The Skinny on Black Tattoos: Types, Examples & Tips

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Black tattoos are mostly defined by black ink, very loud lines, and strong utilization of negative space – sounds cool, looks cool! When referring to the world of art, negative space has something to do with everything surrounding the image instead of the picture itself. The entire variations of the dark are present in this tattoo: fine-line or bold, dot work, and tear shade permit the skilled artists to develop esoteric patterns with celestial effects. 

The designs of black tattoo demand for a dominantly tribal or neo-tribal themes Nevertheless, there are endless possibilities for its design. By maximizing negative spaces, tattoo artists can make a dominant image without utilizing any of the common tricks, like the fine lines or colors, to establish detail and movement in an art piece.

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Black tattoos are mostly uncomplicated black lines or a bit of fancy geometric arrangements, although they can be just anything. Some famous designs of black tattoos can be bird skulls, animals, or floral. If you happen to be searching for an art that is equally gorgeous as it is masculine and powerful, a black tattoo is something you might want to get.

Black tattoo offers a pleasing equivalence to feminine styles, turning them manlier or neutral gender in look and impression. With black tattoos, the artists will precisely “black-out” big parts of the skin. 

The Blackwork style tattoo is no longer avant-garde even if it is likely to profit and gain edge from the recent media coverage. Black is the most dominating shade in Blackwork. Black pigment is vastly utilized by artists such as tattooing in familial tribes. Black tattoos are a lot more than the latest trend since it is ultimately associated with the origins of tattooing.

Origin of Black Tattoos

Even supposing that Black tattoos were meant for a more distinct meaning, its origin advances within the old-fashioned tribal tattooing. Polynesian sketches created a dominating influence on this particular style. These are recognized for their abstract arrangements consisting of twirls and shapes in huge hays of black ink. 

Meandering throughout the organic silhouette of the body, Black tattoos were normally done according to one’s personality, with the tattoo artist utilizing tribal iconography and symbology to demonstrate legends or a life story. Most of the time, Polynesian tattoos epitomize relationships, beliefs, or ancestry of a person. They were conservational and naturally sacred.

Polynesian tattoo artists were nearly considered as priests or shamans who facilitate the celestial philosophy of tattooing practice. It was through these aged conditions of culture that hugely turned today’s Black tattoos, and a lot of tattoo artists who work in tribal design still reminisce to these old-fashioned aesthetics. Tribal tattoo designs are still very popular even to this day. Regardless of country and culture, you can find countless individuals who have this kind of tattoo design.  

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Another influence of Black tattoo is reaped from what is commonly known as Spanish Blackwork. Firmly contorted black silk threads are used either in a freehand approach or in a calculated stitch, on light-colored or white linen fabrics. The styles varied from florals like the labyrinthine demonstrations of Ivy and flourishes to more intricate structures such as the formalized graphical knots.

Even though this strategy was expanding in Spain back in the 1500s, the same in a pattern is Kasuti embroidery. Kasuti, in particular, is a classical art executed in Kamataka, India which antecedes the dynasty of Chaluyka that governed from 543 to 753. Similar to Spanish Blackwork, Kasuti is deeply complex when it comes to aesthetic composition; mostly comprising around 5,000 freehand stitches although varies in its utilization of lively shaded threads.

Regardless of how far these visual arts are likely disaffiliated from modern Black tattooing, it works to determine the various characters of archival aesthetic approaches and mechanisms that advise contemporary designs and artistic tastes. Henna, in particular, may be traced back to the Bronze period that extends from 1200BC to 2100BC. 

This is 4,000 years past the tale of mankind, but still, the use of Henna dye, known as Mehndi, is easily associated with the recent decorative and ornamental tattoos, a lot of which are known to be Black tattoos because of the insufficiency in color. Because of the archaic origin of Henna, artists who happen to work in this design are likely inclined to primitive or tribal designs. It is all an issue of creative personal connection and interpretation. 

Victor J Webster is an artist of Black tattoo who performs various kinds of decorative work varying on the project, counting in Tibetan, Native American, Maori, and more. His performance is an excellent archetype of the far-reaching affinity that is an artistic demonstration of humanity. 

The artist of Black tattoo performing within the domain of dark art is likely to create an emblematic approach that collects revelation through engraving and etching. Dark tattoos are commonly primed by alchemy, esoterica, and other hidden hermetic folklore. 

