humans is the gorilla. The basic shape of a gorilla’s face is similar to a human face, with forward facing eyes set above a nose and mouth. With their nearly human eyes, gorillas are often referred to as distant cousin to human beings and are sometimes used in art as a symbol of the connection between nature and humanity.