Mastering Unfinished Tattoos: Secrets from a Pro

how to handle unfinished tattoos
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In the intricate world of body art, every stroke, every shade, and every line tells a story. But what happens when the story is left unfinished?

When the canvas of skin can’t hold the entire tale in one sitting? Welcome to our blog where we dive deep into the artistry of tattooing, specifically focusing on the intriguing topic of unfinished tattoos.

Guided by the expertise of renowned UK-based tattoo artist, Chris Ravage, we’ll explore the strategies, techniques, and patience required to handle tattoos that can’t be completed in a single day. Whether you’re a seasoned tattoo artist, an apprentice, or simply a tattoo enthusiast, this blog will provide you with valuable insights into the fascinating process of creating a masterpiece on the skin, one session at a time.

So, let’s embark on this journey of understanding the art behind unfinished tattoos, and how to approach them with confidence and skill.

Credit: Chris Ravage

In the video, Chris addresses a common question he receives: “What do you do if you can’t finish a tattoo in the time you have on the day, the customer leaves with the tattoo unfinished, so HOW do you carry it on for next time?” He discusses various options for handling unfinished tattoos, especially when they can’t be completed in a single day.

The video features a session where Chris tattoos an Indian chief skull, a detailed and large piece that couldn’t be finished in one sitting. He starts with lining, explaining that he chose this approach because aside from the skull/face and feathers, everything else was an object with harsh edges. He emphasizes that the lines won’t be as dark once the tattoo heals.

Chris also shares his techniques for mapping in basic shapes and tones, focusing on getting the structure of the piece together rather than achieving perfect blends or smoothness at this stage. He advises viewers to leave off at an easy-to-re-stencil area if they know they won’t finish a piece in one session.

Throughout the video, Chris provides insights into his tattooing process, including the types of needles he uses, the voltage settings for his machine, and how he handles his iPad while working.

In conclusion, the art of tattooing is a journey, not a destination. It’s a process that requires patience, skill, and a deep understanding of how to navigate the complexities of unfinished tattoos. As we’ve learned from Chris Ravage, every tattoo tells a story, and sometimes, that story needs more than one session to be fully told.

Whether it’s the strategic use of lining, the careful mapping of basic shapes and tones, or the thoughtful selection of where to pause, each decision plays a crucial role in the final masterpiece. So, the next time you find yourself facing an unfinished tattoo, remember these insights and approach the challenge with confidence and creativity.

After all, the beauty of a tattoo lies not just in its completion, but also in the journey of its creation.

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