Guide to Watercolor Tattoos: Tips & Techniques
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


  1. What are watercolor tattoos?
  2. How to choose the right design
  3. Selecting the right tattoo artist
  4. How to prepare for your tattoo session
  5. Tips for caring for your new tattoo
  6. Techniques used in watercolor tattooing
  7. Pros and cons of watercolor tattoos

Have you been looking for a unique, colorful way to express yourself? Then you might find our watercolor tattoos guide to be just the inspiration you need. In this guide, we'll explore the magical world of watercolor tattoos, offering tips and techniques to help you navigate this vibrant form of body art. So, let's get started!

What are watercolor tattoos?

Just like the name suggests, watercolor tattoos mimic the look and feel of watercolor paintings. They are known for their bright, vibrant colors and the unique, blended style that can make each piece look like it's been painted directly onto the skin. Let's break down what makes watercolor tattoos so special.

  • Colorful and Vibrant: One of the most distinct features of watercolor tattoos is their striking use of color. Similar to a watercolor painting, these tattoos often feature a range of bright, vivid hues that can make any design pop.
  • Blurred Edges: Unlike traditional tattoos, which have well-defined outlines, watercolor tattoos often feature softer, blurred edges. This gives them that signature 'painterly' look.
  • Varied Textures: Watercolor tattoos can have a variety of textures, from smooth and blended to splattered and drippy. The artist might also add fine lines or dots to create depth and dimension.
  • Unique and Personal: Because of their versatility, watercolor tattoos can be customized to fit any design or idea. Whether you want a colorful rendition of your favorite flower, a whimsical animal, or a meaningful phrase, a watercolor tattoo can bring your vision to life in a truly unique way.

Now that you have a basic understanding of what watercolor tattoos are, let's move forward in this watercolor tattoos guide and look at how to choose the right design for you. Remember, every tattoo is a personal journey, and it's all about finding a design that speaks to you and your story.

How to choose the right design

Choosing the right design for your watercolor tattoo can be both an exciting and daunting task. But, don't worry! This watercolor tattoos guide is here to help you navigate through the process.

Firstly, it's essential to remember that your tattoo will be a part of you, so it should represent something that you genuinely love or connect with. Are you a nature lover? Perhaps a watercolor depiction of your favorite flower or landscape might be a good fit. Or, are you a fan of a certain book, movie, or song? A watercolor tattoo could be a great way to pay homage to your favorite piece of art.

Secondly, consider the style and color scheme of your tattoo. The beauty of watercolor tattoos lies in their vibrant colors and unique textures. Do you prefer bold, bright colors, or are you more drawn to soft, pastel hues? Do you like the look of blended colors, or do you prefer a more 'splattered' texture? The choice is yours!

Lastly, always remember that the best tattoo design is one that you will love and cherish for years to come. So take your time, do your research, and don't be afraid to think outside the box. After all, your tattoo is a reflection of you!

Next on our watercolor tattoos guide, we'll be discussing how to select the right tattoo artist. Stay tuned!

Selecting the right tattoo artist

Once you've chosen the perfect design, the next step in our watercolor tattoos guide is to find the right tattoo artist. Your artist plays a key role in bringing your vision to life, so it's important to choose wisely.

First, you should look for an artist who specializes in watercolor tattoos. This style requires a unique skill set, and an artist with experience in watercolor tattooing will be better equipped to create a tattoo that you'll love. Don't be shy about asking potential artists about their experience or to see examples of their work.

Secondly, consider the artist's style. Every tattoo artist has a unique style that shines through in their work. Some artists specialize in bold, vibrant colors, while others excel in creating soft, dreamy watercolor tattoos. Find an artist whose style aligns with your vision.

Lastly, don't overlook the importance of communication. Your tattoo artist should be someone who listens to your ideas, understand your vision, and is willing to work with you to create your dream tattoo.

In this watercolor tattoos guide, we've covered how to choose your design and your artist. In the next section, we'll go over how to prepare for your tattoo session. Keep reading to learn more!

How to prepare for your tattoo session

Now that you've chosen your design and artist, it's time to prepare for your tattoo session. This part of our watercolor tattoos guide will help you get ready, so you can have a smooth, comfortable tattooing experience.

Firstly, make sure you get a good night's sleep before your session. Being well-rested will help you stay calm and comfortable during the tattooing process. You might feel a bit nervous, especially if it's your first tattoo, but remember: it's okay to be nervous. Just remember, you're in the hands of a professional who wants to give you the best tattoo experience possible.

Secondly, eat a good meal before your appointment. This will give you the energy to endure the session, which can last several hours depending on the complexity of your design.

