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The Age, Blur And Fade Of Tattoos
- Aug 11, 2018 -

Social media makes it easy to find tattoo ideas. Pinterest and Instagram are great sources. Their photos are showing how trends of tattoo artists are getting more creative and popular.

One trend that has taken off more recently is "watercolor" tattoos. These type of tattoos resemble watercolor paintings with bright colors, abstract and geometric 'artsy' looks.

Before deciding on watercolors for a tattoo, it's important to know the tattoo industry finds controversy in them a bit.

Watercolor tattoos have vibrant colors and blend together...well, like paint!

Any tattoo, as they age, begin to spread, (OH HOW MY BODY CAN ATTEST TO THE SPREAD...I say sadly, as I sit here eating a cookie). Back on point here; intricate and fine lines do tend to blur.

This is how much the black ink has spread, blurring what were pristine lines.

Watercolor tattoo concerns are the lack of dark and defined lines. Once the ink begins to fade and blur, will the tat become a blob?

Watercolor tattoos haven't been in vogue for long, so, it's difficult to find an aged watercolor tat. Some tattoo artists defend this new trend. All tattoos are not going to be nearly as crisp as they were when first done. Several factors definitely will cause alterations, some you cannot avoid. That would be aging. Our skin without a doubt changes as we get older. It tends to be less elastic, (it doesn't 'bounce' back as it once did), then there is sun exposure, weight loss, weight gain...you know, life!

It's recommended that if someone is wanting a beautiful watercolor piece of art on their skin, that they choose a very well defined tattoo with a strong outline in black. If it is all color with no particular outline, it will most likely blur and possibly become unrecognizable. Keep in mind, nobody should be put off by what they choose because touch ups on tattoos are customary, however, it is still highly recommended to outline color. ALL tattoos will fade in time. With the black base and having color fade, the skeleton, (outline), will remain more identifiable.

Also know that heavier line work has a tendency of staying power:

The above tat is 8 years old and looking no worse for the wear ~

Back to watercolor tattoos. It is advised that if the tattoo artist is not well practiced in watercolor tats, keep looking. It is indeed an art and it takes a special talent and familiarity to achieve a great job.

An experienced tattoo artist that specializes in watercolor tattoos, understands the artwork may fade faster, and will require frequent touch-ups.

Knowing the pros and cons of trend, particularly one that is so new, the future outcomes are unclear, it is an important consideration before making this choice, but, wow are they lovely!

The tattoo in my 'featured image' to the side is indeed a watercolor. While beautiful, it probably does not have enough black outlining that is advised for passing the test of time? More will be learned in a few more years. Sigh ~