The art of inking consists of many different styles, techniques and types of tattoos. Read all about the different tattoo terms in our fashion words glossary below.
Biomechanical (N.) [bahy-oh-mi-ka-ni-kuhl] Tattoos made to look like a chunk of skin has been taken out with mechanical elements such as gears and circuit boards in place of veins are called biomechanical tattoos. Also steampunk tattoos.
Botanical (N.) [buh-tan-i-kuhl] Nature-inspired photorealistic (see photorealistic tattoos) tattoos of leaves, flowers, fruits and trees are known as botanical tattoos.
Dot work (N.) [dot wurk] Dot work tattoo is a style of tattooing where dots and specks are used to form an image. Also stippling tattoo.
Egyptian (A.) [ih-jip-shuhn] Tattoos that symbolize ancient Egyptian culture by using pyramid, pharaoh and sphinx motifs are known as Egyptian tattoos.
Fine line (N.) [fahyn lahyn] A delicate tattoo style achieved by using simple line drawings is known as fine line tattoo.
Flash (N.) [flash] Popular in the music festival scene, temporary tattoos in flashy, metallic colors like gold and silver are called as flash tattoos.
Gray wash (N.) [grey wosh] Tattoos done with diluted black ink at different ratios to give a washed out and shaded effect are called as gray wash tattoos.
Helix (N.) [hee-liks] Tattoos drawn on the helix or rim of the ear are known as helix tattoos.
Lace (N.) [leys] Lace tattoo is a style of tattoo reminiscent of Victorian lace work.
Mandala (N.) [muhn-dl-uh] Symmetric and intricate, Buddhism-inspired tattoos are called as mandala tattoos.
Photorealistic (A.) [foh-toh-ree-uh–lis-tik] Tattoos that are made to look extremely realistic and 3D by using different colors and shades are known as photorealistic tattoos.
Steampunk (N.) [steem-puhngk] See biomechanical tattoo.
Stippling (N.) [stip-ling] See dot work tattoo.
Temporary tattoo (N.) [tem-puh-ray-ree ta-too] A tattoo that is either a stick-on or drawn directly on skin, which doesn’t stay on permanently is called a temporary tattoo. Generally, temporary tattoos stay on for 2-14 days. Read about temporary tattoo trends.
Trash polka (N.) [trash pohl-kuh] Trash polka tattoo is a combination of symbols, words, graphics and paint splatters using just red and black. Read more about trash polka tattoos here.
Tribal (A.) [trahy-buh l] Tribal tattoo is one of the oldest types of tattoos and consists of both geometric and organic shapes in black.
Watercolor (N.) [waw-ter-kuhl-er] Watercolor tattoos are those that are filled in with colors to give a watercolor effect.