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best needle config for sculpting lines

Posted by rudeboy on 11/04/10

hey, this has prob been mentioned before, ive tried lookingcant find much on it

basically ive heard different tips and techniques from different artists
one guy i know uses tight 7s tight 5s even tight 3s

and another artist i know uses loose 5s and loose 3s

the guy that uses tights does a single pass line then another line just above that line to develope his line weight and says its more of an accurate way rather than tight circles sculpting

the artsist that uses the loose config uses a single pass line then rice/ oval shapes over the top of that line..then short sweeps to tidy up

developing lines is something im struggling with at the mo, it just turns out messy and less accurate than single pass lines, i got taught by an old school artist that whacks them lines straight in, just changes size of liners if he wants a thicker line, but over time single passes blow out and fade a lot quicker than developed lines, even tho single pass works for me i still want to be able to experiment with differnt techniques, also with sculpting lines am i best off using a a machine set up for shading or carry on using my micky sharpz micro dial? it just seems too aggresive for slow building of lines

any help/views would be appreciated :)
thanks guys

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RE:best needle config for sculpting lines

Posted by stephen griffin on 11/04/10

I think all the different configs you listed are good ones, and the applications for each one made sense, too. It pretty much depends on which way you wanna go about it. I use 5s and 7s but it depends on the size of the piece or area of the piece that I'm working on. I use the Envy needles from tatsoul and their not real loose or real tight. I personally don't like using the double line/fill it in method because it always ends up being a little thick for my taste, but the thing I'm mainly concerned with is not how it lines, but how it shades or blends for tightening up after shading/coloring. That's why the medium tightness of 5 or 7 really appeals to me cause they can do both. Of course you can always use a liner machine with a tighter needle and use another liner or shader with a looser needle for tightening up, but I kinda prefer not setting up more than 3 machines, and usually have 2 set up with large and small mags already. At the end of the day, they're all just Sharp points making holes in skin, so it just boils down to what works best for you, and its not gonna hurt anything to experiment with different configurations, something I used to do a lot more when I was making my own needles. Finding an artist you like with a dvd out might save you some time and trouble too, as they usually go over their preferred set up in those. Hope that helped a little.

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RE:best needle config for sculpting lines

Posted by rudeboy on 11/06/10

thanks man :)
in my experience looser needle configs work best, tighter ones act like a big nasty needle,i tend to just line with a 9 if i want a nice bold line or work it slow with a 5rs, i just want to feel the benefit of sculpting, but every time ive tried it gets messy, i always end up gettting my lines nice but seems like hard work, perhaps ill have to get back on my legs...didnt think id hear myself say that this for on in my carreer haha, cheers stephen :)

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RE:best needle config for sculpting lines

Posted by edgar millan on 11/06/10

what i do like about sculpting my lines. is that i feel like i can do longer curvier lines. and there's less pressure to get it right in one shot. but with single pass lines i feel like any small vibration in your hand will make the line not 100% straight. this technique seems to take longer than single pass lines though, but the final product is what matters. for me what works is turning down the voltage and making my stroke a little longer than a dimes with. and im using an aaron cain auto-loader. also sculpted lines seem to do less trauma to the skin. guy aitchisons DVD talk about it. so the idea is to hit kinda soft and build up a line.

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RE:best needle config for sculpting lines

Posted by GregH on 11/06/10

Hey man, remember to dilute your black when you are sculpting lines, I usually just go for a quick dip in water or sometimes I will just use premixed diluted black.

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RE:best needle config for sculpting lines

Posted by Brass on 11/08/10

Gregh- why dilute your black when sculpting lines?

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RE:best needle config for sculpting lines

Posted by rudeboy on 11/08/10

yeah i wondered why he diluted too, thought it was just me? surely that would make the line work wishy washy and not solid?

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RE:best needle config for sculpting lines

Posted by Sculpted on 11/08/10

I think you should try using loose shading needles to sculpt. I use them and i do a line like im sketching on paper, i dont stay in the skin doing ovals. I will do one stroke up the line then come out the skin to go back around to do the same sweep up the line again like im lining the same line a bunch of times, do this fast like sketching lines not slow. Heals fast and smooth for me , try and see how you like it. Guy does the same thing on some of his lines and some he stays in the skin doing ovals. I get better results like that. Its like a oval but you in the skin half of the oval and the other half your out the skin coming around to go back up it again , hope you understand what i mean......Get guy A book, reinventing the tattoo 1&2 , 2 is a video and will show you, he does what i explain in there and he stays in the skin doing ovals. I seen him tattoo and he switches it up. You can get it online for free along with many others , email adress i can say how , same as sketching lines on paper to me but everyone can do how they like , no way is wrong if it works ,,,,really allot of guys do it the same , in some way ,

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RE:best needle config for sculpting lines

Posted by Hanz Zarate on 11/08/10

Sculpted: Hey man, I could not help but notice the "you can get if for free" part. Are you referring to Torrenting, Guy's, stuff or the free stuff on

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RE:best needle config for sculpting lines

Posted by anthony on 11/08/10

something tells me this thread is about to get way off topic.

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RE:best needle config for sculpting lines

Posted by GregH on 11/09/10

Hey, sorry I guess I should have been more specific. This is what works for me, Guy talks about it in his book although I haven't mastered using small ovals to build up lines yet. I build lines by making a couple passes starting with slightly diluted ink then usually a final pass with full strength black once it is established. I find it easier to get a precise mark if it is initially built up thinner and softer - think starting a line with a colored pencil rather than a sharpie. This gives you more wriggle room if you need to make slight adjustments, whereas if you had been using full strength black it would be more difficult. Hope this helps.

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RE:best needle config for sculpting lines

Posted by rudeboy on 11/09/10

ahh i see where your going with that greg, i kinda do the same thing but i grey line about 50% the entire peice but thats when i want different line weights through the peice and just to commit stencil to skin and build up from there, but never heard of doing it the way you mention, thanks for your input man :) i like hearing how people use different techniques, thanks man

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