Not all tattoos are the same. There are an incredible number of styles that body jewelry can be placed in. A distinction is made between the way the tattoo artist applies the motif to the skin and the theme of the motif. Many people would like to get a tattoo at some point, but are not sure what styles are available and which one suits them. We explain the ten most important tattoo styles!
Tattoos are a very special art form, whose styles have their origin in different cultures. Although everything in terms of motifs and styles is possible on the skin today, tattoos are generally divided into larger categories. This also makes it easy for tattoo artists to specialize in certain styles and offer them in their studio.
10 tattoo styles that get under the skin
# 1 dotwork
Dotwork tattoos do not consist of individual lines like conventional tattoos, but of many small dots joined together. Similar to the pixels in a digital image, this creates the subject, which is usually black and white. Depending on the intensity, different structures and shades can be beautifully displayed. By the way, mandalas are a popular variant of dotwork tattoos.
# 2 realistic tattoos
The realistic style has only become popular and known in recent decades. With this you can especially tattoo portraits of loved ones or animals, a photo is usually used as a template. The focus is on the most realistic possible representation of the subject. Many textures and shadows are used to create a 3D print.
# 3 Asian style
Most Japanese motifs are referred to here. This style already existed more than two thousand years ago, in the last century it finally reached the western world through the Yakuza criminal organization. Motifs like dragons, cherry blossoms, or other Japanese motifs traditionally tell a full story and were previously worn under the skin with the help of bamboo sticks with small needles at the end.
# 4 Black and gray
Black and gray tattoos are only made of black ink. This style originated in American prisons because there was generally no colored ink there. To achieve a lighter shade, the black color is mixed with distilled water. In this way, black can slowly fade over gray tones towards skin tone. With Black & Gray, as with the Realistic style, there are different tones and structures in the foreground, which can create a 3D effect.
# 5 old school
This style is also called “American” or “traditional” and is probably the best known. Old school tattoos are characterized by solid contours and rich, opaque colors with a long lifespan. Sailors brought the trend of anchors and images of ships on the upper arms, while wolves, Indians, eagles or skulls are examples of popular motifs. This style is often considered cheesy, but it is becoming more and more in demand these days.
# 6 new school
Developed in the United States in the mid-1990s, New School is a further development of the Old School. The style is also characterized by tough outlines and bright colors, but is less cheesy. He was also inspired by cartoon elements and the airbrush technique. Many imaginative subjects are engraved with dynamic gradients.
# 7 Trash Polka
Trash Polka is quite a young tattoo style reminiscent of the communist motifs of the last century. The predominant colors are red and black, the tattoos themselves combine realistic elements with a dose of minimalism. Trash Polka is also called “Buena Vista Style” because it comes from the studios of the same name.
# 8 tribal tattoos
These tattoos are commonly known as “tribal” and mostly come from the Maori and Samoan cultures. Like Japanese tattoos, they often represent the story of a lifetime, are tailored to the respective muscles of the part of the body to be tattooed, and are often found on the upper arms or the lower part. of the legs. Their patterns appear stenciled, but are often tattooed freehand.
# 9 black job
Blackwork tattoos, as the name suggests, are exclusively black and are characterized by many dark areas. They are based in part on tribal tattoos and consist mainly of many graphic elements and harsh lines. There are hardly any shadows. The motifs are very eye-catching and are ideal for cover ups. Blackwork tattoos may look very simple, but they require an extremely skilled tattoo artist. By the way, blackout tattoos are a more extreme version!
# 10 watercolor tattoos
Watercolor tattoos look like watercolors drawn with a brush on the skin. There are hardly any hard structures, but all the brighter colors flow out with the skin. However, they can fade a bit over time and are therefore generally not connected alone, but with more eye-catching, contour-etched graphic elements. This still gives them some structure. Learn more about the style here.
Video: 10 particularly popular tattoo motifs
There are many other cool and impressive tattoo styles – carvings, geometric, lettering, or the currently very popular Mexican Chicano style, along with the ten styles mentioned here, they offer a great selection of beautiful tattoos. Before heading to the tattoo studio, take a look at several sample images of your desired style, and then get advice on a date there. If you are wondering what kind of tattoo art suits you, you can take our quiz here.