Funky3s

Basic
24 Feb 2020
7
Orlando, FL
First Name
Anthony
Gender
Male
Hi everyone. I recently did my first tattoo on my own leg. Just the linework. Taking it slow allowing healing in between moments that I actually take the machine to my own skin.

Ink - Kuro sumi black for lining
rig(s) - solong starter / dragonfly rotary
needles - standard needle sets from piratefacetattoo.com
Linework - 5RL
Shading (minimal done) - 5RS

With many of you being experienced already I am hoping if you have a moment to check out my work and let me know any suggestions or guidance I can use on my journey. There is already a mountain of information I was able to deduce just from the experience of doing it on myself than I did from all the bananas, oranges, and silicone skins I've been tattooing thus far.

Linework on my left leg / Another Pic w/stencil - it is supposed to be a couple fish surrounding a small gemini sign in the middle. This small piece took a few days to get to this point because I did small portions and was letting it heal to see how I was affecting it. At this point it's obviously not done but I think it's a great time to stop and reflect.

My Rig - Picture of my rig as it is currently set up. I also have a rotary machine and have used it on my skin as well and I quickly was able to see what I liked and didn't like about using rotary. Very different feel but I have less of the issue of any pooling ink when I hit the needles to the skin. I feel like with the rotary I seem to get more ink to exist either in the skin or in the tube but with my coil machine i feel like most of my ink ends up in the paper towels I'm wiping the skin with because of all the extra (QUESTION HERE - why does this happen?)

Other Questions:
** My personal concerns from what I have learned so far is that alot of the work in the linework image above might end up coming out of my skin as it heals more based on some other small scratches i've made elsewhere and have watching them heal. Which is making me feel like I'm not going in deep enough and also not consistent enough with whatever depths I am putting in (QUESTION Here - what do you think contributes to this?) . For linework I am running the machine faster 7-8 volts. and for shading I drop it down a bit because ive read this and it also feels better with those larger groups of needles. Although I did have a moment I snagged my skin while operating those low volts so lesson learned.

Q: What is a typical size liner you would use to start creating your linework? I am primarily a cartoonist so my designs will be focused around bolder outlines. I think its a great feel to line with 3, 5, and 7rl but I haven't tried any larger on skin yet and wondering if the line weight is just something I have to build up?

Q: Is it actually bad to line small areas with liner? While I am lining I will often just circular motion in the super tight corners of the piece because I don't want the headache of trying to hit the tight spots with the shader later but read alot that shading anything with liner is no no. lmk...

It's weird because even though I have multiple professional tattoos done on my body now that I am going through the learning experience of tattooing personally it's like l don't know anything but I am trying to learn properly. I'm glad to be on the journey because it's addicting...Any advice or guidance is truly appreciated because I will be continuing this journey regardless so I could use it. Cheers
 

TexasPT

Premium Gold
9 Dec 2011
6,144
Media
1
Texas
First Name
Mark
@marknovak5572
congrats on your first run.

ink typically pools on the skin when you touch the tube to the surface. It breaks the tension that keeps it in the tube and it will pool. Rotaries and coils don't tend to have any differences with this, it is just dependent on if the tube touches.

Question 2- You're new...that's hwy you are not consistent. :)

there is no needle for starting your linework. Use the correct tool for the job. You wouldn't paint a house with a toothbrush and you wouldn't paint your model with a sprayer.

using a liner to fill corners is pretty normal. :)

Your piece is inconsistent...stop stopping. Either tattoo or don't...you learn nothing from 3 minutes then 3 days off.

Stretch...line from point A to point B. know where you are going and where you are stopping. watch the needle go into the skin and focus on keeping the depth consistent. relaxed grip, and breathe.

go premium...lots more on that side of the fence.



