Blood at the time of tattooing

With all these small holes being made in the skin, some bleeding is quite natural and should be expected. If it is overly excessive, double check the needle depth and check the needle points. Try a slower power on the machine. Bleeding would be called excessive when it drips down the arm or when an area is finished and the only thing that can be seen when the tattoo is wiped off is blood.
As sections of the tattoo are completed and wiped, a thin coat of Vaseline might help the situation. Occasionally, carefully wipe away the bottom of the tube tip where excess ink and Vaseline tends to accumulate. Some customers bleed a lot regardless of how well the machine is tuned. Some body parts tend to bleed more than other parts due to differences in skin texture. Bleeding must be accepted and do the best possible job, wiping a lot.
To shade properly, make sure the bridge is set and stable (consult Chapter on Holding Machines) as should be always done. With the machine running, set the needles down gently in the skin along the outline. All four or six needles should be in line with skin surface at all times. No one side should be any deeper than the other side. With the machine running and the needles riding against the outline, make sure the tip of the tube is touching the skin before starting. Right at this point, the machine is swept away from you with a flick type wrist motion. This sweeping motion brings the needles up and away from the skin.
When this happens, the needles go from full depth in the skin to gradually getting shallower and finally out of the skin at the end of the motion. Hence, when at full depth, full strength black is inserted and while the needles are swept away, the black ink gets toward the surface of the skin and creates grey tones. That beautiful effect is called feathering or shading. If the shading is to be light, the sweeping motion should be quicker paced. Don’t let the machine dwell on the outline for any length of time. If it is to be dark, a slower motion is needed. How much shading is achieved or the quality of feathering is determined by the speed of the sweep and the angle of the machine which is being “whipped” out of the skin. It does require a certain feel or touch, and many hours of practice are needed to fully acquaint oneself with the results that are desired.

Filed under: Outlining

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