Usually I employ several techniques when Im working on a procedure, especially when Im tattooing an areola. This is a 4 year faded case when the initial goal had started more of a tan soft color.
My client wanted more pink so I incorporated a couple different pink tones over the existing color trying to create some texture variations with color. Since the color had faded and was rather flat, the pinks showed up over the top.
I find that If the previous ink color isn't too dark, tattooing over it turns out nice for both areolas, brows and lips and even eyes. The new ink, instead of finding its placement in the skin has some type of substrate (previous ink) to "grab".
The pixel technique, that leaves open color space, is quite effective over previous color and it also lets the previous color glow through. I used a 3RL instead of a 1RL. so that I could get in more color and see more texture from the bigger needle grouping. ( A single needle won't give enough texture in this case and I might end up over working the skin to see my color show.)
I lined around the nipple area and also for the glands. Still using a 3 RL, I just moved my hand slower to get a solid line. Then where I needed to shade, my hand speed was faster. I didn't adjust my machine speed only my hand and the slow or fast motions.
Pixel-Pendulum movements one way for less color and back and forth for more color.
Lining- Back and forth over lapping and staying in the skin.
Pointillism and Stippling- These techniques are similar and are done by an up and down movement in the skin with the needle. I still used the 3RL to create the soft "dots" and scattered stippled dots which equate to textured shading.
I see the result as being a nice range of colors with enough texture and dimension, yet it still appears soft.
I've done areola tattooing for 1/2 of my PM career of 2 decades and simply love it for what it does for the clients well being. It is also a canvas that teaches and challenges my tattoo skills.
For anyone wishing to learn, I suggest an online and in person course. The best thing you can do ahead of time is start to draw areolas and other 3D objects.
To your PMU success,
PMU Artist & Needle Specialist
Inside Needle Knowledge
This chart helps you pay attention to your hand speed, machine speed, and hand movements when using liners for a liner effect and shaders for a shaded effect.
It also shows how you can use:
A great go-to chart is just the beginning!