A watercolor tattoo will make you fall in love at first sight. It is so visually appealing that you’ll want one instantly. What’s different about this style is the fact that there aren’t that many harsh lines and outlines as in traditional tattooing. However, since tattoo artists wondered if it will stand the test of time, they started merging blurs and shades with a structure made of lines. The latter is supposed to hold the color in place. Even so, you’ll also see designs created out of splatters of color only. They are mesmerizing without a doubt.
Basically combining the watercolor painting, made with the help of a water-soluble binder, with the art of tattooing, the watercolor technique has gained popularity and fans among regular people, not only art lovers. The most chosen designs include parts of nature, such as beautiful flowers, animal portraits, but also abstract drawings that have no beginning or end. Watercolors are slightly transparent, so the color fades away into skin like it does on canvas. Both small and large compositions are transferred on people’s body with more or less meaning.
Lacking of hard edges, a watercolor tattoo will last just as long as a regular tattoo. If inked properly, there shouldn’t be any problems with it. I’m saying this because you might read negative things about it online. The truth is they’re all assumptions. Ink will not just disappear into your blood stream because it features less black ink, which is denser indeed. It will lose its intensity only if you expose it to sun or don’t pay enough attention to the aftercare procedure.
1. Galaxy on the forearm
Blue, baby blue and purple are popular choices in color when a galaxy is inked, especially without outlines.
2. Rose touched by paint brush
The delicacy of a rose is hard to express with dense colors and harsh edges, so the watercolor technique is key.
3. Butterfly envisioned in two ways
This is a combination between a watercolor tattoo and a black and white tattoo with a defined outline and details.
4. From branch to branch
Located on the side of a woman’s body, this composition comprises a bird that stands on a branch, as well as a rosary with beads.
5. Colors of the fall
Tattoos made using this technique usually spread on bodies rather than be concentrated in one place.
6. Nature is geometry
Unlike some people’s opinion, watercolor tattoos aren’t abstract. They may take geometrical forms like they do in this example.
7. A cute baby elephant
Pastels and light colors match perfectly with cute designs depicting baby animals, such as this baby elephant.
8. Enjoying the smell of flowers
Smells and sounds can be translated into colors. This is a visual treat full of vibrant colors that are nothing but positive.
9. Dream catcher with watercolor background
The watercolor background is an upgrade brought to a traditional black and white tattoo of a dream catcher.
10. Abstract profiles combined with color splashes
Just like you’d take a long look at a painting, you should also analyze this tattoo. It features two human profiles and splashes of complementary colors.
11. Sharp-less rose tattoo next to armbands
A watercolor tattoo is not characterized by sharpness. This is really great for soft flowers, such as this rose.
12. The rainbow tree on forearm
This rainbow tree requires the same movements artists use when working with a paintbrush. For some artists, using the tattooing machine or the paintbrush in case of a watercolor tattoo is the same thing.
13. A layered bird on the side
The trick in obtaining different color intensities is layering. The tattoo artist starts by inking a light layer of color and then he or she adds more depending on how the final result should look like.
14. An artistic elephant silhouette
The silhouette of this elephant is partially outlined. The splashes of color are added in the ear area and on its feet. Those choices are artistic marks.
15. Free form skull on the arm
A watercolor tattoo is characterized by free form. This means the shapes are not enclosed in thick outlines or precise contours. Take this awesome skull as example!
16. The crispy colors of a bird
Crispness is a feature of any tattoo’s colors. At least at the beginning it is.
17. Monochrome vibrance of swans
Well, when using the word monochrome, I am usually referring to the use of one single color, which in this case is red because black and white are considered non-colors.
18. Blue flower in its light form
Watercolor tattoos are so light that they seem like floating. I mean, look at this superb design!
19. Artificial blue rose on skin
Blue roses don’t actually exist in real life, unless they are artificially made so. The good news is that you can get one on skin too thanks to this wonderful painting-like technique.
20. Flower with a skull-shaped core
The core of this flower is masterfully shaped like a skull. The shape isn’t precise, which is exactly what water coloring is all about.
21. An abstract composition for the leg
Human head as light bulb means idea. The background looks like an explosion of ideas. Inspired composition I’d say!
