Inside: What is an Illustrative Tattoo + Ideas You’ll Love.

What is an Illustrative Tattoo?

An illustrative tattoo includes anything that looks like you might find in a book illustration or drawing. And just as there are many kinds of art styles, there are many kinds of illustrative tattoos. This style is one of the most popular for tattoos today, and you can find many tattoo artists specializing in it, each with their own take on what an illustrative tattoo looks like.

What is an illustrative tattoo

Illustrative Tattoo Design

Illustrative tattoos take inspiration from both traditionalism and realism. They typically use solid black outlines, much like traditional tattoos, and may be colorful or simply black. The key to an illustrative tattoo is that it retains a drawn, animated feel, rather than being shaded to look photo-realistic. This gives artists and clients a lot of flexibility to design either a simple illustration or a complex, abstract piece. Creativity and a touch of whimsy are key ingredients to these tattoos.

Illustrative Tattoo Ideas

1. Bunch of Lemons

2. Mushroom Tattoo Band

3. Illustrated Portrait

4. Colorful Scene

5. Branch of Oranges

Illustrative Tattoo Ideas

What Ink is Used for Illustrative Tattoos?

Many illustrative tattoos are done in blackwork, meaning that they only contain black ink. In these designs, tattoo artists may use dotwork, lines, cross-hatching, and stippling to add detail and dimension. Illustrative blackwork tattoos can have an impactful graphic quality, or look like they belong in an old book of fairy tales.

Other illustrative tattoos feature a range of colors. Most use a muted color palette to create soft transitions, rather than the bold contrast of a traditional tattoo. Many illustrative tattoo artists use color to create a cartoony style. For this reason, illustrative tattoos are popular for people who want to recreate a favorite cartoon or animated character. It’s also a great style to capture a beloved animal or person in a cartoon style.

Learn More About Tattoos

  • Tattoo Peeling Tips – Tattoo peeling is one of the least fun parts about getting a new tattoo. Don’t worry though, it is a natural part of the healing process and will not have a negative effect on your tattoo long term. While uncomfortable and at times a bit alarming, peeling is no big deal. Read our expert advice on what to do with tattoo peel.
  • Tattoo Blowout – Tattoo blowouts are not super common, but when they do occur it is generally because of the tattoo artist applying too much pressure. The ink is placed below the surface of the skin and in turn is injected into the next layer of fat. This can cause a number of issue both with the tattoo clarify, longevity, and even some health concerns. Read more about how this happens and what to do.
  • Hand Poke Tattoos – If you are interested in getting inked but aren’t too sure about the lifelong commitment, a hand poke tattoo might be the right answer for you. They are pretty cool looking when done professionally and last up to 10 years if done correctly. There typically isn’t as much pain involved if you have someone with experience. Take a peek at these hand poke tattoo designs.