Ink Master Episode 7
It’s coming close to the end now, the wheat has been separated from the chaff and only the most well-rounded artists remain in contention. Shane, James, Tommy, and Josh now have to prove they deserve one of the three spots in the final challenge.
This challenge involves the artists ability to use spray paint to create a graffiti mural. This was done to test their ability at lettering (one of the toughest aspects of tattooing) using the word “Ink” and any design they want, so long as they only use red, white, and black.
Tommy, like Chris, has a background in graffiti, unlike Shane who has never done anything like this. This leads him to experiment with different caps to produce different lines and shades.
Tattoo legend Jack Rudy makes a surprise appearance to help judge.
This one was difficult for the judges because both Tommy and Shane delivered fantastic pieces, with Shane adding a tattoo motif to his that really wouldn’t look out of place on his store’s t-shirts. In the end the judges gave the nod to Shane, despite their own assessment that Tommy was closer to the letter of the challenge.
Normally the Flash challenge leads seamlessly to the Elimination challenge, but not this time. Instead of having the artists do some sort of lettering-based tattoo, this time they have to demonstrate their ability to do a portrait tattoo. There is a reason this tattoo was saved until the end, the difficulty of correctly rendering a photo-realistic portrait tattoo is not something just any artist can do.
Tops and Bottoms
Shane wins this one by delivering a beautiful, highly detailed portrait of a child which, according to Jack Rudy, is especially hard. Tommy gave him a run for his money, but had to settle for a close second.
Josh and James found themselves on the bottom this time. Neither of their tattoos was significantly, demonstrably better than the other and this caused some real debate among the judges. In the end they made their call and James Vaughn will face off against Tommy Helm and Shane O’Neill for the big prize.