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This Is How You Properly Tattoo Color on Dark Skin

And if you don’t know color theory, you probably shouldn’t be tattooing...

Not only is everyone's skin texture different, but everyone also has a different skin- and undertone. Some people have dark skin; others have fair skin. With that said, color tattoos will look different on darker skin tones than they do on lighter skin.  

To get an idea, tattoo artist Justine Lucy from South Florida demonstrates in her video how to adjust a color tattoo on a client with dark skin. Let's find out how!

That's genius!

Knowing color theory is definitely helpful here, and if you work with an iPad and use Procreate, then you're off to a good start.

First things first, you have to make sure your tattoo has good contrast. According to Justine, you can do this by filling your top layer with black and then setting it to saturation. This gives you a good idea of the contrast in your tattoo design. 

Even better, if you have an exact reference of your client's skin color. As Justine mentions in her video, you can set that to the top and set it to multiply. This gives you a good idea of what your colors are going to look like through their skin tone. 

The next step requires you to sample and set up your colors. Keep in mind that the tattoo is going to lighten up as it heals; therefore, you want to make sure it looks like the finished drawing. 

As Justine says in her video,

"So you're gonna take those colors, darken it, and increase the saturation to pick your colors from. This way your healed tattoo will look like what you intend. This is also a good way to see what kind of colors look good through the client's skin."

As mentioned before, people have different undertones, such as yellow, red, and orange. You can see in the video, that high-key colors look the best, such as red, fuchsia, and purple. On the contrary, pastels almost disappear.