Best 8 Tips for Black & Grey Tattoo Portrait

Okay, today we would like to talk to you a little bit about creating a black and grey portrait where we essential portrait with black only shading liquid, no whites added to the grey, so it is very very basic. It is just used to of lining black. The three different kinds of shading blacks, and then we use a shading solution to make the light colors happening.

black and grey portrait

You can get the same ink Mario Barth uses here: Intenze Ink

As you see in this case, we have a straightforward portrait. It is on a forearm that is why it comes down together. It is placed relatively far prompt that is where the wrist is. What I did is in this case is, I started to put a stencil on the skin and I did really stay away from mostly line work so what I did is like I made some line work here, where I do what to appear very dark, just to hold the piece together and some little line work here but all this part where you see there is no line work into it.

black and grey portrait tattoo artist

There is no solid line on the chin, there is no solid line in the middle of the mouth, no solid lines but a nose, so what a started is where the stencil was placed. I began to shade right underneath here and brought the shading underneath the chin so instead of creating a line with a liner I used the fifteen magnums curved, so it is soft on the side and started to shade right in here and begin to layer it in.

If you do it very very soft and surfacy and you can use almost a lining black to lay the first shade in but make sure that you almost, think about nearly you take a fader like and touch some body’s skin, you don’t want to wake him up but you want to make sure that he moves a little bit and he laughs about it. So, if you keep that in mind, that is really how I shaded underneath here. So, it is like I come in, I put the shade in, I go soft here, do the same effect here which creates this jaw line fine with the sharp edge. As soon as you use a range underneath here, a solid one, what is going to happen here is, you tattoo is absolutely going to look like a cartoon. I mean it is just what it is, every picture has sharp lining and shading.

It doesn’t matter what you do; it is never going to look real anymore.

If you want to get some useful reference, look at Mike Tresses work or Mike Domains work or Tom Ramshaw. They use no lines at all. If they use line works, they use it afterward when the tattoo is done to create the sharpness of the piece.

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I did the same effect here. I used the lining black. You see the change in here. That is where I started dipping back and forth between the medium grey shading grey and the lining black, and I created that shade in here.

Mike Tresses tattoo artist

It is a little darker one, right in here, it goes through here, and it goes through here. How I have worked this, I worked my way up from the bottom, this way and I worked it up almost like a copy machine. Think about this like, you have a laser printer, and you will go back and forth this way so I wouldn’t go and start a little bit here black and a little bit here and a little bit here. I focused on this area, and I came up this way.

I finished everything I worked on all the time so you will almost see a stencil from up here going up and down here you would know a jaw line done and finished in the tattoo. So, if you do that, you focus more on a small area, and your brain is not seeing the overall picture. It is just focusing on what you are doing; you are training yourself to be more accurate in shading.

That is trying to analyze a picture and say oh I need to get as close as possible. Your brain focuses on that shadow, that is what you want to do. Over here is started to come in, that is a very soft shade that creates a highlight. There is no white in there. That is the skin, that is just how the surface is. It looks whiter than it is, it is because I used a shading solution to break a light grey wash down to almost nothing and what it does is it creates this perfect soft blend into the light spot.

I did the same thing coming from the other side. I went from this side where it is darker, I created the medium shading grey, went into a light wash and went then from the light wash I needed to have this soft blend right here, and that is achieved with the shading solution ideally because it is clear. So if you use a clear shading solution with*you have to amuse a little color on the needle, and you still get a soft blend, and that is basically what it does here. Keep in mind that you should stay very, very, surfacy. If the tattoo bleeds, it is very, very bad. It is like it pushes the color out, it pushes the pigment out you know, it looks reddish, you can’t see the light shades in the skin.

You are better off, using it very, very, surfacy.

