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Drawing Exercises For Tattoo Artists

Youll Watch Peoples Relationships With Their Bodies Change

How To Draw For Tattoos

In Neads experience, if people plan to get a tattoo on their hip or their belly, theyll sometimes say negative things like, I guess I need to lose weight now that Ill have this tattoo. But once they get the tattoo, they suddenly become very proud of that part of their body. Its cool to be able to help someone change how they feel about their body in a positive way.

Create Drawings With Value

Your next step should be to incorporate different values into your drawings. You can take some of your pen tracings to get started. A value refers to any level of gray between black and white.

The more skilled you are at working with different values, the more dynamic your tattoo art will be. Youll be able to create more realistic or dimensional images when you know how to place shadows and highlights.

You can apply values through more blended and smooth approaches. But you can use hatching and cross-hatching for more graphic appeal. Practice both approaches!

If its helpful, you may even want to create value scales. Create ten blocks, with black and white on either end, and use graphite or charcoal to add different value steps from light to dark. Try to make the blocks create an even gradation moving from one extreme to the other.

Drawing Exercises For Tattoo Artists Jobs

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How To Practice Tattooing

A career as a tattooist is full of exciting challenges. Twitching clients, equipment that tires out the hand, and the need to replicate various styles of art all obstacles only a trained and dedicated tattooist can consistently overcome. But even if you have an apprenticeship, it can be a year or longer before youre allowed to tattoo a person. With the use of a few techniques and dedication on your part, youll be well prepared to start tattooing when you finally do.

How Do You Start Drawing A Tattoo

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You should Start drawing a tattoo by sketchinga simple line drawing of the picture you have in mind. Copy the design about 5 or 6 times. Then draw in the main lines of the design with more solid, smooth single lines.

Try changing parts of the drawing to see how it affects the appearance of the final picture. Create 5 or 6 slightly different drawings and analyse which is the best.

Once you have done this you can create the final line drawing. This is the drawing that will become the stencil for the tattoo. When you have the line drawing finished, print about 5 copies and try colouring them in or finishing them in different ways.

First do a shaded pencil drawing to show what the tattoo could look like done in Black and Grey. Then you can try colouring and shading the other copies in different ways. Do one as block colours, one with shaded and blended colors, and one as a watercolor for example.

Look carefully at the drawings and work out which you think works best. Analyse what you might be able to do to improve the design. Once you have a more focussed idea of the design then you can print off 5 more copies and try to do 5 slightly different versions again. Repeating this process will help you to improve the design until you are completely happy.

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Can You Be A Tattoo Artist If You Cant Draw

No, not really.To be a tattoo artist you really do need to be able to draw. However, even if you cant draw now, everyone will get better the more they practice. I would never have considered myself good at drawing, but years of practice have honed my skills to a point where it would no longer be true for me to say I cant draw.

Practice may never make yours or my drawing perfect, but it will always make it better. The more hours you spend practicing, the better you will get.

Draw On Alternative Surfaces

Wondering how to practice tattooing? Start expanding your substrates. That is, start drawing on something other than paper.

Drawing on a smooth sheet of vellum paper is decidedly different from drawing on loose flesh. Youll need to transfer your careful approach to drawing to different types of surfaces. And you should definitely do this before working on someones arm or back!

Grab old pitchers, vases, and pieces of fabric. Use your pen to try drawing clean line images on each. And to really simulate the true tattooing experience, ask a friend to converse with you while youre creating the image.

While youre at it, start putting together a portfolio of designs. Take some of your earliest doodles and refine them into small designs that will be easy to produce. That way, youll be able to put some of these drawing exercises to use.

As a new tattoo artist, its always wise to have some go-to designs in your arsenal. And learning how to tattoo for beginners means putting together your drawing skills with some business savvy. Create a portfolio of smaller designs that you can use on some of your first jobs.

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Test Your Tattooist Skills With A Non

Though the experience of drawing on a persons body is markedly different from operating a tattoo machine and depositing ink into the skin, this practice will get you accustomed to drawing on a living canvas. You might even seek out your more ticklish friends so that you have experience with a squirming client.

