Tattoo Shop Reviews: How To Tattoo A Mandala
Tattoo Shop Reviews How To Tattoo A Mandala
How To Tattoo A Mandala
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Mandalas can be very intricate designs so you want to make sure to familiarize yourself with your design and make a strong stencil. You don’t want a stencil that is light on the skin. You want to try to get it on there as perfect as possible since after all mandalas are just a bunch of repeating shapes and you will be able to tell if any of the shapes are off.
Once your stencil is dried, if there are any areas that need a little bit of fixing ill go in with a marker and make sure the stencil is readable for me to do the tattoo… any gaps in the design ill draw in. Don’t be scared to replace the stencil if it isn’t readable or to your liking.
Now, there are mainly 2 different styles of mandalas I do, 1 with lines as the main structure, and 1 that has no lines and the entire thing is stippling. Like this other one I did. Today, we kind of have a mix of both.
As I am going through I am switching back and forth between the 3 liner for stippling and the 7 for the lines. You can use the same one for both but I like to have a smaller needle grouping for my dots then I do for my lines.
When I am lining I’m using the straight 7 liner with black ink, and for the dots I’m using the 3 liner with a light grey wash. The reason for the light grey wash is because I just want to get in the mandalas main structure. Once I’ve done that ill go back to fill it in later since it is a larger piece. I do this because I don’t want the client to tap out and I still have an untattooed part of the stencil. The light grey wash allows me to outline the areas I will stipple without leaving dark marks. That way when I come back and make an area stippled from dark to light I’m able to make that transition since my dots are all light. When stippling its important to use the tip of the needle. You go too deep and you won’t have clean looking dots. Same with lining. Always working off of the tip of the needle!
When I’m doing a mandala or any other intricate work, when I’m lining I use a dry paper towel. The reason for this is so I don’t have to be as careful to not ruin my stencil. Once I line, I dab the excess ink from the skin and it just absorbs into the towel then ill wipe anything else away from the stencil. Never wipe towards the stencil. If I really need to see what I’m doing ill add some green soap to a towel, but usually until the main structure is in I just use the dry towel.
Your line-work is super important to any tattoo, but when it comes to mandala tattoos any little mistake can stick out line a sore thumb. So I always make sure that the skin is stretched and my tattooing hand has a solid place to be planted for the line I’m about to do. If you need to move your client into a different position to get a better angel of the tattoo don’t be scared to move them around. After all at the end of the day your work is permanent.
Any line that I tattoo on any design my goal is always to get the ink in the skin in a single pass. This will give you the best results since there will be minimal damage to the skin. Going over a line to get the ink in multiple times can damage the skin, it can make the line look thicker than It should or uneven. Having that skin pulled tight and having your machine running at the right voltage to match your hand speed is super important to be able to pull that off. Hitting a line a second time isn’t the end of the world. We all need to make some a little more solid sometimes. Just watch doing that because it can cause damage that will make your tattoo not heal right.
If you aren’t confident in your line work to do a strong mandala design , you can always design it so the entire thing is made up of dots and just stipple the entire thing. Either way, make sure doing a intricate design is the next logical step in you learning to tattoo. If you just started your apprenticeship and only have done 2 tattoos, wait a bit and build up some skill and confidence before wondering into the wonderful world of mandalas.