RatedInk is your Go-To Tattoo Directory designed so you can find a tattooist most suited to you.
How can you find a tattooist if you don’t know the style of tattoo you want?
Learn about different tattoo styles to ensure you make the right decision and then find the most appropriate tattoo artist for the job. You may have an idea about what you want but do you know what style it falls under? Learn to communicate your design articulately to the tattooist and save a lot of time in the overall planning and design process.
In this article we discuss 10 of the most common tattoo styles to give you the kick start you required for a better result. Choose the right artist for your tattoo, it will be with you a while.
10 MOST COMMON TATTOO STYLES IN UK:
Are you thinking to incorporate text as part of your tattoo design? If so, you should definitely channel your research to find a tattooist that specialises in different fonts and knows how to use them to suit your body. Many font artists will be able to provide you with a variety of self-made fonts and often specialise in other tattoo styles too.
A knowledge of traditional tattoos from tribes such as the Aztec or Maori is required by a tattoo artist who offers ‘tribal tattoos’ as a service. Tribal tattoo designs often require geometrical precision, symmetry and fine line-work, usually black in colour. If you’re going tribal then do it properly (nothing worse than wearing symbols you know nothing about).
The skill set required for colour tattoos are somewhat different to the black/grey approach and include an eye for blending, shading, contrast and tones. Black and grey tattooing is often used for monochrome realistic tattoos and includes the use of white for shading and highlighting.
Portraits really do need a specialist to ensure the features are finished correctly. Have you ever seen a tattoo portrait which looks nothing like the actual person or a sexy tattoo of a woman with a really warped face? Realism portraits require the ability to mimic exactly as seen in the real world or in photograph and then combined with additional artistic influences for the unique touch of the artist.
OLD SCHOOL ‘TRAD’
For the popular skulls and daggers, eagles and stars, hearts and roses; there is a style which goes by the name of ‘old school trad’. Usually combining large blocks of colour within a thick black outline and requiring a lot less intricacy than the tribal tattoo styles, these bold shapes and pictures are made to last and often tell a story about someone’s passion, memories or lifestyle.
NEW SCHOOL / CARTOON
Feeling fun? Cartoon-like tattoo styles otherwise known as ‘new school tattoos’ are often preferred by many and usually include bright colours, captions and humorous caricatures. Cartoon tattoos often get merged with hip-hop art and are used when creating tattoos of TV characters, celebrities, animals or portraits. It takes a certain style of tattoo artist to get the details right!
One of the more self-explanatory styles of tattooing which basically covers non-realistic tattoos using colour, shapes and surreal visuals to communicate a message or hidden meaning.
In most cases watercolour is added to the background of a tattoo or around the tattoo to emphasize a centre subject often relating to flowers, animals or nature. The tattoo can be realistic or focusing on line-work to bring out the different colours.
This tattoo style is one of the most traditional and sacred tattoo styles dating back to 5,000 BC and requires an experienced specialist to achieve the perfect finish. The artwork is intricate and detailed to precision and strict rules relating to imagery and positioning are adhered to. Experienced Japanese style tattooers will know which ways the animals should face and all other details to achieve an accurate result. Imagery often includes lotus flowers, geishas, koi fish and cherry blossoms.
Where one artist may specialise in shading and blending colour, another tattooist may specialise in dot-work which is the process of using many small dots to form the larger picture.
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