22. Shaped and shapeless butterfly
The butterfly is a popular choice among women. It can be painted with the help of watercolors or shaped around with the same types of colors.
23. Half man, half animal
A new age tattoo, this one consists of two faces split in half. One belongs to a woman and the other one to an animal.
24. A Tim Burton type of tree
The imaginary worlds created by Tim Burton are fascinating. This tattoo looks like it belongs in one of those worlds thanks to the swirls and colors too.
25. Watercolors creating a half back piece
The outline wasn’t totally left out of this tattoo design. Even so, the coloring is done using the aforementioned technique.
26. A nature-themed composition for the back
The explosion of colors from this composition is more than you can ask from a watercolor tattoo. It is nature-themed and looks amazing!
27. Sea creatures directly on your arm
Children’s books contain paintings that look similar to this tattoo. It’s like having a sea creature on your arm taken directly from the sea world for kids.
28. A special kind of dream catcher
Every bead and feather attached to a classic dream catcher has a separate meaning. The watercolor’s purpose in this watercolor tattoo is to accentuate certain areas.
29. Never give up
This is an amazing tattoo of a dragon-fly accompanied by lettering. It does not feature any harsh lines, but only splashes of color.
30. The purple and baby blue combination
You’ve already seen this combination of colors in multiple other tattoos that weren’t depicting flowers. This is because purple and baby blue are perfect matches.
31. Bird out of trees
Although not a tattoo with a defined black outline, this tattoo does have a precise outline made of colors. Its inside shows a sort of forest.
32. I am everything I wanted to be
Sometimes it’s best to keep reminding yourself positive things about you. Place that message on an explosion of colors and you’ll have an awesome watercolor tattoo.
33. Origami birds colored with watercolors
The origami bird itself is not perfect, so why would the coloring be?
34. Abstract tattoo with watery background
Those colors that look splashy are usually combined with water. Did you know that you can also combine tattoo ink with water in order to obtain less dense colors?
35. Incredible realism on skin
This tattoo is realistic in the way that it looks taken from a painting and placed on skin. Amazing, isn’t it?
36. A tree of all colors
Some trees change colors every season, so this design isn’t surreal.
37. Lion’s face surrounded by space
The lion is the sort of creature that has divine support, so the background around it makes total sense.
38. Bird stained with pretty colors
Sometimes watercolor splashes are so abstract that they look like inspired stains.
39. Alchemy sign that looks like bad logo
This could be either a combination of alchemy signs or a band logo. You can decide depending on your passions.
40. The cute storm trooper in action
Star Wars tattoo aren’t something new. This little storm trooper is looking cute!
41. The fascination for purple and baby blue
This is another design that was perfect for the usage of the most popular colors in watercolor tattoos category.
42. A contemporary portrait
The most talented tattoo artists are experimenting with techniques, shapes, colors and styles too.
43. Composition for the thigh
A tattoo that comprises more than three elements can safely be called a composition. This one includes happy colors, a parrot, clock and rose besides other ornamental elements.
44. Streaks of black ink
Probably some sort of Asian symbol, this one is made of thick streaks of black ink.
45. Earth and beyond Earth
A small back piece for women, this design has deeper meaning than a few lines and watercolors.
46. A owl of cold and warm colors
Using cold and warm colors the right way is an art and must be taught.
47. Being trendy with a feather
Feather designs are really trendy right now, especially those filled with watercolors.
48. Perfection without harsh lines
A tattoo that completely lacks harsh lines is the perfect example of a watercolor tattoo.
49. The dream catcher and roses combination
Dream catchers look great on thighs and backs. They look greater when combined with roses and shadings that give them a 3D effect.
50. Simplistic lion face made of watercolors
Sometimes you don’t need more than a couple of contouring lines to come up with the perfect animal portrait.
51. Polar bear caressed by night
Both geometric and watercolor tattoo, this one is an invention of the modern artist.
52. Fairy wings for pink-haired girl
This pair of fairy wings is genius! It is most certainly characteristic to this girl since she has pink hair.
53. Dotwork and watercolors in the same place
It goes without saying that any tattooing technique can be combined with another.
54. A perfect rose behind the ear
Watercolor tattoos may be tiny and placed in hidden body parts like behind the ear. Large examples are just more spectacular.
