Bonus Tip: Block In Shadows In The First Tattoo Session

Submitted 03.14.23

Bonus Tip: Block In Shadows In The First Tattoo Session

“I like to come through and get a quick pass of an outline in, and then very quickly and loosely block in all of my shadow shapes.”

- Jake Meeks

blocked in shadow shapes for grim reaper tattoo

Finally, let's talk about actually tattooing for a minute. Always keep in mind ways to ready yourself for the following session; sometimes clients can't book multiple days consecutively or you have already reserved time for the next day so make sure that before you finish, you make sure you’re leaving things at a nice solid endpoint.

Structuring your major light and shadow shapes can set you up for success. Consider adding a mid-tone gray or darker shade to act as an "underpainting" that will guide you on where the shadows should be placed, what colors need to go in which areas, etc. Doing this not only helps ensure accuracy with your tattoo for next time, but also gives the client something more finished looking when they leave!

In addition, you might consider saving hard outlining just before you complete the tattoo. This offers a great opportunity to decide which parts of the design will be highlighted. Think of the dark black outline as a finishing touch, it gives more emphasis to those features and helps push contrast and draw attention towards the focal points.

Bonus Bonus!!! We also have other really helpful articles on darker skin tones:


Watch the full episode: 

3 Tips For Stenciling Darker Skin Tones | 3 Minutes to Better Tattooing

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