This San Diego based artist excels at creating moody monsters and marvelous masked women.

The art world loves women. You see them as every different type of muse, goddess, villain, and sometimes even seasons, as evident by Alphonse Mucha. We won’t lie. We’re fucking fascinating, so it comes as no surprise why we play the muse for so many an artist. Whether a heroine, villain, season, goddess, or just an average Jane, ladies make for the optimal muse, ‘cause we’re just so damn diverse. Artist Phil Hatchet of Felix Master Tattoo in San Diego, California knows this all too well, and he’s creating some of the most unique monsters, dreamers, and sirens we’ve ever seen. If you’re an American traditional fan, you’re in luck, as he’s one of the most solid traditional artists we’ve seen in quite some time.

It’s not everyday you see Medusa, a nurse, cholas and a fanged woman (possibly goddess) who has likely just devoured someone judging by the blood trickling down her face. While Hatchet’s work is traditional in every sense of the word, something about his use of color is significantly richer than that of other American traditional artists. 

Noticeable in the the eyes of each woman, which seem to sort of glisten in a way, he takes care to blend colors. In lieu of simply filling them in with a single tone color, he blends browns and greens to create hazel eyes in the siren. Blending various tones of ocean blue with teals, he creates depth in the eyes of the chola. The same care of color can be seen in the blue freckles that dot the bridge of Medusa’s nose. But perhaps the absolute best example of his use of color lies in the butterfly on the masked woman. Carefully detailed and wonderfully intricate, he uses deep forest greens and reds to offset the golden hues of her eyes, and make them really pop.

Subjectively speaking, the whole of his portfolio is somewhat darker than that of his peers. Menacing monsters, mysterious masked ladies, and woeful weeping women bring a looming sense of mystique and sorrow. While his style may be traditional, the underlying tones, genius use of color, and characters Hatchet illustrates are anything but. Hats off to one of our favorite new traditional artists.

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