3 Ways to Practice Tattooing

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3 Ways to Practice Tattooing
3 Ways to Practice Tattooing

A career as a tattoo maker is full of exciting challenges. Dealing with fussy clients, wearing hand and back aches, and imitating various art forms are some of the things that only professional tattooists can deal with. Even if you learn from someone who is an expert, it will still take you years before you tattoo someone. With some correct technique and full dedication, you can definitely become a reliable tattoo maker in the future.


Method 1 of 3: Practice Drawing Skills to Make Tattoos

Practice Tattooing Step 1
Practice Tattooing Step 1

Step 1. Draw as often as possible

As a professional tattooist, you should be able to sketch from start to finish based on the client's wishes. This requires you to be able to draw a variety of images in different styles. It can only be mastered through experience and repetition.

Practice transitioning from pencil to pen to feel the sensation of making permanent drawings

Practice Tattooing Step 2
Practice Tattooing Step 2

Step 2. Draw something on the uneven object

Apples, oranges, and other uneven objects, such as rocks, can simulate difficulty in tattooing different parts of the body. Look for objects that can represent body parts that are often tattooed. So, you are ready when someone wants to tattoo an uneven body part.

Alternatively, you can draw the design at an angle, so that it is clear from a certain point of view

Practice Tattooing Step 3
Practice Tattooing Step 3

Step 3. Test your tattooing skills by tattooing a friend using a skin-safe marker

While the experience of drawing something on someone's skin with a marker is very different from a real tattoo machine, it can get you used to drawing on a “living canvas” and different parts of the body. You can even get a tattoo of a ticklish friend so you can experience the experience of dealing with a ticklish client.

Practice Tattooing Step 4
Practice Tattooing Step 4

Step 4. Use henna to learn how to apply your designs to the body

Henna is a traditional dye used since ancient times. These dyes are relatively expensive, and can be purchased at various stores or pharmacies. Since henna can stay on the skin for up to several days, you should use it when you are used to drawing on human skin. Follow these instructions:

  • Mix henna dye with a special substance provided in the package.
  • Apply it to the skin of the person you are making the guinea pig for according to the desired design.
  • Take note of what needs improvement and ask for suggestions.
Practice Tattooing Step 5
Practice Tattooing Step 5

Step 5. Practice drawing lines and printing the image in ink

Most professional tattooists begin to learn this art by following the print of a tattoo, then simplifying the design so that it is easy to draw on the skin. This ability can be imitated and learned academically in a drawing class. You will learn how to outline and interpret original drawings using a pencil.

Method 2 of 3: Mastering the Use of Tattoo Maker Tools

Practice Tattooing Step 6
Practice Tattooing Step 6

Step 1. Use a weighted pencil or pen to simulate using a tattoo machine

Some tattoo makers suggest exercising hand strength by stimulating the weight of the tattoo machine. This machine uses a ballast to ink the ink into the skin layer and create permanent drawing art there.

You should start this weight training by attaching 80 grams of weight to a drawing pencil

Practice Tattooing Step 7
Practice Tattooing Step 7

Step 2. Buy a cheap tattoo machine to practice

This will make you comfortable using the machine. Apart from understanding how to operate, how to replace damaged parts, and assessing their condition, you should also feel comfortable holding the tattoo machine for long periods of time.

  • If you have a mentor, he or she may have a machine to train with.
  • You can also attach a pencil to the tattoo machine to practice drawing. In this way, you will feel comfortable and familiar with the weight of the machine and its extension cords.
  • While cheap machines are great for training, don't use them for tattooing people.
Practice Tattooing Step 8
Practice Tattooing Step 8

Step 3. Learn the different types of tattoo machines

There are many types of tattoo machines on the market, although coil type machines are the most commonly used. Some machines are used specifically to create certain effects, such as shadows and colors. In general, you should be aware of:

  • coil tattoo machine
  • rotary tattoo machine
  • Pneumatic tattoo machine
  • Shader tattoo machine
  • Liner tattoo machine
Practice Tattooing Step 9
Practice Tattooing Step 9

Step 4. Familiarize yourself with the vibrations emanating from the tattoo machine

The force that the machine exerts as it works causes it to produce vibrations that can be felt throughout your hands. Be prepared for this when starting the engine, then dip the tip of the needle in the ink and train your hands to stabilize.

Method 3 of 3: Exercise with a Tattoo Machine

Step 1. Watch how a professional uses the machine

Watch a professional tattooist prepare the client's equipment and skin. As he begins to tattoo, pay attention to how he holds and directs the machine, and pay close attention to how hard he presses the needle into the client's skin.

You can watch videos on Youtube to practice

Practice Tattooing Step 10
Practice Tattooing Step 10

Step 2. Use fruit to practice

Fruits have a curve that is similar to the client's body part to be tattooed, and is a cheap alternative compared to other things. Some fruits that can be used for tattoo practice are:

  • Banana
  • Melon
  • Wine
Practice Tattooing Step 11
Practice Tattooing Step 11

Step 3. Use synthetic leather

Synthetic leather is a relatively new medium used to train tattooing skills. These kits are fairly easy to order through online stores, but there are many professional tattoo makers who criticize this method because the material is much different from real leather. Synthetic leather is useful for:

  • Practice holding the tattoo machine to get used to it.
  • Become a powerful exercise tool to build hand strength.
Practice Tattooing Step 12
Practice Tattooing Step 12

Step 4. Buy pork skins for a realistic experience

Pig skin is quite similar to human skin and can provide a more realistic experience than using fruit or synthetic leather. Pig skin is also a traditional tattoo practice medium used by amateurs. Due to its resemblance to human skin, it can train you to better control the depth of the needle.

Pork skin for tattooing can be easily purchased online, but since most butchers throw it away, you can buy skin at a lower price at the nearest pork shop

Practice Tattooing Step 13
Practice Tattooing Step 13

Step 5. Make a tattoo with the right depth

Human skin consists of 3 layers and these layers have several levels. The upper part of the skin, the epidermis, consists of 5 layers that grow outward. This means that tattoos made in this layer will wear off over time. The target depth of the tattoo needle is in the middle, namely the dermis layer, which is located about 1-2 mm below the skin.

Tattoo needles that are too deep can cause excessive pain to your client, as well as risk of infection

Step 6. Make a tattoo on your own skin

Before using someone else's skin, make a tattoo on your own skin to know how it feels and how deep the needle should be. You will also learn how to treat a tattoo and how long it takes to heal the tattooed skin. These are important information that can be shared with clients.

Next, try to offer free tattoo services to potential clients. There are a lot of people that beginners want to get tattooed for free. This method will give you a valuable experience


  • Hold on to your sketchbook. When you have free time anywhere, draw something and don't get busy playing on your phone.
  • Not everyone will like your work. So try to look at everything from the positive side. Find out what went wrong, then go back to learning and keep improving your skills.


  • Don't try to tattoo with the marker near your eyes. This can cause permanent eye damage.
  • Markers and henna can contain toxic substances or harmful natural ingredients. Make sure you and the volunteer don't have allergies.
  • Markers are non-toxic. So, there is no need to worry about ink poisoning unless the person has an allergy to certain substances.

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