First of all you are not irritating the skin too much. Second of all you may be have a second change if the shadow doesn’t look correct. So sometimes we have to cheat, we only have one chance and in this one you may be have two. If you are really smart, may be have three so it is a huge advantage for a tattooer is to master that surface tattooing and then basically look at it and say that I liked the shadow when it say now I like supported before the other shading so you know don’t, don’t be afraid to go too soft sometimes. It is better to be too soft and too deep you know in this case.

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Same way here, I come up here, to create that hair effect what I do is I take a fifteen magnum, I turn it sideways, so if it is like this I put it up and then I start lining it this way. I love to use round fifteen curves because it gives me a chance to go in with the needle and come out with the needle so if you see a surface like this under needle, that is the skin, what I like to do is , I like to come in and bring it in like almost like this so it gives me a chance that it is softer here and then I rotate it this way and it comes out this way.

So, if the skin is still here I will pull it back up in this way.

That is the motion that I do. It is really important to do get an effect where it comes in and there is no definite start of a line. You don’t want to create a hair line that what a lot of people do this and then you do that and the biggest part is you see that dot. So it is huge now, now if you do it, it is very single, sometimes the skin bleeds out and then it goes like this, then have some great effects here you know, if you don’t want to connect dots then it is not rich color you know so try to do it learn this, this is a very simple technique, works great if you do it, the skin gets very, very, fine lines, single needle.

I you have your magnum stacked, it is going like this, you have two lines at the clip so you can do hair lines at the same time and then just shade over it very soft and you get the effect like here and little spiky here what comes out here. I always use some form of back shading again, I use a, I start if here with maybe a medium grey, medium wash and then break it down to the skin to create a highlight right around the face area, a person who did this very well Stephan from my friends you know, check him out, he does some great stuff. He has those effects, he uses them all over the place you know. You never can do too much research on any tattoo that is out there.

An old saying in the tattoo industry was like you know, a great artist you know creates but a killer artist steals from the other ones so steal whatever you can. Look at it, figure out how he does it, it only enhances everybody’s technique you know, it only enhances the piece and those pieces are going to be the minimum requirement in the next 5 years which 20 years ago nobody could do something like that so it is like you know, time is moving on so try to be creative, learn a lot you know, check everybody’s work out, support them, send them some question and hope you will get some answers. You know a lot of people will help you, you will see so.

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The next part what I did, what I always, always, always, do the eyes at the end, ever.

It is like if you put the eyes in, at the beginning of the portrait like I see it sometimes done, you create already a look, a feel for the tattoo. If it doesn’t have any eyes in it, I always say it looks like you are an evil kid. So this is how your kid is too real. It has no eyes; it is evil, it is mean, if they can already understand that all the facial expression and the shades and the expression reflects already at their portrait, their loved ones, their kid, without the eyes, just an evil way, you are on the right track.

You put the eyes in that is when you put life into the piece that is what it is. If you put the eyes even first, everybody focuses on the eyes you will get lost by the shading and what is going to happen is like everybody is going to look in this section that expression. Most of the time, this way and those little parts here which make all the portrait so, if you take this away, the beginning already away, if people focus on the eyes, your brain is not going to focus as hard on the shades and on the little muscles in the face that are everywhere so you know because you have already the look. So try to stay away from that. Put them in at the end, and I found out on my years of tattooing that, that is the best way to do.

Again, colors used in this tattoo, lining black, grey was dark, grey washes medium, grey wash light, intense mixing and solution that is it, elementary.

Fifteen magnums, I used the five liners to make those lines, some of them I have done at the end, and that is it, very very soft tissue, make sure that the fabric you wipe with is always a little moist, little wet. If you are work on somebody for four or five hours with a rough cloth, you are going to tear up the skin tissue; you are going to make it raw, it is going to get reddish again you can’t see the shades, not the light ones. So make sure that the customer has a great time with you and you have a great time doing it. So let me know what you think. If it helped, let me know. If it didn’t help you if you have any more questions send it to us, send, we are going to get an answer for you.

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