A Couple Of Helpful Suggestions When You Are Starting Out
The Tattoo Machine
It can be a stressful time if you don't know how to manage the basic mechanics of your machine. You need to learn how to set the machine correctly. Here are a couple of things to know when setting up your tattoo machine.
First, the point on your contact screw and front spring should be within a dime's width. After awhile most tattoo artists can eyeball it and successfully get this perfect, but, when you are beginning, you should put a dime in there to get it perfect. Be certain that the width is set correctly because your line work can make or break a tattoo.
The next step is opening your tube. Open the packaged presterilized needle, check it by eye for any burs or bent needles in the grouping. If you observe any burs or bent needles, then discard it and open one that is good. If you use burs or bent needles, the ink will not insert itself into the skin correctly and it could cause the tattoo process to bleed more than normal.
Tattoo Location Matters
When deciding where to place an image on the body, you need to determine where the shape of the design would fit best. For instance, a traditional pinup girl works best on a forearm or calf due to the fact the design is tall and narrow. You wouldn't want to place it on the chest...it would break the plane and look distorted.
Something more round, like a heart design, would go better on one side of the chest. If you’re using the whole chest area, a full wingspan eagle is really perfect for the area—that’s one reason it is remains a timeless classic. Other birds also work well there, like a raven or an owl. The key is to match the shape of the design to the body part.
Sometimes the sheer size of an art project can be overwhelming and intimidating. Whether it’s a giant painting, back piece or sleeve tattoo, it can feel like you’ll never be able to finish it. Don’t fear. It will get done, maybe not in just one session or two. No need to rush—that can actually slow you down because you’ll be prone to make more errors and you’ll spend yet more time correcting.
When tattooing a sleeve, you can outline first the upper arm in one session, then the lower arm the second session. This will give you a good breaking point in between. You also don’t need to add all the details the first go-round. You can add the scales on a dragon, or the patterns in clothing the next time you work on the project.
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