A quick guide in styles of tattooing. The art of tattooing covers a vast variety of approaches, each having its own distinct feel and visual appeal. Some common tattoo types are briefly described here.
Old School/Traditional tattoos are influenced by classic examples of American tattooing from the 19th century. Iconic designs like anchors, roses, and swallows are featured in a limited colour palette (often red, green, yellow, and blue).
The goal of a realistic tattoo is to seem almost identical to a photograph or a painted image. Artists bring their subjects—whether they be humans, animals, plants, or inanimate objects—to life through the application of shade and detailed linework.
Neo-Traditional: Bold outlines, vivid colours, and complex details characterise the neo-traditional style of tattooing, which fuses elements of traditional tattooing with modern technology. Animals, flowers, and fantastical creatures are common motifs, given a contemporary creative twist.
Soft brushstrokes, splatters, and brilliant colours flow together smoothly in this style meant to evoke the look of watercolour paintings. It may be used to illustrate a wide range of subjects and is well-known for its dreamy, abstract aspects.
Dragons, koi fish, cherry blossoms, and geishas are all staples of the Japanese aesthetic because they have deep historical roots in the country's culture. The talent and experience of the artist is typically on full display in the bold contours, vivid colours, and precise details typical of Japanese tattoos.
Blackwork tattoos are distinguished by their exclusive use of black ink or highly restricted colour palettes. Bold, eye-catching designs are achieved by the use of extensive black sections, dense shading, and complicated patterns. Mandalas, tribal patterns, and geometric shapes are all frequently used as decorative themes.
Minimalist tattoos follow the "less is more" philosophy by placing an emphasis on understatement and elegance. They tend to be minimalist and include small, intricate motifs like symbols, one-word statements, or geometric forms.
Dotwork is a kind of art in which images and shading are created by connecting dots in complex patterns. Dotwork tattoos can be as simple as a single pattern of dots or as intricate as a mandala or a geometric or pointillist design.
These tattoo styles are only a small sample of the wide variety now available. Individuals might find a tattoo artist that specialises in a particular tattooing style that speaks to their own aesthetic sensibilities.