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Mixing Tattoo Styles with Black and Grey

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Mixing tattoo styles, a once taboo subject, is becoming a major part of the future of the tattoo industry! Some styles mix well, whereas other styles are best left to stand individually. How well certain tattoos will mix depends on a few factors. For one, the color schemes need to either be similar or play off one another. In a similar vein, the types of lines also need to be similar. And, of course, the content of the images need to be able to work together.

Among the list of the most versatile styles that can be mixed with other concepts is black and grey tattoos. The lack of color makes black and grey tattoos easy to fit next to other pieces while the potential for different line styles creates an extremely versatile foundation to build on. The content of black and grey tattoos are also extremely diverse, which together makes this style very easy to work with.

Mixing Styles

In general, there are two methods to mixing tattoos. The first method is simply proximity; two tattoos of different styles that are placed close together giving the appearance that they work together. These tattoos can be inked at totally different times and even by different people. If the second tattoo is properly planned, mixing tattoo styles with proximity can be extremely successful.

The second method for mixing tattoo styles is to create essentially one design taking elements from multiple styles. This mixing, so called mixing by design, takes a little more forethought, but can create truly tremendous designs. Typically, mixing by design is best left to a single artist to maintain the similar techniques and elements that will make the two separate components look as one.

Black and Grey Tattoos

As mentioned, black and grey tattoos can be an extremely versatile style of tattoo. This is due simply to the nature of black and grey tattoos, which only use different shades of black ink. The content of black and grey tattoos tend to be more realistic; portrait realism is one of the top designs to get in this style. Also, text tattoos and similarly designed pictures excel in the shading dominant style of black and grey. This lack of color in black and grey tattoos make them non offensive to other tattoos that already exist on your body, and makes it easy to draft new tattoos that fit next to your current design. Keep these features of black and grey tattoo in your mind as well look at other styles that mix well with black and grey.

Mixing Black and Grey Tattoos with Other Styles

Trash Polka:

Trash Polka tends to be a popular style choice to mix with black and grey tattoos. This is because Trash Polka tends to utilize similar elements to black and grey. Trash Polka is usually defined as chaotically beautiful; there is usually a centerpiece surrounded by geometry, swirling lines, and general mayhem. The colors tend to be mostly black with some red.

Due to their features, black and grey plus trash polka designs can fit very well together. The colors of red and black from Trash Polka work excellently with the shades of black used in black and grey. Depending on the content of the black and grey tattoo, it would be easy to consider that part of the chaos surrounding a Trash Polka design. The extra black and grey ink may even contribute to more contrast and pop surrounding the red aspects of the Trash Polka design. Whether you’re combining by design or by proximity, black and grey and Trash Polka designs can be combined very effectively.


Seemingly similar styles by name, blackwork and black and grey are fairly different tattoo styles that can be combined! Blackwork refers to tattoos that utilize solid, harsh black lines, which contrasts from the softer shading seen in black and grey pieces. Blackwork is typically associated with tribal tattoos seen in traditional Polynesia pieces. Typically, the designs of blackwork aim to use the harsh black to play against the negative skin space where there is no ink.

Combining these styles gives the artist the freedom to combine the harsh black lines from blackwork while incorporating softer areas of fine shading from black and grey to create amazing contrast and feel throughout the piece. The color schemes of both styles, black, makes combining these two styles easier than most! And the harshness of blackwork next to soft shading can create an interesting look to a piece.

Contact First Class Tattoo Today!

At the end of the day, black and grey tattoos can be mixed with a variety of styles. Consulting an expert is a tremendous way to workshop your own ideas while hearing feedback from the people who know tattoos the best. For the premier tattoo professionals of New York City, look no further than First Class Tattoo! Our expert artists can combine tattoo styles with design or by proximity; nothing is too challenging for our team. Contact First Class Tattoo today to get started on your next tattoo adventure!

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