Get to know the artist David Peyote, and his psychedelic tattoos
Techniques and tips to achieve excellent lettering
28 March 2023
Colour tattoos have a special attraction due to their visual impact, making them a popular choice among tattoo artists of different styles.
One such artist is David Peyote, who not only excels in creating colourful tattoos, but does so in a completely unique style. His tattoos combine elements of psychedelic art, geometry, abstraction and surrealism, all composed with spectacular mastery.
If you want to learn more about this exceptional artist, we have everything you need to know right here.
Who is David Peyote?
David Peyote is an Italian artist who currently resides in Montreal. He started his career as a graphic designer, but in 2012 he decided to venture into the world of Body Art, where he discovered his true passion for tattoos.
Initially, David attempted to express his creativity on paper, but he didn't feel comfortable with his work and felt that something was missing. Then, he decided to pursue his career as a psychedelic-style tattoo artist.
David has always been drawn to things that break the rules and push the boundaries of traditional art. His main influences come from renowned design artists such as Saul Bass and Roman Cieslewicz.
David finds inspiration in many things, including art, street lighting, and street art colours. However, his training and expertise in graphic design are most evident in how he handles geometry and casts shadows in his tattoo designs.
He enjoys collaborating, recognizing that no one can accomplish everything alone. As a result, he established his studio in Montreal, Velours Studio, which he shares with lifelong friends and colleagues. This is a hybrid studio, according to Peyote, which focuses on tattoos of various styles and urban fashion, as the artist also has a clothing brand.
If you're interested in learning more about NFTs in the tattooing world, we encourage you to read our article here, explaining everything about Are NFT's the future of tattoos?.
For the artist, tattooing means more than just a profession. It has given him everything he has, including the opportunity to travel and meet new people, but most importantly, it has allowed him to understand himself better.
The style: psychedelic tattoos
The term psychedelia is a neologism derived from the Greek words for “soul” and “manifest” or “manifestation”. Its original usage referred to the projection of the soul in a spiritual and abstract sense.
Over time, this concept was represented in art and eventually evolved into psychedelia, an established artistic movement with a distinct meaning.
As a part of the counterculture that emerged in the 1960s, psychedelia gained prominence. The use of drugs for experimentation, youth liberation, and revolution against established norms were the fundamental pillars of that era.
As a result, peace symbols, yin and yang, flowers, and the first psychedelic designs emerged in tattooing.
Peyote incorporated this movement to create a unique and distinctive style, emphasizing strong lines and vibrant colours. By combining surrealism and psychedelia, the artist found his signature style, sometimes characterized by a more spatial and futuristic feel. As a result, anyone who sees one of his tattoos can instantly recognize it as his own.
David likes to design tattoos that have to do with his client's personality because his interest is in leaving a mark and representing something that makes sense to the person tattooing.
Therefore, just as tattooing is not just a job for him, neither are his designs. Art expresses the soul, and for David, that is the main thing. In his work, emotionality prevails over rationality.
The artist's techniques
The tattoo artist uses various techniques. As we mentioned in the article The chromatic circle and its importance in colour tattoos, mastering the pigments is not for everyone.
First, you must have a very extensive knowledge of colour theory, which David knows perfectly from his training as a designer.
In his execution, it is rare for the artist to leave empty spaces since solid fillings, and thick and defined strokes stand out in his designs. In addition, he uses pure pigments and prefers strong colours and strong contrasts.
In his designs, the use of gradients to generate depth and lighting, typical of psychedelia, is striking.
Black backgrounds are a common rule in his tattoos. To a greater or lesser extent, he always uses this resource to generate a greater impact on the contrasts and, of course, for the colours to be more noticeable.
For David, contrasts are the most important thing in tattooing, and he is not afraid to use a considerable load of black ink in his designs.
For their part, tattoos with such strong lines usually need large spaces to be able to show off better. This is why the artist's designs are often huge.
The use of fine needles would not be the case for Peyote, except when you want to add very particular details. If not, instead, use quite large needles compared to other artists.
Specializing in gradients, he frequently uses magnum-type needles. As we mentioned in the article Tattoo needles guide, the grouping of this type of needle is excellent for achieving shadows and fills, allowing large surfaces to be covered.
But he also often uses other needles, such as contours or details.
Mastering colour is not for everyone, especially not how Peyote does it. His knowledge of Colour Theory and the composition that graphic design has given him is very noticeable in his work.
Design and illustration are always allies of the tattoo. For this reason, as we have commented on several occasions, it is normal for some tattoo artists to start out as designers or plastic artists before immersing themselves in the world of needles.
Remember that drawing is fundamental to your work. Take David as an example. To learn more about this, read our article Learn to draw for tattooing, where you have all the necessary tips and advice to improve your drawing.
What do you think of the article? Did you know David and his psychedelic tattoos? What other artists specialised in colour tattoos do you know? Share your thoughts in the comments!