How to Mix Tattoo Ink

Tattoo ink comes in just about every color. However, if you don’t have the exact color you need to work with, you can mix your ink to make something new. 

If you’re not sure how to do that correctly, you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’ll be breaking down:

  • What equipment you need to mix tattoo ink
  • How to mix ink correctly
  • How to use white ink to adjust your colors

Instructions to Mix Tattoo Ink

What Equipment You Need to Mix Tattoo Ink

There’s two ways you can mix tattoo ink. The first way is to buy an ink mixer online. The second way is to use a bar that comes with your disposable grips. 


  • Gloves
  • Sterile disposable grip
  • Tattoo inks
  • Ink caps
  • Image of the color wheel


One of the reasons we like using materials from the sterile disposable grip is because it’s completely clean and won’t contaminate your inks. Ink mixers are not always sterilized.

Use a Color Wheel

We recommend having a color wheel pulled up on your iPad or a printed version so you can always make sure you’re mixing the right colors. 

For example, in the video, Brandon used blue and yellow to create green, and then used red and blue to make purple.

How to Mix Ink

Just like anything else in tattooing, you want to make sure you’re wearing gloves before you go to mix your ink. This will make sure that you’re not contaminating the ink or the piece you’ll be using to stir your ink. 

Make sure to shake your ink so that the carrier and pigment are mixed well. This makes sure you get a vivid color instead of the ink coming out light. 

Pour some of your lighter color first. For example, when mixing green, you’ll want to put yellow in the ink cap first. If you start with the darker color first, blue in this case, it can be overpowering. To make up for that strong color, you would have to use a lot of yellow ink. 

Instead, just put a few drops of the darker color into the lighter color and mix. Make sure to clean the needle bar you used to mix the colors with a paper towel.


The hardest color to create is purple. Depending on the pigment of your inks, it’s easy to end up with a really dark purple, even if you’re just combining red and blue.

Add White Ink to Adjust Your Colors

If you want to lighten your colors, you can add a couple drops of white. In the example where Brandon combined blue and yellow to make green, he could add more yellow to create a more yellow-green color. 

This would be lighter, but it would still be pretty bold. For example, to make a more olive color, adding white would be the better option. 

Prepare for a Tattooing Career with the Artist Accelerator Program

Learning how to mix ink is an exciting step in your journey, but it can also be pretty eye-opening to how difficult tattooing can be. Without the right knowledge, it’s impossible to level up your skills and become a professional tattoo artist. 

However, finding the straight-forward information you need to progress is difficult. And with so much out there online, it’s hard to avoid picking up bad habits from incorrect and outdated resources.

This is one of the biggest struggles new tattooers face, and too many talented artists have given up their goal of getting into tattooing because of the years it would take to unlearn their bad habits. 

That’s why aspiring artists are learning to tattoo with the Artist Accelerator Program’s structured course. As a student, you learn every step of the tattooing process from professional artists with the experience and advice you need to build your skills and create incredible tattoos. 

With the Artist Accelerator, you can stop wasting time searching through incorrect information. You just get the clear, easy-to-understand lessons you need to start improving fast… along with support and personalized feedback from professional artists in our online Mastermind group.

Over 2500 students have already gone through the course, with many of them opening up their own studios. If you want to join them and learn the skills you need to start tattooing full time faster…

Click here to learn more about the Artist Accelerator Program.

Looking for a tattoo apprenticeship?

Tattooing 101's Artist Accelerator 90 day program is the closest thing to a real apprenticeship

  • 500 video modules
  • Professional tattoo artist coaches
  • Private mastermind community
Nathan Molenaar

Nathan is a licensed professional tattoo artist with over 8 years’ experience working at studios across the globe, including Celebrity Ink, the world's largest tattoo studio chain.

When he's not tattooing, he spends his free time sharing his experience and knowledge with aspiring artists who dream of pursuing a career in the tattooing industry.

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