How do you come up with your next tattoo? Consider getting a watercolor tattoo—it’s a new technique that’s skyrocketing in popularity. It was developed during the past decade by artists rebelling against the limits of American Traditional and other conventional styles.
When you search for the best watercolor tattoo ideas for your next ink, you’ll see all sorts of vivid images that resemble a watercolor painting. As they are composed of faded, running, and bleeding colors that resemble dripping water, they may not have a solid outline. But watercolor tattoos last just as long as any other style because they are made with the same ink and equipment. Good tattoo aftercare will help them heal quickly and sunscreen will keep them from fading.
Recently, Selena Gomez got a watercolor rose. What will you choose for your newest masterpiece of body art?
Best Watercolor Tattoo Ideas in 2024
Butterfly watercolor tattoo
Butterflies represent freedom and transformation. A vibrant butterfly watercolor tattoo like this one is a happy, hopeful design. The iridescent colors overflow with the joy of living.
This tattoo is located on the shoulder as if good fortune had just fluttered down to roost there. But feel free to place a butterfly tattoo anywhere on the body. If it inspires you, put it where you can see it every day.
Heart watercolor tattoo
Here are two watercolor hearts snuggled together, united by a rainbow of colors that blend together. Could be a sign of new love? Does it represent a queer relationship? Or did the person simply love how it looks?
You see, this is the neat thing about tattoos. They are intensely personal even though often they are a message to the world. The freedom and easiness of a watercolor design provide plenty of leeway to express whatever you want.
Watercolor tattoo on dark skin
Sadly, when you search for watercolor tattoo ideas, most images are of people with light-colored skin. But you should know that watercolor is gorgeous on dark skin, too. Instead of faded pastels, you’ll see turquoise, peach, and vivid green. Just be sure to seek out a skilled artist with experience tattooing dark skin.
Watercolor owl tattoo
An owl tattoo represents wisdom and intelligence as well as freedom, vision, and stealth. They are symbols of the supernatural and harbingers of death. Of course, the latter concept is hard to believe when you see a friendly watercolor owl like the one below. It looks like this nocturnal hunter is looking for love against the background of the Milky Way in the sky.
Sunflower watercolor tattoo
This tattoo has turned the skin into a museum-worthy canvas. The solitary sunflower with a visiting bee stands out on a colorful background of watercolor splashes. The artist is Benoit Delongchamp of Motor City Tattoos.
It’s pleasing to the eye, so most people might write it off as just a pretty tattoo. However, the sunflower has been an important symbol since ancient times. The ancient Greeks felt that it represented loyalty and faithfulness and the Native Americans said it symbolized abundance and fertility. Even today, a sunflower tattoo can mean faith and the courage to follow your dreams just as the plant turns to follow the sun across the sky.
Impressionist watercolor tattoo
Here’s a charming idea for a nature lover. It’s a watercolor of a forest done in an Impressionistic style. It fits on the lower arm or calf so that the great outdoors is always in sight.
Watercolor clock tattoo
To be clear, the design incorporates a clock and an hourglass on a background that resembles a cosmic nebula. Is the collector thinking about how time flies? Perhaps it’s a reminder to make the best of things before it’s too late.
Miminalist watercolor tattoo
What about the best watercolor tattoos for someone who wants to start small? Here’s a cute little paper airplane captured in midflight. Is it carrying a message or simply a symbol of freedom and adventure?
Lion watercolor tattoo
Here’s a ferocious little Simba. We’re certain that he’s not the only option. We’ve seen maned lions in mid-roar and stealthy huntress lions, too. Any way you ink them, lions are still lords of the jungle.
Glow-in-the-dark watercolor tattoo
If you find an artist with experience using UV-reactive ink, you can end up with a fabulous glow-in-the-dark tattoo like this one. It sparkles under black light.
Fair warning: UV ink may not retain its vibrancy as long as regular ink, so you may need a touchup in a year or two. On the bright side, this rainbow snake watercolor tattoo is attractive on its own so if the UV highlights fade, it might not even matter.
Skull watercolor tattoo
No one said that watercolor tattoos have to be sweet or pretty. This supernatural skull and scorpion tattoo is downright terrifying. It would fit right in a comic book.
Script watercolor tattoo
This watercolor tattoo with a script is practically meta. Could it be describing the act of getting inked? “A moment of pain is worth a lifetime of glory”. After all, the short time in the chair under the artist’s hands can be painful, but then you can enjoy personalized body art for the rest of your life.
How much does a watercolor tattoo cost?
If you’re ready to get a watercolor tattoo, the first step is to find an artist who can create the design you want. That’s when you can discuss the price which may be based on whether the image is flash or original, how big it is, and how colorful it is.
There may be a shop minimum or the artist may charge by the hour. Also, where you place a tattoo may affect the price.
If you’d like a ballpark figure, the average cost in the USA is around $150 per hour and about $10 per square inch. Remember to plan for a 15% tip as well and factor in the cost of aftercare products if you don’t already have them. At a minimum, you’ll need a fragrance-free cleanser, tattoo balm or fragrance-free moisturizer, and potentially a medical-grade dressing for the first few days. The bandage keeps out contamination and accelerates healing.
We hope you found inspiration today for your next ink. We’d love to hear from you if you’re thrilled with your new watercolor tattoo.