There are two basic types of color tattoo styles, solid and layered.
Each time you start a color piece it is important to first lay
down a solid black and grey foundation. The black and grey
foundation will help build the shades and tones for the color.
Since the color is transparent it can be applied directly on top of
the black and grey areas. This is why it is extremely important
to be self –aware when you are shading. You should take care
not to damage the skin too much while doing layers of grey or
you will be unable to go back over those areas with color. If you
are trying to go for a natural or shaded gradient color style you
will have to use layers. If you are looking for a bold and solid
color, more of a coloring book style, it is still good practice to lay
down some black and grey before putting the color on top, but
for more solid color you should work in smaller circles and use
a slightly harder hitting machine than you would while trying to
lay down smooth gradients. These are all techniques that take
some practice and will vary depending on your pigments, machines,
and needle groupings you select.


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  1. JInks 10 years ago

    Any idea on wow to get a crayon type effect? I want to tattoo some of my kids drawings on myself.

    • CR Jordan 10 years ago

      To get a crayon tattoo effect – you should attempt to use texture – different shades of the same color w/ breaks in the ink – showing skin through.. do several crayon drawings – and then observe the way it looks. There is no simple response to this – just practice / experimentation

  2. Alavergne 12 years ago

    How fast or slow – hard or soft do I use for filling in solid black?

    • admin 12 years ago

      Go a bit slower for solid black – work it like you are mowing the lawn – slightly overlap the area

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