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Famous Blackwork Tattoo Artists

Make sure to consider that a black tattoo is nearly impossible to modify because of its insufficient typical shading. Bear in mind that the skills to smoothly ink black is a talent earned after years of practice.

Put into consideration the pieces of a tattoo artist named Sasha Woland. Reapers, tarot cards, seals, and demons make a spot on her portfolio in a design that is most evocative of fine artists such as Julio Ruelas, Gustave Dore, Francisco Goya, and Albrecht Durer. These tattoo artists commonly used the techniques of etching and engraving, which usually requires exclusive black ink in the process of creation.

The technical, material, and philosophical relations are comparably clear when checking the works cheek to cheek. Other artists of Blackwork tattoo include Jack Ankersen and Alexander Grim.

If you want to get the best blackwork tattoo, you should get it from the best artists. Hence, it could help if you have an idea about the most reliable artists in the industry. Here are other famous blackwork tattoo artists that you should know:

1. SupaKitch

SupaKitch does excellent blackwork tattooing, and they are as gorgeous as you would have conceptualized. He has a style that is likely to heavily concentrate on slim, crumbly linework. He also blends flowers and feathers into many of his arts.

2. Houston Patton

There is nothing much that is needed to be elaborated about Houston Patton. He concentrates on extensive pieces, many of which are seen to be the best, most distinct tattoos to exist.

3. Dom Wiley

Dom Wiley’s attention to specification in his arts together with his utilization of shadows leads him to excel among similar artists. His animal arts exhibit his complex linework and coloring like in the jaguar spots or bear fur. Many of his arts are focused on fauna and flora.

4. Lawrence Edwards

Lawrence Edwards is a versatile incredible blackwork artist. He performs plenty of pieces that blend flora and fauna. Also, his dotwork-approach shading is very consistent and neat.

5. Kelly Violet

Kelly Violet is one of the famous blackwork artists. Her performance massively intensifies the black in the blackwork style with broad shadows and shading. She utilizes both conventional and dots shading techniques and blends excellently with the gray factor of “black and gray”.

6. Landon Morgan

Landon Morgan can pull just around anything in a distinct and eccentric approach and utilizes a blend of dot and line shading to make some memorable and specific pieces. 

7. Kris Davidson

The distinct blackwork style of Kris Davidson has earned him a position being one of the famous blackwork artists. Kris performs plenty of huge pieces with the prominence on circles and short lines. His arm and leg sleeves commonly catch a geometric, nearly Aztec style and give prominence on plenty of neat dot-shading and linework.

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Different Black Tattoos Styles and Techniques

Although tribal tattoos comprise a huge part of the black tattoo style, lately other artistic preferences have been included in the table, too. Illustrative, graphic art, and dark art, engraving or etching approach, and even calligraphic or lettering have been treated to be part of the Blackwork if there is only black ink being utilized. 

Probably more associated with its roots, black tattoos may also comprise geometric work, which is normally in the pattern of arcane sacred geometry, and also the ornamental tattoos that normally originate from Henna-themed designs or anything similar.

To give you the idea, here are the different black tattoos styles and techniques that are recently revolving in the industry:

Old School

Old school is another tattoo style that utilizes black tattooing. This style was greatly impacted by the pieces in the 19th century, particularly military and sailor tattoos. 

The old school black tattoo style does appear specifically stunning. 

The elimination of colors leads them particularly captivating and can make them excel because of the very intense shades. Some of the most common subject matters of old school black tattoo include flowers, butterflies, ships, anchors, birds, butterflies, and skulls. Bohemian women, mermaids, and cover girls are also amazingly famous subjects. 


Rationally one of the most visibly satisfying styles, the Japanese style utilizes black tattooing very efficiently. Conventional Japanese tattoos, widely called irezumi, utilize mild black shades to create a captivating art.

Amusingly, some flashy Japanese tattoos make use of black shades as a base or background. This is an impressive technique to create a piece of art and make it appear more distinct and well suited to the skin of the wearer.

When it comes to the subject matter, this style is amazingly huge and diverse. Mythological creatures such as dragons are amazingly famous. Plenty of Japanese black pieces comprise natural themes such as fish, animals, flowers, and more.


The word ‘Chicano’ is an intriguing one since it was first used as a disrespectful term to refer to the Mexican Americans. These days, some people have opted to recover it to rather vest them. Thus, a gorgeous art style has been given birth. It is firmly connected to the pride and colony spirit of Mexican Americans. 


