Breathtaking Ballpoint Pen Tattooed Portraits by Gabriel Moreno
Madrid-based illustrator Gabriel Moreno celebrates women's beauty through his sensual graphite portraits featuring various tattoo styles.
I've been a fan of Gabriel Moreno when I first laid eyes on his stunning, gradient-laden, tattooed portraits years ago. They were dramatic, very lifelike, and incredibly detailed. A true contemporary fine art. He made use of contrasting elements in black and white portraits with basic blue ballpoint pens and watercolors in his mixed media works that are bound to catch your eyes and capture your hearts.
Gabriel Moreno is a Spanish illustrator named as one of the most influential artists by several magazines since officially launching his art career online in 2007. Since then, he quickly became one of the most renowned contemporary artists and landed several commissions for advertising work — big names like Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Time featuring his exceptional pieces. Let's not forget Nike (USA), Coca-Cola, Universal Music, Victoria’s Secret, and Rolex.
Inspired by the undeniable beauty of women, Gabriel brings out the best of that beauty through moving and realistic large scale portraits which he then extravagantly adorns with tattoos that make sure everybody who sees it will look twice and marvel at the incredible detail and demiurgic concept.
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I especially love the way he ‘tattoos’ his women with various themed works in traditional, religious, irezumi, and sacred geometry using blue ballpoint pens. It's easy to put tattoos on portraits but with the way Gabriel does it, he balances both aspects out and brings out the best in both. He then finishes them off with abstract paint or with digital techniques in his computer with a Wacom tablet, making one stunning mixed media piece.
The use of blue ink reminds me of vintage traditional American tattoos seen on sailors — a glorious era. It reflects a strong presence of tattoos in contemporary fine art.
‘I followed a path that led to the evolution of my interests and not one in discordance,’ Gabriel told Arts Illustrated. ‘I approach my work with the intention of best representing the subjects to be portrayed but also doing so in accordance with my specific drawing style. I search out the dynamics that most aid in the development of that particular work both for the subject and for what most suits my vision of the finished work.’
Follow Gabriel on Instagram.