Mixing Elements / by Justin Nordine


Mixing Elements can be disastrous or something of beauty. It all comes down to balance, composition and color.  

This idea of mixing elements is something I have used for many, many years, even when I was an undergrad studying fine art. Mixing elements that typically don’t go together. Chaos and structure. My term for Synth-Nouveau in a nutshell

It has become a staple look for my tattoos. I generally ask clients to pick one item/theme and then embellish it from there with geometric elements or line based imagery. Then use the underlying watercolor technique to finalize the design.  

I have found that when doing a full sleeve, I have to be very methodical how I structure things. Too much chaos and the sleeve looks messy and un-refined. Too little and it looks incomplete.   I’m constantly looking at the design as I would a a painting.   Does it flow?  Are the colors balanced?  Are various elements working with one another?  I often even use the 3/4 rule. Then add the location of the body and making it also move with that particular body part. 

It’s  a lot of planning and structure.  And by doing this, my mixture of elements makes for some unique outcomes.   what do you think?


Much love.