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Start With Gesture Drawing

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Even the best artists need to warm up. And thats where gesture drawing comes into play. This approach to drawing is all about being loose with your lines and focusing on observation.

The result might look a little messy, but its an ideal starting point when youre learning how to draw. Focus on circular drawing movements to improve your ability to capture curvaceous forms. And use a pencil so you can make revisions.

Then you can begin tackling smaller forms or objects. Aim to improve your ability to capure proportions, especially if you anticipate taking on recognizable imagery as a tattoo artist. Draw faces, bodies, and plants.

Dont worry about stray lines at this point! And feel free to erase or redraw areas. The images that you create will form the template for your next exercises, which focus on refinement.

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Become Accustomed To Shape

Whenever you’ve dominated lines, proceed onward to picturing how those lines and shapes change when they are applied to a surface that isn’t level.

Step by step instructions to Work on Drawing 3D on the Body

Start by utilizing an espresso mug or some other bended holder. Ink your drawings straightforwardly on to the outside of the cup with your medium-tip pen. Continue to rehearse until your lines are however acceptable on a bended surface as they seem to be on a level paper.

After you feel good with this, get some wide covering tape and tape a body part, putting each piece of tape directly close to or somewhat covering another strip to shape a wide region to rehearse on. At that point utilize a medium-tip pen to lay your lines down.

Notice how the picture looks from different points and how the body part changes the presence of the picture.

Proceed with this training and perception on a wide range of body partsyours and companions’.

Exercise : Adapt Other Artists Work

Now that you have a better understanding of tattoo design, its time to use your own creativity. Youll still work with reference images, but youll change bits and pieces of it using your knowledge of tattoo design to create your own unique work.

You can also take different pieces from different tattoos as inspiration. The videos above will show you what this process looks like in real time as our instructor, Brandon, creates two new tattoo designs.

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Our Recommended Style For New Artists: American Traditional

Especially if youre new to drawing, we recommend learning the Traditional tattoo style. Youll have no problem finding references, and it is a 2D style so you dont have to worry about realistic shading or different line weights.

As you copy several of these designs, youll start to build up your knowledge of tattoo designs to the point that you wont have to look at a reference to draw a traditional rose, swallow, dagger, etc.

Should I Learn To Draw Before Tattooing

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Yes, before youtattoo anyone you need to learn how to draw. As atattoo artistyou will be leaving an indelible mark on someones skin. They should be confident that the results will be what they want. If you cant draw the image in the first place why would someone trust you to tattoo the image on their skin forever?

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Looking For A Tattoo Apprenticeship

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Tattoo Practice Drawings

As a new tattoo artist, it can be hard to come up with your own tattoo designs. Thats why most tattoo artists practice drawing designs by more experienced artists before coming up with their own.

When you draw designs by professional tattoo artists, its easier to see what looks good in a tattoo, instead of trying to figure it out alone.

To help, weve broken this process of modeling professional tattoo artists into three drawing exercises:

  • Copying other tattoo artists
  • Adapting other artists work
  • Creating your own tattoo designs

In this article, well walk through each step so you can start creating your own unique designs, faster.

Drawing Exercises For Tattoo Artists

Now, youre ready for some drawing exercises. At surface level, they can seem pretty basic, but they are quite effective at improving your skill.

Here are 5 of the simplest, yet most useful drawing exercises for tattoo artists:

Sometimes, the difference between a good tattoo and a bad tattoo is the line work. The most basic thing you can learn is how to draw a straight line.

Do not worry about adding shading, colors, or making patterns or designs, just practice drawing straight lines. Youll need a few sheets of lined paper and blank paper, pencils, pens, and markers with different sized tips.

Start with your pencils, and draw a bunch of lines as straight as you can get them, following the lines on the paper. Try it again, but this time on blank paper. A neat trick to try is to avoid watching the pencil since it can throw you off. Instead, watch the point on the paper where your line should end. Now, set those sheets aside, well get back to them.

