Starting a Tattoo

Lining a tattoo is one of the more difficult things to do properly. Most artists just assume you tattoo over the purple. This is true but it's like saying you just step on the gas and clutch to drive a standard transmition vehicle. To properly line a tattoo you have to choose your weapon of choice. Lining will most often be a five round or an eight round. Look at the original picture and see if the line work is a thick line or a thin one. Thinner lines need a five while thinker takes an eight. You do not want to use a three for lining a tattoo. A three is too small of a line. You will be able to see every little shake or bad spot. The only thing I use a three for is to tattoo single strands of hair in a portrait or small detail. If you insist on using a three to line with then you tattoos will take hours when they could have been done in much less time. Also using a three for the bulk of lining or shading will make you have to over work the skin causing the client to scar. Unless a tattoo is very small I almost religiously use an eight. The lines are a nice and smooth, and they are so much easier to use. There are four types of lining. The first is just lining. The second is grey lining which is where you use water to dilute the pigment so your out line has a grey look instead of black. Bold lining is considered a new school trick. It's where you give just the outside lines of a tattoo a very thick black out line. Some artists also call this cartooning. Last you have blood lining. Blood lining is a more advanced technique used for making an outline without any pigment. The skin turns red, kind of like a scratch. The artist will shade from this line and once the tattoo heals it will be gone completely. We will get more into the application of each as the lesson progresses.

So you're staring at a pattern on the skin of your client with a full set up tattoo. Now what? The first thing you will need to know is how to put together your machine. It's not hard. The first step is opening the tube you plan to use first. If you look at the tip of the tube you will notice an open spot on the tube itself. This is called a washout. It was designed so that past artist can work beside a sink while they work and simply run water through the washout to remove all the pigment so they can change colors. Now with so many cross contamination issue we stopped doing this but the tubes stayed the same. This is what the cups of water are for and why you need one for every color pigment. If you use one or two cups of water then your white will look pink if you wash out the red first. The side with the washout is the same side the needle comes out. The other end you need to put in your tube vice. Tighten it down just enough to hold it; you will have to move it around later. The tube should be placed in the vice so that the washout is pointing straight up. Now take the needle you plan to line with out of its package. Look at the tip where the needle head is. You will notice that if the eye loop in the back is flat then on one side the needle head is on top of the needle bar, and the other way the needle head is on the bottom. The needle head needs to be on the bottom of the bar. The reason for this is because when the needle rest in the tube it will be flat against the bottom of the tube. If you turn it so the needle head is on top then your needle will sit in the center of the tube and shake everywhere while the machine is running. I suggest setting up a machine before you ever try to tattoo so you can see what I'm talking about. Now take a grommet. Usually I get the nipple grommets. They look kind of like a small top hat. The grommet will go on the needle so much easier. The other grommets are called full grommets. These have rubber on both sides instead of just one. You have to pinch the grommet with your finger and thumb to make it flat. Then you push one side of the rubber into the needle loop and use your finger nails to pull it the rest of the way through. It's a pain in the ass. Instead just get the half or nipple grommet and they go right on. The grommet holds the needle on the machine and also acts like a shock absorber for smoother operation. You want the rim or flat part to be on the bottom of the needle. So if your needle head is down then the rim of the grommet needs to be on the same side.

Tattoo Machine Operation GuideHow Far Should Tattoo Needle Stick Out

Now you put the tattoo needle in the tube. You want to feed the entire needle bar into the back of the tube, the side closest to the armature bar. Don't force it to go, sometimes it wants to stick. If you force it to go down the tube then you can push the sharp part of the needle into the tube. Metal is sharpened by removing metal, the sharp point of the needle head are very thin and bendable. If you bend these, then you have to get a new needle. If you tattoo with a needle that tips are bent you will scar up the client and the tattoo will bleed like crazy. Basically instead of tattooing you will just turn their skin into ground beef. I find that holding the machine so the tube is pointing at the ground then flipping or tapping on the side of the tube will almost always make it fall right into place. You can also place the needle in the tube before putting it in the tube vice, which many find easier. Now grab the needle loop and grommet. Put the needle and grommet on the nipple for the armature bar. Make sure the needle is turned so the head is down and against the tube. The grommet rim or flat part needs to be against the armature bar or down as well. You can put the grommet on the armature bar first but unless you have a small armature nipple then you are going to have problems getting the needle on the grommet like that. Now you have a needle attached to the armature bar of your machine. Now you need to place a rubber band on the machine. The rubber band should sit in the middle of the armature bar and back of the tube. Under the machine the rubber band should be in the band holder if you have one or just put it between the spring saddle and the rear binding post. Only apply another rubber band if the needle is jumping around while the machine is running. The less rubber bands the better. If you use too many then they will bend you needle bar which will cause your needle tip to not sit in the tube properly. Too many rubber bands can also slow your machine by applying too much force downward.

cause your needle tip to not sit in the tube properly. Too many rubber bands can also slow your machine by applying too much force downward.

