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TattooNOW Discussion Board

Riding the tube

Posted by Mike from IP: on 04/22/08

I've been doin my apprenticeship for a while now and i've done 40-50 smaller tattoos, stars, butterflies, lettering, tribal stuff... Anyways, my mentor started me off "riding the tube" as he calls it, only letting the needle stick out of the tube as far as it needs to be to do the tattoo. And its really messy compared to what he does with the needle right out there and judging depth himself. So i asked him when I'd be ready to judge depth like that because it seems alot easier to see what your doing without all the ink going everywhere. he told my i'd be ready in about a year. so my question to the artists is this, how long before you were ready to judge depth freehand?? I don't want to question my mentor but i think i'm ready now.

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RE:Riding the tube

Posted by nostrildamus from IP: on 04/22/08

i still ride the tube for long sweeping lines.
try wiping your tip with your shop towel in tighter places. you'll obviously be dipping more, but there'll be less mess, less wiping the skin, and less loss of stencil.

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RE:Riding the tube

Posted by Iccarus from IP: on 04/23/08
roanoke Va

Okay, i did this for about a month early on, around 3 years ago(as i taught myself). take it slow, pull back your tube slightly and watch your needle carefully. at this point if you ride your tube you will be running way to deep, so remember to watch your needle! i hate to contradict your teacher, but riding the tube is enforcing laziness, i learned this from my teacher. if your going to tattoo, you need to have the patience to watch what your doing, you need to be able to see every line before you make them. its all about precision. although this guy told you not to, you should practice without riding your tube, try it on yourself and see how it works. im serious, riding the tube is just being lazy, its guess work and it will never be precise. pull back your tube man, do it right, if youve already done that many tats while riding the tube, then you need to pull that bitch back and get used to doing it right.

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RE:Riding the tube

Posted by Mike from IP: on 04/23/08

Thanks for the advice, I'll give it a shot on myself first i think.. just to warm up

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