Tattoo Styles


WallAbstract – this is a modern style of art and usually doesn’t have any type of outline.

Black and Gray

Black and Gray – this is when shading is heavily utilized. Black and gray work is typically used to create some type of 3-D effect without using color.

Gray Wash

Gray Wash – this is when the black ink is diluted with water or witch hazel to lighten up the tint. Usually the black ink is diluted at different degrees to have a wide range of shading densities. One container may have 2 drops of water added. Another cup will have 3 drops and will produce a lighter shade of gray.


Biomechanical – this is a machine like form of art that sometimes combines humans with machines. If you are familiar with HR Geiger’s artwork then you’ll be familiar with biomechanical artwork.


Celtic – these designs are made up of intricate knots. This style of art represents the people from Gaelic, Welsh, and Breton folklore.


Color – can be vivid or subtle depending on the effect the tattoo artist is after.


Evil – these designs are very popular especially with young adults. Skulls, devils, clowns, spiders and death related images fascinate many.


Fantasy – this is also a very extremely popular design choice especially with woman. These images include angels, dragons, fairies, wizards, and unicorns. These images can be done in color or black and gray are whatever type of design the client wants.

Fine line

Fine line – this is one of the newer styles you’ll find in tattoo shops and has been achievable because of the improvements made with tattoo machines, inks, and needles. Artists today are able to add more detail and special effects to their artwork. Fine line is often used in portrait tattoos.

Gangster or Biker Tattoos

Gangster or Biker Tattoos – these are typically some type of symbol or emblem that proclaims a person’s allegiance to a club or gang. You’ll find these typically located on the stomach, neck, chest, or back area.


Haida – this is a design of the Eskimo and the Native Americans. Tribal pieces of animals, birds, and totems are popular subjects.


Memorial – these tattoos can be images representing a person’s life in some way. It may be a religious image, crosses, flowers, or even a portrait. Often this is accompanied by lettering with the person’s name or dates of their birth and their death.

New School

New School – this style began in the 1980s. This is basically combining multiple styles of tattooing into one piece.

Oriental Yakuza

Oriental Yakuza is a Japanese style of tattooing. This type the tattoo is usually very detailed. This is basically a tattoo that will cover the whole body. The work is carefully planned out ahead of time before the work on any part of the body begins.


Portraits – a tattoo artist has to be extremely skilled in his field to be able to convey a person’s likeness onto another person skin. Portraits are often created using fine line tattoo style.

Prison Tattoos

Prison Tattoos – these are generally going to be dark images often representing death and crimes. Prison tattoos are almost always black or black and gray color since a tattoo artist has to make do with the materials he can get his hands on while in jail.

Religious Tattoos

Religious Tattoos – the link between tattooing in religion goes back to the Egyptians. They would tattoo the dead so that there would have relative information when they passed to the other side. The Christians would tattoo a cross under the hand on the wrist to identify themselves as to be devout and a true believer as opposed to Roman spies.

Sailor Tattoos

Sailor Tattoos – these are usually images popular in the 1800s and are also referred to as nautical tattoos. These include mermaids, ships, anchors, and sparrows.

Tribal Tattoos

Tribal Tattoos – this type of work was handed down from multiple cultures including Native American, Micronesia, and Polynesian. Tribal tattoos are usually black in color and are composed of solid geometric designs.

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