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Simple Guide to Watercolor Tattoos

Watercolor tattoos are considered a new trend, but the art form has been around for quite some time. With their growing popularity and stunning appearance, many people are intrigued by the concept but are nervous about taking the plunge. This quick guide can give you a greater understanding and help you decide if a watercolor tattoo is right for you.

What is a Watercolor Tattoo?

The best way to describe a watercolor tattoo is to imagine watercolor paintings, as the tattoos bring that art form to the skin. Tattoo artists use the same tools as with other tattoos. The difference is simply the style, the shading, and the coloring techniques.

Watercolor tattoos do not use solid coloring techniques like other tattoo styles. Instead, the coloring is gradual, creating a softer and, typically, more flowing effect.

Many watercolor tattoos do not use solid black outlines, which makes the tattoo seem to flow into the skin. Some do include black outlines if your design calls for it. However, most people choose those without outlines to more closely mimic watercolor paintings.

Are They Permanent?

There is a great debate about how long watercolor tattoos will last, with critics suggesting that they are simply not permanent enough to spend money on. This belief is unwarranted.

It’s important to understand that all tattoos can fade over time. Changes in the skin, environmental conditions, sunlight, and other factors play a role. As such, there is no guarantee that any tattoo will last or stay in its original splendor for your lifetime.

The concern among critics is that as watercolor tattoos are inked with softer colors, they fade much more quickly than those with darker colors. Though softer colors do typically fade a little faster, that does not mean the tattoo will. In fact, many watercolor tattoos are still going strong years after being applied.

If the idea of fast fading is making you reconsider your tattoo, you have another option. You can choose a watercolor tattoo with a black base or foundation. This can be done either by using black to create an outline or to incorporate it into the design itself.

In the second scenario, it would help to provide some extra contrast with the colors without being too obvious. In both cases, it would help the tattoo age better, since black does not fade as quickly as softer colors.

What Types of Images Can Be Made Into a Watercolor Tattoo?

Technically, you can have any image made into a watercolor tattoo. The most common include animals and the beauty of nature, such as flowers and landscapes. Lettering tends not to translate well into watercolor art, though, so keep this in mind as you choose your design.

You’ll also want to be selective with your tattoo artist. Watercolor work requires skills that not every tattoo artist has mastered yet. To get the best results, find one that is experienced in this area and whose work you admire.

How to Take Care of Your Watercolor Tattoo

Caring for a watercolor tattoo is similar to caring for every other tattoo type. Keep it moisturized so that the skin stays healthy and hydrated.

Additionally, you’ll want to limit direct sun exposure as sunlight is one of the main culprits of fading tattoos. As with other tattoos, you’ll need to revisit your tattoo artist from time to time to freshen up the colors and keep your ink vibrant.

Watercolor tattoos come with the same challenges as other tattoo styles. With a skilled tattoo artist, the proper care, and occasional ink top-offs, you can feel confident about putting this artwork on your body.

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