The Tattoo Machine
You are going to have a hell of 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. There are a few things to know when setting your tattoo machine up.
First of all, the point on your contact screw and front spring should be a dimes width. Most tattoo artists can eyeball close but if you literally have to put a dime in there to get it perfect then do it. Make sure that width is set correctly because your line work can make or break a tattoo.
The next step is opening your tube. Then you need to open the pakaged presterilized needle, check it by eye for any burs or bent needles in the grouping. In case 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 the normally.
Tattoo Location Matters
When deciding where to place an image on the body, you have 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 would not want to place it on the chest, as it would break the plane and look very awkward.
Something rounder, 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 why it is such a timeless classic. Other birds also work well there, like a raven or an owl. It is key to match the shape of the design to the body part.
Sometimes the sheer size of an art project can be very overwhelming and intimidating. Whether it’s a giant painting or a back piece or sleeve tattoo, it can feel like you’ll never be able to finish it. But don’t fear. Sooner or later, it will get done. Don’t feel the need to rush—that can actually slow you down because you’ll be prone to make more errors that you’ll spend yet more time correcting.
When tattooing a sleeve, you can outline first the upper arm in one session, and then the lower arm the second session, if you have 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. This can apply to painting, too, where you can start with the basic art and then add more color and detail later.
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