Water or witch hazel is used to tone down the black ink when doing shaded tattoos gray wash shading. What you may have heard about tap water is wrong, and some newbie is telling you what he thinks he knows, ordinary tap water is perfectly safe to use in the skin. Some people say that you have to use distilled water, this is not true. Many of the people who say this contradict themselves by using tap water to wash their needles between colors and also use water to dilute the soap mixture in their spay bottles. With shaded tattoos and gray wash I personally use bottle water with witch hazel, I use 6 cups and put one drop of black in the first cup and 2 drops in the second cup .. and so on. Then fill the rest of cups with bottle water mixed with witch hazel.

      The FDA does not regulate water. Ever if it did, distilled water would not be regulated, as it is not sold for human consummation, its for use in irons that you use to iron your clothes, and automotive batteries. It is distilled to remove trace minerals, making it soft water.Sterilizers should also be filled with distilled water as the minerals in tap water will stain the inside of the unit and its a real pain in the ass to clean. Another cool trick for shaded tattoos is use A&D constantly will doing gray wash, its helps smooth out the transition of dark to light.

        Bacteria are found in all water; tap water, distilled water, even mineral water that you purchase to drink. distilling water is not the same as sterilizing it . If you want to use sterilized water you would have to sterilize it in single containers, or boil it for 15 minutes before you use it on a customer. Both processes are not feasible in a busy tattoo studio. If you insist on using distilled water, that’s fine, you can use it. I just don’t like people who come off as some kind of hero because of it, and then preach about it like it’s a holy act. The fact of the matter is that Tap water, distilled water or boiled water can be all used in tattooing. Basically, if the water is safe to drink its safe to tattoo.
So good luck with your shaded tattoos and gray wash,  This is just a quick video to help you, soon I will make my own videos. The key is to remember everyone has there own style of tattooing, its best to find your own style that works for you.

Shaded Tattoos – sumi ink

     Here some info about Sumi ink, Kuro Sumi is my favor black ink for lining and shaded tattoos. Sumi-e is a black Ink that is used for Chinese Brush Painting. when it is tattooed in the skin it lightens to a silvery tone. Sumi is made from the soot of rapeseed oil or pine resin. The soot is mixed with a binder and formed into decorative sticks that are works of art in themselves. You can grind your own ink if you like or you can buy pre made in a bottle. Make sure you are buying sumi-e ink made for sumi-e painting as real sumi ink is the only ink that will give you the light silvery tone.

      Sumi ink does not heal solid black. It lightens very much by the time it heals. You can water it down but not more then 25% water, other wise it will heal to light. To grind your own you will need an ink grinding stone and sumi-e ink sticks. Place a few drops of water on the shallow end of the stone, then, holding the stick upright, move in a circular motion. Push the ink that is produced into the deep end of the stone. Repeat the process as needed. Store the ink in a bottle marked “Sumi”. After you’re done rinse the stone really good to remove all the traces of ink as any residue will completely missed up the stone.