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Artist of the Quarantine: Ashley Smith


Ashley Dawn’s work is highly influenced by tattoo art and design. She has been tattooing for 12 years and uses what she has learned in the tattoo process in her work — for example, line weight, color palette and subject matter. Most of her paintings will end up as tattoos on skin. She mainly uses a process called “spit shading,” which is used among a lot of traditional tattoo artists to paint tattoo flash. This process uses liquid acrylic and/or watercolors on a high-quality watercolor paper. The term “spit shading” comes from the process of using one’s own spit to fade the colors. Most of her subject matter and influence comes from some of the pioneers of tattooing along with vintage imagery found in antique stores, old postcards and advertisements. Ashley cofounded No Regrets Tattoo in the Plaza District and currently is tattooing at Keepsake Tattoo.

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