Blog By M. Mitera

Recently, Pintrest/Tumblr/Facebook have been flooded with videos of lovely tattoos that look like a watercolor painting. They are soft and colorful, with drippy looking details that people have fallen in love with. While tattoos usually focus on saturating specific areas with color, watercolor tattoos are created with a more gradual coloring technique. But is this technique going to last clients their whole lives or are watercolor tattoos something that we will be seeing a lot of reworks of in the future? It’s hard to say now, with the way inks are made and the style in which artists tattoo. But if you’re debating on a watercolor tattoo, it’s important to remember that it’s shelf life might not be as long as other styles of tattoo.

Watercolor tattoos lack outlines, leaving space for the artist the gradually blend colors. Some artists add in some abstract sacred geometry to their watercolor tattoos, creating an interesting take on this style. But since there are no lines to hold the colors together, some worry that the tattoo will (over time) lose it’s crispness and begin to look more like a bruise than a well done tattoo. It’s important to try to avoid a bruise tattoo. You don’t want to have to explain to people that the giant purple mark on your leg is actually a tattoo and not where you got crushed by a falling tree.

For skilled watercolor artists, creating a long lasting watercolor tattoo is a time consuming and difficult process. By laying down a black base in an expert fashion, the artist can create a space where the lighter colors will hang on to the skin for longer and stay vibrant. Obviously, some colors will fade over time, as with any tattoo, but the colors won’t fade in the way that many people think that they will. However, watercolor tattoos must be exceptionally well taken care of in order to keep their lovely colors from fading. With watercolor tattoos, the sun becomes a mortal enemy. Be sure to wear sunscreen when going outside and don’t use any sort of exfoliating scrub, as it may cause the tattoo to lose it’s luster. For watercolor tattoos, it’s also important to keep your skin moisturized long after the tattoo has healed. This is important for any tattoo but especially the watercolors.

So are watercolor tattoos a good idea? If you’re genuinely worried about how long the tattoo will last, watercolor tattoos probably are not your best bet. The risk of them fading is great if they aren’t properly taken care of. Even when they are properly cared for, they can still fade much more than most other tattoos. Our verdict? Watercolors look beautiful on canvas but not so much on the skin. With them being such a new style, it’s hard to tell what they will look like in 10, 15, 20 years. It may be a good idea to hold off on the watercolor tattoos until their shelf life has been established. Who knows, they may last just as long as American traditional!

About the Author: M has been a professional blogger for six years and has contributed to various websites. When she is not writing, she is a professional body piercing apprentice. M can be reached at and you can find her piercing only blog HERE.