Help with Lining and Colour Packing

NathanA

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Hey everyone, im pretty new to tattooing, ive done a few on myself but ive been stuck with a problem i cant seem to fix, i started by practicing on pig skin, and when i washed all the excess ink off, the tattoo went patchy, so i went over it a few times, forgetting that i couldnt do this on human skin because of over working it, so i decided i would try tattooing myself on my thighs, and i have the same problem, except now, my outline is all faded, and the colour is extremely patchy, i have used pre-set coil machines, i have set up coil machines, and i have used a rotary machine, all to no avail, can anybody try and help me? could it be depth? or my ink? any help apreciated! thanks :D
- Nathan
 



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ASH13

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Im having the same problem. Its probably just a lack of experience. But Ive noticed I do a better job with round shaders than mags, what are you using?
 

NathanA

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Probably lack of experience or wrong set up on my end, i know im doing something wrong, i just dont know what :/ and i use rounds, not really practiced with mags yet, i used a 4F the other day, and i had more trouble than it was worth haha, i couldnt get anything into the piggy with that :(
 

toetoe62

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I would certainly forget about mags and flat needles for now and stick with 3 or 5 liner and 7 or 9 round shader, just until you find your feet, I did it by concentrating on my line work first and then moved on to colour and shading.
you want to go into the skin about 2mm but that doesn't mean you have your needle stiking out 2mm, ideally you want to work off the tips of the needle so you will need more than 2mm sticking out so you can see where you are going, with lining it is down to speed, are you moving to fast for the machine or to slow or is the machine set up right in the first place, assuming that your machines are set up right to begin with if you set your needle to stick out 2mm but for now don't work off the tips of the needles and work off the tip of the tube if your lines are not solid and a constant thickness then you are moving to fast but if your lines are thick with small black blobs of ink then you are moving to slow, use it like that until you are getting good results and then move on to working off the tips, in fact some people prefer to work off the tips of the tube it's up to you. with your colour have your needles out about 1.5 to 2mm and work using small circles, the smaller the better, you should have a good result with that, at first use a strong colour like red or even black for practise, you will get there , it just takes a bit of time.
 

NathanA

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I would certainly forget about mags and flat needles for now and stick with 3 or 5 liner and 7 or 9 round shader, just until you find your feet, I did it by concentrating on my line work first and then moved on to colour and shading.
you want to go into the skin about 2mm but that doesn't mean you have your needle stiking out 2mm, ideally you want to work off the tips of the needle so you will need more than 2mm sticking out so you can see where you are going, with lining it is down to speed, are you moving to fast for the machine or to slow or is the machine set up right in the first place, assuming that your machines are set up right to begin with if you set your needle to stick out 2mm but for now don't work off the tips of the needles and work off the tip of the tube if your lines are not solid and a constant thickness then you are moving to fast but if your lines are thick with small black blobs of ink then you are moving to slow, use it like that until you are getting good results and then move on to working off the tips, in fact some people prefer to work off the tips of the tube it's up to you. with your colour have your needles out about 1.5 to 2mm and work using small circles, the smaller the better, you should have a good result with that, at first use a strong colour like red or even black for practise, you will get there , it just takes a bit of time.

This was all really helpful :D but just to clarify some stuff so i dont poison myself hehe, i set the needle depth to 2mm when the a-bar is down? and then make the tip of the tube touch the area? the colour that seems to have gone the patchiest is blue, but i got yellow in no problem, any ideas why this may be?
 

toetoe62

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about the needle depth, spot on, but about the colour being patchy, you actually did better with an hard colour to use yellow, so it could be the inks that you are using, also if you think about how many needles the machine is trying to push into the skin then it's really got to hit harder than the liner, the easiest way to alter the machine without getting confused is to turn the contact screw anti clockwise a few turns, you can tell by the sound that the machine is running different it will sound slower and you may need to turn the volts up a tad, also remember how many turns you have done to put the machine back to how it was. The contact screw is the one on top.
 

NathanA

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Ill try that :D thanks for the tips, ive tried reds, blues, greens, even blacks all come out patchy :( i have my machines set up with a 1.5 - 2mm gap between the contact screw and front spring, and run my machine on about.. 6 volts, i was using a 7 round shader, for my liner i have a 1mm gap between the spring and contact, and run at 7.5 volts, does this all seem too low? also the ink i am using is Kashuko, is this any good? i dont know much about good quality brands seeing as im new :icon_cry:
 

toetoe62

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I don't know about Kashuko ink, i have never used it but the volts do seem a bit low, try not to worry to much about the volts, lots of coil machines run between 7 and 10 volts with no problems at all, if you can look on the internet for information on tuning your machines, this will be a good start, every body has the same problems at first so just keep at it, look on the net and keep asking here.
 

