Have you ever seen a watercolour tattoo in person? You’d certainly known if you had. Watercolor tattoos stand apart from their traditional counterparts in a variety ways, from their vibrant color schemes to the special techniques artists employ to create them.
While the term watercolors may cause you to think of the Crayola trays parents give children to paint with in an attempt to limit post painting destruction, they’ve actually been used for centuries to capture the colorful essence of nature. The art style was utilized during the Italian Renaissance by many famous painters and was often used to depict wildlife and landscapes.
The art style uses paint in which pigments are suspended within a water-based solution, hence the name. While it can be supported on a wide variety of different materials, it’s most commonly applied to paper that’s either partially or entirely made of cotton in order to reduce the painting’s distortion when wet.
Watercolor tattoo artists obtain the same sort of visual effect by lessening the overall ink saturation through subtle shading. They often achieve the brushstroke-esque design by forgoing the typical black outline seen in more traditional tattoos.
If you do a bit of research into watercolor tattoos you’ll find a lot of people calling into question the art style’s longevity due to the lack of outline and lessened amounts of ink saturation. It’s true that watercolor tattoos don’t last quite as long as their traditional counterparts and tend to require more touch-ups to maintain, but the difference is practically negligible in nature. Watercolor tattoos keep their vibrant color and design for decades and all tattoos require touch-ups to keep their design and color from fading over time. They may require one or two more touch-ups over the decades, but that’s hardly a heavy price to pay for the strikingly bright beauty these tattoos offer.
Following the art style they’re derived from, watercolor tattoos are typically used to colorfully encapsulate nature as many of the example in the gallery below depict beautifully. Although the art style can be used creatively to complement unnatural items as well, like the watch tattoo created by Flor.
Think about watercolors for your next tattoo. It’s a unique art form any tattoo lover can appreciate, and one who’s vibrant beauty is sure to be appreciated by onlookers everywhere for decades.
One of the most popular and recognizable artists in the genre is Russia’s Sasha Unisex. Her breakthrough style is influencing a generation, and her skills are unmatched!