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In this continuation of tattoo artist Q and A you will learn about a few tricks of the trade, remember this set of articles is in no way to replace a professional apprenticeship, and meant only to inform artists on the common questions posed by artists, and enthusiast alike.
20. How do I produce clean, and solid tribal work?
Tribal, along with any other solid fill tattoo is generally fairly difficult to pull off. Firstly, work in small areas inside the middle of the design, and once the middle has been completely filled, move to a smaller grouping of needles ( such as a five round to get the areas closest to the outline, as using a mag on these areas is fairly difficult, and you run the risk of going outside of the line). Once you have completed this, you should cleanse the skin of any excess pigment, and re-check your work for any holes, you may need to re-work any areas that look weak in color.
21. What colors work best on darker skin tones?
As a general rule of thumb, try to avoid any colors that may be lighter than the skin tone. If you were to use these, generally the design will appear cloudy. Remember, that placement is also another key to the tattooing process, as different parts of the skin are more susceptible to tattooing ( such as the more sensitive areas like the inner arms, etc where the skin is generally lighter). Red and green are generally fairly good on darker skin tones, however orange can fade away on the skin. Unfortunately, there are no set colors for specific skin colors it is a trial and error process.
22. Is there a good way to work on sunburned skin?
Generally, I would avoid working on a client who has a sunburn, however if you do feel inclined to do so, I would suggest using pigments like Starbrite ink, or Intenz tattoo inks. Other means to getting around this, would be to use carbon tipped needles, which usually push color in a bit more efficiently than your every day needle does. I would also suggest using more rich colors, as since the skin is already damaged during the healing process, the tattoo will heal less vibrant.
23. How should I achieve a gradient effect in my tattooing?
Unfortunately, yet again there is no set way to achieve this effect. The best way to familiarize yourself with this is to practice your gradient on paper before tattooing this style. Generally speaking, anything you can do with a colored pencil, you should be able to achieve on the skin, provided you have stretched the skin properly. Remember though, do not overwork the skin you are working on.
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