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Water Color Tattoos NYC


Watercolor Tattoos are each unique and eye-catching. It is definitely a style that goes against the conventional idea of inking. They have an effect as though someone has taken a paintbrush to your skin. There are many interpretations of this technique but most choose to leave out the black ink and line work completely and depend more on gradual shading and subtle shifts in color.


With watercolor tattoos, different shades of color connect with each other.  The edges instead of ending in sharp, solid lines like in a traditional tattoo are more abstract adding a painting feel to the piece and becoming more delicate and fluid. It’s important to find an experienced artist who is trained in techniques such as blurs, bleeds, fades, and runs— which is needed to give off a dripping and drying water effect. Although a relatively new style, it has quickly become popular!

Mikhail Andersson - First Class Tattoo

Our Water Color Tattoos Artists


History of Water Color Tattoos

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There is no known beginning of the watercolor style. It seems to have made its way onto the tattoo scene around 2007. Artists started steering away from the traditional techniques and clients started asking for pieces related to works of art in museums. Artists began inking renditions of oil paintings where the client wanted the piece to look as similar to the painting as possible. Adding thick black outlines would take away from that painting feel. That is when the artist began giving the clients the option to opt out of the black outlines and creating a technique to capture the dripping drying effect you see on the paintings done on canvas.

The Future of the Style

Watercolor tattoos are here for the long run. When this style first became established, many tattoo artists dismissed it as a passing fad that wouldn’t last, both physically on the skin and figuratively as a design style. Despite the initial hesitance, more and more tattoo artists are embracing this style and are having a great time working with their clients on these tattoos. As the trend continued to progress, it became popular among clients looking for something different. This stunning tattoo style is perfect for anyone looking for something breathtaking and extraordinary. As clients continue to want to choose tattoo styles that make them stand out and use their skin as a canvas, this style will continue to increase in popularity.

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Different Uses of Watercolor Techniques

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The watercolor style can be used in various ways when it comes to inking on the skin. It can be used as a background element, a shading technique, or used to create a certain mood. Pieces can be more abstract or the brush strokes can look sharper. The watercolor can be used as the outline or the piece can have a black outline and the watercolor can be used as an accent to make the piece pop. Some artists use splashes of organic watercolor-esque abstraction, others work can easily be mistaken for a simple painting on skin. Unlike other techniques, watercolor can be added to a different tattoo style. For example, you can have a trash polka piece with watercolor accents or a black and grey realism piece with an added watercolor background to add a different mood. It’s incredible how versatile this technique can be.

Water Color Tattoos Gallery

Water Color Tattoos FAQs

Do watercolor tattoos last as long as traditional tattoos?

The longevity of a tattoo will all depend mostly on how well you take care of it. Watercolor tattoos are subject more to fading compared to a traditional tattoo due to the amount of ink being used. Watercolor pieces require less ink to create the correct effect which then can soften more over time, unlike deep-colored pieces. Keeping your tattoo away from direct sunlight as well as taking care of your skin will help prolong the life of your ink. Moisturize liberally to prevent sagging and keep skin elastic and firm.

Do watercolor tattoos hurt more to get than regular tattoos?

No, watercolor tattoos do not hurt more than traditional tattoos. Despite the detailed designs that watercolor tattoos often consist of,  watercolor tattoos are actually likely to hurt less. This style of tattoo does not require as much ink as traditional tattoos, which means the tattoo artist will not have to puncture your skin as much, making it less painful.

Can individuals with dark skin get watercolor tattoos?

It is a myth that watercolor tattoos do not look as good on dark skin as they do on lighter skin. It is also a myth that darker skin is harder to tattoo. While colors may show up differently based on skin tone, watercolor tattoos can look spectacular on all people.

Water Color Tattoos & Cover Ups

While not the most versatile cover up style, water color can still be effectively used in this context in the hands of a skilled artist. Given the piece being covered isn’t too big or too saturated, a beautiful watercolor design can be strategically employed to completely cover the older piece. Get in touch with the watercolor experts at First Class Tattoo to see what is possible!

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Ask us a question or inquire about booking a time for your Water Color Tattoo!

52 Canal Street, New York, NY 10002  |  Tel: (646) 998-5203

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