Ink Master is currently in its seventh season. The Spike TV reality show has seen over half a decade of talented tattoo artists come and go, and with every season that passes, each challenge gets harder and harder. Judges Oliver Peck, Chris Núñez and Dave Navarro definitely tend to make it difficult for their competitors; but more times than not, it all winds up coming down to experience and skill.
Throughout the years on Ink Master, we have seen challenges that range from designing and tattooing traditional pin-ups, photorealistic portraits, new school figures and many more. Whether it’s a chance to show off an artist’s ability in applying full color saturation, black and gray shading, contrast or precision, each artist in this competition has their work cut out for them. Today, we will be looking at the best tattoos from the series so far that feature characters from X-Men, DC Comics and Star Wars.
Professor X by Sausage
In the fifth episode of Season 4, Las Vegas based artist Sausage was given a canvas that wanted a tattoo of Patrick Stewart as Professor X. Sausage did an amazing job capturing the likeness of Stewart in X-Men.
“It puts a comic book feel to a realistic portrait.” – Oliver Peck
“You have great application, you have really solid fundamentals. Overall, good job.” – Chris Núñez
Rogue by Halo
Artist Halo was given the challenge of tattooing Anna Paquin as Rogue and he did incredible work.
“This is a great tattoo. The skin tone is a lot darker than the photo, that is a good choice. You have to up the contrast on these light skin tones or else they’re just gonna blend in. Very good job.” – Oliver Peck
Magneto by King Ruck
King Ruck was given a canvas who wanted Magneto played by Michael Fassbender. The image of the actor is striking and the technique of using a more illustrated to the helmet really works well for the piece as a whole.
“It looks like an illustration, but inside the face you did a realistic color portrait. It made for a strong, bold tattoo.” – Oliver Peck
“You took the comic book approach. You did a nice job.” – Chris Núñez
Catwoman by Joey Hamilton
In Season 3, artist Joey Hamilton went on to win the entire competition, and with his rendition of Catwoman for DC Comics day we can certainly see why.
“Your attention to detail is a wow factor for me. Along the legs and along the sides, to see you ink your canvas with a scissor hatch, a style I’m very familiar with from comic books, I was pretty impressed.” – Greg Capullo, guest judge and comic book artist.
Bane by Josh Hibbard
Josh Hibbard from Portland, Oregon did a fantastic job during the DC elimination challenge with this intense and brutal version of Bane.
“Overall, I think you really captured the essence of this character. The smooth shading, all that black and deep shadowing, very consistent.” – Oliver Peck
“It’s a really nice job.” – Chris Núñez
Deathstroke by Jason Clay Dunn
California based tattooer Jason Clay Dunn proved to be one of Ink Master’s most talented artists and went on to win the finale of Season 5. While Chris Núñez commented on the final piece’s lack of saturation, Deathstroke does look pretty great here.
“This is a clean tattoo. There are a lot of great consistencies in this.” – Oliver Peck
Yoda by Tatu Baby
In the seventh episode of Season 2, Miami-based artist Katherine “Tatu Baby” Flores won the Star Wars themed elimination challenge with an excellent depiction of Yoda.
“You really knocked it out of the park. Capturing the depth of his eyes and the underside of his chin where it’s really dark and the light side of his face is exactly what this challenge was asking.” – Oliver Peck
Clone Trooper by Sarah Miller
Sarah Miller is easily the biggest Star Wars fan of the group of artists. She immediately set out to design a cool piece featuring a clone trooper in front of the Imperial cog.
“I used a lot of skin breaks and what I did to show thee white on that trooper was just from the contrast of the darker colors.” – Sarah Miller
“That use of contrast in a very insignificant part of the tattoo is very impressive.” – Oliver Peck
Darth Maul by Clint Cummings
After winning the flash challenge by designing a clone trooper helmet to show contrast, Clint Cummings chose to tattoo a canvas who wanted a mean and fierce looking Darth Maul.
“This is a very smooth tattoo. You added a couple of extra tones in your darkness of the red. That thing is nice.” – Oliver Peck
Wolverine by Scott Marshall
One of the most unexpected moments of Ink Master so far, was the day Hugh Jackman walked in on the competition to judge X-Men tattoos.
“That is awesome. The likeness, the character, the detail and the way you deal with a curved canvas on the body to me is astonishing. From someone who lives in that world, I can tell you every one of the actors would be blown away by what you have done. The winner is Scott.”