The common subject matters of Chicano are noticeably appealing and diverse. Some are intense Catholic themes that consist of rosary beads, crosses, and portraits of the Virgin Mary. Pinups with massively lined lips, banded earrings, and bandanas are also famous, as are skulls and cars.

Lettering is also very noticeable in this style, and it can appear amazingly stunning when performed in black tattooing. Usual placements for lettering tattoos are the stomach and chest, though face tattoos are similarly famous.

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Zoomorphic black tattoo styles are made in animal shapes and structures. The illustration of animals in these styles embodies various features such as cunning, quickness, speed, strength, or intelligence. Similar to other cultures, they will décor the items surrounding them with the animals that they were attempting to elicit.

Further, it was perceived that the guzzling of a creature could grant you some of its power. For instance, if you notice an animal together with another animal creature in its stomach, the first one is depicting itself and also an alteration from the one inside its stomach. Hence, a dog having a fish in it may depict a smart fighter.


Nothing can illustrate the gentler part of nature than the floral. These exquisite charms are utilized as representations of innocence, love, and somber. Undeniably, floral black tattoos are the primary choice of numerous people, who utilize them as a channel to deliver their mindset as well as their personal view.


Whether you believe it or not, even the most popular architecture milestones of the world can be used as an excellent tattoo design. However, there is no confusion when getting an architect’s design. You can ink anything from old cathedrals to tall skyscrapers and bridges, famous monuments to archaic pyramids on the body.

You do not have to be a professional architect to love the charm of architecturally themed body tattoos. All it requires is to have the admiration and passion for the history-motivated tattoo designs.


The ornamental black tattoo style replicates wood carvings on a particular part of the body. These portraits consist of spirals, lines, crosses, and waves, commonly linked in patterns. Certain illustrations appear particularly gorgeous of a huge scale, although small-size ornamental tattoos can also be carried out successfully. 

Other than the fact that the ornamental style is an adorable art, it commonly has a clandestine meaning. Ornamental tattoos represent unique protection. A lot of people inked amulets on their skin which they perceive provides protection and rescues in tough situations.

Greek and Egyptian Mythologies

Anything from the Greek and Egyptian mythologies can be artful, significant, and distinct. This style blends well with black tattooing.

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When talking about Black tattoos, the style that most people are usually regarding the realism style. This kind of tattoo unsurprisingly centers around making dazzlingly life-resembling works of art. It is likely a vying character throughout the numerous arts in the industry. 

The usual concern for black realism is portraits. Portraits that are picture-realistic patterned with black shades can appear preposterous and funnel plenty of emotions. Subject matters associating with pop culture are similarly very prominent. Other famous subjects comprise animals, flowers, bikes, cars, nature, and mythological creatures. 

The best thing about realism is its versatility. If you have something in mind to be the subject matter, it is quite certain that there will be a Black tattoo artist who is capable of actualizing your dream art. 


Neo-traditional is a gorgeous style and is an extension of the Old School tattooing. It is quite known for utilizing lively colors. Nevertheless, this is not to tell that it does not use blackwork. A lot of artists are attached to using this specific style. 

Usual subject matters in neo-traditional comprise of portraits of people and animals. Natural themes such as trees, flowers, and crystals are similarly prominent.

Pop Culture

Pop culture black tattoo styles are occupying a bigger, more visible part in the latest mainstream. Now, you can notice all kinds of inked movie stars, rock stars, celebrities, sports stars, and elite models.

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Best Black Tattoo Ideas for You

A lot of people are not aware of how the black tattoo appears or even the manner it is carried out. As the name implies, black tattoos are performed in solely black ink. They have bold and solid lines, while the structures can exhibit various shapes like geometric shapes. 

Black tattoos are incredible and may be performed in various approaches. The following are some best ideas for the best black tattoo:

1. Rose Black Tattoo Styles

Roses can serve as ideal black tattoos knowing that they can appear incredible when performed in exclusive black ink. Moreover, they are perfect for individuals who are only getting their first tattoo since you can design them with time. 

2. Fascinating Black Tattoos

Other than the fact that black tattoos are wonderful arts, there is nothing easy about them. When inking them, you can allow your inventiveness to go wild. Provided that you are transacting with a skilled tattoo artist, expect no boundaries. Hence, if you are an aficionado of incredible tattoos, why not choose these fascinating black tattoos?

3. Full-Sleeve Black Tattoo

If you have enough background with tattooing, then why not consider getting a full-sleeve black tattoo? These kinds of tattoos can transform your body into a masterpiece. All artists will inform you ahead of time that full-sleeve tattoos will consume time and are likely to create a higher level of pain. Thus, you should make yourself ready for some sacrifices when taking the challenge of black tattoo sleeves.

