Can Tattoo Artists Tattoo Over Sharpie?

Usually, tattoo artists use stencils to draw the tattoos on the bodies of their clients. But some tattoo artists prefer to go for the freehand tattooing process since it helps them to draw the designs according to the preferences and body shape of the wearer. They use different types of markers with several inks to draw the designs but the most common marker used by these artists is the ‘Sharpie Fine Point’ markers which are non-toxic and can be used for tattooing. The other types of sharpies like Sharpie King-Size, Sharpie Magnum, etc. should not be used because of the presence of the chemical compound ‘xylene’ in them.

Can tattoo artists tattoo over sharpie?

Yes! some tattoo artists can easily tattoo over the sharpie tattoo. They simply draw the design of the tattoo directly onto the skin of the wearer using the marker. Some artists prefer to go for both methods; using stencils and sharpie. They use stencils to draw the complicated main designs and sharpie markers to draw the background of the tattoos according to the body shapes of the clients.

Sharpie Tattoo Process

Reasons to go for the freehand tattooing process

  • The tattoo artists get the chance to experiment with their creativity. It also becomes easy for them to erase and modify the designs as per the choices of the clients.
  • As a client, you can also get the chance to see what the artist is drawing on your body. Together you can discuss the colors, designs, shapes, and concepts needed to draw the creative design.
  • The client can also have an idea about the outcome of the colored tattoo when the artist would be using the different inked sharpies to draw the design initially.
  • The freehand tattoos fit well since they are inked according to the shape and size of the different individuals.
  • The tattoo artists get the chance to draw the designs according to their free will.

Process of tattooing over the sharpie

Before going for the freehand tattooing process, make sure your tattoo artist has a great experience in the process and you have complete trust in him/her. Discuss in detail with your artist as to what exactly you want. This will also help to share the experiences and build the bond. Ahead of starting the process, your tattoo artist will clean your body part well by using cleansing wipes and shaving off the body hair (if any) to give your tattoo a neat and clean look.

After the cleaning process, the tattoo artist will begin the drawing by using the light-colored sharpies first to form the base of the tattoo and then will use the dark-colored sharpies to draw the details. This whole process of drawing usually takes up to 30-45 mins approx. according to the size and design of the tattoo. After finishing the drawing process, both parties can examine the design to begin the final step.

Once the approval is given by the client, the tattoo artist begins the tattooing process. After this, you must take care of the aftercare instructions of the tattoo artist.


Though the ingredients used in the sharpie inks are ‘non-toxic’, still better to check the sensitivity of your skin by using the sharpie on the patch of your skin. In case you have any existing scar, wound, injury, or any allergy on your skin, try to avoid getting the tattoo on that area as it will worsen the condition. After the tattooing process, follow all the aftercare advice of your tattoo artist to avoid any side effects. In case of any emergency, it is better to consult a dermatologist.

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