Home » Blog » How to use tattoo practice skin

How to use tattoo practice skin

How to use tattoo practice skin.

Before practicing on living people, starter tattoo artists learn how to apply tattoos on tattoo practice skin. Only in this way it is possible (without harm to the client) to apply the received knowledge in the theory and to gain experience in various techniques before the first exciting session.

Today, this practice is not a surprise to anyone, but before there was no such opportunity. Some began at once on people, others found or bought pigskin, and the most ingenious practiced on oranges and bananas. All these activities prompted enterprising businessmen to produce and sell artificial leather on an industrial scale.

What is practice tattoo skin?

Practice tattoo skin is an imitation of the human body in the form of rubber sheets of different sizes or separate rubber body parts reminiscent of the components of a mannequin from a clothing store as individual arms, legs, and even head. The density and color of the practice skin are as close to the real skin as possible.

Sheets can be mounted on a roller imitating the surface of a person’s arm or leg, as well as used in a simple version as an ordinary sheet of drawing paper.

Hands, feet, and other body parts are used to create maximum conditions for practicing tattooing in uncomfortable positions. Such positions as hard-to-reach places on the body or places at an inclination, when the client cannot take a comfortable pose for the artist. And the difference between an ordinary sheet and a textured body surface is very significant, from this very often the hand gets tired, and any deviation to the side can simply ruin the tattoo.

How to tattoo on practice skin

The texture of practice tattoo skin is as close to human skin as possible. There are different versions on the market: They can be presented in the form of rubber mats of different sizes or individual elements of the human body. Models that mimic body parts are ideal for training, as they allow you to practice skills in hard-to-reach places.

What options are available? Leather for tattoo training comes in several varieties:

  • Volumetric models of various body parts;
  • Training mats;
  • Dummies;
  • Small canvases with convex parts of the human face for permanent makeup artists.

Many people ask: How can I replace tattoo skin with tattoos? Of course, you can practice on fruit, such as bananas or oranges, but the structure is poorly comparable to human skin, and in general, a sheet of tattoo skin is more convenient. So it’s a better choice today.

Purpose of the skin

The tattoo practice skin is taught to hold the machine correctly and confidently, to conduct straight or curved contour lines. 

At the advanced lessons perform clean (finished) compositions of images as close as possible to those that will be performed in public.

But not only beginners use faux leather. They are used also by more skilled artists to see the effect of a new technique or to define the best contrast in a tattoo.

As tattoo skin can visually show the level of skill of tattooists to potential clients who doubt the choice.

In the first days, beginners train on usual, inexpensive (Chinese) dye of black color for dense shading. The coloring pigment from the manufacturer INDIANA is perfect for this purpose, its price is about $3 for 20 ml. It is an excellent color to use for contour lines, heavy fill, as well as for the “greywash” technique, gradually increasing the shading on one side of the gradient.

For colored compositions, the same manufacturer’s red and blue paints are suitable. But the yellow color from experience is not recommended for studies. Its poisonous color is permanently absorbed into the tattoo practice skin and spoils the whole effect of the work.

White is practically not used in training.

But if there is a desire and means, you can experiment with a more expensive (compared to the Chinese paint). One acceptable option would be the manufacturer WORLD FAMOUS. Irish manufacturer with a very beautiful and rich color palette.

Procedure and depth of the piercing

In the algorithm of practice on the practice tattoo skin all the actions are carried out during a real tattoo session:

The artist, wearing gloves, applies a small amount of transfer gel to the practice skin and gently smears in a thin layer.

The figure with a pre-made impression with transfer paper, on the reverse side, is carefully tried on to the location on the skin and accurately pressed on for a few seconds with a precise movement. The pattern must not be moved, otherwise, the outlines will shift, making it very difficult to work, and sometimes you just have to start all over again.

After 5-8 seconds, the paper is removed from the skin like a band-aid in one movement, and the resulting print is left to dry.

After the complete drying, a thin layer of Vaseline (the cheapest, bought at your local drugstore) is applied to the impression so that it is easy to wipe off the excess dye pigment from the skin in the process of practice.

While practicing, the artist goes over the drawing along the contour. Then wipes off the excess paint and reapplies Vaseline.

The artist then works with shadows, color, and the main visible details of the drawing, carefully tracing each element.

During the process, the artist uses paper towels to remove excess paint from the tip of the needle, as well as to clean the practice tattoo skin from the Vaseline.

Very important to remember!

Do not allow the needle to pierce or puncture the faux leather through. This will mean that you went beyond the cover in the fat layer. And the result will be a blurry, ugly line or stain on your client’s body!


Based on the above arguments, we can conclude that a skin tattoo is an integral attribute of the work of every artist, including those who have extensive theoretical and practical experience.