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Help a newbie with a cover up tattoo!


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So long story short. I spent a lot of time in the prison system 12 years back before I decided to join the "working class" and live a normal life. While sitting in the county jail I decided to get my first tattoo with a pick. It turned out to be a disaster, something I was not happy with at all. I then had it covered up, it improved it a tad bit, but it was still what I consider a disaster. I dealt with it for years.

After I entered the prison system, I had my entire chest and the opposite arm tattooed and sleeved, however I left, with that one side still unhappy about.   The rest of my body, chest and opposite arm was done by an awesome artist who spent over 24 hours with a single needle, doing detailed work. But the one side is still to this day a disaster. I had someone in the freeworld cover it up, with a large TEXAS pattern, that is solid black. Not realizing, the solid black would stick out way too much on my other arm, I'm now left with a huge black piece that stands out compared to the rest of my awesome work, which has more of a "greyish" color. 

After speaking with a few artist, some mentioned white. I finally came across an artist that suggested a "grayish" or "opaque grey" which I've found a similar example of at this link:   https://www.pinterest.com/pin/329114685255092750/

I'm planning to do the majority of my body, however, I want to get this one arm lined out and looking better. So here I am to ask a newbie question. 

Has anyone had any experience tattooing "OPAQUE GREY" or any "GREY" colors inside a solid black tattoo?  It almost appears to create a "smoked out" appearance from most examples I've seen. I wanted to see if anyone has had any experience with this? I've heard of the white not lasting or needing to be touched up. Has anyone had any experience with  using grey over black here and if so, how did it turn out?  

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I've been seeing more of it that last couple of years. There are 2-3 artists whose work has been impressive but I don't think the practice has been around long enough for the long term results to be known, yet. 

Nathan Mould has been working with this quite a bit = https://www.instagram.com/nathanmouldtattoo/?hl=en

Does the tattooist you're working with have any practical experience (with photos) to show you/us?

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SSTU, so he's sent me a lot of photos of his work, he specializes in black and grey work. I'll have to find sometime this weekend to upload some of his work and get his permission. 

As far as what I have going in if you can further help me out or even give me some ideas, I know this one is going to be difficult, but I'd like to get several opinions from various people here.

So here's the side and chest that I'm satisfied with:

Left Arm: https://imgbbb.com/image/L4RuFe

Chest: https://imgbbb.com/image/L4RrMd

Now here's the side that obviously got jacked up, so don't roast me too bad. The original was my first tattoo ever at 16. The second cover-up turned out to not be any good. Now the 3rd cover-up turned out too be way too much black and I'm still not satisfied. (This was not done by the new artist neither.)

2nd Cover Up: https://imgur.com/a/JAnPJqs

3rd Cover Up: https://imgur.com/a/b2j5eRr

Obviously, it's way too much black and doesn't look good at all, so don't roast me too bad. Now I'm here looking for ideas so hopefully I can nail this after getting advice from a few different people. 

This is my current idea. I have a scroll, and some prayer hands on the backside of this arm that's messed up. The Texas goes back to them, but misses them by an inch. So considering I've already put so much black up there, the only way I see to fix it, is by doing something like the link below, which I really like. 


Obviously, I have nothing on my lower arm yet. So I'm thinking of blacking out the rest of the entire upper arm. Then adding the stars in either white or grey opaque if this would work? Then finishing the flag on my lower arm. 

Now the question is, how hard would it be to accomplish the stars within all the black ink that's already there?

Edited by michaelandmeghammons
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