Body art – especially tattooing, has become a popular art form among people of all ages. Many people from around the world love getting new, unique, and even meaningful tattoos on their bodies to showcase their emotions and likings. However, even though a huge population of our world has tattoos, not many have knowledge about what they are letting in their skin.
Tattoos, although very popular, are not very well understood. People have vague ideas and concepts of how they are done and the science behind them. Moreover, tattooing is a massive form of art with a vast history – it is full of complexities and includes a range of styles, types, and cultural influences.
Most people who like tattoos are not well researched to understand what they are getting and should get.
If you love tattoos but have almost zero knowledge about the basics of tattooing and tattoo art, then this is the right place for you. Today we will talk about the fundamentals of tattoo art and how people in tattoo parlors learn and manage to do such a wide variety of art on people’s skin.
So if you are curious to know – let’s not wait any further!
The Fundamentals of Tattoo Art
To understand any art form, you need to understand its fundamentals – and tattoo, just like any art form, has a lot of fundamental background that most people are unaware of. You might think tattooing is easy, and all people need are pictures and stencils to draw images on their bodies – but that’s not true. From shapes and colors to geometry and styles, a tattoo artist has a lot to learn.
Here are some fundamentals that are a must in every tattoo – no matter what style or type of tattoo you pick.
1. Shapes and Forms
Shapes and forms are the basics of any art form – especially tattoos. If you have seen a tattoo carefully, you must have realized each tattoo – especially ones covering a large area, is an amalgamation of various shapes and forms. This also helps in deciding whether a tattoo will appear 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional.
Hence, learning to draw shapes and forms, tattoo artists practice different angles and give attention to various forms.
After shapes and forms, lettering is probably the most important fundamental part of tattoo art – because most tattoos demand letters. In fact, tattoos featuring letters, words, ad phrases are the most common among people worldwide. When it comes to learning lettering for tattoo art – spacing is the most significant factor that people struggle with – tattoo artists either get their letters too close together or place them too far from each other.
However, practice makes them perfect, and this skill is learnt with time. Moreover, with lettering, you need to pay extra attention to spelling, grammar, and capitalization.
3. Proportions and Anatomy
Tattoos featuring animals and humans – especially faces are very common but also very complex. It is not easy to draw a human or animal face – that too on someone’s body without learning the right proportions and having some knowledge about the anatomy. This is why tattoo artists practice anatomy and proportions on papers, glass, and fake skin before making them on people’s bodies.
The lining is another fundamental aspect of tattooing – it is a technique that is used in almost all forms of tattoo art. The lining helps create basic shapes and “building up” one proper image. Lines can be thick or thin – the tattoo artists decide that depending on your tattoo style. However, they have to learn the skill to draw both to make more articulate designs in the future.
Composition is another important fundamental of tattoo art, and to understand composition, you need to compare other art forms with tattooing. While other art forms are done on rectangular or flat surfaces such as paper, posters, digital screens, even walls, and furniture – tattooing is done on a 3D surface, and that too living human’s body. Our skin is not an easy surface to draw on, and that too with tattoo ink and needles involved. A tattoo artist needs to be well-practiced and well aware of the right compositions to be able to do it right.
Compositions show how visual elements are arranged in the final art piece, and for tattooing, it is imperative to practice.
Shading is also a fundamental aspect of tattoo art which is used to create depth in the tattoo and value. Shading brings control to your designs, and light and dark elements make the image come to life. Shading in tattooing is mostly done with black ink, where tattoo artists very meticulously draw light and dark strokes to create shadows.
This is also done by adding different fluids of the ink to give it a different shade (sometimes gray, sometimes even white).
Tattoo art is a vast and much more complex art form than it seems.
You don’t need to be a tattoo artist to be aware of the fundamentals of tattoo art – if you love tattoos and enjoy getting them, you need to know these basics of tattoo art to understand your tattoo designs in-depth and judge your artists for the quality of work they are doing.