Making the Outline
Using one single-tipped needle, the artist starts at the bottom of the right-hand side and works up (lefties generally start on the left side), so the stencil wonít be lost when the artist cleans a permanent line. For single-needle work, a thinner black ink than that used for shading is used, because thinner ink can be easily wiped away from the skin without smearing.


As this happens, the tattoo machine is buzzing and smooth clear lines should be emerging as the needle pierces the skin, applies the ink and gradually lifts out of the skin in a steady motion. (Experts say this is where the professionals show their mettle: In order to create clear lines and proper depth, the tattoo artist must understand how deep the needles actually need to go to produce a permanent line. Not going deep enough will create scratchy lines after healing, and going too deep will cause excessive pain and bleeding.)


If you would like to see the artist using the tattoo machine to create this custom tattoo, click here.