Tattoos in the style of realism can surprise and sometimes even shock. How incredibly they immerse us in amazing stories or amaze us with the performance quality! But this is not just a picture but also a story, technique, and many other features.
To make tattoos in a realistic style, the artist must have great talent and ability for art. Since this is the most demanding style of all. The article brings together 10 highly talented artists who work in different types of realism, classical and in combination with other techniques.
What is realism as a tattoo style?
Realism in tattoos is considered the most challenging style in terms of technique. Although people already began to paint portraits of famous people in the nineteenth century, the peak of realism falls in our time.
Modern advanced technologies in the tattoo industry have made it possible to realize the most complex images. The better equipment, the more chances the master has to create a realistic tattoo. Thus, any image can be made: an animal, a bird, an insect, a flower, a tree, and architecture. However, the most popular tattoos are portraits of loved ones, relatives, idols, and iconic historical figures. It is photographs that most often become sketches of realistic-looking works. In this style, you can even make a portrait of a character from a cartoon or movie.
Modern realism is often combined with other styles such as lettering, neo-traditional, new school, and graphics. There is more and more imagination and creativity and less and less copying. Also, realism loves scope. Often tattoos are beaten on the sleeves, torso, and back to make a full-scale work on a large area of the skin.
The artist must have high artistic skills to transfer drawings with accuracy. Creating such a tattoo is more complicated than performing a similar painting on canvas because there is practically no even area of skin on the body. That is why the craftsmen draw every detail for hours, considering all the features of a particular application area.
We have selected 10 tattoo artists who work in the style of realism. We encourage you to take a look at their work.
Nader Shah — Columbus
Neder is passionate about the tattoo craft. And he paid for this passion in his native country, Iran. He had to leave his homeland to create freely. Neder calls himself an artist in exile.
He is now based in the US and works at Evolved Body Art. He has over 10 years of experience in tattooing. And specializes in black and gray and color realism, mainly portraits and animalistic.
Marc Schusterbauer — Little Rock
Marc Schusterbauer has been in the tattooing business for 25 years. He has his own parlor, Level 33 Tattoo. With his years of experience, he can work in any style, but he specializes specifically in realism. In his portfolio, there are a lot of realistic-looking portraits and animalistic works.
Marc performs arts in both black and color.
Emerson Pabon — New York City
Emerson Pabon is an award-winning tattoo artist from Venezuela with many years of experience. He won numerous first places in categories of realism and color tattooing.
Emerson bought his first tattoo machine in 2011 after realizing he wasn’t interested in studying agronomy at university. First, he learned to get tattoos on his friends. After several years of practicing, he opened Loyalty Tattoo Studio with his good friend.
Emerson’s favorite tattoo styles are oriental, neo-traditional, realism, and surrealism. He specializes in full-sleeve tattoos in the style of realism. Since 2021, he has been a resident of Inknation Tattoo Studio.
Megan Koehler — Kansas City
Megan is the lead tattoo artist at Rebel Muse Tattoo, Kansas City. For 7 years, she has been drawing black and gray tattoos with a realistic style. Her main profile is portraits of animals and people decorated with botanical elements. She definitely has her own style.
Megan became interested in portraiture at an early age. While her peers were playing on the playground, she painted their portraits. And now, she has become a sought-after tattoo artist with many years of experience.
Vermillion — Boca Raton
Known to his clients as Milli. He works in the styles of hyperrealism and color realism. He can get you both a color portrait and a breathtaking landscape. In 2021, he took first place in Movie Theme and second place in Horror Theme, Most Realistic, and Color Portrait at the Ink The Bay Tattoo Convention.
Sarah — Miami
Sarah has been a tattoo artist for over 4 years. She deals with one of the most demanding tattoo types — small, realistic designs. You need to be a master of your craft to make a detailed drawing on a small area. Her signature tattoo designs are butterflies, which are indistinguishable from real ones.
Christian (Chris Ceriani) — Miam
Christian has been tattooing for over 5 years. He works in dotwork, linework, and realism styles. He loves animals so much that he became a vegan and specializes in animal tattoos. His signature style is to depict flora and fauna in black and gray.
Sam (Samantha) Mancino — Miam
Sam believes that wildlife is necessary for every person. She draws from nature. Everything she sees is transmitted through black-gray thin lines. Her drawings are realistic.
Sam has been fond of drawing since childhood, went to art school, and then realized that she wanted to build a career in tattooing. She never ceases to develop her skills. She has been tattooing for over 10 years.
Jesse Byrd — Venice
Jesse has dedicated himself to colored realistic tattoos for over 10 years. He currently works at Stone’s Throw Tattoo & Gallery. His tattoos combine different styles, which makes them unique. One of the most popular subjects of his drawings is floristry, animals, and nature.
Robin Patel — Miami
Robin’s favorite style is black and gray realism. He loves voluminous, mostly blackwork. His arts have been published in Times of India, DNA, Gujarat Samachar, and Economic Times.
Robin has been tattooing for over 9 years. During this time, he has traveled to work in many countries. He also often attends tattoo competitions and festivals, through which he constantly develops his skills and learns new techniques
🌄What is realism tattoo style?
Realism is one of the most popular tattoo styles. Drawings made in this technique are naturalistic, live, and worked out to the smallest detail. Very often, they are reproduced from photographs. Modern realism is frequently combined with other styles such as lettering, neo-traditional, new school, and graphics.
⏲Do realism tattoos take longer?
Realism tattoos do take longer because they detailed-oriented. Artists draw every detail for hours, taking into account all the features of the body area where the tattoo is applied.
🦎Do black tattoos turn green?
Different colorants are mixed to achieve various shades of black. Over time, all tattoos fade, and the pigment from which the ink is composed appears more. It can be green or blue. This happened especially with old inks, but modern inks are made more durable. Everything also depends on the quality of the ink. Thus, choose only high-quality ink.
🩹Do realism tattoos hurt more?
It all depends on where you want to get the tattoo. Since realistic tattoos are detailed, they take longer to complete. The more painful the place you get the tattoo, the longer you have to endure the pain. That is realism tattoos don’t hurt more than others just take longer.
⌛How do hyper-realistic tattoos age?
Realistic tattoos are created using small strokes rather than lines to achieve smooth transitions and shadow effects. This technique makes the desired realism. It uses a small amount of ink that does not penetrate deep into the skin and fades faster. These tattoos cannot be expected to last as long as regular ones, where the black outline holds the tattoo together even when the colors fade.