Single needle? A single, solitary needle? Well surely that’s got to hurt less than the usual tattoo machine setup churning away? Afraid not, it still sucks.
Single needle tattoos are typically formed of light, graphite grey lines and airbrush-like shading. The style is similar to the types of graphics that adorn fairground rides and American trucker cabs – but much, much cooler. The wispy, illustrative appearance is polar opposite to the usual bold lines and heavy shading found in the majority of tattoo flash books. Think technical drawing pencil as opposed to thick black sharpie.
This style of tattooing is becoming increasingly popular with ink aficionados and celebrities alike having been etched into the skin of Drake, Ellie Goulding and Cara Delevingne. While some might shun the more out-there design choices – flaming skulls, tiger heads, grim reapers, etc – they may well be able to appreciate the finesse of a fine line style piece.
The pieces seen in the image gallery ahead demonstrate how the style lends itself to intricate natural subjects such as plants and insects, but don’t let that stop you getting a barbed wire biker or snarling Doberman...