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Tattoo Shading Techniques

It is known that tattoo shading was one of the most vital aspect that a tattoo artists should learn
when creating a perfect body masterpiece that is both aesthetic and symbolical. You have to learn
how to shade right and incorporate variety of techniques so as to create real art and produce great
masterpiece that is close to life. Tattoo shading needs proper skills and right knowledge,
incorporated with patience and passion in order to succeed in this visual artistry. While there are
many who succeed, there are still several people who fails in carrying out a good tattoo shading. The
difference between excellent result and poor result has something to do with the person whos
performing out the procedure, thus, it is very much essential to know what techniques to use and
how to conduct a proper black and grey shading for great end result.
Tattooing has been a booming industry for the past few decades, and still tremendously growing
every single day. Wherever you set your eyes, you will see people who consider tattoo as a form of
expressing themselves, or way of conveying a symbolic meaning which are either personal or
subjective. But to make an excellent and explicit tattoo, one should possess the proper knowledge to
create great design and realistic masterpiece that is suited for their purpose. In this EBook, we will
discuss about the different tattoo shading techniques, tips and other essential guidelines that makes
a great and stunning tattoo that you ever wanted.
What is Tattoo Shading?
Tattoo shading is an integral part of tattoo design whereas a 2 dimensional tattoo turns 3
dimensional, and with integration of color spectrum to create a shadowy effect and realistic artwork.
It is a part of tattoo wherein flat lines and darkness of color get shape and hold particular degree of
depth for it to create tattoo pop-out like a real object. And one of the most famous whole style
tattoo shading today is the so called Black and Grey tattoo Shading where there is no other
color.just white and black. In the tattoo artists doesnt have the knowledge about the technical, yet
critical aspect of shading, then, the tattoo will just fall flat.
This aspect of tattooing can be learned by anyone who has the hand for handling such delicate job,
however, it takes some real practice, right set of tools and some technical skills to create a perfect
black and white shading that compliments the tattoo design. Mastering tattoo shading for black and
grey tattoo can really boost the artists skills and reputation in the tattoo industry. In fact, those who
has mastered tattoo shading and those who has the expert level are very well respected and revered
by many artists of the same field. This also provide you with great revenue if you already get the
hang of Black and Grey tattoo shading.

How to Shade a Tattoo: Beginners Guide

As a tattooist, one must know how to execute proper outline and perform smooth shading to create
a life-like work that works on the clients skin. The ability to do proper shading is a technical skills
that can really make a huge difference in making a quality black and grey tattoo. And learning how to
do good shading also means learning a lot of different techniques and styles. While it is very
tempting to jump in with your both feet to try a little of everything in one settings, tattoo shading is
just like any other kind of art form. You need to learn the basic skills and strengthen them as your
confidence and ability grows. To begin with our session, the following are some of the basic
techniques that you need to learn before you jump to advanced level of tattoo shading:
1. Choose a tattoo design that is suitable for Shading
There are some tattoo designs that are more suitable for black and grey shading than the others.
Images of animals, gothic artwork, portraits of people/celebrities, skulls, flowers, fantasy
creatures (such as dragons, serpents, etc.) are some of the good subject for this tattoo style. The
design must have a larger and rounded elements that are good to be filled in with graduated
colors so as to create an illusion of shadows and depths.
Look through some brochures of black and grey tattoo design and study the effective use of
shading. Sooner, you will get a feel of which design is suitable for shading and which one is not.
This will also give you the insight of how to experiment better 3D shading in the later
2. Finish Line work
It has been a common practice to finish the line work before you touch the tattoo with colors or
do some shading techniques. This will prevent dark inks of your outline from leaching and
making a mess. While there are some tattoo artists who opt to dry off their tattoo and wait for
few minutes before proceeding to the shading, it is a much better practice to do the shading and
inking in two different session.
3. All Black Ink
As you may probably know, a common tattooing technique using black ink should be carefully
sorted out before anything else. Dip the needle in the water and carefully dilute the solid black
pigment to a gray pigment without the need to change the needles. When you apply the ink, tilt
the needle or use it in a circular motion so as to blend in the slightly different tone of ink. Press
the needle down less deep especially on lighter areas when giving an illusion of fading gradient.
If ever you make a mistake during your line work, shading the part is an easy way to cover up the
error while making the tattoo design look and feel aesthetically pleasing.
4. From black to gray
Instead of diluting black ink, try using gray ink to give a permanent shadow which stays on the
skin for almost as long as the line themselves. It is also easier to get a solid gray shadow using
this technique. If you want to create a similar gray tones to use in cell shading, gray ink is the
best way to go.
There are two different style of gray ink--the one which is leaning towards to blue and one which
ascends to brownso make sure that you test the colors to different mediums before you apply
it to skin. Despite of not having an own hue, gray can be used as a color itself so as to bring out
many shades that a diluted black cant give.

