The vastness of the tattoo world knows no bounds. There are multiple styles and techniques that help the wearer tell their stories in a unique manner. So whether you are an artist or someone looking to get inked, you need to check out some of the evergreen styles and techniques of tattooing first.

This article will cover a rundown of a few choices that are still widely favored. Let’s get down to business, shall we?

Evergreen Styles and Techniques of Tattooing That Still Rock

Here are tattoo styles and techniques worth learning or getting:

  1. New school

    Taking off in the 80s and 90s, the new school is a ubiquitous technique that boasts some of the most radiant tattoos. The other aspect that defines it is that the motif chosen is usually depicted exaggeratedly or crazily. That’s why the outcome is generally cartoonish or graffiti-like.

    New school and old school are very different. The only aspect they share is the use of heavy lines. Otherwise, the former uses a more colorful palette with an inflated art style.

  2. Realism

    Also called realistic tattoo style, realism displays real objects, animals, or people. The final work is pretty colorful and can contain either mono color or a combination of several. The point is that the consumers of realistic tattoos usually want to portray something specific.

    Realistic tattoos are designed in two ways. Either in black and gray or colored (a mix of several colors). Since the technique involves drawing real-life objects, bold lines are not needed. Instead, shading and contrast take center stage. Some creative artists throw in different elements, so the design entirely mimics a photo.

    The outcome of a realistic tattoo must be faithfully accurate to the object and visually amazing. Because of that, such tattoos fade faster and may need frequent touch-ups. All in all, their complexity calls for an adept designer. Otherwise, the results of an armature can be unpleasantly disastrous. 

  3. Biomechanical

    This tattoo technique recreates a cyborg-like or robotic piece on a customer’s skin. The artwork should display 3D designs that pop out of the body or look like an inherent part of it.

    Biomechanical tattoo style is done freehand, and like realism, artists need top-notch design and tattooing skills.

  4. Japanese 

    Japanese tattooing style refers to a collection of ink designs that deeply reflect Japanese traditions. They are also called Irezumi and date back 100 years or more. Yet, their popularity is still soaring.

    Irezumi tattoos sometimes attract a lot of negative branding as they were previously associated with criminals and mafias. In fact, at some point in Japan, tattoos were banned until 1948.

    The characters for Japanese tattoos come from Japanese rich history, folklore, legends, symbolism, and written characters. A few examples include cherry blossoms, demons, and dragons. 

    But towards the sundown of the 19th century, a new trend emerged where most of the Japanese motifs included brutal, bloody, and sexual explicit characters. Their complexity is on a whole new level and requires artists to be exceptionally gifted and patient.

  5. Geometric

    Geometric is one of the most sophisticated tattooing techniques you have ever encountered. It is all about lines, shapes, and patterns, albeit complex in nature, and their complex nature is what makes them more appealing. A few examples of geometric designs include the nautilus shell, the flower of life, Metatron’s cube, and many others.

    An artist must be worth their salt to pen a flawless geometric tattoo.

  6. Surrealism

    Surrealism tattoos are all about artistic, out-of-this-world designs that inspire awe. Usually, the characters comprise both earthly and unearthly elements resulting in a work of fantasy. A good example is a dolphin coming out of a snail shell or the faces of two people kissing and conjoined to the same neck-completely out of this world.

    Before you ask, yes, like realism, Japanese, and geometric styles, a tattoo artist needs a good wealth of knowledge to craft such mind-bending surrealism tattoos.

  7. Blackwork

    Blackwork tattoos are entirely in black. Their design, however, can take any direction and in any conceivable geometric shape. Another major characteristic of blackwork tattoos is that they exhibit thick and bold black lines.

  8. Neo-traditional

    Neo-traditional tattoos are almost similar to traditional ones. However, they stand out because of their bold color pallet and clean lines. The motif for this tattooing technique also varies a lot to include plant life, animals, and people.

  9. Traditional 

    Traditional tattoos, aka old school tattoos, dating back to 1700 the days when sailors were their most significant consumers. Surprisingly, they are still fashionable today, thanks to improvements in inks and tattooing machines.

    Golden examples of traditional tattoos include flags, birds, anchors, hearts, and roses. The design incorporates bold black lines and simple primary colors.

  10. Script

    Last but not least is the script. It’s the most common tattoo, technique-especially for people who don’t want a large print on their skin. Plus, they are less painful since they take a shorter time to complete.

    As the term implies, the script is simply a tattoo design that consists only of text—things like size, placement, font, and spelling matter a lot in this tattoo style.

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Wrap up

These aren’t the only tattoo styles and techniques practised on the market. There is a boatload of others such as minimalistic, abstract, dotwork, watercolor, lettering, etc. 

Artists must constantly re-invent themselves to successfully pull off some of the designs listed in this article, as most are intricate. Not only do they require patience, but passion as well. Complex tattoos such as Irezumi can take a long time to finish, and if one gets bored, the results may not be outstanding. 

As you have seen, there are many tattooing techniques. Means a client needs to be educated on what they are about to go through, their medical condition, and other prerequisites. As such, artists need to work with tattoo consent forms. That’s it for now, bye.

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Featured image by Adrian Boustead.

FAQs on Basics of Tattooing

What are the basics of tattooing?

There are three fundamentals of tattooing; lining, shading, and lettering. Lining determines the shape of a tattoo while shading creates depth. Lettering, on the other hand, is about getting the grammar right for script tattoos.

What are the different methods of tattooing?

The most practised methods of tattooing are piercing, cutting, and puncturing. Piercing entails pushing a needle into the skin while puncturing involves a bit of effort to get into the skin while holding the tattoo device at 90-degrees. Cutting is an ancient method that entailed using a sharp object to cut or scratch the skin.

What is the best thing to practice tattooing on?

You cannot practice tattooing on someone’s skin. Since the first sessions are full of errors, the safest material to work with is pigskin and fruits. When it comes to fruits, reliable options include oranges, bananas, grapefruits, honeydew, and lemons.