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Mixing Tattoo Styles with Neo-Traditional

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Tattoos, being an artistic industry of expression, is an always evolving field. New ideas, techniques, and approaches continue to pop up in the industry as experimentation creates new results that take the masses by storm. One of these newer features of the industry that has seen a rise in recent years is the idea of mixing tattoo styles. No longer are the times where one would feel the need to only have one specific style on their arm or be afraid of combining totally different tattoo styles together. With proper planning and a good eye, tattoo artists these days can skillfully combine two different tattoo styles, including Neo-Traditional, into a masterpiece that may be hard to classify with words alone.

In general, there are two different approaches an individual could take when combining two or more different tattoo styles together. First, there is so-called mixing by design. In this process, the styles and their respective imagery are being mixed in the initial drawing and designing of the piece. The ink will be applied at the same time once the design is finished; these different styles are truly combined into one piece. On the other hand is so-called mixing by proximity. Here, one tattoo style already exists on the body. This existing piece will be worked with to add more ink of a different style in close proximity, essentially mixing and combining the two styles into one piece. In mixing by proximity, the existing piece will dictate what can and cannot be effectively applied nearby. Some tattoo styles struggle to mix with one certain others, so proper planning for both styles of mixing is highly recommended.

Mixing Styles with Neo-Traditional

Now, we’ll begin to look at the Neo-traditional tattoo style on its own and what other styles it can be mixed with. Neo-traditional tattoos themselves are a new take on the traditional styles of tattooing including both American and Japanese traditional. However, in Neo-traditional, the restrictions on color palette, line size, and imagery have all been removed which has produced some tremendous results. Neo-traditional pieces are known for their depth, wide-range of saturated color, and dramatic illustrative pieces to anchor it all together. Neo-traditional designs can depict almost anything, from animals to flowers to people and any object in between and do so in a way that makes the object feel larger than life. These pieces tend to be large, but with proper planning and coordination, can be combined with a host of other tattoo styles.

Styles That Mix Well With Neo-Traditional Tattoos

Color Realism

For a piece with unmatched color and imagery, combining the color illustrations of Neo-traditional with the dramatic imagery of color realism can produce incredible results. The bounds are endless when combining these two styles; the piece can be huge with a variety of different details and shading involved. These styles are similar enough, but still different, which lends itself towards creating an incredible piece with elements that effectively combine and play off of one another.


Another style that can keep up with the color and detail produced in Neo-traditional designs is watercolor. The intense color that exists within this style and the broad imagery allowed creates tremendous opportunity to combine different tattoo styles together effectively. Similar to color realism, the watercolor style is similar enough to Neo-traditional, but still a little different, which allows them to combine well, but still have distinctions that prevent the piece from looking like one giant Neo-traditional tattoo.

Styles That Don’t Mix Well With Neo-Traditional Tattoos

For an example of a style that won’t mix effectively with Neo-traditional is something like a fine line tattoo. Fine line tattoos are small, dainty, light, and usually lack deep saturated color, which means that they can be dominated by the big, saturated Neo-traditional piece nearby. The fine line ink will simply be overshadowed by the larger piece, which isn’t effective visually. When combining two styles, we want each style to be able to shine and show through. Having one style being dwarfed by another will only serve to take away from the smaller ink.

Contact First Class Tattoo Today!

Our talented, experienced artists are more than equipped with the skills to help design and apply extraordinary tattoos through a variety of styles, including Neo-Traditional. Plus, this knowledge lends itself towards making our team experts at mixing tattoo styles! Our mission is to send you home with an awesome tattoo that will last; we are willing to work with you to create the perfect result tailored to you. Contact First Class Tattoo - New York today to get started on your tattoo journey.

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