55. Wings create a halo
The magic of the wings create a colorful color splash and a halo.
56. Baby lion on a woman’s thigh
Baby animals are cuter than their adult version.
57. Watercolor giving life to kitty
A few color splashes here and there and a kitty is born!
58. An innovative flower design
Although the shape is right and the colors too, this design is still innovative thanks to the color streaks.
59. Colors leaking off of an owl
Watery leaks of color are characteristic to the watercolor technique and may be applied in case of any design.
60. Outlined butterfly shoots colors
This outlined butterfly is so amazing that it shoots colors around it!
61. Bird leaving colors behind
Airplanes leave marks on the sky when they fly across it, so why wouldn’t birds leave color traces when they fly?
62. Feather rests on fluffy watercolors
Watercolors may look fluffy! Yes, you’ve heard this right! Fluffy!
63. Cold colors vs. warm colors
This Leo has an authentically colored face which creates contrast with the cold blue strokes.
64. Paya in gradient colors
Chromatic choices are crucial for this tattoo category.
65. Gradient colors and color splashes on flower
Flowers aren’t preferred for ankles, but it turns out they have a lot of potential!
66. Personal message on watercolor background
Unfortunately I can’t tell what language is this, but the idea behind this tattoo is simple and effective.
67. Merging physical and metaphysical with colors
If you look closely, you’ll notice a few symbols that are beyond common flower types.
68. A sketchy watercolor design
Watercolors look good on sketches too because they contribute to volume aspects.
69. Delicate feather soaked in ink
Tens of years ago people used feather to write on paper. This feather made me think of those times because it looks like it was entirely soaked in ink and now it’s dripping.
70. Baby pink and baby blue feather
In addition to the purple and baby blue color association, here’s a shade of baby pink that blends in just right!
71. A flower bud on wrist
Tiny flowers as tiny tattoos might be for you if you are into this style!
72. A puzzle of dreams
Black and white plus watercolors equals masterpiece! This little girl is gazing at a gate to the universe, making plans.
73. Hummingbird on the side
Considered a design for women, the hummingbird can fly in any direction and it used to be considered a vessel for the reincarnated dead warriors by the Aztecs.
74. Infinite love for one pet
Watercolors may only serve as background for multiple tattoos.
75. An erotic use of colors
Although not featuring a defined shape, these colors together with the girl’s portrait and mimics are highly erotic.
76. Only for you to understand
A watercolor tat may give you the freedom to create something that only you will understand.
77. The wind blows in colors too
It’s said that everything created on paper or skin is already found in nature under different instances.
78. Same idea, more colors
Dry blowing in watercolors mixed with water and you’ll obtain the exact same effect.
79. Feeling more or less
Pieces of our heart can love intensely while others are asleep. All this with watercolors.
80. Not everything is black and white
A consecrated design, this is the proof it looks great in colors too.
81. Geometry tattoos and color splashes
Geometry tattoos don’t lack seriousness if they are splashed with colors.
82. No lies in abstract
Inspiring and hard to figure out, this is definitely a design that will pass the test of time.
83. Friendly-faced dog or wolf
Colors contribute to one’s seemingly friendly or not so friendly face.
84. Girl coloring herself
Would you ink yourself if you were talented? Many tattoo artists have at least one tattoo on their skin inked by them. Some practice on their own skin.
85. A very fluffy tree
Is it just me or these colors have a very fluffy appearance? I bet clouds look genius in watercolors.
86. Time and a vortex of colors
Time, colors and others are concepts created by man and explained by man too. A vortex of colors will not solve our existential problems, but it will solve the visual aspect.
87. Four leaf clover and a heart
Take a four leaf clover, replace one leaf with a heart, and there you have it! An original tattoo design!
88. The snake that stole the dream catcher
As far as I know, there isn’t any legend regarding a snake and a dream catcher.
89. Simplistic wings in turquoise
Disproportional and not outlined enough, these wings are simplistic and partially turquoise.
90. Doggy becomes an astronaut
Flawlessly drawn, inked and really cute, this tat isn’t accurate or makes too much sense. However, it is based on the watercolor technique and it is not something that you see very often like feathers, birds and other common designs. I hope no one is sending doggies in space!