Whre Rubberbands Tattoo Machine

Take a look at the tip of the tube. Chances are the needle is sticking way out or not out far enough. You can run your machine one of two ways. These are called "running flush", or "hanging the needle". To run flush you need to loosen the tube. Then slide the tube forward until the tip of the needle is the same length of the tube. The tip of the needle and the tip of the tub should be flush, hence running flush. The advantage of running flush is that the tip of the tube stops the needle from going to deep. It acts like a safe guard. Many artists swear by this method. The disadvantage of running flush is that as soon as you touch the tube to the skin pigment will go everywhere. It makes it really hard to see your pattern. Another down side is that you have to push the tube along the skin of your client to get the right thickness of line. After a few minutes this will be really uncomfortable for the client. So you decide if you want to run flush but I recommend against it. The other way is hanging the needle. You line the needle up flush just like before. Then you move the tube back just a hair. It should be just enough to make the needle stick out about the width of the needle bar. You'll have to play with this too see where you like it to be. Just don't run the needle too far out or pigment will not get on the needle during tattooing. You'll have to dip he tube in pigment about every inch you tattoo. The up side of this method is that you can see what you're doing. There will only be a small amount of excess pigment while you tattoo. It will look kind of like writing with a sharpie marker. Another up side is that you aren't grinding the tube on the client, so the tattoo will hurt them less. The only down side to this is that you can go too deep. If you go too deep in the skin you will hit a dermal layer of spongy tissue that will absorb the pigment. This will give you what we call a "blow out". A blow out is a spot in the tattoo line that get really fat in one spot. I'm sure that you've seen them if you know anyone with home made tattoos. They make your tattoo look like crap, so you have to have a light hand and tattoo just enough to get the line as dark as you want it. Personally I recommend this method for all artists, not just beginners. It allows you to do much more with the tattooing. Like less restricted movement, and the ability to see what you are tattooing compared to touching the needle to skin and only seeing a black blob twice the area you're trying to tattoo. Now your machine is set up, next lesson.

