How to perfect those incredibly crisp,clean, bold lines...?
So I've been apprenticing just over a year now and the past couple of months I have been finally putting ink to skin.
My main interest and the style I'd like to perfect the most is the classic traditional style of tattooing.
I know the main ingredient to get that perfect traditional looking tattoo besides the composition, the use of black and the whip shading is obviously the strong linework.
I currently use a tight 9RL needle for traditional work and my linework is getting stronger but I'm still not getting that crisp line I'm striving for? I make sure that I have my liner upright, move my hand at a slow steady speed and use plenty of ink but the outcome still isn't as great as I'd hope it to be.
I've got some 11RL I've still yet to try out, however that thickness is not always practical for some pieces.
I look at the works of the best classic style tattooers in the game, for this example I'll just use the Smith Street Boys, and I weep when I see how perfectly crisp and clean their linework is. (I've posted a picture of some work from Nick Oaks, that linework is so clean its sickening!)
I have heard from a couple tattooers that holding a lighter underneath the needle for a few seconds causes it to expand slightly, resulting in that pefect line?
Could anyone shine a light on this for me or provide tips on how to improve my linework skills.
I'd go for 9rs, my bosses, told me to use rs for thick outlines, and it's actualy working, use 3 rl to do the marks, and there follow with shader up n down, it's practice as well. i took me a long time to do nice outlines