Realism Tattoos: What They Are And Why You Would Want to Consider Them


Tattoos are wonderful ways to express yourself artistically. Using your body as a canvas, it’s possible to give expression to all sorts of feelings and ideas. From honoring someone you love to supporting a cause to displaying an emblem of something that matters to you, the possibilities are endless.

Along with bringing something that’s in your head alive by capturing it in a tattoo design, there’s also the possibility of investing in body art that is grounded in reality. That’s where the concept of realism tattoos comes in. What are realism tattoos and what should you know about them? Are they something you should consider? Here are some essentials that will help you explore this topic in more detail.

A General Definition

 To understand the idea of realism tattoos, it’s necessary to look at art in a broader way. Specifically, learning about the school of realism that began to emerge in France during the middle of the 19th century will help. The goal was for artists who were trained in this discipline to create art that was so much like real life that practically seemed to be a photograph.

With that in mind, you now have an idea of what realism tattoos are all about. They’re body art that depict people and images that are so life-like people almost perceive them as being captured images of a real-life moment or event.

What are the Basic Types?

Within the school of realism, there’s more than one class or category of tattoo. One that is especially popular is the black and grey tattoo. As you may imagine, a black and grey realism tattoo employs shades of black and grey to bring the image to life. The effect is much like looking a photograph that was taken with black and white film. image1-min.jpg

Along with the black and grey realism tattoo, there’s also the full-colour or colour realism tattoo. This type of design still uses a design that mirrors some type of real-life setting or image. Colours are used instead of relying on shades of black or green. However, the colours selected are often intended to be the same that would occur in a natural setting. image3-min.jpg

Both types of tattoos require much attention to detail and shading. In the case of colour realism, this can mean applying multiple layers to achieve the ideal nuance to every part of the tattoo. The degree of patience, skill, and knowledge that goes into any realism tattoo is significant. Because of this, not every tattoo artist is capable of producing this type of artwork, just as not all artists are capable portrait painters.

Subjects for Realism Tattoos

Given the focus is on realism, what sort of subjects can be used for this type of tattoo? The options are broader than many people think. Here are some examples to consider.

One of the most popular is portraits of people. This can be a single person or a group of persons. The setting may look much like one or more people who are sitting for a formal portrait that’s either painted or photographed. When finished, the tattoo will look as if it were created by subjects sitting especially for the work.

A portrait may be rendered as a black and grey traditional tattoo or it may be done in colour. The choice is up to the client.

People aren’t the only living subject that may be used as the inspiration for this type of tattoo. You could opt for a photo realism tattoo that spotlights a beloved pet. It could be a childhood pet that was dear to you and remains in your mind years after passing. Using old photographs can be a great way to create a living monument to that beloved pet, with your arm or other area serving as the place of honour.

Nature scenes are also excellent subjects for realism tattoos. The scene can be a gathering of flora or possibly focusing on a single bloom. A black and grey rose tattoo could be just what you need to serve as a reminder of something special. A natural scene depicted in realistic colours may also remind you of a time in your life when you felt totally at peace.


There’s another side of the photo realism tattoo that you may wish to explore. That can be scenes depicting the esoteric or macabre while remaining in the realm of realism. For example, a tattoo of an open wound or a prominent scar may be what you have in mind. As with other realism tattoos, these require attention to detail, patience, and great skill to create.

These and other subjects can be added directly to the skin or they can be created on what’s known as a realism tattoo sleeve. As the name implies, the sleeves can be worn whenever you like, then tucked away when not in use. If you’re not sure about getting something permanent, a sleeve is a good way to try them out first. You can also have several sleeves made that make it possible to wear tattoos made for special occasions, holidays, and other events.

Checking Out Galleries for Ideas

Where can you get ideas for realism tattoos. Your own imagination is a good place to begin. Think of a person, place, or thing that would serve as the subject matter. If you have images or even old photographs of those subjects, the artist can work with them to create the design.

There’s also the potential of checking out design galleries and seeing what you can find. There are bound to be plenty of designs for black and grey flower tattoos to consider. Some of those black and grey tattoo flowers can easily be rendered in colour if you prefer. The same is true for most of what you will find in a black and grey tattoo gallery.

Artists who specialize in realism tattoos are highly like to maintain portfolios or galleries of every type of fine line black and grey tattoo they’ve done, along with samples of colour tattoos. You may find something that’s very close to what you had in mind. By working with the artist, it’s possible to adapt the existing design so the final look is perfect.

Does Size Count?

One thing you should know about realism tattoos is that they can be done in all sizes. For example, you may want something that’s realistic but also very subtle. You may want it tucked away in a place that you have to point out before anyone really notices, like on an earlobe or at the base of the next. This type of micro realism tattoo still has a lot of detail and looks like the real thing.

From the smallest designs to something that basically covers the entire body, you do have options Whatever you have in mind, the right artists can make it happen.

Choosing the Artist

The realism tattoo artist that you want will have a great deal of innate talent paired with formal training. The artist will also be someone who is always seeking new ways to refine their artistic ability and seeking to delve deeper into the art. The degree of dedication required is above and beyond what you would find with an average tattoo artist.

One example of an artist who possesses the combination of talent, skill, and training that you seek is Pravin. As one of the most renowned producers of the realism tattoo Toronto, Pravin discovered art early in his childhood. While growing up in Toronto, he learned a great deal by observance as well as trying his hand at different styles.

Pravin attended the University of Waterloo for Fine Arts, allowing him to expand his knowledge of the arts and exposing himself to more ideas and opportunities to hone his abilities. After working as a mural artist for some time, Pravin began an official apprenticeship in the world of realism tattoos. He soon became known as one of the best black and grey tattoo artists in the GTA. Thanks to his keen interest in continuing to pursue his art, he’s likely to hold that distinction for many years to come.

Are You Ready for a Realism Tattoo?

Is now the time to consider some sort of realism colour tattoo or possibly a black and grey one? Only you can make that decision. Talk with an artist and learn more about what would be involved in your case. Consider all sorts of realism tattoo ideas based on what may be important to you. Remember that you’re always free to ask any questions and ask for opinions from the artist. If you’re wondering about realism tattoo aging as it relates to placement and size, the artist can provide helpful suggestions.

If you already have a subject in mind or maybe have a photograph that you would like to try, contact an artist and arrange for a consultation. The process may be easier to arrange than you think.