I've found the answers to most of my questions about tattoos through Google, but inevitably, there's something left to ask. Which is as follows: I want my character to get a Chinese dragon, mostly black with only a tiny patch of colour, that goes from right shoulder to top of left buttock. What I envision does not cover the entire back but essentially, decorates down the spine. (Except that it would be mostly on one or other side of the spine, like a very elongated S shape, as I believe the spinal area is particularly sensitive and I don't want to torture the poor chap.)
Would it be possible to accomplish this in a single day? I have seen mentions of all-day sessions lasting at maximum eleven hours - presumably that includes breaks. If it isn't possible to get such a tattoo done in one go, then how is it split? Is the outlining done first, with the client returning for another session to have the shading done? Or does the tattooist complete a section from outlining to colouring, and start afresh on the next area at the next appointment? Either way, what kind of time would have to elapse between one session and the next, and how far would the tattoo need to have healed?
Additionally, if anyone can give me an idea whether there is any particular smell to a tattoo parlour - antiseptics, or the smell or ink, or whatever - I would be most grateful. I don't think there is one locally where I could investigate!
ETA: Wow, so many helpful responses, so fast! Thank you all!