As the name suggests, tattoo realism describes the coming together of realism and tattooing. In a traditional sense, realism is an art style that describes the genuine and lifelike portrayal of a subject. Apply this art style to tattooing, and you have tattoo realism.
The biggest difference between traditional realism and tattoo realism is the medium. Instead of paper and canvas, tattoo artists are working with the most challenging work surface possible—the human body. When you’re working with skin there’s no erasing and there isn’t much room for making mistakes, so it takes a patient and skilled artist to get it right. Add color into the mix and you combine yet another layer of difficulty.
Art by Bill
Realism requires more than just capturing a true-to-life rendering of the subject. It means getting the shading just right, accurately depicting the proportions for the scale of the piece and evoking all of the right emotional notes. Just like a photographer taking a picture, a big concern and challenge for tattoo artists is properly capturing the emotional energy and charge of the subject.
Art by Lorena
Here at Black Line Studio, we are big fans of tattoo realism. It encompasses much of why many of us were drawn to tattooing in the first place. In fact, a number of our artists are seasoned pros when it comes to this art style. Realism is kind of like the ultimate challenge for a tattooist. It demands the highest level of skill, accuracy and creativity as creators and artists. Nothing beats the thrill of inking realistic pieces for our clients-- whether it’s a commemorative portrait of a loved one or a photo-realistic landscape.