Posted on May 22 2019
Key tips for using practice tattoo skins
If you are planning to attempt a stick and poke tattoo for your first time, then it may be a good idea to get some experience in by using tattoo practice skins. Practicing on these useful pieces of equipment will allow you to practice your technique, review your results and consequentially improve your ability to perform stick and poke tattoos. If the tattoo you plan to perform is relatively advanced, then we suggest that practice skins are the way forward.
Making the most out of your tattoo practice skins
When using your practice skins, try to bear in mind that this is a great opportunity to treat your work as a serious project – practice skin or not! If you are new to the world of tattooing, ensure that you are paying attention to every little detail, just as you would with the real thing. Take into consideration the environment and area that you are working in, try and focus whether or not you have taken the right amount of hygiene precautions.
It is important to focus on your work area and hygiene measures. Before you begin handling needles or ink, you should consider how clean the surface you are using is. Do you have a method of safely disposing of the needles? How will you manage your materials? These are all crucial aspects that need to be analysed when performing a stick and poke and practice skins is the ideal opportunity to rehearse these measures.
Organising your workflow
Ink, being a liquid, has the potential to create a lot of mess. By experimenting with ink during a practice session with tattoo practice skins, you are much more likely to understand how to use it and therefore be much more efficient when it comes to performing the actual stick and poke. By enhancing your skills, you will be able to avoid spilling or spreading ink during your first tattoo. An example of something you may learn, is that you may find that it is easier to start with main lines working from right to left if you are left-handed.
Increasing the realism
Something that is commonly done by people wishing to practice their stick and poke tattooing skills, is wrapping a flat tattoo practice skin on someone and then proceeding to use this as a canvas. You must refrain from turning the sheet when practicing as when it comes to the real thing, you will be unable to turn that body part like a sheet!
Back to basics
Possibly the cheapest and certainly easiest practice that you can get with regards to refining your tattooing skills, is drawing. Before you begin tattooing, or even practice tattooing, you should rehearse on paper with a pen or pencil. Having good drawing skills will help you greatly with using tattoo needles. It must be remembered however, that handling a tattoo needle and using an actual pen or pencil is considerably different.
Working with transfer paper
Transfer paper can initially be confusing to new tattoo artists, however, using practice skins to get familiar with transfer paper can be of great benefit. It can be useful to try this and compare it with freehand techniques to see which you prefer.
Experimenting with different needle sizes
All tattoo needles come in many different sizes, all for different means. Using tattoo practice skins will allow you to experiment with a range of needle sizes and therefore allow you to gain a feel for which you may think would be appropriate to use on the real stick and poke. A good idea is to use the practice skin to create some sort of chart so you can compare the dots and thickness of lines that each size creates.