Add a Splash of Color with Watercolor Tattoos

Watercolor tattoos have become super popular over the last several years, and for a good reason. The style mimics the drips, dabs, and blends of watercolor paints for a surprisingly artsy effect on the skin.
On paper, watercolor paints range from sheer to nearly (but not quite) opaque, depending on the amount of water added to the pigment. The paint is applied in layers, with each layer building on the others. Even more, the wetness of the color makes the pigment move and blend in unique and sometimes unpredictable ways.

Surprisingly, no special tools are needed to get the same effects on the skin as on paper. Instead, they take a skilled tattooer. A great artist can beautifully recreate the effects of watercolor paints in a tattoo, bringing a new life to a traditional art form through their ink.

Keep scrolling for some amazing watercolor tattoos we’ve seen on Instagram!

Photo by Anthony Shkraba from Pexels

Watercolor Floral and Plant Tattoos

Florals and plant life are timelessly beautiful, and the addition of watercolor brings extra delicacy to these tattoos.
These lemons, for example, truly look painted onto the skin. It would take a talented watercolor artist to produce this image on paper, and it takes just as much talent to create it on skin.

 

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A post shared by NewTattoo_Studio (@newtattoo_studio)

Want to color outside the lines? Watercolor tattoos are perfect for that! With drips, bleeds, and splashes of paint, watercolors encourage thoughtful messiness as with this maple leaf.

On the other hand, careful blending within clean edges can be equally beautiful, as with this leafy ink.

 

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A post shared by Nicoloฬ€ Pirocca (@ska.tattooer)

Watercolor tattoos may or may not rely on solid lines to define the design. For example, these two tattoos feature similar colors and subjects. But while the first uses dark lines, the second skips them. Both are lovely, even though their impact is very different.

 

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This fern proves that you can have both lines and no lines in the same tattoo. It’s as if the color suddenly started to bleed out, leaving only an outline of the fern. The transition is really well done.

 

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A post shared by Danielle Merricks (@paintingisntdead)

Bold colors are common in watercolor tattoos but not required. This fine line floral piece benefits from a light touch to gently enhance the flowers and leaves.

 

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A post shared by Esther Rebeca (@esther_rebeca_)

Watercolor Animal & Insect Tattoos

Did you know that a watercolor tattoo doesn’t require color at all? This rabbit is an excellent example of a black and grey watercolor tattoo, though it does feature just a tiny hint of pink in the ears.

 

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A post shared by Yuki Zerkjad Tattoos (@yuki_zerkjad)

In this piece, the leopard is done entirely in blackwork. The bright jungle flora around the cool cat is all unlined watercolor. Put together, the two styles make for a striking contrast.

This tattoo takes the opposite approach. The bird is highlighted with pink, while the flowers remain unfilled. As a result, it draws your eye right to the flamingo.

Both of these pieces use color in the way most people expect when they think of watercolor tattoos. Splashes of vivid hues fill the space behind and around blackwork figures. The colors add dimension to the tattoos without being too literal.

 

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A post shared by Kateryna Zelenska (@tattoozelenska)

 

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A post shared by Amanda Keesler (@demonicpokeyfruit)

Because of how watercolors are blended together, it’s unusual to see defined patterns in a watercolor tattoo. However, this geometric elephant uses both color and pattern for a fun effect.

 

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A post shared by Tom.Lagache (@lantredelencre)

This bird is another gorgeous painterly example of a watercolor tattoo. This piece of art could just as easily live on a wall as on the body.

 

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A post shared by DANIEL TARO TATTOO (@danieltaro_)

To round out our animals, how stunning is this tattoo permanently honoring a beloved cat? For more like this, check out ourย Pet Tattoo Ideas.

 

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A post shared by Pernilla (@pernillatattoos)

Other Watercolor Tattoos

This before and after shows how well-applied color can take a simple line tattoo to a whole new level. The dinosaur skull really pops after the greens and blues and pinks are added.

 

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A post shared by Robyn Mahon (@ms.slickmahon)

These two tattoos use color to represent and spark the imagination, adding a bit of whimsy to the ink.

 

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A post shared by Angelina (@angelinaphoenixartistry)

 

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A post shared by Caleb Brouk (@cbroukztat)

As another great example of splashes and splatters, this tattoo of a nail polish bottle is so much fun for a beauty lover.

 

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A post shared by Juan C Gonzalez (@speed.hot.cru)

If you’re going for the artsy look with your tattoos, why not totally lean into it? These two tattoos are entirely abstract. They paint a beautiful and unique picture on the skin.

 

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A post shared by Kinsey Roehm (@kinseyroehmtattoos)

And this incredible back and arm piece seems like something you’d see in a gallery. It’s so cool how the elbow connects to the side to complete the circle of blue.

 

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Finally, what better way is there to represent water than with the drops and drips of a watercolor tattoo? We’re loving the clean circle of the sun against the playful blue of the wave.

 

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Do you have watercolor tattoos? Share them with us or get inspired in theย Tattooed Women Gallery!