How Far Should Tattoo Needle Stick Out
+11 0

Average user rating: 5 stars out of 11 votes


  • ermias semhar
    How far should a tattoo needle stick out?
    3 years ago
  • Ernesto
    How to put rubber bands on tattoo gun?
    4 years ago
  • gioele
    What can you use instead of a tattoo grommet?
    4 years ago
  • rhoda
    How do u put a grommet on a needle?
    4 years ago
  • nicodemo
    How far out should the needle be sticking out for a tattoo?
    4 years ago
    How far does the tattoo needle stick out with detail?
    4 years ago
  • ilkka
    What things use to tattoo now?
    4 years ago
  • Ella
    How far does the needle come out the tatto machine?
    4 years ago
    How far should the needle stick out when tattooing?
    3 years ago
  • teegan
    How to use flat tattoo needles?
    4 years ago
  • Frank Schwab
    How far does the outline needle need to be out of the machine?
    4 years ago
  • Christian
    How deep does tattoo needle go in?
    4 years ago
  • TYKO
    How much should tattoo back spring be bent?
    4 years ago
  • s
    Why do you need rubberbands for tattooing?
    4 years ago
  • gioacchina
    How far should the needle go out of the tattoo machine?
    3 years ago
  • rosario
    How far does the needle stick out the tattoo machine?
    3 years ago
  • bibiana
    How much should the needle stick out with the tattoo machine running?
    3 years ago
    How far protrude shading needles?
    3 years ago
  • sointu
    Which way does a tattoo needle sit in the tube?
    3 years ago
  • jussi
    How far is tattoo needle supposed to stick out?
    3 years ago
  • nikola
    How far liner needle should stick out?
    3 years ago
  • elias
    What needle do i start a tattoo with?
    3 years ago
  • Hanna
    How to use tattoo rubber band as a dampener?
    3 years ago
  • burtuka
    How far a needle sticks out of a tattoo gun?
    3 years ago
  • Ulpu
    How close should needle tattoo stick out?
    3 years ago
  • adelmo
    How to far should tattoo needle hang out?
    3 years ago
    How far should tattoo needel protrude?
    3 years ago
  • Sesto
    How far a tattoo needle sticks out of a machine?
    3 years ago
    When tattooing do you pull against the rubber bands or push?
    3 years ago
  • thorsten baum
    What can I use instead on groomets for tattooing?
    3 years ago
  • keith
    How far must needle stick out from tube when tattooing?
    3 years ago
  • fethawi
    How far should the needle stick out when shading?
    3 years ago
  • Zemzem
    How deep does a tattoo needle go into the skin?
    3 years ago
    How far should tattoo needle stick out of tube?
    2 years ago
  • charlie taylor
    Why does a tattoo machine ground out?
    2 years ago
  • mustafa
    What can act as a tattoo machine grommet?
    2 years ago
  • irene luoma
    How many rubberbands should i tattoo with?
    2 years ago
  • lukasz
    What can you use instead of a rubber band for tattooing?
    2 years ago
  • marigold hayward
    How far needle sticks out of tattoo tubes?
    2 years ago
  • vince tanguay
    How far out of the tube does the needle stick out when setting up a tattoo gun?
    2 years ago
  • christina
    Why does tattoo needle jump out of tube when i run it?
    2 years ago
  • aulis
    How far should a tattoo needle be sticking out of the tube?
    2 years ago
  • marmadoc
    What can I use instead of rubber grommet on tattoo machine?
    2 years ago
  • ursula
    How far should needkes stick out of tube with armature bar pulled down?
    2 years ago
  • blaine
    How far does the needle go in for shading on a tattoo?
    2 years ago
  • cora
    Is always needle tip tattoo stick on skin?
    2 years ago
  • neftalem
    How far should you hang tour needleout for more control tattooing?
    2 years ago
  • nicholas
    Do most tattoo artist run of the needle or tube?
    2 years ago
  • Tess
    Does a needle hang out of the tube about a dime with before starting of after machine is running?
    1 year ago
  • tyrone
    Which way does tattoo needle loop point?
    1 year ago
  • asmara
    How much needle is suppose to come out of a tattoo machine?
    12 months ago
  • hildifons bolger
    How to use shading needles for tattoos?
    11 months ago
    How much centemeters does a tattoo needles stick out from machine not running?
    11 months ago
  • fethawi
    How far does the needle come out when tattooing with rotaries?
    10 months ago
  • david delano
    How far out should a tattoo needle stick out of the tip when lining?
    7 months ago
  • rachele
    How mutch must a totto machines needl stick ou?
    6 months ago
  • marina
    What way round does a needle go on a Tattoo machine?
    6 months ago
  • fethawit
    Is it true that a tattoo needle goes deeper when it's for a outline?
    5 months ago
  • susanne brauer
    How long should the tattoo needle be out of the machine?
    4 months ago
  • junior scott
    Why do tattoo needles jump even with rubber bands?
    4 months ago
  • Tomas
    What causes skin to turn into hamburger meat while tattooibg?
    4 months ago
  • James
    How long should a tattoo needle comes out infront?
    4 months ago
  • judy
    How far out should the needle be from a tattoo machines tube?
    4 months ago
  • Veneranda
    How long is the needle of a tattoo machine supposed to be sticking out?
    3 months ago
  • mirella
    What are the rubber things that the tattoo needles slide on, on a tattoo gun called?
    3 months ago
  • procopio
    How many inches does a needle have to be in a tattoo gun?
    3 months ago
  • patrick
    When shading a tattoo how far the needle should stick out?
    3 months ago
