I would like to share with others who wish to draw Bio-Mechanical flash and or design for any other application.
To help with your art, I will suggest this. When learning an artistic style, I follow the trivium method of learning.
Step 1 break down the style into it's most basic elements, example, does that style use lines, what kind of lines, specific colors, specific kind of shading et cetera. Create a theory of how you believe that style may be captured in it's most basic form. Step two, practice your theory and see the results, does your theory work in practice. If you have to cheat your theory to make the design work, then you need to return to step 1. Once successful, move onto step 3. Step 3, teach others (which is what I am doing here lol), your theory so they may apply this theory in practice as well. When you teach others, your brain has to rationalize and communicate in language what you may already intuitively know, this deepens our understanding of the subject. Also people ask creative questions which throw angles at your theory which you will have to rationalize and overcome, this further deepens our understanding of the subject.
The basic elements of a Biomechanical tattoo design are (1) to design a form that fits the body (or any other form you are design to fit), based of muscled mass and skeletal structure and (2) the shaped masses that make up the form of the design, must be self self similar, replicating and flowing like a fractal image. This makes the design to look like it has grown organically to this shape, like a stalagmite, sea shell or coral.
Progression in design.
When designing a Bio-mechanical piece I try to concentrate on capturing progression through the design.
Progression is visual arts is much like progression in Music, total chaos can be hard to stomach and is not very appealing.
So when design Bio-mechanical design I think of progression as well put together guitar licks, that start somewhere and work their way to somewhere else, progressively, building and repetition in rhythm enough to keep the flow of the song.
As stated previously I have found that generally the design area should have 3 layers of depth. Less than three layers looks flat and lacks depth alternatively more layers are confusing to the eye and the design looses depth because of busyness, further as a general rule to be broken as necessary, keep the three design element each a third of the application area, restated this way 1/3 foreground, 1/3 mid-ground and 1/3 background.
At least 3 different texture signatures, should be used so that the eye can easily differentiate between the layered structure. An example of this is (1) smooth, (2) Rough and (3) ribbed/bumpy.
I have designed a test, that I use to teach my students the Biomechanical Style of design. If you follow along an try this your self you discover a penchant for this type of design, it allows a lot of creativity and expressive design. Some times what at first appear to be a bad design will work out in the end if you see it through and stick to the basics.
(1) The first step in this drawing exercise is to make the general shape of an arm on a plain sheet of 8.5 by 11 inch white piece of paper.
(2) Next roughly draw where your bones would be, this does not have to be accurate just approximate.
(3) Next draw the muscles mass lines of an arm, again this does not have to be accurate just approximate.
(4) Pick only three design elements to be our foreground, mid ground and back ground respectively. The design element should be shapes that are easily distinguished from each other. The shapes can be what ever you find astatically appealing. Now roughly draw in those shapes, in their most basic form, keeping in mind these shapes should flow with the body structures, bones and muscles underneath the skin.
(5) Now add more shape to the basic forms, paying attention especially to the outer edges of the forms.
(6) erase the sketch lines between the edge lines.
(7) Define the basic shapes of the three layers of the design, concentrating on only the edge lines.
(8) add a detail only to the Foreground element, concentrating on bringing shape and flow to the basic shape, concentrating on the details that give the shape a depth.
The idea here is to make a progression from one shape transitioning to the nest shape in small increments. This would be similar to the shape or forms in a sea shell or rams horn. As one shape turns into the next it will be self similar to the shape before it, but slightly different, progressing to ward the goal shape.
After you have complete the first element continue in this same process for each other element of the design, remember keep the shapes and textures self similar, though slightly different.
(9) Next add a detail only to the next element such as the mid-ground, concentrating on bringing shape and flow to the basic shape, concentrating on the details that give the shape a depth.
(10) Next add a detail to the Background, concentrating on bringing shape and flow to the basic shape, concentrating on the details that give the shape a depth.
(11) Now look at the image and add drop shadows, form shadows, texture and contrast where ecstatically necessary to define the form to taste.
The same principles apply to any shape that is being design to form fit, being forearm, back head, face, whatever. As long as one works on one element at a time, it will not be overwhelming and before you know it the whole design is complete. I am often surprised by what turns out, from first inspiration to final design a lot of editing and refining takes place, so the finished product may not look as one first envisioned it, but it is an original creating none the less and often we outdo our initial idea.
The Gif image I prepared as a visual aid is found here (had to learn how to do this Gif flash image for the first time):
The final image which was the result of this tutorial can be found here:
Hope you like this tutorial and it helps unlock something in you as an artist. Sometimes we become disenchanted with drawing regular stuff, so break away and draw forms for fun. I love this style of design, it is challenging and provides a release for the normal rules of design. An remember if you are not having fun,.. do something else for a while. Lol.