Black Work style in tattoos

Blackwork is an original style of tattooing that successfully combines graphics, classics and ethnic motifs. Usually the images are made in black, but sometimes you can notice in the picture red or white elements.

Blackwork tattoo, as a rule, covers a large part of the human body. Plots, ornaments and drawings are as minimalistic as possible, they are characterized by severity. This is what distinguishes blackwork from the classic black and white tattoos.

History of the emergence of this style

In the sixties of the twentieth century, the famous tattoo artist Cliff Raven declared in the first issue of TattooTime that he finally managed to find the perfect technique that is in harmony with the human body. The master paid attention to the fact that the skin is three-dimensional, so all the drawings, which are made in 2D style, do not look particularly dynamic. That’s why you need to choose the style of blackwork. This trend was able to achieve popularity and development only by the beginning of the eighties. Only a couple of branches are known, which are united by the term “blackwork”.


Many people on the body are attracted by large black elements in the overall composition of the drawing. They can be seen from afar, they are very clear and worked out, but practice shows that it is extremely difficult to paint such details densely and evenly. It is necessary to choose a master who has extensive experience, understands the peculiarities of different types of leather and is able to work with modern equipment. Non-professionals usually put the image on the body unevenly, because of which the whole concept is spoiled.

Tattoos in the style of blackwork are very diverse. In total, this term consists of five directions:

  1. Dotwork. This is a technique, using which the master creates a drawing not with the help of continuous painting, but with dots.
  2. Ethno. This trend focuses on the return of ancient customs and tattooing techniques. As a rule, a master is trying to recreate tribal designs, which are filled with spiritual meaning.
  3. Neotribalism. This style successfully combines world cultural motifs. As a rule. Tattoo artists are inspired by images on the bodies of tribal peoples.
  4. Art Brut. This is a very avant-garde, crude and spontaneous style that goes far beyond any general aesthetic norms.
  5. Buddhism. It is considered the basis for all intricate and refined drawings. Masters are inspired by sacred oriental motifs.

Tattoos in the blackwork style are often stuffed in order to overlap a past unfortunate image. It is important to pay attention to the fact that it is not possible to correct a drawing made in this technique. So you need to try to find a good master right away.

Another feature of blackwork is that this direction perfectly overlaps skin problems or scars.

Popular designs

Blackwork style is versatile. It is suitable for both men and women.

In demand are images such as:

  • ethnic and geometric patterns;
  • evenly painted with a black shade of epidermis;
  • patterns;
  • Complex plot compositions (comics).

The tattoo is perfect for fans of the classic black color.