Here is one way it works; begin by outlining: By using a single-tipped needle and a thin ink, the artist creates a permanent line over the stencil. They usually start at the bottom of the right side and work up (lefties generally start on the left side) so they don't smear the stencil when cleaning excess ink from the permanent line.
- Shading: Once the area is cleaned with soap and water, the artist uses a thicker ink and a variety of needles to create an even, solid line. Be careful here because Improper technique during this step can cause shadowed lines, excessive pain and delayed healing.
- Color: The artist then cleans the tattoo and overlaps each line of color to ensure solid, even hues.
- There is a final cleaning and bandaging: After using a disposable towel to remove any blood and plasma, a sterile bandage is used to cover the tattoo. You will find that some bleeding occurs during tattooing, but most stop within a few minutes. The tattoo artist then fills in a tattoo using a thicker needle.