P Stencil disapearing while tattooing

GWFH

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Hey guys,

I feel a little idiotic asking this question now that I've been tattoing for 6 months, but I still have some issues with my stencils and it's really bothering me. It's not that my stencils don't stick at all ; but thay have a tendancy to fade pretty quicky over time. For quick tattoos, that's not a problem ; but for tattos that are long and detailed, it's been very annoying, since I have to draw again on the skin with a skin pen, or worst, applying the stencil a second time mid-tattoo (you can see the reasons why this is not optimal at all). I don't understand how some Youtube / Instagram artists succeed in applying stencils that are still perfect, like, 3 hours after the tattoo process began.
So if you allow me, I'll describe in this post the detailed process I use to apply a stencil ; maybe you can tell where I'm doing wrong.


1) tracing the design on the carbon paper (ATSUI brand, cf pic) with a ballpoint pen
2) shaving the skin with a one-blade razor, without any soap
3) rubbing 70 degres alcool on the stencil area, and letting the alcool dry
4) Applying a knob of Electrum (cf pic)
5) If I think there is too much Electrum, patting gently the skin with a paper towel
6) Letting the Electrum dry for like 10-20 sec so it is tacky
7) Applying the stencil paper in one stroke (most of the time anyway ^^)
8) Maintaining the stencil paper on the skin for 10-15 sec, pressuring and patting it
9) removing the stencil paper
10) Letting the carbon dry for 15 min (theses are the recommandations of Electrum brand)
11) While tattoing, I don't use soap to wipe the ink, juste patting it or wiping it whith a paper towel (until the outline is done)
12) I touch the stencil a lot with my stretching hand, but I suppose everyone does it (?)

It seems that this is my stretching hand that erases the stencil. I can see it fade althouth I didn't start to tattoo the upper parts. I'm a little lost here... An erasing stencil causes a lot of stress (feeling that the tattoo is a race against time), makes me loose a lot of time (drawing again, etc...), and feeling like an idiot in front of the person I'm tattoing. Any thoughts, dear friends ?

EDIT : didn't see that Moonie wrote a stencil related-post saturday...
 

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TexasPT

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I used Atsui once...lost my stencil fast

Spirit is where it's at for me. Made all the difference in the world. Maybe my technique got better at the same time? :)

When I know my stretching hand is going to be on the stencil, I put a paper-towel under the heel of my hand.

Also...that thin..and I mean thin layer of A&D keeps ink over the stencil, not into the stencil. Simply wipe toward the spot you've already tattooed (and I use a dry towel until I get to shading and color because the A&D works to buffer the wipe and the wipe is very gentle)
 

GWFH

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I used Atsui once...lost my stencil fast

Spirit is where it's at for me. Made all the difference in the world. Maybe my technique got better at the same time? :)

When I know my stretching hand is going to be on the stencil, I put a paper-towel under the heel of my hand.

Also...that thin..and I mean thin layer of A&D keeps ink over the stencil, not into the stencil. Simply wipe toward the spot you've already tattooed (and I use a dry towel until I get to shading and color because the A&D works to buffer the wipe and the wipe is very gentle)
Thanks Mark ! I've ordered Spirit last week, so I will be able to compare and to do a quick feedback of my experience. The paper towel under the stretching hand is also a nice tip, I'll try that ! :)
 

DKJ

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Val, and all interested, i was using spirit paper and spirit application liquid, but it didn't work well for me. The stencil was always fading out with vaseline and green soap.

So i followed Mark's advice to wash and rub hard the skin with alcohol (70% for me) and the stencil couldn't go away after like 20 wipes at the end of the tattoo. It has been staying crazy well on my client's skin.
I did put just a drop of liquid, applied the stencil, looking for just a little darker color through the paper(meaning the ink is "slurping" the liquid), waited a minute and took it off. The paper was really adhering to the skin.
I took it off slowly to see if some lines were missing, and added just a little sweat of liquid and pushed the paper back on it (on the missing parts).
After that i waited 10 mins and all when real good on that aspect.

So alcohol may be the solution to all your problems.
Your stencil problems of course.

Peace,

DKJ
 

GWFH

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Val, and all interested, i was using spirit paper and spirit application liquid, but it didn't work well for me. The stencil was always fading out with vaseline and green soap.

So i followed Mark's advice to wash and rub hard the skin with alcohol (70% for me) and the stencil couldn't go away after like 20 wipes at the end of the tattoo. It has been staying crazy well on my client's skin.
I did put just a drop of liquid, applied the stencil, looking for just a little darker color through the paper(meaning the ink is "slurping" the liquid), waited a minute and took it off. The paper was really adhering to the skin.
I took it off slowly to see if some lines were missing, and added just a little sweat of liquid and pushed the paper back on it (on the missing parts).
After that i waited 10 mins and all when real good on that aspect.

So alcohol may be the solution to all your problems.
Your stencil problems of course.

Peace,

DKJ
I think you're right, but I used alcohol before and it didn't work. Alcohol is important, but the paper's brand too : since I switched from ATSUI to Spirit, all my problems are gone (my stencil problems of course ^^).
What brand do you guys use ?
 

DKJ

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I think you're right, but I used alcohol before and it didn't work. Alcohol is important, but the paper's brand too : since I switched from ATSUI to Spirit, all my problems are gone (my stencil problems of course ^^).
What brand do you guys use ?
Spirit seems to be the brand used the more...

Peace,

DKJ
 

CasperEGL

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I've found that products like Hustle butter deluxe really makes a difference to both the stencil staying + making everything else a better experience. You could also try to let the stencil dry a little more/longer? I often do the stencil first, and then set up the station while it dries. Also I use spirit. Seems like the best for the price. :)
 

GWFH

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You could also try to let the stencil dry a little more/longer? I often do the stencil first, and then set up the station while it dries.
Agreed. I did a little experiment on myself two weeks ago : I applied 4 stencils on myself and let them dry 5, 10, 15 and 20 minutes respectively. I then wiped'em with both dry paper towel and paper towel plus soap. The results were unequivocal : the more the time a stencil dry, the more it sticks well, even with soap !
 

MalligaMallan

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But don't you all find it hard to wait while the client is just sitting there? Feels like 30sec is like 15min.
 

TexasPT

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leave stuff to do...I stencil, then I set out ink caps, fill cups, put up barrier on lamps/ps. And I flat out tell them...we're going to let that dry five minutes so it's there in ten. :)
 

hdlc

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I have a stencil paper that can be traced by hand. I use stencil stuff to apply. I avoid using green soap as much as possible. I get a sheet of folded paper towel. I apply a thin layer of Vaseline up until the halfway part. This allows me to push the ink to the side without staining the stencil with smeared ink and done gently. I suck up the extra ink with the dried side and continue.
 

MalligaMallan

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Do I understand you right if you mean you put some vaseline on the tissue, not the skin?