Thinking of getting a tattoo but can't decide on a style? This article presents 10 different techniques that are popular in all countries. Whether it's ancient drawings on the skin of savages or modern graffiti that came straight from street walls, each one is unique and gorgeous.
We counted 10 styles and techniques of tattoos that will suit both women and men:
- Polynesian style;
- Iruzimi (Japanese traditional);
- American Old School style;
- American New School style;
- Realistic / Portrait Style
- Non-Traditional Style;
- Dot style;
- Geometric Style;
- Watercolor Tattoo
Irezumi (traditional Japanese)
Tattoo in Japanese style
Tattoo in Japanese style female version
The Japanese have been tattooing since 10,000 B.C., but the traditional Iresumi style as we know it today evolved during the Yayoi period (300 B.C.-300 A.D.). The decoration is always large-scale (often covering the entire arm, back or whole body) and rich in colorful detail. There are strict rules that traditional Japanese tattoo artists must follow - such as tattoos depicting the Buddha above the waist (lower would be disrespectful) and connecting certain animals with certain colors. Tattoos in Japan are still sometimes considered taboo because they are often associated with Yakuza (Japanese Mafia) gangs, but nevertheless, the Iresumi style has not lost its popularity even today.
Tattoo in Japanese style for a guy
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Similar to watercolor, this style imitates another form of art done traditionally on paper. These drawings look like they are sketched on leather, which gives the finished product a rough but unusual look. Sketch is a departure from the rules of old-school style, promoting more creativity and nuance. Sketch tattoos often incorporate watercolor into their designs to give an eye-catching freehand look.
Sketch style tattoos
American traditional, Old School
This style of tattoo, sometimes referred to as "old school" (old skool), is the oldest and best known Western form. It follows a strict set of design rules that are easy to discover. For example, a limited but bold color palette, thick black outlines, impeccable precision and two-dimensional, crisp images. The development of traditional tattooing is often attributed to the legendary Saylor Jerry (real name Norman Collins), who learned from Japanese artists and presented his own American point of view in artistic form. Common themes are nautical symbols, hearts, eagles, daggers and roses. It is a style proudly worn by the original countercultural rebels.
Traditional American Style Tattoo
Traditional American style tattoo for a girl
Only the most patient and disciplined of artists can carry out such a technique. Its essence is the use of individual tiny dots that form an excruciatingly subtle and detailed design. Many tattoo artists who specialize in this style use a special method, using only one ink needle rather than a traditional tattoo gun. The dotwork style can often be found in geometric tattoos, as well as spiritual or religious figures, which usually consist only of black or gray ink.
Dotwork style tattoo
Dotwork style tattoo, male variant
As tattooing has moved into the era of modern technology, it has become easier for new trends in art form to gain popularity. Watercolor is one of the most aesthetically pleasing new styles that is currently thriving in the industry. A tattoo in this type of style resembles not a simple picture, padded with a needle, but a work of art done with a master's brush. Watercolor tattoos have beautiful, smoothly blended colors, free of crisp outlines that flow across the body. However, it is important that the design still have a black base so that the tattoo continues to look good over time.
Tattoo in watercolor style
Tattoo in watercolor style
The sign of infinity
Most often the owners of such tattoos are girls, and most likely if you ask her about the meaning of this tattoo, most likely it will always be either "the promise of eternal love" or "her infinitely deep inner world". In principle there is nothing wrong with either of these, except that these tattoos can already be found on every third young lady between the ages of 16 and 25. Places of application, size and variations are very different. Most often can be found on
- the inside of the fingers,
- on the wrist,
- on the neck,
- and feet.
Neo Traditional (Neo Traditional)
As the name implies, these tattoos have a modern take on the original old-school style. Given that the latter became popular around the 1950s, it seems only natural that contemporary artists, armed with new tattoo techniques and new perspectives, are influencing the genre in their own way. Neo traditional artwork remains largely faithful to its predecessor with bright black lines and a classic color palette. However, the designs also often contain three-dimensional images, white ink and the occasional departure from traditional themes.
Unconventional Tattoo Style
Non-Traditional Style Tattoos
Non-traditional tattoo style
Realistic or Portraiture style
A tattoo in a realistic style. Steve Jobs
Some tattoo artists specialize in making their work live on the skin, creating tattoos with photographic detail and amazing technique. Realistic tattoos should look as convincing as possible, often with natural landscapes, animals or portraits. In contrast to the new school style, realism aims primarily at transferring the real image to the skin as accurately as possible and is less concerned with novelty in design. The most difficult form of realism in tattoos is probably portrait painting, as it requires the artist to capture both the resemblance and character of a real person. Realistic tattoos can be created using color or in a black and gray scale.
Realistic style tattoo
Similar to other art forms, this style contrasts with past genres in the tattoo world. Its birthplace could be considered the 1970s and 1990s. Although heavy outlines are borrowed from old traditional tattoos, the new school tries to get as far away from its roots as possible. New School tattoos use bright colors and are not limited to traditional genre themes; subjects are often drawn in cartoon or graffiti style, with exaggerated proportions and playful designs. In this style, tattoo artists became more open to sharing their methods with each other to promote progress in the art.
American Style Tattoo (New School)
Catalog of popular tattoos
Of designs suitable for both genders:
- The cross. It is known to many as a symbol of Christianity, but was used even before its founding. Soldiers used to stick it on their bodies as a talisman. Master can draw you any kind of cross: a Christian (sign of spirituality), crucifixion (symbolizes the willingness to sacrifice), Latin (memory of deceased loved ones), and others. So, for the owner of the iron cross the question of honor is above all. Cross with a jewel in the center - a person is in search of the meaning of life;
- A heart is a sign of love. You can add the name of a loved one to it. A winged heart means freedom of love, freedom of expression, an aversion to bad habits, joy or, on the contrary, a tribute to deceased lovers;
- Wings - they are angels and fairies. Each bearer of this tattoo sees its own meaning in the picture, but more often it acquires a religious character;
- Yin-yang symbol - opposites attract: good and evil, light and darkness, etc. In other words, the tattoo shows: its owner is happy under any circumstances, and the black stripe is always followed by a white one;
- bracelets are the most frequently affixed drawings on the wrist. They act as talismans, depicting clover leaves, runes, Christian or magical symbols. A couple in love can show their feelings for each other with paired bracelets.
- skull. In ancient times, it was thought to ward off death. Today this symbol has different meanings depending on the image. So, a skull with a rose - the memory of a loved one who has passed away; a snake in the eye of the skull - a sign of eternal life and wisdom; a rose in the teeth - you are a gambler, a risk-taker. In addition, the skull can symbolize the beginning of a new life;
- Joker. This hilarious, charismatic genius is among the top most popular images of last year as a tattoo. He symbolizes madness, versatility, impermanence.
- The Celtic sun is a symbol of fertility.
- The stars signify wisdom and beauty, as well as a change of goals, reference points, and the beginning of a new life. The star of the sea is a sign of protection for seafarers. The Star of David symbolizes the interaction of God with man, the balance in life.
Geometric style (Geometric)
Although geometric symmetry has long been present in many cultural tattoo forms, the modern style is becoming increasingly popular. Some artists and their clients see intricate patterns and perfect lines as a spiritual form of tattooing related to patterns found in nature. Others simply like the simplicity that geometric shapes bring to the design. Geometric tattoos are often done in solid color black ink, although some also like to use a simple, bold color palette. Clean lines and impeccable design are crucial to creating this style.
Tattoo in geometric style