The reason that doing portrait work can be so difficult is that the key doesn't lie in replicating the face perfectly as much as it does in capturing the spirit of the subject. That fact holds true no matter the medium—paintings, photographs and tattoos all need to do this in order to create a great portrait. Today's Tattoo of the Day is a portrait of the infamous author Charles Bukowski and it captures his essence beautifully. Working off of a well-known photograph tattooist Luka Lajoie was able to portray Buk the way that his fans knew him best—surly, lively and with a drink in his hand.
All males of a certain generation seem to go through a phase where they think that Bukowski is the greatest writer on Earth. This usually occurs sometime around the freshman year of college. Bukowski was a hard living man who lusted over almost every woman he encountered and relished a good bar brawl so it's only natural that he would become the hero of young men. For those that only saw him as a party guy the fascination would be fleeting. But for those who saw the beauty in his poetry about the drudgery of life, Bukowski's work leaves a lasting impression on the soul.
The person who got this tattoo is clearly in that second group as they will now carry Bukowski with them for the rest of their days. Lajoie was able to capture the rage of Bukowski's writing in each and every crag on his weathered face. After becoming frustrated by not being able to think of imaginary things that he wanted to tattoo Lajoie opted to specialize in realism, a decision that the entire tattoo community should applaud since his portrait work is absolutely sick.
You can see a bunch of Lajoie's fantastic portraiture work as well as read an interview with the Canadian artist at his Freshly Inked profile. We suggest you poor yourself a drink, put on some of Bukowski's readings, and click here to take in Lajoie's work. It'll be an artistic explosion in your mind that you will clearly relish.