Stencilled tattoos vs Freehand tattoos

Updated: Dec 23, 2019

By Canadian Tattoo Artist, Bella : Platinum Tattoo, Kelowna, Bc, Canada

So you've Finally gotten up your courage and booked that tattoo that you have been daydreaming about since 1999 ! ;) HaHa!

Well ok...well Now what... ?...

Stencilling vs Freehanding

Let's take a little look at the "behind the scenes" process , used by Professional Tattoo Artists!

There are several pros for both

Stencilling a tattoo design, as well as

Freehanding a tattoo design!

:) Let's discuss the difference.

What is a Tattoo Stencil?

When a tattoo drawing is set to be "Stencilled", the tattoo artist draws either a sketch , a partial drawing or a finished drawing, then reveals it to you for approval .

A "Tattoo Stencil" is basically a "map" for an artist to follow. Personally, I was taught to mark out the different levels of shading throughout the peice , with dots.

Using dot work instead of solid lines, helps the artist match the shades in the image, without the lines of the stencil getting in the way .


:) Don’t let the strange and barely-there, line-and-dots "tattoo stencil" , of your Amazing realistic tattoo design, SCARE the HELL out of you …..

Because If you LOVE your artists tattoo portfolio and if you LOVE the tattoo artwork that they have custom created for you … you will also LOVE the tattoo which they complete on your skin . ;)

Take solace in the fact that, by this point, the time that you are placing the final tattoo stencil on your body… That you are confident that you have chosen your artist wisely. And Ignore the barely there stencil.

Half of it will rub off when you are getting your tattoo anyway :)

That is what makes your "Tattoo Artist" an ARTIST” ;)

Don’t worry boo, We got this.!! ;)

Promise! ;)


Freehanding is when an artist draws your tattoo on your skin on the date of your appointment. Freehanding is a great tool to create a custom tattoo for you, which is able to flow perfectly on your body.

"In the photo above, I used the “Freehanding” technique to draw the large tree up my clients arm from wrist to the top of the shoulder. The tree hugs the curves of his arm and accentuates his muscles, making him appear larger and more muscular.” - Bella : Platinum Tattoo

This “Freehanding" tattoo technique, custom fits the tattoo to your body, for form flattering results.

by Tattoo Artist , Bella : Platinum Tattoo


Don't be surprised if your artist whips out Sharpie Markers to draw on your skin. These markers work Excellent to "dye" your skin during the tattoo drawing process.

All markers used on a clients skin, must absolutely be always labelled as "non-toxic".

All “Sharpie” brand markers are labelled on the marker's cardboard packaging as non-toxic .

My Tattooing Process

Personally I like to use a mix of both techniques when creating the perfect tattoo for my client. I will stencil the main / most detailed part of the tattoo drawing, and then freehand in any background or foreground into the tattoo so the tattoo drawing flows well on my clients body.

Using a mix of both techniques , allows my client to both, view the tattoo drawing prior to tattooing, as well as to create a custom piece that flatters their body perfectly!

My Specialty

"I specialize in creating custom tattoos and tattoo artwork , that make women look feminine and flows with their curves , and men look more manly and appear more muscular.

I really believe that everyday I use my experience and skill to make my clients even more Beautiful then when they came into my studio.” - Bella

Thanx for reading ❤️

I look forward to seeing you in studio and creating your Dream Tattoo! :)

Much Love


Platinum Tattoo

Kelowna, Bc Canada


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