top of page

Mixing Styles with Color Realism Tattoos

Table of Contents

At a time where uniqueness and individuality is something people actively strive for, there exists a cutting edge to explore. Tattoos, at least traditionally, were itself a unique feature to have. However, with the increase in tattoo popularity in recent years, it seems like almost everyone has some. And given the guidelines that often shape these styles, some people find their unique tattoos aren’t so personal to them. That is until the rise of mixing tattoo styles!

No longer are you bound by the guidelines surrounding one particular tattoo style. These days, people are getting totally unique tattoos all their own by mixing different tattoo styles together. One of these styles that is at the center of tattoo mixing is color realism tattoo designs.

Color Realism

In its fundamental form, color realism is an art style that utilizes intense amounts of detail, color, and shading to produce lifelike images that are akin to a realistic painting. Lighting and shading help create 3D images that pop off the skin. Whether you want a portrait of someone in your life, an image of realistic wildlife and animals, or any other object real in your life, color realism is a great way to copy that image directly onto your body. This style of tattoo is meticulous and extremely detail oriented, but the final results speak for themself; color realism can be absolutely breathtaking.

Mixing Styles

To mix tattoo styles, there are a few approaches you and your artist can take to produce fantastic results. First, you can mix by proximity. If you have a previous tattoo that you wish to build upon or enhance, you can mix a different style with your preexisting ink by planning and implementing the new tattoo in close proximity to the original piece. If done correctly, this new tattoo will effectively be mixed with your original tattoo creating a whole new looking piece.

Meanwhile, you can also plan out your tattoo mixing from the design phase by mixing by design. You and your artist will design the entire tattoo or tattoos from the beginning, planning the different styles so that when you combine them, the final image looks fantastic! Both approaches to tattoo mixing give fantastic opportunities to create fresh, new tattoos that may stand in a category all their own.

Mixing Styles with Color Realism

The general idea of mixing tattoos may sound great to you, but there is a slight caveat. Not all tattoo styles will effectively mix together. This stems from conflicting elements that some styles have that would cause the final product to clash with itself and not look jaw dropping as it could. In this next section, we will look at some different tattoo styles that can be combined effectively with color realism tattoos.

Fine Line:

Fine line tattoos, along with black and gray, are a great choice to mix with many tattoo styles, including color realism. Fine line tattoos tend to be very adaptable, which is key when trying to mix styles. In particular, fine line mixing with color realism is a great way to add text or even create a divide between black and gray and color. Fine line pieces tend to be smaller in size, which contrasts with the usually larger nature of color realism, which lends itself towards having fine line as a great way to accent a large realistic design. Whether you want to mix by design or mix by proximity, fine line provides a great opportunity to do so.


Mixing color realism with a watercolor design is a great way to pack an area of your body full of bright, saturated color! These styles work well together because watercolor designs are often somewhat similar to a color realism piece. When combined together, you can beautifully accent a color realism piece with some watercolor background or even combine the pieces in a way where the change in aesthetic between color realism and watercolor provides an awesome perspective and unique way to depict an image. These styles are usually large in size, so more planning may be needed to fit all the desired detail into the appropriate space.


Neo-traditional pieces are fun in that they provide a new take on images that we’ve seen before. These images for neo-traditionalism tend to have a realistic feel to them, often with added, sometimes outlandish, features. Thus, the mixing of these two styles can absolutely be effective, especially should you want a color realistic subject with some neo-traditional elements surrounding the centerpiece. Usually, people have more success mixing by design for these two styles, but if a good plan is in place with a talented artist, a good final product will be produced nonetheless.

Contact First Class Tattoo Today!

For the premier tattoo experience in New York City, look no further than the artists at First Class Tattoo. Our team of expert color realism tattoo artists have years of knowledge and hands on application of different tattoo styles. Work with our artists to help create the tattoos of your dreams! Work with us on how to mix tattoo styles as well, whether you want to add a new style to a previous tattoo or create a totally unique design with us in the studio. Contact First Class Tattoo today to set up an appointment and be on your way towards the next fresh, unique, totally awesome tattoo on the streets.

Featured Posts
Check back soon
Once posts are published, you’ll see them here.
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
No tags yet.
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page