How to Get Good Color Saturation in a Tattoo?

How to Get Good Color Saturation in a Tattoo?

Getting good color saturation in a tattoo is essential to creating a beautiful, long-lasting piece of body art. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll answer some common questions about the topic and provide useful tips to help you get the results you desire. Whether you’re a first-time tattooed or an experienced artist, these tips will help you create stunning tattoos that look great for years to come!

What is a Tattoo Saturation?

A tattoo saturation is the level of intensity or purity of color in a tattoo. The more saturated a tattoo is, the more “true” its colors will appear. The less saturated a tattoo is, the more muted and subtle its colors will be.

There are many factors that can affect the saturation of a tattoo, from the type of ink used to the way the tattoo was applied. Below we shall explore each of the factors that influence the color saturation. [1], [2]

How to Improve the Coloring in a Tattoo

Pick the right needle

The size and shape of the needle you use will have a huge impact on the overall look of your tattoo. For instance, if you’re looking to add more color to small details in your tattoo, you’ll want to use a smaller needle. This will help prevent the ink from spreading too much and ruining all the work.

For bold lining and shading, you’ll want to use a larger needle. This will help create bold lines and ensure that the colors are nice and saturated. If the design features a thinner outline, you would want to use a middle sized needle.

Pick the right needle

Remember, it’s important to consult with your client before choosing a needle size. This will let you know which needle would be ideal for the specific tattoo design.

There are also various types of needles, each of them serves its own purpose.

Magnum needles

Magnum needles are popular among tattoo artists because they’re great for filling large areas quickly and evenly. The ink flow from these needles means that colors will be intense, making them perfect if you want your artwork to look rich in pigment as well.

Round needles

Round needles are another common type of needle used in tattooing. They come in many variations, and depending on which one you chose, they will work great for lining and shading, as well as filling in large areas.

If you’re looking to add more color to your tattoo, however, you’ll want to use a different type of needle. [3], [4]

Use more colorful inks

Tattoo ink is one of the most important factors in determining saturation. Vibrant colors such as yellow, orange, pink, and purple will stand out more than dull colors like brown and gray. However, some inks are more heavily pigmented than others, which means they will produce more vibrant colors.

One way to get good color saturation in a tattoo is to use high-quality ink. This will help the colors to appear more vibrant and saturated. Inks that are made with pure pigments will result in a brighter tattoo. However, these inks can be more expensive than standard ones.

Finally, it is important to choose a tattoo design that has strong color contrast. This will make it easier for the colors to stand out and be more visible. Colors should also be added in an order, from light to dark. This will help create clearer transitions. [2], [3]

Make smaller circles

The other important thing you can do to improve the coloring in your tattoo is to change the way you make your circles. When you’re making a line, it’s one continuous movement. This will give your color saturation more depth and make the overall tattoo look more solid.

Make smaller circles

To do this, start by making small circular moves with your needle, avoiding overlapping at the same area too much. Continue at a consistent pace and avoid applying too much pressure. Avoid staying at one place for too long to avoid causing injury.

Once you’ve got the hang of it, you may start slowly increasing the size of your circles until you reach the desired effect. Remember that slow and steady wins the race!

You could also try increasing the pressure of your strokes. This will force more ink into the skin and make the colors pop, but remember to not go overboard with it. [3], [5]

Use the right speed

One of the things that will affect the saturation of your tattoo is how quickly you move the needle. If you are going too fast, then the colors will be more watered down and less vibrant. Conversely, if you go too slow, then the colors may become oversaturated and start to bleed into one another. The best way to find a happy medium is to experiment with different speeds until you find what works best for you.

Generally, outline requires a faster speed while shading needs to be slower. Outline is usually one continuous movement, so you don’t want to risk going too slow and making the line uneven. When shading, however, it’s important to go slowly so that you can better control the amount of ink being deposited.

Keep in mind that even a perfectly made tattoo may fade over time. This is due to the nature of tattoo ink, which is not as stable as other forms of ink. Therefore, it’s important to take care of your tattoo and protect it from the sun and other elements that can cause fading. [3]


What needle do you use to color in a tattoo?

Magnum needles are the best choice for color work – they have a large surface area which means they can pack in more pigment per hit. This results in fewer passes over the skin, and less trauma overall.

What does saturated tattoo mean?

A saturated tattoo is one with high-quality, deeply-pigmented inks. The colors are vibrant and “pop” against the skin. A bad quality tattoo on other hand will have faded, “washed out” colors.

How can I improve my tattoo saturation?

There are a few things you can do to improve your tattoo saturation:

Move the needle in small circular motions while tattooing. This will help evenly distribute the ink and prevent over-saturation in one area.

Work at slower speeds. This will give you more control over the needle and help avoid over-saturation.

Do fewer passes. Again, this will help prevent over-saturation and allow the ink to heal better.

Choose colors that are known for their saturation. Some inks simply saturate better than others. Research which colors are known for good saturation before choosing your tattoo design.

Can you over saturate a tattoo?

Yes, it is possible to over saturate a tattoo. This usually happens when you use too much pigment, or when you do too many passes over the same area. Over saturation can also happen if the tattoo is not properly cared for after it is done.

Useful Video: How to make your tattoo colour more solid and saturated.


There you have it! These are a few tips to help you get good color saturation in your tattoo. In order to get the best results when inking someone, it is important to use high-quality inks, work at a slower speed, and make small circular moves at a consistent pace. Additionally, it is important to choose the right needle type for the job in order to achieve the desired color saturation.

Remember to take your time, be patient, and experiment until you find what works best for you. And most importantly, enjoy the process! Tattoos are meant to be fun and should be a positive experience from start to finish. Thanks for reading!