Eternal Color(S) of the week: Chuke’s Deep Sea and Snowflake

O.K. So, let me explain what happened here. I hap hazzardly fell in love with a new color; Chuke’s Deep Sea. It might only be a fling, but I’m pretty enamored right now, so I’m choosing to write about Deep Sea. However, I asked Eternal Ink’s friendly, beardy, sales executive; Chuke to pick this week’s color.  I caught up with Chuke at the Motor City Convention and corner him into picking my Eternal color of the week. He chose Chuke’s Snowflake. It’s a delightfully tinted white with a hint of blue. I’m slightly annoyed with this suggestion, because anything with the root word snow gives me a rash in my ass right now. I have a love/hate relationship with snow. I hate the cold more than anything. I hate driving in snow, but I love snowmen. I love how pretty snowflakes are and even have one tattooed on my hand, but enough is enough. I’ve had it with all this snow! It’s going to be hard for me to mention positive things about an arctic looking color during this harsh winter freeze but I’ll try my best.

As luck would have it, I also had the opportunity to speak with the color creator of Eternal’s ink line, but I’ll save that for another color of the week. As I mentioned earlier, I was planning on writing solely about Chuke’s pick, but then  had the awesome experience of using Chuke’s Deep Sea. I couldn’t write about only one of those colors, because I used them booth on the same tattoo and had equally as much fun with them.

I’ve got a pretty hard crush on Deep Sea right now. It was a sort of love at first fight scenario. I’m not sure if I was initially attracted to Deep Sea, because it reminded me of a Lake Michigan on a warm sunny day, or if it’s an unfortunate side effect of living in a frozen wasteland where nothing is blue or green. It’s perfect amount of blue and green in a subtle manner, rather than bright tropical tones. I used to mix this color myself, but have been lazy over the last few years and stopped. I decided to just mix it in the cap as needed and I think the inconstancy of the blue to green ratio made me temporarily uninterested. The closest I’ve come in recent years has been dropping one drop of green concentrate to a large cap of tropical teal. It just wasn’t the same. It didn’t have the same charm and fuzzy warmth that Chuke’s Deep Sea has.

Deep Sea is a color you don’t have to fight with. It goes in like butter and doesn’t get to smeary. I notice that blues tend to get smearier than any other color I use. This isn’t an issue for Deep Sea. It such a pretty color that I could have drunk it. Even better; I tattooed with it. It was exactly the color I needed for session one of a rework/cover tattoo I worked on couple days ago. I wanted a blue, green color to add to the preexisting blue on the tattoo I was covering. I was also looking for something with a little bit of green to break things up. The concern with doing cover up work, a black/purple concentrate with a layer of concentrate blue over it would have appeared too flat. It would make it easier for the eye to pick up what’s beneath the cover up. One method of distraction I use, so the eye has a harder time noticing a cover up, is to add a scotch of another color and blend it into the primary color. For example, if I’m coloring something predominately blue, I will add a hint of green, or purple. Deep Sea has a great velvety appeal with a high level of opacity making it perfect for cover up work.  As an artist who works primarily with cover ups, I will absolutely make mention of an Eternal color that is great for cove up work. Let’s face it; some colors are easier to use for cover up purposes than others. If I can help take a little bit of guess work out of it for my fellow tattooers, certainly I’ll do so.

If you notice the pics I have below of this rework, The Deep Sea lends a subtle tone to the blues I’m working with. It blends in an almost undetectable manner, but its presence changes the tonality of the predominately blue mask. This picture isn’t healed and there are a couple of real dark spots in my attempt to shade away unwanted hair and such on the face. One more pass of the Deep Sea and it will mute the dominating black/purple concentrate and the secondary blue concentrate layer I used. Also, the green tones may become a little more evident once the tattoo heals. I’ll post a follow up to this tattoo, so the full results can be viewed in a multi session, multi layered capacity once healed. Also, a very interesting foot note to this tattoo is that everything on the left side of the tattoo was 10% larger than everything on the right. I’m going to guess that the original artist may have traced out one side of the face and copied it in a copy machine without noticing it was set to enlarge. Everything right down to the teeth was larger than the right side.  The teeth being of an odd number was a dead giveaway that the original was half of a mask taped to another copy. It appears the original artist melded the front two teeth into one. The forehead of the Hanya mask was way too short and the hair was kind of ad-libbed, mismatched and patched together. I’m going to assume that whoever originally did this tattoo couldn’t figure out why the hairline didn’t match up. Similarly, there seemed to be issues with the bottom of the mask as well. I’ve never seen this occur before on any tattoo I’ve covered in my whole sixteen years, which is also a good reason to blog about it. I may never see something like this again.

Because I was trying to keep blue tones evident in the cover up I was working on, I decided that paring Chuke’s Snowflake with Deep Sea made perfect sense. These two colors pair very well together. As Cal Naughton in Talladega Nights says it goes together, ”Like waffles and cocaine.” Really, the two colors play nice with each other and I got some fun mixes in the process as well.

Word of warning, Chuke’s Snowflake is very smeary, which is a classic issue with most white’s I’ve used from almost every ink company. To be honest with you, I learned how to tint my white for different purposes a long time ago. It’s not hard to do, but there are two things about Chuke’s Snowflake that make it a valuable color to have in your arsenal. The first reason is that Snowflake caters the lazy tattooist in all of us, so we don’t have to take that whole two seconds to tint our own white. Also, it offers consistency for those of us that are concerned about multiple sessions and continuity issues.

If you go to the Eternal Inks sight: , you won’t find the Chuke Set available yet. So far, you can only get a hold of his new color at a convention. I’m not sure if you can call up Eternal and bug them to hurry up and come out with the set a little faster or not, but just in case; here’s their number: 866-846-8465. Deep Sea and Snowflake are only part of Chuke’s color line and I urge you to order a sample set. I’ve only used a handful of these colors so far, but I’ve really liked the ones I’ve used.

Got an Eternal Color of the week you would like me to write about? Send me your suggestions to:



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