The first step in learning how to tattoo is to understand the basic process of applying atattoo. Tattooing can be daunting, particularly if you’re not really sure how it’s done, so going through the process step by step can help demystify it and make you less frightened when it comes time for you to start to learn how to tattoo.
The first step in applying a tattoo is to prepare the area to be tattooed. This involves first rubbing down the skin with rubbing alcohol or a special tattoo soap to remove skin oils and bacteria. After this preliminary cleaning hair is shaved from the area using a disposable razor that will be thrown away afterwards. This is an essential step since even a few fine hairs on the skin can cause problems during tattooing. After shaving, the area will be treated once again with rubbing alcohol.
Then, the outline of the tattoo will be drawn on the skin either by using a stencil or with the artist drawing directly onto the skin. If a stencil is used, the tattoo artist uses a single needle to create the outline using a thinner black ink that can easily be wiped away once it is no longer needed. More recently, however, many shops are using stencils created with a thermal fax machine that copies the design directly onto the skin like a temporary tattoo.
Once the tattoo is ready to be placed, an antiseptic ointment is rubbed onto the area to help the design stay on longer and move the needle along the skin more smoothly so that it won’t cause as much pain. In the initial stage of tattooing, a liner machine is used to create the outline of the tattoo. Once the line work is done, the area is once again cleaned and the tattoo artist shifts to a shader machine which colors in the outline as well as adding shading and depth to the tattoo. Some tattoo artists may also use a machine that can handle both functions and simply change needles after a particular stage is completed.
The trick that you have to master when you learn how to tattoo is to know just how deep the needle should penetrate to ensure the lines are permanent. If the needle does not go deep enough, the tattoo will have scratchy lines while if it goes too deep, the subject will suffer unnecessary pain from the process. It is also essential that the artist knows how to apply the colored inks correctly to ensure that the tattoo will have strong solid colors.
After the tattoo is finished, the tattoo artist sprays the area with antiseptic to prevent possible infection, and then applies pressure on the area with paper towels to remove any blood and plasma. A bandage is placed over the finished tattoo for a short period until the area is totally healed.