The Different Tattoo Styles – Part 2
22 July 2020
In a previous article, we covered many tattoo styles. Here is the second list of the most popular and influential tattoo styles from the last years.
Often combined with blackwork, this tattoo style uses multiple tiny dots to create the piece. The dots may be combined with other styles or used by themselves. This style comes from hand poked tattoos, a machineless technique where a single needle is used. Dotwork is often used in combination with geometric tattoos, mandala tattoos, religious and spiritual tattoos. However, this style is very versatile and can be adapted to every tattoo subject and body part.
As the name implies, geometric tattoos are made of geometric elements.They come in many shapes and colours, although they usually come in black. Geometric tattoos can be totally abstract or have specific elements (often animals). They form clean lines that come together to create a more complex shape. Geometric tattoos often use repetitive patterns.
Portrait tattoos branch from the realism tattoo style. Portrait tattoos realistically recreate the illustration of a person or animal. They can be colourful or black and grey. Replicating a portrait is a delicate process since realistic subjects are extremely intricate and the smallest mistake could ruin the tattoo entirely.
The main feature of this tattoo style is its appearance of a sketch on paper. Sketch tattoos keep the guidelines visible and are often combined with watercolour.They usually have a deliberately incomplete look as they depict a quick sketch. Pretty new, this tattoo style has gained a lot of popularity in the last years.
Greatly inspired by the work of Salvador Dalí, surrealism tattoos are always an exaggerated, distorted version of reality. Albeit their lifelike appearance, they display fantasy-like scenarios and impossible concepts, merging several tattoo styles together. Highly creative, surrealism tattoos are a work of art, depicting realistic subjects in a fantastic tableau.
Trash Polka is an amalgam of many tattoo styles such as realism, geometric, lettering and surrealism. Trash Polka is mainly black and grey with a hint of bright red. These tattoos usually display multiple layers of different styles overlapping each other. Brush strokes and patterns are typical of this tattoo style.
The Chicano tattoo style was born from the Mexican-American culture in the 40s and feature religious and latino-american symbols. This style was largely influenced by prison tattoos made with black or blue ink and makeshift single needle tattoo machines. Often highly detailed, these black and grey tattoos have recurrent themes such as religious icons, Mexican culture, heavy lettering, women faces, clowns, guns and cars.
Hard to describe, abstract tattoos speak for themselves. This tattoo style is very artistic and requires a lot of creativity. Merging many techniques and styles, abstract tattoos are unique, offer a lot of creative opportunities and have a big visual impact.
Lettering and Ambigrams
Composé de mots, de phrases ou de citations, ce type de tatouage est sans doute un des plus communs. Les artistes spécialisés dans ce style ont des Depicting words, sentences and quotes, this tattoo style is without a doubt one of the most popular. The artists specialized in this style have very impressive calligraphy skills as they have to create a customized font from the ground up for each pieces. These tattoos are usually very meaningful to the client. Ambigrams are a different branch of lettering, allowing you to read the words even when looked at upside down.