Tattoo Styles Essay

633 words - 3 pages

Tattoos started as a rite of passage in several native tribes all over the world. Seasoned elders would take a single needle and dip it in an indelible ink before rapidly jabbing it into the skin on the back, arm, or even face of the person receiving the tattoo, creating intricate and beautiful designs. Over time, the art of tattooing has evolved into a form of self-expression, a sign of inclusion and even a way of sharing information when speech is not an option, as with medical tattoos. During the holocaust, the Nazi’s tattooed numbers on everyone that they put in the concentration camps. The evolution of tattoos has spawned many different and distinct styles such as Old School, Black and Gray, and New School, just to name a few.
To start, let us talk about Old School, otherwise known as American Traditional. No one really knows much about where these tattoos originated, however, Old ...view middle of the document...


The Black and Grey style originated in prisons where inmates could not get many colors other than black, so they improvised. Traditionally, Black and Grey tattoos only use black. To create the different shades of grey, the artist will dilute the black ink with distilled water. Some artists will use white to dilute the ink instead of water, but most will stick with the traditional method. However, they sometimes use white as a highlight or to smooth out sharp transitions in the shading. Artists use Black and Grey for different types of designs such as landscapes and portraits. Some artists consider this style a building block; a fundamental piece of tattoo artistry, because of its long history in the tattoo world.
However, other artists tend to stray from the traditional styles, opting for the newer ones, like New School. This style started in 1961, inspired by a new generation, and it has continued to grow ever since. Characteristics of the New School style include exaggerated features or designs such as a head that appears much larger than the rest of the body, or eyes that seem larger than other features of the face. It also utilizes bright, bold colors. Some artists use this style on designs resembling Old School tattoos, though the vibrant colors often give this style away. Typical tattoos include animals, and people, although a seasoned artist can use this style for any design from food to princess motifs as well as perfume or any other object or subject that is important to the person receiving the tattoo. The artist may also use white as a highlight throughout the tattoo or to resemble a reflection of light in the characters eyes.
The evolution of the art of tattooing has spawned several different and unique styles. Artists have spent years trying to master these techniques as well as many others, though few have mastered more than one or two of them. Tattoos have become a large part of this world’s culture. This trend will continue to grow and evolve into even more creative and inspiring styles.

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