    How much needle head for tattoo?
    3 months ago
  • annukka
    How far does a single tattoo needle need to be out of the gun?
    3 months ago
  • Lyyli
    What way round do tattoo needles go?
    3 months ago
  • caramella
    What will it look like if the tattoo go too deep and over too many times?
    3 months ago
  • Kacper
    What is the length of the needle top out of the tube for tattoo shading?
    3 months ago
  • Anna
    How much should a tattoo needle stick out 2015?
    3 months ago
  • Annmarie
    How much should a needle hang out of tattoo machine?
    3 months ago
    How to hold tattoo needle in place with a rubber band?
    3 months ago
  • Jali
    How many heads does a lining needle have?
    2 months ago
  • Jenni
    What make a tattoo needle jump?
    2 months ago
  • Ferumbras
    How deep in the skin shoud a tattoo needle be?
    2 months ago
  • antonina fiorentino
    Does the needle go on top or bottom of tube?
    2 months ago
  • erik lehrer
    How to put a tattoo gun together step by step?
    2 months ago
  • sesuna
    Which way do you move a tattoo machine?
    2 months ago
  • isabella
    How far should needle sstick outt from tube?
    2 months ago
  • antonio
    How deep should my needle go if im tattooing?
    2 months ago
  • adonay sayid
    How to make thin lines on tattoo machine?
    2 months ago
  • haddas
    How long should tatoo needle be?
    2 months ago
    How much to needles tattoo on the skin?
    2 months ago
  • Jesse
    How to place tattoo needle into tube?
    2 months ago
  • giacomo
    Which direction do you move the machine while tattooing?
    2 months ago
  • fikru
    Which side of a tube tip should you go when tattooing?
    2 months ago
  • askalu
    How deep tattoo needles should go?
    2 months ago
  • Alfrida
    How gar for the needle to stick out a tattoo gun with it turned off?
    2 months ago
  • sandy wood
    How to make a tattoo tube for the needle?
    2 months ago
  • brunilde
    When putting a tattoo needle through the barrel should the bar be facing up or down?
    2 months ago
  • juan
    How deep should i go on my tattoo lines?
    2 months ago
  • sandra
    How to right lenght of needle to tattoomachine?
    2 months ago
  • V Sumiala
    How deep should a tattoo lining go into the skin?
    2 months ago
  • togo
    How do u no how deep to go when doin a tattoo?
    1 month ago
  • jana weber
    How should flat tattoo needles protrude in the needle tube?
    1 month ago
  • Jessika
    How much times does a needle poke you for an average tattoo?
    1 month ago
  • Veli-Matti
    Are tattoos supposed to protrude from the skin?
    1 month ago
    How doyou know tattoo line your sading tattoo needle time?
    1 month ago
  • Welde Abel
    How long should you use tattoo needle before its not sharp enough?
    1 month ago
  • Niall
    How to hold a tattoo liner?
    1 month ago
  • Heather
    How to tell wheather tge needle in a tattoo gun is going deep enough?
    1 month ago
  • geremia
    How deep is single needle for lining?
    1 month ago
  • jasper
    How deep to drive niddle in skin?
    1 month ago
    How far should shading needle stuck out of tube tattooing?
    1 month ago
  • anna
    How much shading on a tattoo can you get in one sitting?
    30 days ago
  • reeta
    How to properly line a tattoo?
    29 days ago
  • kaarlo
    How deep is a tattoo needle supposed to go?
    29 days ago
  • Adalrico
    How deep those a tatto needle go in the skin?
    28 days ago
  • helen glass
    How far does the tattoo needle stick out with pictures?
    28 days ago
  • Daniel
    Can you use a 7M tattoo needle for outlining?
    27 days ago
  • ari piekkanen
    Do i need to change needle for different shadings when tattooing?
    25 days ago
  • ella
    Does a tattoo artist a line for shading?
    24 days ago
  • anita
    Can you use one shader needle for all of the colors?
    22 days ago
  • bellisima
    Which way do you move the tattoo machine while tattooing the outline?
    21 days ago
  • MIKE
    How deep does the needle go in when tatoo?
    20 days ago
  • Outi
    How far from the skin should you hold your tattoo gun?
    20 days ago
  • robert
    How deep down do tattoos go?
    20 days ago
  • caridad
    How long should a tattoo needle stick out?
    19 days ago
  • finn
    How deep to go in skin while tattooing?
    16 days ago
  • tranquillino
    How many needles in a tattoo gun when you do the hand?
    14 days ago
  • jere
    What is the gun holding needle for tattoo called?
    13 days ago
  • cotman
    How deep to set liner needle?
    12 days ago
  • lisa
    What side of the needle should be facing the opening on tattooing?
    11 days ago
  • Filmon
    How to keep tattoo needle from jumping?
    10 days ago
  • Jan
    How deep to set your needle when lining a tattoo?
    10 days ago
  • Zak
    How to get bold solid lined from a tattoo gun?
    8 days ago
  • nicole
    How to load a tattoo needle?
    8 days ago
  • Elisabeth
    Can you use a single needle for tattoo lining?
    8 days ago
  • henna
    How far should a needle be out of a tattoo gun shaft?
    6 days ago
  • monica
    How Much Inch Needle should insert While Shading on tattoo?
    5 days ago
  • Ottone
    How to write thick line while tatooing?
    5 days ago
  • Aatifa
    How high should your tattoo can be turned up to when you're doing the first outline?
    2 days ago
  • belba
    How much niddle size to be insert in skin for tattoo?
    2 days ago
  • Selina
    How long to have the needle on yoirachine?
    15 hours ago
  • Donnamira
    When starting a tattoo should you start from the top?
    14 hours ago

Post a comment