Some advices for doing a good tattoo

If you mentally think about the line that you are about to tattoo, your hand will automatically carry it through. Don’t hesitate, or stop and start again. Let the lines flow smoothly without interruption. Before a really long line, get an ink refill so you won’t run out in the middle of it. If you know the beginning of a line, and the end of it, the middle of it will take care of itself.
Start on the beginning of a line and not in the middle of it. It’s hard to reconnect lines to match perfectly. A perfect sweep is better than broken sections.
When you do points or tips with one stroke instead of two, lift up a bit and lighten up on the pressure so you won’t get a heavy dot at the tip.

Eagle tips, fangs and claws, etc., can be done in one single sweep, but take care that the needle points aren’t ruined and make sure that you have enough ink. On the lines of ribbons or banners, do it in one clean stroke. If not, stop at intersections or places where if you make a bad joining, it can be easily shaded out later.
In ribbons, scrolls and banners which will hold names or lettering, don’t tattoo in the top line of the banner until the lettering is done. That way the top line can be readjusted if need be. Bad lines can usually be hidden by some sort of shading.
The quality of the outline largely depends upon the quality and condition of the needles. If good results are not obtained, check those needle tips carefully with an eye loupe, both the tips and their motion.
When the outline has been finished on the tattoo, give it a green soap wash and gently wipe it with a clean towel. Examine it carefully and see if there are any spots which need touching up. Any disconnected lines or forgotten spots? If so, touch those spots up. Wash it again and coat with Vaseline. Shut off the power pack and give yourself and the client a short break. Mention that the worst part is over. Remove the tube and needle bar from the machine and place the tube in a tray of soapy water so the ink doesn’t dry. Place the used needle bar in a box labeled “used” for later washing and sterilizing for reusing, or for later soldering off and disposal, or to be resoldered with another new needle.

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Other methods to transfer the tattoo design to the skin with acetate stencils

There is a different way to adhere the transfer to the skin with acetate stencils. Before going into this though, there is one more method of cutting an acetate stencil other than with the stencil cutter. This way is using an electric engraver or electric stencil cutter. This really lightens the pressure on the hands and it saves time. The only drawback is it must be engraved on a thick sheet of plate glass (or light table). If engraved on a board or desk, the grooves seem to flatten out and distort. The thick glass (at least one-half inch thick) keeps the grooves in the acetate sheet sharp and clean, making a good print on the skin.
The method of transfer in using an acetate stencil involves the use of stencil powder and vaseline. There are several kinds of stencil powder available but be advised that “willow charcoal” is not the best, and be sure you get a professional grade of black stencil powder from a reputable dealer. Take the stencil with the groove side up then shake a little powder on it. Rub it in with your finger. Hold it over a basket (this stuff can get messy) and give it a good flick with your fingers. Sometimes a slight wiping with a towel also may clean it up. This step is to ensure all the excess is removed and just enough powder is left to fill the grooves. The stencil is now prepared for transfer. This next step should actually be done first before powdering the stencil because your hands are now all dirty. Wash and scrub them up. Vaseline comes in two varieties. White and carbolated (yellow). The kind to use is the carbolated kind because it is more sticky. After shaving and preparing the skin, smear a thin layer of carbolated vaseline around the area. The most common mistake here is to smear on too much.
It should be just enough to make the skin glisten and any more will smudge the image. Center the stencil and put it on the prepared spot. Keep it pressed in there and work it in with your fingers, rubbing it in on all areas. The next trick is to quickly zing it away from the skin. Don’t pull it off slowly. A fine clean tattoo design should be left. If it doesn’t look too great, just wash it off and try again. This should not be on one of your customers, but on yourself. It should be perfect the first time for the client, and once again, lots of practice on yourself will perfect the technique. Only when you can transfer a design perfect every time are you ready for any kind of professional tattooing.

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