With watercolor tattoos, the normal rules of tattooing do not apply. While some watercolor tattoos still feature black outlines, the tattoo artist will deliberately bleed color outside of these lines to create a beautiful watercolor effect. Wide strokes and layers of color build stunning, rich designs that wouldn’t look out of place in an art gallery. Here are 12 of the world’s finest watercolor tattoo artists and some examples of their incredible work.
1. Julia Dumps
Julia Dumps (who is only 25!) works at a tattoo parlour in Linz, Austria along with Eva Schmidinger, who focuses on dot work tattoos. Julia specialises in watercolor tattoos and has been recognised as one of the top tattoo artists in Austria. Her work is unique with every tattoo drawn/designed on the skin. Find out a little more about her style and why she loves her job in this interview, or checkout her website here to see more of her work. Here are a few of my favourites.
2. Jay Freestyle
Jay Freestyle is a multi award winner (too many to mention) and has a motto that is well known in the industry.
“Give me a piece of your skin & I will give you a part of my soul”.
Jay is passionate about his work and believes no tattoo should ever be the same (if only we all thought like this). On his facebook page, you can see how much he believes this with a simple sentence above each tattoo explaining what it means for his client. Freestyle is his name (maybe not born with it though!) and he like Julia first draws his tattoos on the skin and goes from there. Read an interview with Jay about his trust in a “freestyle” here.
Although I have only chosen flowers, Jay has a huge selection of very different styled watercolor tattoos – from skulls, to flowers and portraits, to 3D patterns… Please look at more of his work to find out just how talented he really is.
3. Rodrigo Tas
Rodrigo Tas from Sao Paulo, Brasil likes to mix it up a bit with a perfect balance of dot-work and watercolor. I believe he is closed for business until September but keep an eye on his website. He also keeps his facebook page updated – maybe he is touring as a guest artist somewhere near you… In the mean time check out these beauties by Tas.
4. Marcus Lund
“My soul purpose in life has been my art…”
Marcus Lund, from Lisbon, Portugal is a well known artist/tattooist who currently works at 1603 Tattoo Collective Studio in Florida (which actually looks awesome, check the studio out here). Again, Marcus has many different styles of tattooing, but here we’ll be looking at some of his watercolor work. Marcus has been known to use paint and pencil on the skin before starting with the gun and the outcome is incredible.
“A person buys a tattoo just like they would buy a painting, the only difference is it is not hung in their home, it is hung on their body”
Anyone who is lucky enough to have a tattoo by Marcus will be the proud owner of a masterpiece! Hard to believe the photos below are of tattoos!
5. Phil Kwan
“Everything around you is art. Everything”
Phil Kwan – who has his own tattoo studio in the beautiful city of Vancouver in British Columbia – started out like many tattooists, as an artist. See some of his art on his website to see the ideas behind his tattoos. Phil isn’t taking any bookings at the moment but you can see that he is still busy working away on his facebook page. You’ll also see what a great quirky sense of humour he has! I have chosen three different styles of watercolor tattoos, to show his varied talent…
6. Jan Mraz
Jan Mraz is a resident artist at Bobek tattoo sudio in Prague (one of my favourite cities) His tattoo styles vary from dotwork, to line, and watercolor along with some incredibly realistic portraits. His work is proudly displayed on Bobeks website.
7. Ondrej Konupcik
“Every tattoo I’ve done, I could tell you the story behind it”
Ondrej is better known as Ondrash. He is an inspiration to many tattoo artists, especially those looking to further their skills with watercolor. Ondrej has his own studio in the small town of Znojmo in the Czech Republic, but as he only works withe one client a day, currently has a two year waiting list!
Ondrash also volunteers for his charity group Zkruhu, which is a charity in Czech Republic helping children with Epidermolysis bullosa (you can see what this disease is here).
“Last year we made one hundred and twenty tattoo circles in one and we raised around €4300 for kids”
If you’d like to make a donation to this wonderful charity, please check out the charity page set up by Ondrash here.
His tattoos are beautiful and here some of my favourites, but you should definitely check out more of his work!
8. Magdalena Bujak
Magdalena currently works at Ink Minors tattoo in Katowice, Poland. Her style is unusual and most of her tattoos look like they have been created with a paint brush. She is also a talented watercolor tattoo artist and the paintbrush style is present if you look closely. Check out her tattoos on Ink Minors Tattoo facebook page.
9. Klaim Delarue
Klaim Delarue is one of two artists at Street Tattoo in Franconville on the outskirts of Paris, France. They are so busy they aren’t open to public, so you need an appointment to even get in. See more of his work on his facebook page and in the meantime, check out these beauties:
10. Amanda Wachob
“I became completely infatuated with everything Tattoo. That feeling has never gone away; it’s still my love and passion.”
Amanda Wachob has been tattooing since 1998. She tattoos not only skin.. but fruit too! Don’t believe me, see for yourself! She has her own private studio in Brooklyn, New York and her tattoo style has been described as “fine art”, although Amanda describes her style as “unconventional”. Her portfolio has almost every style of tattoo. See more of her work to view her paintings, her tattoo’d fruit, canvas, and of course her stunning tattoos.
11. Candelaria Carballo
Candelaria Carballo from South America is an artist whose process is to sketch a tattoo, post it on facebook and allow a client to choose a piece to get tattooed. This is the way she works and it’s amazing… one of the most unique ways of choosing a tattoo I’ve seen.
“I only tattoo a piece once, so it keeps it´s originality.”
She was one of the first artists to start the watercolor tattoo trend and would like to share her knowledge of this art style.
“The watercolor technique has a lot of secrets to do it right, and I think it would be a good idea to share them,”
Checkout her portfolio of delicate, one of a kind tattoos here….
12. Aleksandra Katsan
Aleksandra Katsan is a young and gifted tattoo artist from Ukraine. Her work ranges from skulls and teddy bears, to cartoon characters and stunning flowers. Aleksandra works at Tattooed Paradise and Stop Partak. Her work is outstanding with beautiful colors finished with a ‘splattered’ effect. Take a look at more of her work here.
So, what do you think of watercolor tattoos? Do you like this style, or do you prefer a more traditional tattoo? And who was your favorite artist? Let me know!