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After a week’s pause, Ink Master is back with another double-threat team.

On the fifth episode of the reality we see another set of veterans returning to the Ink Master shop – King Ruck and E.S. from Black Spade Tattoo, Las Vegas. The two veterans have been on the show before, on Season 4 and Season 3 respectively, and have more than 20 years of experience combined.

The Graffiti Masters

Both newcomers have suffered harsh critiques for their designs on their previous seasons. In their honour, all the artists were tested on composition throughout the episode.

Black Spade Tattoo seem to get a flying start, getting a graffiti tattoo as their flash challenge. Both artists come from a graffiti background, so it should have been an easy win. E.S. is known for bold lines and smooth shading and has 16 years of experience. King Ruck is a whole decade behind on XP, but he’s the one to handle the fine lines and smooth grays. However, their combined smooth shading yields a lot of grey and almost no contrast in the final piece. A real surprise for everyone, but they’re not even in the running for winning the flash challenge.

Black Spade Elimination Tattoo
Black Spade Elimination Tattoo

Composition Day

The key to composition is finding the balance in the drawing, especially when there’s a complicated concept at hand. Good, simple ideas are easy to lay out and execute. But when a client comes up with a bad idea for a crammed piece, it’s up to a good artist to make something beautiful out of it. The tricky part? You don’t just need a balanced piece, but you want it to be dynamic as well. If there’s no flow in the composition, it will look static and crude.

Once again, it was Artistic Skin Designs at the top, winning the flash challenge with a beautiful, dynamic fishing scene. And it was up to them to assign all the skulls for the elimination challenge, which took the subject of the day to a whole knew level.

Colour Realistic Battles

If there’s no action, it’s not a battle. That’s just a fact. And what all of the canvases today were after was a battle scene in full colour.  Artistic Skin Designs  did well for themselves with the skull pick, but not well enough. In their defence, there balls dropping all over the place.

Artistic Skin Designs Elimination Tattoo
Artistic Skin Designs Elimination Tattoo

After at least two heated arguments among the contestants, Think Before You Ink were sent down by their peers, joined by Classic Trilogy Tattoo and  Pinz and Needlez. Both Classic Trilogy and the girls from Pinz and Needlez had trouble with their canvases. The former had to deal with their canvas passing out, and the latter failed to establish a good rapport with theirs from the start. The results were two unfinished tattoos, and it was arguable which had more issues.

Loud mouthed Made Rich from Think Before You Ink did not hold back defending his work, but the poor composition, poor execution and inconsistencies outweighed what was lacking in the work of the other two teams. In the end, his pride in his work could not convince the judges that what he and his teammate have done was finished quality work and they had to leave the battlefield.

The only piece that covered the challenge and looked great doing it was Old Town Ink who got Tattoo of the Day, and well deserved.

Old Town Ink ship tattoo
Tattoo of the day – Old Town Ink
Think Before You Ink tattoo
Think Before You Ink’s last tattoo on Ink Master
Allegory Arts tattoo
Allegory Arts
Classic Trilogy Tattoo
Classic Trilogy Tattoo
House of Monkey Ink Master tattoo
House of Monkey
Pinz and Needlez Ink Master tattoo
Pinz and Needlez
Unkindness Art
Unkindness Art

And a few from the leaving team:

Dtatstar 1

Dtatstar-2 inkmaster skull on hand tattoo
Dtatstar

Made Rich 1

Ink Master owl tattoo
Made Rich. Photos: Spike

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