A watercolor tattoo is simply a bold, bright marking made with a variety of techniques and subtle color gradients that create a gradual, watercolor color fade-in.
This effect is designed to mimic the qualities of a traditional watercolor painting, and where this style originally came from, is where the name watercolor tattoo comes from. This type of tattoo is popular among people who want a strong and distinctive style, with vibrantly colored designs often being common. While the fading in colors can be dramatic and striking, the actual technique used is more difficult than traditional tattooing and requires an artist skilled in watercolor tattooing to accomplish a good job.
A watercolor tattoo must be completed over a black base.
This type of tattoo requires a steady hand and, more importantly, precise color timing to avoid unwanted bleeding and smudges. The colors used in watercolor tattoos are generally very rich and vibrant, sometimes even overflowing with color, from oranges, reds, yellows to blues and purples. Black is usually the standard for ink because it absorbs less pigment than pure white, but if you have sensitive skin or just prefer a very dark tattoo, using black ink will result in an incredibly striking design.
You’ll probably want to find an experienced tattoo artist to complete your watercolor tattoo.
Since the ink is somewhat permanent, an artist who has experience will know exactly how to apply it properly and minimize the risk of bleeding and/or infection. Applying the ink over a dry surface is usually the most difficult part of any watercolor tattooing process, especially for beginners. The artist will need to use proper sizing and preparation techniques to ensure a good bond between the ink and the skin.
A sterile needle should always be used when performing these procedures, since any contamination can lead to a host of health problems. A sterile disposable needle is usually the best choice for tattooing watercolor images, but if possible, it is always a good idea to sterilize the actual needle as well.
Once the ink is applied correctly, it is necessary to splatter the colors on the canvas in thick, even strokes.
This will help create the depth and dimension that are so crucial to the finished product. It is important to remember that different watercolor tattoo artists use different methods for splatter. Some will simply use a soft brush or cloth, while others will use special spray guns to create the final splatters.
Some artists prefer to work with only a single color scheme, while others will come up with interesting splatter schemes based on color matching. The trick is to keep the colors subtle and unrelated to one another. For example, you could have a light blue splatter and then have an orange tattoo inked around that blue ring. There are no strict rules regarding what you can and cannot have splattered on your body. In fact, it is even better if your tattoo artist designs the splatter so that it looks like watercolor instead.
Of course, there are also instances when an artist needs to go back to his or her watercolor tattoo image to get some contrast and tones. This is especially necessary if you are having a large watercolor tattoo done. Often, artists will redraw watercolor tattoos to make them look even more dynamic. This technique is used to create dramatic fades and dramatic changes in color tone.
Another common technique used when doing watercolor tattoos is called “dry brushing.”
With this technique, an artist will create a thin line of color all along the top edge of the tattoo. Then, he or she will smudge (or draw) this line with an ink pen just inside the perimeter. This technique can be useful for creating some beautiful fades, but it should be avoided when making any solid colors. Instead, a tattoo artist should usually go with using a highlighter color (usually white) along the top and sides of the watercolor tattoos.
It should be noted that different techniques can be used in watercolor tattooing.
These techniques can be combined and used in a variety of different ways. For instance, you can do a blended technique where you use black as a black base for your design. Then, you can add some other colors (usually gold or silver) into the black base to enhance the contrast and depth of the design. The blending techniques can also be used to create some really nice contrasting colors. You can use reds, blues, greens, browns and even yellow for some really interesting and unique color schemes.