There is plenty for an artist to consider when putting together their personal kit of tattoo supplies. Over time, any reputable artist will have honed their ability to put together an effective toolkit for their work and gained an understanding of how each part of their set of tattoo supplies works side by side for them to create their best pieces. Aside from the impressive creativity and artistry that a tattoo artist demonstrates when working the ink into the skin of a client to create their vision, it is their depth of understanding of their tattoo supplies that makes an artist a true master of their craft.

By being aware of the ins and outs of their toolkit, an artist can know without a moment’s hesitation which combination of tattoo supplies they will need for a session before it has even begun. Some artists will go as far as to have an impressively detailed knowledge of the inner workings of each of their tattoo supplies and will pride themselves on their technical adeptness as well as their artistic abilities. Whilst having a clear grasp of the mechanics and make-up of different tattoo supplies can seem a distant step for apprentice artists, it is a useful approach to have from the get-go.

Taking a step back and gaining an overview of what makes each piece of tattoo equipment effective is simple enough and doing this can develop a solid foundation to build on. By looking at a few different scenarios and thinking about the tattoo supplies that will step up to perform in them, an artist can gain a picture of how well the different parts of their toolkit work together. Using the example of shading work, let’s take a look at which tattoo supplies show their strengths and complement each other to allow an artist to do what they do best for this type of work.

Choosing Which Machine To Make Use Of

Shading is a standard skill that should be part of any artist’s repertoire. Whilst an artist’s abilities are what bring a piece of shading work to life, it is their tattoo supplies that make it possible. Perhaps one of the most critical tattoo supplies is the tool that an artist will use and rely on time and time again, their tattoo machine. The toss up between rotary and coil machines is one that has stood the test of time. The key thing to consider here is that whilst a rotary machine is versatile and ready to tackle both lining and shading, coil machines aren’t so easily matched to a range of styles. For shading work, a shader coil machine should do the trick. With their longer spring and greater power to push a larger number of needles, shader machines have been made for exactly this work.

Next Up, Needles

Once an artist has decided on the machine that they are going ahead with for a piece of shading work, they’ll need to pick the tattoo supplies that will be its accomplice for the job. To complete the perfect partnership, an artist will need the needles that are suited to shading work just as well as their tattoo machine is. Needles are pretty important as tattoo supplies go, without the right selection an artist will find achieving the finish that they are reaching for near impossible. Let’s not forget that whilst an artist might be disappointed if the piece that they have produced is sub-par and doesn’t meet their usual standards, it is the client that quite literally has to live with it.

Round shaders can be a reliable option to call on when setting out with shading, but they might not suit all pieces. When selecting these tattoo supplies, magnums are often the go-to for artists beginning a piece of shading work. Whether an artist chooses a weaved magnum or its more tightly packed cousin, the stacked magnum, these needles are ultra-efficient. Thanks to the density of needles in a magnum, an artist will need fewer strokes to complete their shading work, making things smoother flowing for them and more comfortable for their client in the chair. Let’s not move on from needles just yet though, bugpins aren’t to be forgotten about. As an ever so slightly less popular option, bugpins might not have won over the masses just yet but they can be a useful means of producing a nice gradient within a piece.

Inks That Add Depth

Last but not least, no set of shading work tattoo supplies would be complete without an artist having inks that they can trust. The beauty of a piece of shading isn’t only a direct result of how an artist uses their tools, it is also down to the shades of ink that they have at their disposal. This area of tattoo supplies is practically overflowing with options for artists to look forward to using as ink brands have stepped up to meet artists’ demands. Along with colour palettes that are more varied than ever, an artist has a multitude of grey washes to choose from to carry out their shading work. With an abundance of shades at their workstation, an artist can add real depth to their piece to really bring their client’s vision to life.

It’s not uncommon for an artist to feel uncertain about getting to know the technical aspects of their tattoo supplies, particularly if they are just beginning to find their feet and learn their craft. However, being able to put together powerful pairings that will work for the session that they are sitting down for is essential. This knowledge lets an artist really rely on their tattoo supplies and create some of their most striking pieces. We stock an extensive range of high-quality tattoo supplies at our Nottingham store to suit all styles of work. Visit us to place your order and ask us any questions about which tattoo supplies complement each other, or make your selection from our online store: