Sketch Work Tattoos
Gallery of sketch work style tattoos that can be filtered by subject, body part and size.read more
Sketch tattoos are characterized by deliberately loose line work, similar to a rough draft found in a sketchbook. This style integrates unclear outlines and semi-colored areas, resembling sketches in an artist's sketchbook.
This technique is very new in contemporary tattooing. Before the 21st century, bold and clean black lines were held as a standard to measure the quality of a tattoo in Eastern and Western regions. Wavering, partial or stray line work was considered unintentional, and thus the mark of an inexperienced tattooer.
With the introduction of the internet and social media, many new artists started flocking to the tattoo trade without any preconceived biases. Illustrators began experimenting with new kinds of line work, including the addition of faint outlines, broken or incomplete lines. Rather than erasing drafts or mistakes, these imperfections are deliberately included.
To maintain balance, the sketchbook style must be consistent throughout the design. Otherwise, it may actually be an accident, which will speak to the artist’s skill level. When done correctly, this technique can offer a more dynamic and less rigid effect.