It's easy to get caught up in "what a tattoo is supposed to look like." For the masters and the uninitiated alike, there are rules to the various legs of the art world that become an unspoken dogma. But the best part about rules is breaking them, and when an artist of any ilk comes along and smashes what our understanding of art or literature or music, well, it's worth fucking celebrating.
L'oiseau, a French tattooist running his own private studio Faubourg Tattoo Club, works in a style all his own. Standing proudly in the illustrative genre, L'oiseau's work is sketchy, loose, and reminiscent of the pages one would find of DaVinci's work, or the sketchbooks of Picasso.
The truth is, a clean yet detailed sketch is a beautiful thing to behold. We can see the artist's intentions in a looser piece of work — understanding of anatomy, directionality of line, flow of the hand. So translating a sketch onto the body is literally an indelible way to honor the artistic process.
Hatch-marks in tattoos aren't a new thing, but when they're used as a way to connote shadow and form, as opposed to being used as a little bit of window dressing for a more "final" piece, hatches become a different tool entirely. They're embellishments with a purpose.
L'oiseau leaves his sketchy, finding lines — the gentle, searching pencil marks that help an artist render a form — in each of his tattoos. Doing this makes it seem as if he has literally taken a charcoal stick to his clients.
Swing on over to L'oiseau's Instagram to see more of his incredible work. And remember, break some rules. The results are always astounding.