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I have heard clients say that lining hurts more than shading, but I have also heard clients say that shading hurts more than lining. However, the terms “lining” and “shading” are pretty much irrelevant with most modern techniques.
So what hurts? When the artist is putting more pressure on the skin you will feel that pressure. When the tattoo [private levels="level1,level2"]
machine is running with a bit more punch you will feel this a bit more too. You will also feel more vibration if the machine is running punchy or hard. The larger needle configurations do tend to hurt less due to the increased resistance. Large needle groupings don’t tend to go as deeply, either.
If there is a spot on the tattoo that requires layering of color, you might feel more discomfort with that as opposed to something worked in a single pass. This is because an area of the skin is being worked over and over. You can think about taking a pencil eraser and rubbing a certain spot on your skin repeatedly. Eventually that eraser will burn your skin from the friction. If you were to stop for a moment, it would not feel that bad, but if you were to start erasing your skin again it would hurt far more than if you were to hit a new spot on your body. Now, don’t run out and start giving yourself eraser burns! This is simply to give you some type of comparison.