comparison of a fresh realistic tattoo versus healed

Realistic expectations


Why it’s important to have realistic expectations of how your tattoo will age.

With an ever increasing interest in realistic and hyper realistic tattoos it’s important for the customer to understand the limitations of tattooing as a medium as well as having a realistic expectation of how these tattoos will look over time.


Normally tattoos have a black outline to hold together the ink. Over time as certain pigments fade quicker than others,

white and yellow pigments tend to lighten quicker than the darker pigments such as blue and green, the black outline would keep the overall tattoo cohesive.


As realistic tattoos rely heavily on shading and highlights to get the hyper realistic look these designs cannot be expected to last as well as a conventional tattoo where the black outline holds the design together even as the colours fade.

There are many amazing realistic tattoo artist today that can achieve impressive effects realistic with their tattooing.

However tattooing as a medium is different than a canvas and as all tattoos age the colour may fade over time. Most realistic  tattoos posted online are taken right after the tattoo has been done, the redness of the skin makes the highlights almost glow .

A realistic tattoo can still be made to stand the test of time by putting a black outline where it needs to be and by making sure that the tattoo has enough black in it to hold it together as the other colours fade over time. See the example below by Carl Sebastian.

When choosing a realistic tattoo artist make sure to ask to see some healed photos their work.