Viper65

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For whatever its worth Ill put in my two cents. For coil machines, Yes, your voltage seems to be a bit low indeed. I would turn that shader up to 8-9 volts and see what happens. You dont want it to sound like a lawnmower but it should have a good buzz to it. Also, I suspect that your not stretching the skin sufficiently. If your not doing that the needles are just bouncing off the skin leaving you patchy work.
 

Patrick

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Hi Nathan

Just to let you know that I used Kashuko inks and found them to be really good, the red is very good as is the deep black. I still have some kashuko left which I still use but mainly use Eernal now as they have a better range of colours and are very good and consistent. Basically everything has been said, so keep practicing and make sure your machines are tuned and running correctly. Maybe you could book a day with a pro as some already have and this will get you on track.
 

lordbaalnox

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My two cents worth would be, for lining when I first started I would ride the tube, it took me ages to get used to lining speed and I still dont always get it right

Lining is the bane of everyone's life I think, even experienced tattoo artists have their ups and downs with it, everything seems to make a difference, volts, speed of hand, needle groups, ink viscosity, pulling or pushing the lines, spring gauge, spring tension, contact gap, air gap, it al has to be spot on or else disaster and you find yourself doing a few passes to get them looking clean.

With colour packing, yellow and blue are really hard to get in the skin, so start with black and red, small tight circles with good three point stretch..

Keep at it matey and it will just click together in the end
 

ASH13

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The reason yellow might seem to do better is because its a lighter color so the patchiness would be less noticable compared to black.
 

skinpix

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Ill try that :D thanks for the tips, ive tried reds, blues, greens, even blacks all come out patchy :( i have my machines set up with a 1.5 - 2mm gap between the contact screw and front spring, and run my machine on about.. 6 volts, i was using a 7 round shader, for my liner i have a 1mm gap between the spring and contact, and run at 7.5 volts, does this all seem too low? also the ink i am using is Kashuko, is this any good? i dont know much about good quality brands seeing as im new :icon_cry:
Hi Nathan,
For a liner machine,the gap between the contact screw & front spring should be aprox 2mm,you should be able to just fit a 5p coin between the spring & contact....for a shader,the gap should be the thickness of a 2p coin...as for voltage,run the liner between 6 & 8 volts...and the shader between 7 & 9 volts.....hope this helps.:thumbsup:
 

ZombieInk

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your volts may be too low....I am currently using a cheap power supply and my volts don't read right. I run my liner at apparently 12 volts and my shader around 8 or 9 volts depending on needle sizes etc i know though that isn't the real volts im pushing out. i feel like if i had a better power supply it would show a different number....I don't even really pay attention to the volt number any more just the sound of my machines. With coloring in...I used to move way too fast and i got a lot of patchy results. it helps to just to slow down...at least that's what i think.
 

Viper65

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I can easily solve over 80% of those problems...........get a Rotary Machine. You plug it in you tattoo, its THAT SIMPLE. :icon_biggrin:
 

Spiral

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I can easily solve over 80% of those problems...........get a Rotary Machine. You plug it in you tattoo, its THAT SIMPLE. :icon_biggrin:
here, here,too true viper, rotaries all the way, never used coils and dont intend to change
 

NathanA

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Thanks for the tips everyone :D i got myself a stealth rotary for now, took my volts up a bit, moved slower, and worked from the tip of the tube, i now have solid lines and my colouring is a lot better than it was :D thanks again :D
 

ASH13

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I can easily solve over 80% of those problems...........get a Rotary Machine. You plug it in you tattoo, its THAT SIMPLE. :icon_biggrin:
I cant wait to recieve my rotary.....slow ass chinese shipping....
 

