Gallery of watercolor style tattoos that can be filtered by subject, body part and size.read more
Two modern tattoo styles that emerged in the 21st century are called "watercolor" and "acrylic" because they mimic the effects of paint on a canvas.
Acrylic gives the look of a thick paint mixture with distinct boundaries and clearly defined brush strokes. Watercolor appears to be much more diluted, often with blurred boundaries and barely-there brush strokes.
Contrary to common belief, it’s not recommended by experts to dilute tattoo ink with water to achieve this style. Maximum durability of the design comes from bold inks with high contrast, followed by various layers of shading effects. The majority of watercolor and acrylic tattooers are also painters, understanding the original medium to better execute a tattoo simulation.
Among the first tattoo styles to credit the Internet for their global popularity, these techniques remain controversial and divisive in the industry. Traditionalists often express contempt for the aesthetic, as well as skepticism about the healing process. However, with the first pieces in circulation around the year 2002, the community now has long term examples of healed designs that do stand the test of time. As with any tattoo, the design will hold up if it’s executed by a specialist.