Repeat with pens, then break out your markers. You are going to be drawing lines of varying thickness on the lined paper. Draw 10 of them about 15 cm long. Pay attention to how much pressure you put on them to ensure the thickness is even throughout the line. Try this again on the blank paper to see how well you do without the lines as a guide.

Advanced line work

Once you master the paper, you can move on to curved or contoured objects.

When done, trace your old pen line work with the pens, following the same instructions.

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Look At Some Tattoo Books

Get a few books that have loads of pictures of tattoos and blaze. Look and see what shading blends different specialists use. Utilize your inking abilities to duplicate the plans you see.

As you peruse many models, you will see that the truly astounding tattoos have incredible line work. That will be your most significant expertise.

Sometimes Youll Feel Like A Therapist

12 Drawing Exercises to Improve Your Art Skills! Warm-Up Practice

People will bring you their most painful moments and ask you to turn them into artwork. During the Iraq War, Nead tattooed an active member of the military who was home on leave. She remembers that he was so raw and wounded and wanted a tattoo of his company insignia to mark how he was never going to be the same person. Sometimes people talk through those kinds of memories during their appointments, and Nead believes theres something inherently therapeutic about the processit can feel good to have care and attention for a few hours. As a tattoo artist, you cant really bring your own emotional baggage to the tattoo parlor. It doesnt matter if youve had a stressful morningyou need to learn to leave that stuff outside the door and be completely there for that person in the moment.

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Youre Going To Mess Up Sometimes

When youre first starting out, it can feel like almost all your lines are crooked or inconsistent. Even once you get good, youre not immune to mistakes. Spelling errors can happen with text tattoos if the artist and client dont triple-check. Nead knows someone who tattooed the Superman logo on someone, and when he finished, he realized hed put it on backward. When something like that happens, you cant reverse it. You just have to apologize and offer to cover it up for free.

Its really hard to accept and face your own mistake, especially when its on someones body forever. I personally had nightmares about it in the beginning! confesses Martinez. But you only become a good tattooer when you put your fears and ego , learn from your mistakes, and practice harder to never, ever let it happen again.

Save Money Before You Start Because You Might Have To Work For Free For A Period Of Time

Nobodys great at tattooing until they practice, but the thing isyou cant get practice without tattooing flesh. Some people practice on grapefruits, but a grapefruit cant really compare to a nervous, sweating, breathing, vulnerable human being. Most artists start out as apprentices, which is basically like unpaid training. At Neads shop, they tattooed for free for the first year, just doing very simple designs. Even a year or two after Nead started, she was still tattooing at a heavily discounted rate, simply because she wasnt as fast or as skilled as other artists.

My apprenticeship was free money-wise, since I was helping at the shop as a compensation to my mentor for teaching me, says Martinez. But she still had to pay the bills, so she worked at a bar on the side. I was working all the time! Between the shop, the bar, and drawing at night, I had to give up all my free time. But it was so worth it! I loved the idea that someday I could become a tattoo artist, that it kept me motivated. I would do it all over again if I had to.

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How To Practice Your Line For Tattooing

  • Once you have 1012 finished pencil line drawings, get a medium-tip pen.
  • On a glass table or a window, place a clean sheet of paper over your drawing and ink all of your lines. You are trying to make your lines as clean as possible.
  • Compare your original pencil drawing with the inked version. You will notice that many of the intricate details bleed together.
  • Repeat the pencil and ink process again. Over time, you will find that your choice of lines, your inking, and your ability to draw in strange positions will improve.
  • You Will Still Adapt Designs As A Professional Tattoo Artist

    How to Tattoo: Drawing Exercises for Aspiring Tattoo Artists

    As a professional tattoo artist, you will use these techniques all the time. You wont always have hours to create a completely new design from scratch. Instead, youll be able to grab one of your old designs and change pieces of it to create a custom tattoo for your client.

    Additionally, youll have plenty of clients come in with a design drawn by another tattoo artist they found online. A lot of the time, theyll say they want that exact design.

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