Fireside Foundations

The Essential Tattoo Design Course for Beginning Artists!

An Introduction to the Fireside Method of Tattoo Design

Our Fireside Foundations course is designed to help tattooers solve their drawing/tattoo design problems quickly and effectively while learning to develop their own unique mark making in the process.

What You'll Need

  • Pencils and Paper (If analog)

  • Drawing software (If digital)

  • Colored Pencils/markers (If analog)


-Learn the Fireside Method

-Solve Your Biggest Drawing Problems Quickly

-Create More Dynamic Designs

-Develop Your Own Unique Mark Making

Learn the Fireside Method of Tattoo Design

Step 1- The foundation to any successful tattoo

Learn to manipulate reference photos by breaking them into basic shapes and reassembling them to perfectly fit the area of the body you are drawing to

Step 2-Separate light and shadow forms

Learn to invent consistent, believable light sources and use them to establish a clear hierarchy in your design. Learn how and when to use strong contrast to get the most impact.

Step 3-Forget outlines-Think Edges!

Outlines are for amateurs. Learn to use hard, soft and lost edges to create more dynamic designs and bring focus to the star of your composition

Step 4-Create color harmony

Learn to use color effectively by ensuring that the colors you choose first correspond to the underlying values. Use varying degrees of color intensity to create atmospheric effects in your tattoos.

What Students Have Said

This course has really changed me as an artist, it's changed the way I look for references, it's changed my approach to tattoos, it's changed my mindset to tattooing. My wife still brings up the course a lot, actually, every time I do a tattoo that she likes, she praises this course. 

I couldn't thank you guys enough for allowing me a chance to take it. 

I appreciate what y'all do for tattooing. 

-Alex Asad

The course lay out was great. Looking at light source, simplifying shapes, blocking in, and figuring out the shadows. Using soft and hard edge, mid ground and background. Bringing in more art examples, things that I had forgotten from art school back into my tattooing. Each week the assignments got a little harder, taking all the things we learn and now applying to our tattoos. 

I saw a major change in my tattooing during the weeks and was super happy. I could see a major difference. 

Never stop learning."

-Amber Dawn-Macdonald

The reason I joined  this course is because I found myself stuck in my mind after two years of a tattoo apprenticeship. I thought I could draw but actually I do lack of a solid foundation and logical understanding about the way I drew. 

After joining the course, starting from a basic concept - shapes/ values/ shadows/ edges that really helped me to rebuild the core structure of a drawing. This is important for me to realize what kind of mistakes that I used to make. Furthermore, I think this course is very well-planned, from a foundation concept to the creative thinking process which is all we need to know as an apprentice or young tattooist, the sooner the better. I know it is a long way to keep going and become a good skilful artist, however really appreciate what Jake trying to combine his knowledge from different fields and share it with the new generation artists. 

Last but not least, I learnt not only the skills but also the true attitude from the fireside team. I wish every success to the Fireside Tattoo Network  in the coming future. You guys rock! Respect! 

-Riz Yiu

Meet Your Instructor

Jake Meeks


Jake Meeks has been tattooing since 1996. In 2013 Jake founded the Fireside Tattoo Network with the goal of "Blurring the Lines Between Tattooing and Fine Art"

Over the years Jake has dedicated himself to developing processes to simplify complex ideas by applying basic principles.. The result of this work is Fireside Foundations

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