spoiledskinn

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Hey everyone, im pretty new to tattooing, ive done a few on myself but ive been stuck with a problem i cant seem to fix, i started by practicing on pig skin, and when i washed all the excess ink off, the tattoo went patchy, so i went over it a few times, forgetting that i couldnt do this on human skin because of over working it, so i decided i would try tattooing myself on my thighs, and i have the same problem, except now, my outline is all faded, and the colour is extremely patchy, i have used pre-set coil machines, i have set up coil machines, and i have used a rotary machine, all to no avail, can anybody try and help me? could it be depth? or my ink? any help apreciated! thanks :D
- Nathan
Alright boss lets start with lining.... first there is so much to tuning a tattoo machine its not even funny the smallest thing can throw off the way the machine is intended to work.
Liners usually need to run fast stiffer front and rear springs help with this along with a shorter stroke and possibly a shorter lighter armature bar . Liners can also run a little slower for sculpting lines almost like your sketching on paper its all your preference whether you want single pass lines or you want to sculpt this helps with fine detail. What has help me the most is a digital power supply with an lcd that show.you the voltage along with the speed the machines running at.
As for color packers there is a couple of tuning options i have found color is all new to me but ill share what i know i have two mqchines setup differently one is setup with 16 gauge springs front and back it slows the machine down slightly because color ink is thicker pigment the needle must travel slower to pick up more ink to pack in. My color packer is setup to hit fairly hard and slightly fast but no so fast. You cant keep up and damage the skin it has a shorter front spring than most.shaders.to run faster my color shader runs 16s but a long front spring to slow it down and it hits softer hope this.helps anymore questions just ask i know how hard it is to find help for this topic because no one wants to share.
 

covertmaniac

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Alright boss lets start with lining.... first there is so much to tuning a tattoo machine its not even funny the smallest thing can throw off the way the machine is intended to work.
Liners usually need to run fast stiffer front and rear springs help with this along with a shorter stroke and possibly a shorter lighter armature bar . Liners can also run a little slower for sculpting lines almost like your sketching on paper its all your preference whether you want single pass lines or you want to sculpt this helps with fine detail. What has help me the most is a digital power supply with an lcd that show.you the voltage along with the speed the machines running at.
As for color packers there is a couple of tuning options i have found color is all new to me but ill share what i know i have two mqchines setup differently one is setup with 16 gauge springs front and back it slows the machine down slightly because color ink is thicker pigment the needle must travel slower to pick up more ink to pack in. My color packer is setup to hit fairly hard and slightly fast but no so fast. You cant keep up and damage the skin it has a shorter front spring than most.shaders.to run faster my color shader runs 16s but a long front spring to slow it down and it hits softer hope this.helps anymore questions just ask i know how hard it is to find help for this topic because no one wants to share.
some good info there, but i disagree with the last comment somewhat....this forum is all about helping each other and sharing knowledge....and this is what we do here..... agreed, other forums for so called "professional" artists, you would get the usual shit " get an apprenticeship" and the like but not here, and this thread is over a year old....there are plenty of threads on here where help, advice and artists own setups have been shared freely .... sorry if i have the wrong end of the stick, but the way the comment has been put, leaves it open to interpretation ... my 2p
 

spoiledskinn

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some good info there, but i disagree with the last comment somewhat....this forum is all about helping each other and sharing knowledge....and this is what we do here..... agreed, other forums for so called "professional" artists, you would get the usual shit " get an apprenticeship" and the like but not here, and this thread is over a year old....there are plenty of threads on here where help, advice and artists own setups have been shared freely .... sorry if i have the wrong end of the stick, but the way the comment has been put, leaves it open to interpretation ... my 2p
Well yes that's what i mean its so difficult to find information on anything tattoo without some "pro artist thinking hes gods gift to tattpoing thats all im saying tgks thread is excellent theres so much onformation on here its great

- - - Updated - - -

some good info there, but i disagree with the last comment somewhat....this forum is all about helping each other and sharing knowledge....and this is what we do here..... agreed, other forums for so called "professional" artists, you would get the usual shit " get an apprenticeship" and the like but not here, and this thread is over a year old....there are plenty of threads on here where help, advice and artists own setups have been shared freely .... sorry if i have the wrong end of the stick, but the way the comment has been put, leaves it open to interpretation ... my 2p
Well yes that's what i mean its so difficult to find information on anything tattoo without some "pro artist thinking hes gods gift to tattpoing thats all im saying tgks thread is excellent theres so much onformation on here its great
 

Fullkeel

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IMHO you should get yourself a quality short stoke liner machine. A machine Tuned as a liner and a liner ONLY.

Forget about playing with contact screws. Once a machine is set-up for a particular job there should never be any reason to touch it, and besides, There is WAY more to making a proper shader than opening the contact screw.


So save up, spend the money on a liner, a bottle of high quality LINING ink and a good 2 amp PSU. Then you can take shitty equipment out equation and concentrate on your technique.
First practice and get some experience with lining.

It seems your trying do do everything from the get-go and getting yourself overwhelmed. Learning is best done with a systematic approach and lots of patience/practice.


Get some good consistant line work, then move on to the next step.


Good luck man.
 

Fullkeel

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Oh sorry,

Didn't notice how old this thread was.

Didn't mean to re-stir the shit. Appologies

- - - Updated - - -

Oh sorry,

Didn't notice how old this thread was.

Didn't mean to re-stir the shit. Appologies