Amy Savage and Her Doting Dotwork Animals

Amy Savage and Her Doting Dotwork Animals

Textured critters so gentle you want take them home and pet them.

This author's gonna be real with you: I love black work. I love black work, I love dot work, I love textures made entirely with line. I've loved it in the comics I read, the cartoons I watch, and the tattoos I get and gaze upon. So when I learned about Amy Savage and her fantastic black work, welp, of course I got a little giddy. 


Savage has a broad range, but her dotwork animals are just so tender. Their eyes reflect back at you, their fur has texture that's unique and also highly stylized. 

Dotwork, or stippling as it's called in the fine art world, is a classic technique. Packing as many or as little dots into a piece as possible, slowly fading the dots away, creates a depth to the piece. The texture the dots create can be used as skin, fur, glistening noses, or simply a form of shading.

Smiling sloth, by Amy Savage. (via IG—amyvsavage) #amysavage #amyvsavage #animals #blackwork #dotwork

A client's skin becomes the high tone in black work. The rest is just an act of shading, of letting an image come through by stippling the details in. Savage uses a minimal amount of lines to create her images — the dotwork does, well, the work.

The end result is an incredibly pleasing feast for the eyes. Textures intersect, dots and lines overlap, all creating a softness that really lets Savage's animals shine.

Savage's work is somehow cute and bad-ass at the same time, as fans have noted. The coupling of her perfected dotwork with her grasp of animal anatomy and facial structures is really a perfect marriage. 

Swing on over to Savage's Instagram for more magic. She usually tattoos out of a private studio, The Warren, in Cantebury, but is about to be on the road in London and Stockholm. 

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