Illustrative tattoo

1930
Tattoo styles 4 min read Last updated on August 9, 2020

The Illustrative Tattoo style is characterized by different types of images that illustrate and explain any text. Illustrative tattoos are most often combined with other styles. For example, the illustration on the body can be done in combination with neo traditional, blackwork or Japanese styles.

Characteristic features:

  • thick contours
  • no restrictions on the use of color
  • the presence of a story (e.g. from literature or cinema)
  • if the image is black and white, most often masters do not tint or paint them anymore, that is, they only use contours
  • black and white illustrative tattoos are also characterized by shading (made with thin, crossed or parallel lines)
  • the drawing looks like a simple image done on a sheet of paper
  • there are no size limitations: illustrative tattoos can look equally good in both small and large scale drawings.

The main thing is that this kind of tattoo most accurately conveys an idea and/or image of selected characters. While improvisation is allowed, the general concept of the image should be preserved.

A tattoo sketch in this style is usually based on famous artworks and comics. Sketches can also include mythological characters or caricatures. Sometimes a tattoo contains a favorite movie character.

Illustration in art is a huge field and includes various techniques and styles. The same classification can be applied to the art of tattooing. Traditional types of illustration include, for example, engraving (black and white illustrations with shading). It is also popular to depict tattoos as if they were made in pencil. As for illustration styles, it can be done in comic art style, concept art, children's drawings, etc.

There is no limitation where you can have a tattoo done in this style. Locations can vary, from the back to the breast to wrists, ankles, and forearms.