All About Realism Tattoos

Posted: Tuesday January 24, 2023

What is a realism tattoo? 

A realism tattoo is essentially a tattoo that looks like a direct copy of a photograph. Popular designs include; animals, nature and portraits of people and places, but many different things can be portrayed in a realism tattoo. The idea is to make them look as close to the real thing as possible, hence the name ‘realism’. People may choose to get a realism tattoo of a loved one (or pet) they have lost or a place that has a special place in their heart. Or they may just like the way they look. Realism tattoos are popular with all types of people, they are the style of tattoo you will often see on footballers for example. 


How are realism tattoos created? 

A black and grey realism tattoo is created by layering multiple shades of black and grey inks, which are created by diluting the blacks with distilled water. These layers are built up to create the final image that pops off the skin. Colour realism is made in a similar way, assessing the shadows and how the colours react to light. The difference is that there is no distilled water involved in colour realism, just layers of different tones and inks.


Where is the best place to get one on your body?

A lot of people choose to get a big realism tattoo. For example, a full or half sleeve on either their arm or leg, or even their whole back. This enables the artist to work on a larger area of skin meaning that there’s plenty of space to pack in all of the details and make it look as realistic as possible. 


How long do realism tattoos last?

How long a tattoo lasts depends on a few things. For example; who creates your tattoo and how you care for it. It’s important to go to a reputable artist for your piece to ensure longevity. You can check out our aftercare advice here. In comparison to fine line tattoos, they are not as prone to drop out. But, realism tattoos do not have the bold style of a traditional tattoo, so may still require touching up in the lighter areas.


Do I need a consultation? 

Realism tattoos are more likely to require a consultation than most other tattoos. Realism tattoos need to be very accurate, so you and your artist need to be on the same page about the subject. It is also helpful for the artist to see the area they will be working on your body. 


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