Getting lost in my grey scale


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Birdmama

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Hi there! I’m new to the community here and I am having such a hard time using 6 types of grays for a realistic grey wash and I was wondering how do you stay organized with all the variants of grays?. I recently did a tattoo (last night) and did shading for the first time using a 7Mag and used the calibrations of 2,4,6,8,10 Dynamic ink drop per ink cup and became overwhelmed. Spent 4 hours and when I was done and was so unhappy with it because it looked muddy on the dragon body and did not have a clean gradient. I learned how to shade using a single liner but wanted to cover a wide scale of skin and have a smooth effect instead of blotchiness which I know is due to my poor technique and lack of experience with a magnum. Help! I have been apprenticing for 3 months and All feedback is helpful for me, thank you for your time!
 

TexasPT

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Welcome to the forum. Without a picture it's hard to say what went wrong...but poor technique sounds like a great start.

Can you blend 7 shades of red smooth? Or 7 shades of blue? Can you blend one color into the next? if not...maybe slow down a bit and learn to walk before you run. Your mentor should have hit the brakes on that one pretty fast if you're 3 months in.
 

Dazza

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I would probably just stick to like 3 shades any more is an over kill ,and you can dip between cup if needed
 

troub1edsou1z

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Yeah without seeing it, it's hard to say, but making your own greywash, like most everything else in tattooing is all about consistency. Using the drop system in the small ink caps is going to be darker than in the large ink cap. So in order to maintain consistency you obviously have to use the same method everytime.
I use Nocturnal greywash set. It's a 5 tone set, lining black, super black, dark, medium, and light. So in reality I have 9 tones i'm working with...
I def have a process i use based off of the composition of the tattoo. So lets say my background is dark, middle ground is medium, and foreground is light. My process would be something like for the background I'd use the lining black, super black and the tone between them. The middle i'd use dark, medium, and the tone between them, The foreground would be medium, light and of course the middle tone of them....This helps me create depth and dimension. There's a little more to the process but that's my simple run down
 

Dzikichrzan

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Im also trying to limit the grey wash scale to 3 cups 4 maximum. 2.4.6.8.10 there is no enough room between them that is why it can look muddy now and cant tell when dark and when medium one is. Show us some picture if you can :)
 

troub1edsou1z

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Im also trying to limit the grey wash scale to 3 cups 4 maximum. 2.4.6.8.10 there is no enough room between them that is why it can look muddy now and cant tell when dark and when medium one is. Show us some picture if you can :)
This isn't true....the muddiness is from lack of understanding and application. It has nothing to do with how many tones you have. Tattooing is a process in every aspect that requires consistency! Technique and the lack of understanding how to apply is what this all comes down too. I can get smooth transitions with 30 different tones or just black. Of course if you dip from dark then right to light, you're gonna wind up with either a hard transition or its gonn look rough and muddy.
 

MalligaMallan

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I never use washes at all, only solid black. That works great too. If I would want to dilute it in some parts of the tattoo for some reason, I dip it in water, then the black ink.
 

marked 4 life

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I've learned a bit following Dax McClellan and he recommends putting a drop of white in your grey wash so you can see what tone it is
I use empire greywash these days as it is not as red/brown when you put it in compared to the silverback i previously used, i may try the one drop of white ?
 

troub1edsou1z

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I've learned a bit following Dax McClellan and he recommends putting a drop of white in your grey wash so you can see what tone it is
I have tried this method and basically the thing it's really good for is to visually see the difference in tone in the caps. IMO I don't think it has any benefit to it at all unless you get so confused that you cant remember what cap has which tone?? If you have and use a certain process then you shouldn't have any issues at all determining which tone is which. I set up the same way every time, so I know that my black is the cap to the left and my lightest tone is the cap furthest to the right.........
 

MalligaMallan

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I have tried this method and basically the thing it's really good for is to visually see the difference in tone in the caps. IMO I don't think it has any benefit to it at all unless you get so confused that you cant remember what cap has which tone?? If you have and use a certain process then you shouldn't have any issues at all determining which tone is which. I set up the same way every time, so I know that my black is the cap to the left and my lightest tone is the cap furthest to the right.........

Does that one drop of white in the cups affect the tattooed shades?
 

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