Three Tattoo Lining Techniques with Chris Ravage

Three Tattoo Lining Techniques with Chris Ravage
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Understanding different lining techniques is crucial for any tattoo artist, whether novice or seasoned. The YouTube video titled “Tattoo Lining Techniques Explained” by Chris Ravage offers valuable insights into three primary techniques for creating precise and beautiful tattoo lines.

Running the Tip

The first technique, known as “Running the Tip” or “Floating the Needle,” involves using just the tip of the needle to draw lines.

This method provides excellent precision as it allows the artist to see both the needle and the stencil line clearly, ensuring a direct path from point A to point B.

It is particularly useful for sculpting lines or making touch-ups. However, consistency in hand speed and needle depth is critical; any variations can cause the line to appear uneven.

For this technique, a needle with a stroke length of 3.5 or greater is recommended, depending on the desired amount of needle hang.

Riding the Tube

Contrasting with the precision of Running the Tip, “Riding the Tube” offers more stability by using a shorter needle hang. This technique is ideal for beginners due to its ease of controlling the depth and reducing the risk of blowouts.

While Riding the Tube helps in stabilizing the hand, it sacrifices some precision. Artists are encouraged to experiment with different needles and brands to find what best suits their style.

Sculpting Lines

The video also discusses “Sculpting Lines,” which involves building up line weights or adjusting lines that aren’t perfect in a single pass.

This method is akin to shading and is beneficial for artists who find shading more comfortable than lining.

It is particularly helpful for sculpting bends in lines or for making corrections without redoing the entire line. Lowering the voltage slightly can aid in slowly building up the line quality.


The video provides a comprehensive overview of tattoo lining techniques, emphasizing that the choice of technique depends largely on personal preference and comfort.

It also offers a bonus tip for long lines: placing a small blob of pigment in the line’s path can help maintain ink flow without needing frequent redips.

This tutorial is an excellent resource for beginner tattoo artists looking to refine their lining techniques. As always, the key to mastery is practice and continuous learning.

Watch full video below:

Credit: Chris Ravage
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