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First times Analysis

Esq

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Hey all, so my ever so supportive GF let me try my hand at my first tattoo on her leg. I have done a small heart on her before, but it was all one line mega simple I don't think it counts :p

So a couple things happened:
1. I ended up putting down a stencil that had very thick outlines, when I got to tattooing the container, since the line was so thick, my 7RL was not showing up and the stencil itself wasn't wiping away, so I had an incredibly tough time seeing where my lines were stopping and starting.
2. The butterfly on the right turn out nice enough, I used a 5RL for them. The left butterfly, not so much.

Overall I think it's got character, but is by no means a great tattoo. I had a tough time getting a comfortable angle, and the panic from the stencil jolted me a little bit.

I used a 7RL on the outline and a 5RL on the internals. I also rode the tube (which is a pain) and was at about 8.0 volts on a CNC Q2
 

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Cyberthrasher

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It's a first :)
It's a little less forgiving than I would have done for a first, but you can still come back later and take care of it.
You know where you feel like you went wrong though, so how do you think you can change the outcome for your next one?
 

Esq

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It's a first :)
It's a little less forgiving than I would have done for a first, but you can still come back later and take care of it.
You know where you feel like you went wrong though, so how do you think you can change the outcome for your next one?

So a few things, I think a thinner outline would be better, especially dumb of me making a thick line, on something I was going to be using a 7rl on. Lesson learned.

Comfortable positioning, I had her on a chair with her leg propped up, but I didn't have a good stool or anything so I was struggling like hell to get comfortable.

My nerves, this is the hardest one. I did have a little panic after the initial bug container. I thought I had fucked up royally and the guilt got in my head and I had to take a step away from it for 30 minutes.
 

Cyberthrasher

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So a few things, I think a thinner outline would be better, especially dumb of me making a thick line, on something I was going to be using a 7rl on. Lesson learned.

Comfortable positioning, I had her on a chair with her leg propped up, but I didn't have a good stool or anything so I was struggling like hell to get comfortable.

My nerves, this is the hardest one. I did have a little panic after the initial bug container. I thought I had fucked up royally and the guilt got in my head and I had to take a step away from it for 30 minutes.
That's good. Those are right along the lines of what I'd hoped you'd come up with. I can tell you that self positioning is a HUGE factor. When we practice on fake skin and oranges and whatever we can put ourselves in the optimal position pretty naturally. Now when we have someone in a chair it's a lot different and we often have to contort ourselves around.

For the line, always remember that you can go fatter to correct a mistake, but you can't make it thinner. My first one was designed purposely to have a fat outline that would protect me if I messed up my 5RL line. Now you know how that stencil is going to translate though so you'll be able to put down a thinner stencil line to guide you.

I think later on when you're better you can go back to this piece with some bold outlines to clean that up and a little finesse on the butterflies to keep them looking delicate but with cleaner lines.
 

MirandM

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So a few things, I think a thinner outline would be better, especially dumb of me making a thick line, on something I was going to be using a 7rl on. Lesson learned.
Definitely. I use a 3RL so stepping up is relatively easy.
My nerves, this is the hardest one. I did have a little panic after the initial bug container. I thought I had fucked up royally and the guilt got in my head and I had to take a step away from it for 30 minutes.
Maybe a silly suggestion but for me it worked great. What I did was wrap a fake skin on the area where I wanted to start. First do it on the fake skin, that way you know if your position is comfortable or not and it will take away some of the nerves. You could even cut a sheet to the size of your tattoo and tape it down. Also has the nice benefit of knowing whether your stencil will be positioned correctly. You could even use reference markers on the fake skin so that after positioning you can transfer them to the real skin easily. Just cut tiny holes in the fake skin where your reference marks are (two should be enough) and use a marker pen to mark those positions on the skin. That way you can position the real stencil exactly as you had on the fake skin.
 
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Esq

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Definitely. I use a 3RL so stepping up is relatively easy.
That way you can position the real stencil exactly as you had on the fake skin.

Yes! I always for get to register my marks. This is a great note



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KyleBl4ck

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My best advice I can give you on these type of tattoos is invest in smaller RS needles, I use a 3RS needle for color packing letterwork when they want small letters with color.

RL will damage the skin moreso because it doesnt flow as evenly. If you want to use an RL however, make sure you have a cup of distilled water to dilute the ink so it keeps flowing. Color ink likes to stay inside of the needle which is a royal pain in the ass. As for riding the tube, that's on you. Everyone has their technique. I personally use the floating method.
 

Burt

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It's a start mate. Like the others said can clean it up later. But as you said it's got character and a good memory for sure. For positioning, for me it's nice to try and plant your elbow and forearm when possible. If you have the same issue with stencil again, pick out one side of the line eg. Outside and follow that the whole way rather than trying to keep it straight in the middle of the line. Personally i find riding the tube clumsy, maybe try and experiment find out what suits you? You've got your own skin too haha
 

DKJ

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Nice first, some blowouts here and there but it's normal in the beginning with low needle counts like a 5RL.

My advice for the stencil would be to put it on your GF the day before, you can try it 20 times if needed, as i guess you live together or see eachothers very often. No need for fruits or fakeskin.
Also, never start a tattoo with a badly applied stencil. Just wash it and redo, as many times as needed to get the correct one. Don't be cheap. It's your girlfriend, not a client, so you have all the time needed to get it right. And if it's not right and you're getting nervous, keep that for another day, no worries is the best path to a clean tattoo.

