How to Make the Most Out of Tattoo Practice Skins

Before you can become an expert tattoo artist tattooing hundreds of people yearly including celebrities, you must spend a lot of time practising.

But how do you get the necessary experience when no client would want to give an amateur their skin? Practice skins; they help you hone your tattooing skills before moving to humans skins.

A practice skin is a synthetic material that mimics the texture, feel and even tone of the human skin to give tattoo artists the feeling of tattooing on human skin.

While a practice skin doesn’t completely feel like human skin, it has been modified greatly in the past years to help tattoo artists get better.

But how do you use practice skins effectively?

You’ll see ways to use practice skins effectively in this guide but before then, there are different types of practice skins available to tattoo artists.

Types of Practice Skins

There are several different types of tattoo skins but most of them have become outdated. There are, however, recent types of tattoo practice skins that have been modified to feel like human skin as much as possible.

Choose the right practice skin that will fit your needs and give you a quicker route to tattoo mastery.

How to Use Tattoo Practice Skins Effectively

Here’s a short guide to using tattoo practice skins on your journey to becoming a tattoo expert:

Treat it Like a Real Project

The only way you can practice effectively is if you treat your work on the practice skin as a real project. Pay attention to every tiny detail and ensure you stay focused throughout.

Remove all distractions as you would a real project and give it your best shot.

Use Transfer Papers

The aim of practising is to get acquainted with all your tools including how to use a transfer paper. Use a transfer paper to get your images unto the practice skin.

Transfer papers help you replicate images or figures on the skin. In order not to waste your skins, put your transfer papers in action.

Use Both Sides of the Practice Skin

Draw on both sides of your practice skin to utilize all the space and eliminate wastage. The skin should be able to hold ink on both sides.

Tattoo skins may be expensive so you will want to utilize every side of the skin and not waste it.

Practice Your Routine

Practising your routine will help you stay organized and improve your speed when working. It will also help you keep your working area stay clean as you’ll be working with a lot of sharp objects, needles and ink.

You don’t want to make a mess of your work area as this will not only lead to poor work on your practice skin but can also cause injury.

Use Alcohol to Clean Off Excess Ink

Washing your practice skin with alcohol will remove excess ink from the skin. You may have ink spills on the skin after working; cleaning the area with alcohol will remove the excess ink.

Try Out Various Needle Sizes

One of the major benefits of a practice skin is the opportunity it gives you to try out other needle types. You need to know how to use the different needle sizes and a practice skin gives you that chance.

Make different figures and drawings with the various needle sizes. Ensure to mark the needles sizes used so you can see the difference and know where you can improve.

Practice on Paper

You cannot make the most of your practice skins if you’re still struggling to make basic designs. Instead of wasting the skins practising the basics, practice drawing on paper to improve your design first before moving to a practice skin.

Start drawing with a pencil, and then move to a pen before finally using a tattoo needle on practice skins.

Wrap the Practice Skin around Someone to make it More Realistic

Using a flat practice skin may not give you the real feeling of tattooing a person as no skin on the body is flat. To increase the realism and give you a better feel of tattooing a human, wrap the skin around the part of the person you want to practice on.

This way you practice without turning the skin wherever you like and upside down as that is not possible when tattooing someone.


To make the most out of your practice skins when learning how to tattoo, follow these tips and watch yourself become a better tattoo artist in no time. Applying for an apprenticeship will help shorten your journey to the top.

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