Choosing the Right Tattoo Style for Your First Tattoo: A Beginner's Guide - Tattoo Unleashed

Choosing the Right Tattoo Style for Your First Tattoo: A Beginner's Guide

One of the most exciting, yet anxious, experiences is getting your first tattoo. Choosing the right tattoo style is one of your most important decisions in the whole process. But how do you wade through all the options to get just the right one for your personality, skin, and desired aesthetic? We look at some tattoo styles including traditional, neo-traditional, realism, watercolor and how to choose the right one for your first ink.


Traditional Tattoos

What Are Traditional Tattoos?

Traditional tattoos, also known as American Traditional or Old School tattoos, come with bold lines, strong colors, and iconic imagery. Anchors, roses, daggers, and pin-up girls are just a few examples of some common motifs of this tattoo style. Traditional tattoos will always have that timeless appeal since they are rich in history and the designs are quite easy to identify.

Why Should You Choose Traditional Tattoos?

Bold and Long-Lasting: Traditional tattoos typically feature thick lines and solid colors, ensuring it remains recognizable and bold over the years.
Iconic and Timeless: Traditional tattoos have classic aesthetics that never go out of style.
Versatile Designs: The images that are used in traditional tattoos can be applied to almost any theme you may think of and used for a personal preference.


Things to Consider for Traditional Tattoos

Skin Tone: Traditional tattoos have thick lines with strong colors, which hold well on all skin tones, including darker skin.
Nature: If you have a classic personality that loves vintage aesthetics and enjoys being loud when it comes to their tattoos, then traditional tattoos are your true nature.


Neo-Traditional Tattoos

What Are Neo-Traditional Tattoos?

Neo-traditional tattoos are the next step in the evolution of traditional style, with more detailed and intricate designs but still holding on to bold lines and vibrant colors. The style is characterized by more elaborate shading and has a wider range of themes and subjects.

Why Neo-Traditional Tattoos?

Neo-traditional tattoos possess more detail and are more artistic compared to traditional tattoos. This style uses a broader color palette and is utilized in designs that are more complicated and visually striking in abundance. Though neo-traditional tattoos bring in the classic elements that one can expect in traditional tattoos, it has a touch of contemporary art.

Things to Consider with a Neo-Traditional Tattoo

Skin type: Neo-traditional tattoos could be designed on a number of skin types, though detailed art could be harder to maintain on darker skin.

Personality: If you are one of those who loves detail, artistic designs and one who expects a modern twist in a classic style of tattoos, then neo-traditional tattoos are definitely your thing.


Realism Tattoos

Introduction to Realism Tattoos

What Are Realism Tattoos?

A realism tattoo is one which will try to replicate a real-life image as closely as possible, from portraits, animals, landscapes, and other real-life objects, mostly done in black and grey or full color. Realism tattoos will seek an artist of very high quality, as these tattoos are very detailed and are known to look very lifelike.

Why Realism Tattoos?

Incredible detail: Realism tattoos catch every minute detail and thus recreate the feel of real life in a jaw-dropping and life-like effect.

Very personal and unique: Realism tattoos can be highly personalized, such as getting a portrait of a loved one or a realistic portrait of a favorite pet.

Artistic mastery: Realism tattoos show the height of an artist's skill and precision, creating a work of art with every tattoo.


Considerations for Realism Tattoos

Skin Type: Realism tattoos need smooth, even skin for the best results. The finer details normally show up more clearly on lighter skin tones but expert artists can adapt their technique for all skin types.

Personality: If you are a person who likes highly detailed and lifelike art and your tattoo to be looked upon as a masterpiece, realism tattoos are designed for you.


Watercolor Tattoos

What Are Watercolor Tattoos?

A technique that exhibits no bold, neat black lines and includes easily flowing colors, just like watercolor tattoos. It is often remarked for its sheer beauty and blending, as the colors blend and develop a unique, catchy effect.

Why Choose Watercolor Tattoos?

Soft and Beautiful: Watercolor tattoos offer a softer and more beautiful appeal than traditional tattooing.

Colorful and Artistic: The lack of boundaries and fluid colors make it look pretty dynamic and artistic—it's quite eye-catching.

Unique Designs: The color blending and nonuse of solid lines makes every watercolor tattoo unique.


Considerations for Watercolor Tattoos

Skin Type: Watercolor tattoos usually fade faster than other styles, especially on darker skin tones. Prepare for regular touch-ups if you want to keep the colors bright and fresh.

Personality: If you are into artistic and free-flowing designs and looking for tattooing that seems a piece of fine art, then watercolor tattoos are ideal for you.

How to Choose the Right Style Tattoo

Evaluate Your Style and Aesthetic:

Think about what your overall style is and the kind of tattoo you are going to get that will best complement it. Would you opt for something a little bolder, quite classic, or are you looking to make a statement with a more contemporary piece that has great attention to detail? Think of how it will fit into your wardrobe, accessories, and, most importantly, personal taste.

Think About Your Skin Type:

Different tattoo styles will have an effect based on your skin type. More classic designs feature strong lines and lots of solid coloring, which usually looks great on every skin type.. In the meantime, more detailed styles like realism, which calls for smoother and lighter skin, may have better results. Ask your tattoo artist how the different styles may look on your skin.

Think About Placement

Placement can have a lot to do with which style you choose. Larger spaces, such as on your back or chest, work well with more detailed realism tattoos. Smaller areas, such as your wrist or ankle, may be ideal for more simple, traditional designs. Consider how the tattoo will look in different parts of your body, and what that communicates.

Consider the Meaning

Your first tattoo often has some meaning to you. Consider the meaning and what a style change would do to the meaning. For example, a tribute to a family member? A traditional tattoo may be perfect for a loved one, and a watercolor for a major personal experience or emotional one.

Consult a Professional Tattoo Artist

A talented tattoo artist can give useful recommendations based on your preferences, skin type, and the desired aesthetic. Consult with as Many Artists as Necessary. Do not be afraid to consult with as many artists as will be necessary to find someone who specializes in your chosen style that will make your ideas visually possible.

Get Tests Done Using a Temporary Tattoo

If with all the above you are still not convinced about a certain style, get temporary tattoos of different designs and placements. This is one simple way to find out how the tattoo will appear on your skin, and most likely, you will end up with a much more confident decision.


The careful choice of the perfect tattoo style for your first tattoo is an important and meaningful step. So, by looking at different styles—traditional, neo-traditional, realism, watercolor—see which style would reflect you, your personality, your skin, and the art you want on your body. Consider speaking with a tattoo professional, or even trying on some temporary tattoos just to ensure that you are going to end up with a decision that you'll be happy with for a long time. It is necessary to talk to a professional or even try some temporary tattoos so as to be sure that you are going to end the day with satisfaction regarding the selection you'll make. The first—and very memorable—best thing about getting tattoos is the first time you do it. Whether it be those traditional designs with bold lines, or the more intricate neo-traditional styles, the photorealism of a realism tattoo, or the more subtle yet colorful features of watercolor tattoos, one chooses the right tattoo style, and it's whatever you go for that the tattoo style will fit you perfectly. Hence, happy tattooing.