Riding the tube, i would try to stop that as soon as you can. To me it's to be used on purpose, not when lining short lines like yours. You have to get more precision (needle hang = more visibility) for such tiny designs.

The stress, like you said, is often based on the lack of preparation. You can't be 100% ready, but the more you planned, the less you'll get surprises. You should try to think them all before they come to you. Ultimatly, your unexperimented hands should be the last factor of error in a tattoo. All the rest is preparation, organization, information, planning, knowledge, all the theorical stuff.
Those help your hands to respond to the orders of a peaceful mind!
Get everything you might manage in advance out of the way, and you'll be as close as what your hands can give you. I've been doing a very intricate design lately and i planned 75% of it, seriously it would have ruined the whole thing if i didn't. The 25% has been a mess of unplanned, unprepared, unthought stuff which made those session harsh and not enjoyable because the flow wasn't there. I forced myself into those hours, when all i wanted was to run away and stop this mess. It was a real pain and it affected the will i had to go to the next sessions.

Acceptance of errors along the tattoo is of the same wood, if you can analyze them and adapt on the fly, you're not going down and mayday-mayday. My personnal attitude while tattoing is mostly "Ok, ok, i fugged this line big time, i need to balance it with this other line ../.. damn', i didn't stretch enough, i need to do another pass, but smoothly../.. Sh8t, the stencil is off, i need to go freehand ../.." and all kinds of PROBLEM-SOLUTION thoughts. It helps me keeping a good confidence all the way through.
Of course, keep it to your brains, the client must picture your silence as the master's full concentration! On my second tattoo i went full verbally stressed and my wife and i became overstressed, causing a big challenge to continue under the slurs tsunami!

One last thing is your own body can get in the way. Being tired, weakeness of the muscles needed for tattoing, bad positionning of your body (bringing bad moves or tiring you too quick), bad view (bad light, wrong glasses, long hairs going in the way), being hungry, being thirsty, bad seat, not enough relaxed, not clean (itches, sweat)... These play a hard time on your mental and positivity.

Peace,

DKJ
 
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MirandM

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Nice first, some blowouts here and there but it's normal in the beginning with low needle counts like a 5RL.

My advice for the stencil would be to put it on your GF the day before, you can try it 20 times if needed, as i guess you live together or see eachothers very often. No need for fruits or fakeskin.
Also, never start a tattoo with a badly applied stencil. Just wash it and redo, as many times as needed to get the correct one. Don't be cheap. It's your girlfriend, not a client, so you have all the time needed to get it right. And if it's not right and you're getting nervous, keep that for another day, no worries is the best path to a clean tattoo.

Riding the tube, i would try to stop that as soon as you can. To me it's to be used on purpose, not when lining short lines like yours. You have to get more precision (needle hang = more visibility) for such tiny designs.

The stress, like you said, is often based on the lack of preparation. You can't be 100% ready, but the more you planned, the less you'll get surprises. You should try to think them all before they come to you. Ultimatly, your unexperimented hands should be the last factor of error in a tattoo. All the rest is preparation, organization, information, planning, knowledge, all the theorical stuff.
Those help your hands to respond to the orders of a peaceful mind!
Get everything you might manage in advance out of the way, and you'll be as close as what your hands can give you. I've been doing a very intricate design lately and i planned 75% of it, seriously it would have ruined the whole thing if i didn't. The 25% has been a mess of unplanned, unprepared, unthought stuff which made those session harsh and not enjoyable because the flow wasn't there. I forced myself into those hours, when all i wanted was to run away and stop this mess. It was a real pain and it affected the will i had to go to the next sessions.

Acceptance of errors along the tattoo is of the same wood, if you can analyze them and adapt on the fly, you're not going down and mayday-mayday. My personnal attitude while tattoing is mostly "Ok, ok, i fugged this line big time, i need to balance it with this other line ../.. damn', i didn't stretch enough, i need to do another pass, but smoothly../.. Sh8t, the stencil is off, i need to go freehand ../.." and all kinds of PROBLEM-SOLUTION thoughts. It helps me keeping a good confidence all the way through.
Of course, keep it to your brains, the client must picture your silence as the master's full concentration! On my second tattoo i went full verbally stressed and my wife and i became overstressed, causing a big challenge to continue under the slurs tsunami!

One last thing is your own body can get in the way. Being tired, weakeness of the muscles needed for tattoing, bad positionning of your body (bringing bad moves or tiring you too quick), bad view (bad light, wrong glasses, long hairs going in the way), being hungry, being thirsty, bad seat, not enough relaxed, not clean (itches, sweat)... These play a hard time on your mental and positivity.

Peace,

DKJ
Mathieu, the master of Zen.... how right you are! 👏
 

Esq

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Just want to say thank you for everyones feedback. Everything stated above is incredibly helpful! I am going to try a go at my leg and see what happens.
 

MirandM

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I won't say break a leg... for obvious reasons 🙃
 
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P$ Productions

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If you want to use an RL however, make sure you have a cup of distilled water to dilute the ink so it keeps flowing. Color ink likes to stay inside of the needle which is a royal pain in the ass.
So you're saying to always dilute color for better flow? Will that take away the vibrancy? Asking for personal reference, sorry Esq.
 

MirandM

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Depends how much you dilute it but yes.
Yes, but it also depends on the fluidity of the color ink and temperature. For example, I have white, yellow and purple colors.
The white and yellow I need to dilute, the white more than the yellow. But the purple is perfectly ok to use as is.
We now have summer temps >35ºC here so they all do thicken more rapidly. One drop of diluting solution solves this.
 

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