Tattoo Outlining vs. Tattoo Shading: Which Hurts More?
In general, tattoos consist of two phases: outlining and shading. Well, unless you're opting for simple script or symbols. No matter if you're considering your first tattoo or adding to an existing design, you're probably wondering what you should prepare for, and how much pain you can (and will have to) tolerate. You might be influenced by the answers to these questions when choosing a design.
As long as the ink is placed deeply enough in the skin, tattoo artists with a "light touch" are ideal tattoo artists. Depending on how deep your tattoo artist goes into your skin, you may feel more pain. When you get a tattoo from an experienced, expert artist, you will feel discomfort, but not excruciating pain.
Although pain perception, tolerance, and experiences vary widely, here's an overview of outlining and shading, and the pain they typically cause.
Outlining is the first step in the tattoo process. Your tattoo artist uses a needle to draw your design onto your skin. If it's your first tattoo, you might be surprised. Tattoo pain is sometimes described as a razor blade cutting the skin. According to others, the needle can be felt going through the layers of the skin.
If you want a large tattoo design, you'll have to deal with a larger outline. It's for this reason that small tattoos are a good first choice if you're not sure how much pain you can handle.
Splitting your tattoo session into several smaller ones may be the better option if you want a grand-scale design. Obviously, there are exceptions, such as if your tattoo artist is only in town for a limited time or if you've waited years for your appointment. By getting all the outlining done at once and adding the shading or color later, your body will have time to heal and you can take a much-needed break from the needles.
A tattoo doesn't necessarily need shading, unlike an outline. The use of color and shading simply adds more dimension to a line drawing.
Many people report that shading hurts significantly less than outlining the tattoo, contrary to what you might think. Pat yourself on the back if you have already completed your line work. It is likely that you have already conquered the most difficult part of the process. This is something you can accomplish!
As a result, you should understand what happens during shading. An outline is not just a simple, one-pass process. Ink will be packed repeatedly into your skin for hours at a time, over the same area, which is why some people mistakenly believe it is more uncomfortable than outlining. You should remember that outline tattoos are very detailed, and your tattoo artist uses needles of different sizes. Repetition is not the only factor that influences the level of pain you experience.
Anticipating and Managing Pain
There are positives and negatives to both parts of the tattoo process. If this is your first tattoo, maybe stick to a manageable, medium-sized design. Unlike the pain, the design is permanent.
A good idea is to avoid tattooing on areas where the skin is thin, and bones are close to the surface, like the ribs, hands, feet, and knees.
As soon as you get your first tattoo, you'll understand how your body reacts. Do not be surprised if you want to add more body art right away. It's actually quite common. Furthermore, if you decide tattoos (and the pain involved) isn't for you, you may stop there.