Color or Black & Grey


Who knows the answer to this age old question of tattoo choices – color or black & grey?  Well, I will certainly give my opinion!

Pure Ink Tattoo - Color or Black & GreyOne of the most important decision making of the tattoo process will be determining whether your final project should be in color or black and grey. Maybe you haven’t given much more than getting a tattoo thought. Your body and future both deserve a little more. Not only are tattoos an expressive and artistic statement, they should also coincide with any future work. Otherwise you run the risk of looking like a walking sticker or scrapbook. Sure, you can dress that up with “borders” and “frames” but in the real world and over time, your tattoos should tell a story. Otherwise, why they heck did you make them permanent?

Black and Grey

They began on the streets of East Los Angeles. Prison, AKA black and grey tattoos, were simple and fine line. They included portraits of beloveds, roses and other flowers, and script writings that often-inspired faith or other sentiments. Later, black and grey tattoos left the inner city and began their fame in today’s culture.

Rosaries and other jewelry tattoos often fit these genres. Black and grey tattooing has several advantages. There is much less chance of fading, other than to a lighter shade of grey. The largest risk is the realism aspect of this style that many artists strive for, but few can achieve without lots of practice and natural talent. If you want a simple tattoo that will stand the test of time in a more classic sense, I would advise just a few shades of black and grey. Do your homework and check out portfolios and find the artist that specializes in realism.

Color Tattoos

For every black & grey customer, there is a colorful one, and they want nothing more than for their tattoo to make a statement. If you are of that genre, you have likely already begun scouring fine art portfolios, New School, Old School Traditional and other designs. Whether it is a full sleeve filled with mermaids, oceans and shells, or a simple heart tattoo that is vibrant and full of colorful red ink, finding a talented color tattoo artist can be just as labor intensive.

When scoping out color tattoo portfolios, be sure to check out healed tattoos. Most tattoos look their best after being done, so let time tell the true story. Are the images blurry, the color bland or faded? Be wary! Did the artist design a piece with such purposeful details that even now it looks bold and brilliant? That’s your artist! Be very selective in the color tattoo genre. Base your decision on the portfolio, experience of your artist, and when possible, their reputation. Any skilled artist should have a few years of mentoring under their belt so find out who taught them their skills and then research THAT artist and their fundamental teachings.

Our artists at Pure Ink are true artists. They know about color theories and know what works vs what doesn’t.  They just may be able to help you answer that age old question – color or black & grey? Book a free consultation with any of our artists either in Ledgewood or Boonton and they will help you put together a work of art you will be proud to wear.

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