Renowned artist and illustrator Courtney Davis has produced his second Tattoo Workbook, which will doubtless prove an invaluable addition to any tattoo bookshelf. The first volume was about Celtic designs, and in this second book he turns his attention to Viking designs.
The Vikings as a people have been much maligned over the years and popular history has distilled their culture and lifestyle to encompass merely ‘rape and pillage’! This is wholly inaccurate, of course, and this book shows that they certainly had some beautiful and meaningful imagery and a keen eye for the decorative arts. Some of the designs reproduced in the Workbook are traditional Viking ones, slightly reworked for ease of tattooing; others are new designs by Courtney Davis, using his knowledge and artistry to maintain the true spirit of the Vikings within the artwork.
The images are all in black, crisply and simply printed, so they are ideal for using as tattoo designs. As well as the dozens of pictures, there is a fascinating introduction by Norwegian art gallery owner Nils Friis plus a chronological history of Viking design styles.
Whilst the designs echo what we know as Celtic work, using intertwined knotwork and stylised animals, there is a unique look to the imagery that will appeal to the tattooist and tattooee alike. Courtney Davis also really understands what makes a tattooable image so these can go straight from the printed page to the skin without further adaptation. A very useful, interesting book and highly recommended.
Skin Deep Magazine