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Tattooing Techniques for Aspiring Tattoo Artists

Becoming a tattoo artist means learning different techniques and styles. While in training, an aspiring artist will develop skills in every area of tattooing. To do that, they must know the basic things about the art of creating a tattoo. Here are some of the things an aspiring artist needs to learn.


Outlining is a tattooing technique to form a basic shape on the skin. It is normally done with a round set of needles and lines may vary from thin to thick. While this is just a basic skill, it is still an important one. For a professional and smooth tattoo, artists need to make even lines as lining provides definition to the tattoo design. It does not always have to be a black ink because color can actually define a specific area of a tattoo design.


Coloring is covering the areas of the design with color. A technique in coloring involves the use of small overlapping circles to cover a space. Another is sweeping the needle through the skin using varying pressure to form more of a shading effect.


Instead of working from one area of the tattoo to the other, coloring is normally performed from the darkest to the lightest. First, this is to keep the lighter colors from mixing with the darker ones by accident. Second, the needles, tips, and tube have to be cleaned when changing colors, so the artist may not have to do it every so often.

Tattooing and tattoo machines


A tattoo artist who does well in shading can make interesting images. Shading is normally performed using black ink and various tattooing techniques can be used to make lighter or darker shadows. For instance, the artist can use heavier pressure at the start of a stroke, then lightening the touch as he lifts the needle from the skin. To make a lighter shade, some artists combine black and white to create custom gray and others simply add water to their black ink.

Tattoo by Christian Nguyen
Tattoo by Christian Nguyen


Having skill in lettering is a big advantage for a tattoo artist. Trends in tattooing change, but what seems to be really constant is adding quotes and names into tattoos. Tattoo artists who want to create great lettering must understand concepts of form and spacing needed to layout words attractively.

These are only some of the tattooing techniques and styles that an artist needs to learn. These are the basic ones, but these are the foundation to develop skills in this area.


Written by Sick Tattoos

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