Black and Grey Wash Tattoo Shading Techniques

For aspirant tattoo artists, here are some secrets you should know to have an awesome Black & Grey
wash tattoo shading!
If you want to learn how to be a tattoo artist, you need to know everything that is required in order
to get up and run with your tattooing. These days, tattoos are very in-demand and gets more
popularity. So, for you to stay on the track, learn the secret techniques for an amazing wash tattoo
As soon as you have mastered delineating, filling in simple colors and blacks as well as some simple
shading, its the right time stepping up to the next level. Learn to shade black & grey work like the
professionals. By knowing the Black and Grey Wash Tattoo Shading Techniques, you can be able to
make lots of money!
Shading techniques serves as a beneficial guide for every tattoo enthusiasts, which teaches them
different ways on performing tattoo shading on sought-after style. Such program will give emphasis
in answering some typical questions dealing with tattoo and how to do proper ink mixing and
shading, and so much more. The guidelines and tips given are well explained and written in simple,
nonetheless informative manner.
There are elements you need to consider when planning to add tattoo shading in your artistry.


Professional tattoo artists suggest to use a ten-coil machine to sue for shading. However, it is only
best for lesser areas. As an alternative, a twelve-coil machine is a better option. It has the necessary
power for running larger needle alignments that are utilized for covering bigger surfaces. So, the
choice depends on how small or large you will need to perform tattoo shading.


Mostly, artists find that shading goes superior if the speed coming from the machine is higher than
they usually run it for lining.

Prepare the area

After outlining, shading comes off. So, you will be recommended to clean the whole tattoo area
using water and soap. It helps to remove excess ink that is left by the process of lining. Aside from
that, it gets off any sticky remains or stencil marks that have been outpaced. By doing so, you can
shade tattoos in a certain part efficiently.

Color vs. black

The word shading is used in a different way. Some shops refers it to use black ink only in to add
element to a tattoo, while in other shops, the utilization of color is denoted as shading. Since this
term has more than a single meaning, it is a great idea understanding how shading is used.

Art appreciation

Since shadow and light plays an integral part to have a good shading, you should primarily
understand them. This is an area in which it can be very beneficial taking an art class. You can even
possibly write it off as an industry expense.

So, here goes some techniques that you can find valuable to add in your knowledge and expertise on
how to shade black and grey wash tattoo.
1. Using a diluting ink of black tattoo, create a sequences of gray shades. Make a series of 4 ink
caps-drop one drop of the black ink within the first cap, then add a supplementary drop to
every successive cap. Fill each and every four caps with clean water and drop by drop. When
using different tones of gray such that you would with different colors, you must clean the
needle tube. Most of the tattoo artists are using this kind of technique.
2. Create an exceptional gray wash ink by using propylene glycol, black pigment and vodka.
3. Obtain a premade gray wash from a reliable tattoo ink supplier. It is suggested that you
should read or watch a tutorial on using gray wash.
4. Work using black ink by means of diluting it unswervingly in a cap of water. First, dip the
needle into the cap of black water. Afterward, dip it into a cap of plain water. Added nippy
dips in the water give the chance to adjust your shade. Set the machine gentle and slowly
work the skin. You should check first the shade color on a paper towel before you apply it.
5. Needle depth must be adjusted along with the kind of shading that is being done. The darker
shading must be injected with more depth. And, lighter shading with less.
Black and Grey Wash is a shading technique especially used while executing gray and black style of
tattooing. You will need a certain amount of required skill for mixing tattoo inks in proper
proportions in order to get the exact color shading needed. Aside from that, you also need to learn
filling out designs using exact depth and shading contrast needed to successfully achieve the
anticipated results.
Wash shading is a very familiar technique used by several artists while tattooing. It is used to
enhance the design quality, or recommend three-dimensionality on an outline.
Nowadays, there are many different tattoo inks of erratic tinges that are made accessible by various
popular brands. But, getting to make the own shading color of a person and learning the secret tricks
to create different shades by self is a cost-efficient tattooing method.
For many tattoo artists, mastering the art of black and grey wash tattoo shading is among the
biggest challenges. When it comes to tattoo shading, having a high level of skill is one of the
important things that put a tattoo artist aside and establishes her/his reputation. Black and grey
wash tattoo shading is an expertise worth learning, as it separates a simple inked design from a real
body art masterpiece.
As years pass by, black and grey wash tattoo shading becomes very in-demand. Not only people uses
it to give an impressive and exceptional design on their body, but can also be used as a business to
produce great amount of profits. To make the wash shading tattoo a successful one, aspiring tattoo
artists need to consider these secret techniques. These will surely help them to create an awesome
black and grey tattoo as a masterpiece of their body art.

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