Last week, the artists were tested with portrait tattoos. Dani rose to the top of the pack, securing best tattoo of the day. Jason, Laura and Pon were the bottom three artists, with Queens-based artist Pon sent packing.
This week, the final four artists were tasked with surviving a tattoo marathon in order to advance to the finale. They were required to create four 90 minute tattoos, one designed by themselves and the other three by their competitors. This challenge is a favorite of the franchise, famously appearing on season 6. For his tattoo, Jake designed a neotraditional dragon claw. Laura, on the other hand, crafted a new school scumbag skull. Dani assigned an illustrative black-and-grey key with a lady head. And lastly, Creepy Jason drew a new school ink bottle-skull morph. And to keep things interesting, each of the artist's tattoos were judged blind.
First up for judgement with Dani's design, Jake was complimented for the soft shading, however, the judges critiqued the imperfect circles within the tattoo.
Next up, the judges enjoyed Creepy Jason's shading approach and his consistent circles, but Peck did question his choice not to color the pupil of the eye.
The judges loved Dani's tattoo, calling it their favorite of that drawing so far and guessing (correctly) that she did it.
Last up for Dani's design, the judges tore apart Laura's tattoo for feeling one dimensional.
Out of the three, the artists ruled that Dani had the best tattoo based on her design.
First up with Creepy Jason's design, the judges appreciated Dani's application, however, Peck wished her tattoo had more contrast to fit within the new school theme.
Next up, the judges questioned Laura's application in Creepy Jason's design, with Nunez calling the tattoo "dirty."
Although the judges appreciated the color glow effect of Creepy Jason's tattoo, Peck pointed out the inconsistent saturation within the mouth.
The judges disliked Jake's approach to line work in this tattoo and found troubles specifically within the mouth.
First up with Laura's design, the judges pointed out that Dani was in a hurry when it came to her wobbly line work.
Next up, the judges loved the color balance and application of Creepy Jason's tattoo.
The judges found fault with the line work saturation of Jake's tattoo, particularly within the tips of the mohawk and the divets of the skull.
Last up for this round, the judges believed that Laura struggled with consistency in the tips of her mohawk.
Out of these tattoos, Creepy Jason did the best job executing Laura's design.
First up with Jake's design, the judges appreciated the simple color palette and clean application of Laura's tattoo.
The judges found many outline problems within Dani's tattoo and overall, they didn't like her take on the design.
Jake excelled with his own design, with the judges appreciating his legibility and smart color choices.
Creepy Jason's tattoo was called out for being messy, specifically within the gold details holding the claw.
Out of these four tattoos, the judges liked Laura's piece the best.
Each artist had highs and lows throughout the tattoo marathon, but this wasn't their last chance to impress the judges this week. For their second test, they were tasked with tattooing pieces based on their opponents best pieces of the competition—Jason's broccoli wizard, Laura's alien, Dani's witch and Jake's plague doctor. Based on their standing in the tattoo marathon, the artists were able to select the tattoo they wanted to do. Laura was ranked highest and she selected Jake's plague doctor. The second highest was Creepy Jason, who picked Laura's alien. Third was Dani, who chose Creepy Jason's broccoli wizard. Last was Jake, who was given Dani's witch.
First up for judgement, Laura's tattoo was complimented for incorporating a variety of textures and successfully packing bold color.
The judges appreciated the creativity in Dani's tattoo and the clean, sticker-like look of her design.
Creepy Jason also impressed the judges with his creativity. But while he nailed the small details of this piece, Nunez wished there was more black in the tattoo to push the colors forward.
The judges appreciated Jake's rendition of Dani's design and complimented the contrast he created in the shading.
Out of these tattoos, the judges picked Dani for best tattoo of the day, making her the first artist to secure a spot in the finale. The second artist to earn their spot in the finale was Laura. The third artist to make it to finale was Creepy Jason, meaning Jake was sent packing right before the finale.
For the finale, the artists were tasked with creating 35 hour back pieces at home in the subject of their choice. However, their competitors were able to choose the other's style.
Creepy Jason and Laura assigned Dani color bio-mechanical.
Creepy Jason and Dani assigned Laura traditional color Japanese.
Laura and Dani assigned Creepy Jason black-and-grey realism.
did you think about this week's episode? Did Dani have the best tattoo of the day? Did Jake deserve to be eliminated? Who do you want to be crowned Ink Master next week? Let us know your thoughts on this week's episode in the comments section.