Next, dress comfortably. Depending on where you're getting your tattoo, you might have to sit or lay in a certain position for a while. Wearing comfortable clothes will help you stay relaxed.

Finally, don't forget to bring your design or reference images to the session. Your artist will use these to create your tattoo, so it's important to have them handy. Remember, this is your body and your tattoo - don't hesitate to speak up if you want any changes.

By following these tips, you'll be well-prepared for your tattoo session. Continue reading our watercolor tattoos guide to learn about caring for your new tattoo and the techniques used in watercolor tattooing.

Tips for caring for your new tattoo

Once you've got your beautiful new watercolor tattoo, it's crucial to know how to take care of it properly. This is an important part of our watercolor tattoos guide because proper care ensures that your tattoo remains vibrant and healthy. So, let's go through the steps, shall we?

First off, listen to your tattoo artist. They'll give you aftercare instructions, which might include applying a specific ointment or cream to the tattooed area. Follow these instructions to the letter — your artist knows best!

Secondly, keep the tattoo clean. This means gently washing it with mild soap and water a few times a day. But remember — no scrubbing! Your tattoo is essentially an open wound, and you don't want to cause any unnecessary irritation.

Next, keep the tattoo moisturized. Dryness can lead to flaking and scabbing which is a no-no for new tattoos. Apply a thin layer of a recommended moisturizer to the area to keep it hydrated.

Finally, protect your tattoo from the sun. Sun exposure can cause your vibrant watercolor tattoo to fade, so it's best to keep it covered or use a high SPF sunscreen when you're out and about.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your watercolor tattoo heals nicely and stays colorful and vibrant for years to come. But our watercolor tattoos guide doesn't stop here. Stay tuned for the next section where we'll discuss the techniques used in watercolor tattooing.

Techniques used in watercolor tattooing

Now, let's talk about the fascinating part of our watercolor tattoos guide: the techniques used in watercolor tattooing. Understanding these techniques can give you a new appreciation for the artistry and skill that goes into every watercolor tattoo.

One technique is the use of bold, black outlines. This is a common technique in traditional tattooing that is sometimes used in watercolor tattoos. The black lines can give the design structure and help the colors pop out more.

However, not all watercolor tattoos use black outlines. Some tattoo artists prefer to let the colors speak for themselves. In these tattoos, the colors bleed into each other, creating a more fluid and natural look that resembles a watercolor painting. This is known as the colorwash technique.

Another technique is the use of splatters and drips. This can give the tattoo a more abstract look, as if the colors were splashed onto the skin. It's a unique style that can really make a tattoo stand out.

Lastly, shading is a big part of watercolor tattooing. By using different shades of the same color, an artist can create depth and dimension in the tattoo.

Remember, every tattoo artist has their own style and may use these techniques differently. So when you're choosing an artist, make sure you look at their portfolio to see if their style matches what you're looking for. But we'll get into that more in the next section of our watercolor tattoos guide.

Pros and cons of watercolor tattoos

As with any decision, it's wise to weigh the pros and cons before getting a watercolor tattoo. In this section of our watercolor tattoos guide, we'll discuss the good, the bad, and the oh-so-colorful aspects of these unique tattoos.

Let's start with the positives. Watercolor tattoos are incredibly beautiful and vibrant. They can cover a wide range of styles and designs, from abstract splatters to detailed illustrations. They can be as bold or as subtle as you want, and they are a great way to express your personality and creativity.

Another pro is that watercolor tattoos are unique. Not everyone has them, so they can be a great conversation starter. Plus, because of the different techniques used in watercolor tattooing, each one is truly one-of-a-kind.

Now, let's talk about the cons. One potential downside is that watercolor tattoos may fade faster than traditional tattoos. This is because they use lighter colors and less black ink. However, with proper care and touch-ups, your watercolor tattoo can stay vibrant for years to come.

Another con is that not every tattoo artist is skilled in watercolor tattooing. It's a specific style that requires a certain set of skills and techniques. So, it might take some time to find the right artist for you.

Lastly, because watercolor tattoos are unique, they might not be to everyone's taste. Some people might not understand why you chose a watercolor tattoo, but remember, it's your body and your choice. What matters most is that you love it.

In the end, the decision to get a watercolor tattoo is entirely up to you. We hope this watercolor tattoos guide has helped you understand more about this unique style of tattooing.

If you enjoyed this guide on watercolor tattoos and are interested in exploring more watercolor techniques, check out the workshop 'Using Watercolours to Create Colourful Calligraphy' by BlinkLettering. Although this workshop focuses on calligraphy, the watercolor techniques taught can be applied to various art forms, including tattooing. Expand your knowledge and creativity with this unique approach to using watercolors.