Separate Your Light & Shadow Shapes

Submitted 03.08.23

Separate Your Light & Shadow Shapes

“I just want to very clearly indicate, light shapes and shadow shapes as simply as possible for the sake of the stencil”

- Jake Meeks

When creating tattoo designs for darker skin tones, it is essential to keep your design elements as simple and distinct as possible. Crafting light and shadow shapes separately becomes especially critical since there isn't the same wide range of values available.

To begin preparing your tattoo stencil, begin by adding an extra layer over the main drawing or sketch. Then utilize bright white to fill in and simplify all light shapes for an abrupt transition between light and dark areas. The white acts as the "skin tone" for the stencil, so this will help make the stencil simpler, eliminating any uncertain or fuzzy transitions which may be difficult to recognize while you are tattooing.

Watch the full episode here:

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

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