How to Tattoo – Ultimate Step by Step Tattoo Guide in 2021

Sometimes it seems that tattooing is painful only for someone who gets a tattoo on his body. It’s not exactly true!

The tattoo artist is also worried about the tattooing.


On his (her) shoulders is the responsibility for creating an amazing design, safety on the job site, complying with all the rules and making you calm.

If you want to become a tattoo artist, you should be ready for what awaits you in reality.

I will tell you about the primary process of your future work – how to tattoo!

How To Tattoo Guide

Be Sure That You Know Everything

Do not start working with clients until your mentor approves it. You must be trained, professional in all aspects of tattoo art.

yourself morally for the work ahead. Keep in mind all that you know about tattoos, needles, tattoo machine, fake practice skin, about a person’s skin, finally.

The Most Important Thing is Hygiene

tattoo hygieneHygiene is an important part of tattooing. A professional tattoo artist must comply with the hygienic and safety procedure before the session, during and after the session as well.

First, the zone where tattooing takes place must be sterile. Secondly, the tattoo artist should wash hands with antibacterial soap and wear surgical gloves.

Before starting the work, the tattoo artist must sterilize the equipment in an autoclave. It will be better if the sterilization takes place before the client, for him/her to make sure, you respect the hygiene and take care of the health of the client.

Be Sure That You Have Correctly Installed the Needle

How to Tattoo

In addition to hygiene, the tattoo artist should be sure that the needle is firmly installed and the tattoo machine is working.

The camp needle should be in the zone of the lager, and the tip of the needle should extend no more than 1 mm from the needle. The average length of the needle exit should vary from 0.6 to 1 mm.

Try to make the length of this outlet smaller, since a longer length can damage the skin.

Be Sure of the Skin Purity that You Will Tattoo

The hygiene of tattooing does not end at the hands of a tattoo artist and the sterilization of equipment. The client’s skin should be clean as in the operating room.

The tattoo artist should shave the tattoo (in the direction of hair growth) and disinfect the area where he/she plans to draw a tattoo.

Keep in mind the taboo on creating cuts and irritations while preparing the skin for tattooing. The skin should be perfect.

Have a Stencil on Hand

Have a stencil on handDid you make a stencil before you started? You will transfer the stencil onto the client’s skin.

It will be a very convenient and correct guide to action. Be sure the stencil will save you from mistakes.

When you apply the stencil on the skin, keep the skin tightened. After all, the stencil should be placed on the skin of the natural.

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I would recommend making the design scheme beforehand again, but with the help of ink and one needle.

After the stencil, you must again clean the client’s skin before starting the basic work – creating a tattoo.

Proceed to the Inside of the Contour

tattoo-contourDrawing a tattoo begins with creating a contour, and then the inner part of the outline. It means that you create a line that is wider than the first.

If you use ink and a needle of one type with a contour, then for the inside you use thick ink and other needles.

To do it right, you need to lower the tip of the needle into the ink. Mind that the machine should not be turned on at this stage!

Fill in the ink and start to lead the line quickly and easily. Do not fill the needle to the brim because ink can spill.

Put the mark and lead the needle up (it’s better to start the line from the middle). Make a line and be sure that when you draw a path you did not create any problems.

Your hand should perform long smooth movements (holding a tattoo machine). Do not let the ink dry out. To do this, make lines with a weak color.

At this stage, you should remember that you cannot press hard unless you get uneven lines and this will make healing difficult.

Take a Break

Take a break, eat TWIX! Better let your hands rest.

A short break between setting the outline and darkening represents an important time of rest and new preparation.

I use this time to check the line that I got. Because I want to be sure that I do not need to fix anything, and I can start the next stage of tattooing.

It is reasonable to make such breaks after completing each task. So, you give a rest to you, your hands and the client from the pain.

Cut Lines of Tattoo Design

tattoo designWhen the outer and inner border of the tattoo is ready, it’s time to cut both lines. Take the ink and make sure there are no gaps in the design.

The overlapping line should be neat, so you can select the shader needle for this task.

But the choice of needle depends on the particular tattoo you are drawing. The main thing is to follow the rule “most of it is a big needle”. Therefore, if the overlapping line is small, a small needle is enough.

Choose the needle also based on the intensity of the color that you plan to obscure. A small needle will be more intense shading.

Use other Techniques

Did you make a line of overlap and had time to rest?

Go to the next stage and shadow the tattoo!

The beginning of the shading lies in a darker part. Drive the needle in a circular motion and do not overload it.

You can also use the “reamer” technique, which is suitable for black and color inks. A “sweep” involves penetrating the needle in and out.

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When you do the shading of the design, the movements of your hand should be stable.

Shading is the most serious part of tattooing because it damages the skin more than the contour. That is why this stage is the most painful.

When this is complete, wipe the excess ink and check the result. I hope you and the client will be satisfied with the work done!

Also read: Always use the best tattoo numbing cream to get painless tats.

Keep Hygiene the Whole Session

I already talked about the fact that the entire tattooing session should be hygienic. You must give this priority attention.

Sterilization of the machine in ultrasound should take at least 30 minutes. You must implement this procedure before and after the session.

Yes, your work will not end only in the figure. Then you will have to clear the workplace.

Dry and clean all surfaces in the studio with antibacterial means.

When I say “the whole studio” it means literally the whole studio, including the floor, consumables (in the urn), needles, a tattoo machine.

You need to send all the trash into the bag and close the bag tight so that no one has contact with it.

After cleaning, check everything – from equipment to the premises. Perhaps something could go unnoticed – the blood or ink stayed somewhere.

If sterilization seems to you to be a nuisance, you can use disposable products. But if it seems like an expensive treat to you, do not be lazy and use ultrasound.

Never boil the equipment in hot water. It is pointless!

I recommend tattoo artists to know because of their negligence, a client can take with them not only a new tattoo but also hepatitis and the like.

Also Read: How to fix tattoo bubbling easiest way.

Be Sure that You Use the Ordered Colors

tattoo colorWork of the tattoo artist involves a large-scale focus on the tattooing process. But do not forget about the color order to get an excellent result.

Observance of the order of colors is important for the tattoo to turn out to be attractive.

It seems to me that the opposite colors look good next to each other, and the current lines should look like the main color. A tattoo artist should not allow color mixing, otherwise, the client will get a stain and not a tattoo.

Also Read: Tattoo Bleeding – What To Do If Your New Tattoo Bleeds


To make the tattoo work process as safe as possible, I recommend using aluminum equipment. Additional sterilization will make your nature flawless.

One-time equipment is also a good idea. Yes, it’s more expensive, but it’s safe.

After you clean the skin with a new tattoo and tell about how to take care of the tattoo, do not forget to take a photo with the result obtained for future clients. I hope my step by step tattoo guide will help you to make amazing tats.

About the author

I’m S.R Bhuiyan, a proud Tattoo artist. I will share the body art journey with you here in PrettyJust. I have 10+ years of experience in the field of tattoo, piercing, nail art, and skincare. Check out my bio which has my tattoo studio/cat/travel pics!

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