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Niko2614

Premium
2 Oct 2019
33
Florida
First Name
Alex
Gender
Male
I'd stick with practice skin and fruit for a while get the practice in learn your machine hand speed depth. When you feel confident to try a tattoo start to finish on yourself spend some money and get a decent/good quality machine. Those cheap bent frames are only good for practice skin in my opinion
 

Nate beiers

Premium
16 Feb 2020
7
Huntsville, Ontario, Canada
First Name
Nathan
Gender
Male
Learn how to walk before you run, get more machine in hand time on fake skin, fruit etc before skin. Unfortunately tattooing yourself at first always at least for me results in pulling back out of fear, so not deep enough.
 

Funky3s

Basic
24 Feb 2020
7
Orlando, FL
First Name
Anthony
Gender
Male
I'd stick with practice skin and fruit for a while get the practice in learn your machine hand speed depth. When you feel confident to try a tattoo start to finish on yourself spend some money and get a decent/good quality machine. Those cheap bent frames are only good for practice skin in my opinion

I agree with the fruit but imo the fake skin has absolutely no representation of expectation for tattooing real skin. It's just drawing practice and I've had to use excessive force and tuning to achieve the look i want in silicone skin. I personally have not tried purchasing pig skin as I have heard I could do this as well so perhaps I may go this route
 

Funky3s

Basic
24 Feb 2020
7
Orlando, FL
First Name
Anthony
Gender
Male
Learn how to walk before you run, get more machine in hand time on fake skin, fruit etc before skin. Unfortunately tattooing yourself at first always at least for me results in pulling back out of fear, so not deep enough.
congrats on your first run.

ink typically pools on the skin when you touch the tube to the surface. It breaks the tension that keeps it in the tube and it will pool. Rotaries and coils don't tend to have any differences with this, it is just dependent on if the tube touches.

Question 2- You're new...that's hwy you are not consistent. :)

there is no needle for starting your linework. Use the correct tool for the job. You wouldn't paint a house with a toothbrush and you wouldn't paint your model with a sprayer.

using a liner to fill corners is pretty normal. :)

Your piece is inconsistent...stop stopping. Either tattoo or don't...you learn nothing from 3 minutes then 3 days off.

Stretch...line from point A to point B. know where you are going and where you are stopping. watch the needle go into the skin and focus on keeping the depth consistent. relaxed grip, and breathe.

go premium...lots more on that side of the fence.
Thanks alot. So much great info I appreciate it
 

Cyberthrasher

Premium
23 Sep 2019
653
US
First Name
Allen
Gender
Male
I agree with the fruit but imo the fake skin has absolutely no representation of expectation for tattooing real skin. It's just drawing practice and I've had to use excessive force and tuning to achieve the look i want in silicone skin.
That may be the case (different skins are closer to the real thing), but you'll still be able to tweak your machine power/tuning/needles, etc... to see what effect each variable has. Right now you're experimenting on yourself doing things that you'd easily be able to figure out the differences on fake skin.

One thing I'd suggest is to go Premium, get all the information you can on tuning your machine (there are good downloads available), and then tweak and tweak all the variables in tuning to get a feel for how everything works. Another thing to note is that coil SPEED is not effected by volts, at all. The increase/decrease in voltage changes the force that your needles are hitting with, but not the speed. It's just louder so it ends up sounding faster. If you want to change the speed, you'll need to learn how to tune your springs and then match your machine speed with your hand speed.
 

Niko2614

Premium
2 Oct 2019
33
Florida
First Name
Alex
Gender
Male
I agree with the fruit but imo the fake skin has absolutely no representation of expectation for tattooing real skin. It's just drawing practice and I've had to use excessive force and tuning to achieve the look i want in silicone skin. I personally have not tried purchasing pig skin as I have heard I could do this as well so perhaps I may go this route
It all depends on the quality you get on practice skin most the cheap stuff is to thin for proper depth or poor quality. Just seen you're from Orlando I'm from St. Pete if you need some decent equipment when you've got some more practice in let me know
 

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