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4. Tribal Black Tattoo Designs

Tribal designs are one of the most famous black tattoo designs. They appear incredible when performed in exclusive black ink and can be positioned in any parts of the body. Tattoo artists require some moment to complete the tribal tattoos considering their complex details. There is no doubt that this idea will make excellent art.

5. Geometric Black Tattoos

This particular black tattoo is only recommended to people who have tried numerous tattoos before. These types of tattoos are performed with geometric shapes and may be performed as full-sleeves. When getting a big geometric black tattoo, the tattoo artist will normally require a few sessions to complete it. Hence, if it does not bother you waiting for at least two weeks to achieve your best tattoo, then this one is most suitable for you.

6. Conventional Black Tattoos 

Conventional black tattoos are extensive and can be performed in various ways. You can carry them out as black tattoos, and there is no doubt that they can come out outstanding. Conventional tattoos also exhibit plenty of meaning behind them and can be performed either in a small or big size, depending on your preference.

7. Solid Black Tattoos

You may blend a few various elements when getting a black tattoo. These types of tattoos may be carried out with solid and bold outlines, together with the geometric elements. With this particular tattoo, you can be assured that you will be in the highlight all the time.

8. Incredible Black Tattoo Design

Inking alien elements or UFOs will always appear extremely cool. Although these are not your common black tattoos, they can still appear incredible once performed in exclusive black ink. You can place this tattoo on any part of your body. With a skilled tattoo artist, this design can become an actual masterpiece.

9. Bold Ink Black Tattoo

In the event, you prefer a specified tattoo, and if you get higher pain tolerance, then this bold ink-black tattoo can be best for you. This kind of tattoo can be an indication of your power and strength, and there is plenty of significance behind it. This tattoo can be utilized as a masking tattoo. There is no doubt that you and the rest of your friends will adore it.

10. Black Creative Tattoo

Black tattoos can appear like a masterpiece if they are carried out properly. The majority of black tattoo artists normally focus only on black ink tattoos. However, you are always free to request some shades for those additional details. You can have a tattoo such as this on any part of your body, and they can be utilized as cover-ups, too.

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Things to Consider Before Getting Black Tattoos

Now that you already have knowledge of black tattoos and learn what makes them such a famous style among many enthusiasts, it is mostly possible that you are beginning to initiate one for yourself.

Bounded by the distinctiveness and utter size of numerous tribal tattoo forms, it is not easy to choose on a single design. Before you decide to wear a black tattoo that illustrates your personal preferences, you should be able to determine the best tattoo design. But how will you pick the most suitable design? Here are some things to consider:

  • Put into consideration the impact of the pattern will make once it is inked throughout the silhouette of the body. The artist may suggest to you various patterns demonstrated on an even, two-structural surface. If the pattern is moved to the body, nevertheless, the impact is varied.
  • Know that tribal blackwork tattoos are commonly impassable to mutilate or alter into some other kind of graphic. Make sure that the pattern you choose is something you won’t feel upset about in the future.

For you to get the best design for a black tattoo, it is necessary to know that the blackwork style grants you a huge array of selection when it comes to the subject matter. However, before you finalize your decision about the subject matter, it can be beneficial to choose the best position for the tattoo.

This is particularly usual among men since black tattoos attract a big volume of inspiration from native cultures that utilized tattoos as a demonstration of stature being a warrior.

As always, it is suggested that you look for a tattoo artist that concentrates on black tattoos. Although those artists whose expertise is in blackwork style can be a bit expensive compared to those with the general expertise, it is an indisputable approach to guarantee the ultimate level of quality.

Make sure to reach your tattoo artist with an idea of your subject matter. However, make yourself adaptable to the best possible style. If you meet your artist with a welcoming mind, it grants your artist the liberty to devise a style that is most suitable to their expertise while also acting to create an excellent quality output that you will be pleased to put on throughout your lifetime.  

Final Thoughts

The black tattoo is fundamental in the world of tattooing. It has fascinating origins and has been refined by contemporary artists to become an alluring art style of the body. It also blends well with the various styles of tattooing.

Learning all the things about black tattoos, it would be fair to say that they are adaptable and distinct. You can perform them in various sizes and shapes and can be placed in any part of the body. They are best for both experts and beginners, and they always come out gorgeous.


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