Portrait Tattoo Pictures & Designs

Updated on May 19, 2008

Portrait Tattoo

Most portrait tattoos are memorials to loved ones- family members, friends, and even pets- who have passed away. In these cases, getting the tattoo is a part of the grieving process. So, you want to make sure that you can find a tattoo artist that can (1) reproduce a picture of your loved one and (2) be sensitive and respectful of what you want in your tattoo.

Portrait Tattoos of Children

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(by Nigel Kurt, Fun House tattoos, Barnsley UK)Done by Katherine Rewus (by Katherine Rewus, Dragon FX Kingsway, Edm, AB, Ca)My Son Done 1 .12 . 08 (by Brian Marscio, Corona Tattoo, Corona Ca.)(by Lindy Pagan, Lucky's Tattoo, Union City, NJ)
(by Nigel Kurt, Fun House tattoos, Barnsley UK)
(by Nigel Kurt, Fun House tattoos, Barnsley UK)
Done by Katherine Rewus (by Katherine Rewus, Dragon FX Kingsway, Edm, AB, Ca)
Done by Katherine Rewus (by Katherine Rewus, Dragon FX Kingsway, Edm, AB, Ca)
My Son Done 1 .12 . 08 (by Brian Marscio, Corona Tattoo, Corona Ca.)
My Son Done 1 .12 . 08 (by Brian Marscio, Corona Tattoo, Corona Ca.)
(by Lindy Pagan, Lucky's Tattoo, Union City, NJ)
(by Lindy Pagan, Lucky's Tattoo, Union City, NJ)

Chosing the Picture for your Portrait Tattoo

Portrait tattoos are very complex in terms of details. They involve a high level of shading and blending.

So, make sure that you have a good, clear picture of the loved one that you want a portrait tattoo of. The better the picture, the better your end result of you tattoo.

The best picture that you can find not only means clear and crisp but of an appropriate size. You will want to find the best picture you can that's at least 3" x 3" but no smaller.

Remember that the bigger you want your tattoo, the bigger the picture should be. This will make tracing the picture easier, so the artist does not have to stretch the picture before tracing, which can distort it.

Memorial Portrait Tattoos

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Grandad Of Client War Photo (Kenny Varnau, Handmade Tattoo Parlor,Old Town Manassas,VA)(by Katherine Rewus, Dragon FX kingsway, Edm, AB, Ca)A Portrait Tattoo Done Of My Father Who Passed Away (by Holly Ellis, Idle Hand Tattoo, San Francisco California)Memorial Portrait for my mother (by Chris Saint Clark, Kustom Thrills, East Nashville TN.)
Grandad Of Client War Photo (Kenny Varnau, Handmade Tattoo Parlor,Old Town Manassas,VA)
Grandad Of Client War Photo (Kenny Varnau, Handmade Tattoo Parlor,Old Town Manassas,VA)
(by Katherine Rewus, Dragon FX kingsway, Edm, AB, Ca)
(by Katherine Rewus, Dragon FX kingsway, Edm, AB, Ca)
A Portrait Tattoo Done Of My Father Who Passed Away (by Holly Ellis, Idle Hand Tattoo, San Francisco California)
A Portrait Tattoo Done Of My Father Who Passed Away (by Holly Ellis, Idle Hand Tattoo, San Francisco California)
Memorial Portrait for my mother (by Chris Saint Clark, Kustom Thrills, East Nashville TN.)
Memorial Portrait for my mother (by Chris Saint Clark, Kustom Thrills, East Nashville TN.)

Choosing a Tattoo Artist for a Portrait Tattoo

Portrait tattoos require a great deal of skill that not every tattoo artist has or is capable of possessing. Look around before you make the final decision of which tattoo artist will tattoo the portrait of your loved one.

Take a look at your friend's tattoos. Their friends. Maybe they have a portrait-type tattoo. Or, maybe they can refer you to someone- an artist or tattoo shop.

Try not to base your decision on a tattoo artist that you've seen work online. Ask to see their work in person, beforehand.

Most tattoo artists will have a portfolio of their work. And, if the tattoo artist is truly of his art and skill, you will see the original picture aside the tattoo. This, will give you even more insight as to what he can do.

Sometimes, tattoo artists, themselves, will recommend you to someone who specializes in a certain type of tattoo. Although, this is not usually the case, it doesn't hurt to ask whether your normal tattoo artists is familiar with a godo portrait tattooist in the area.

Celebrity Portrait Tattoos

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Marilyn Monroe (by Morgan MacDonald, Bear's Skin Art, Edmonton, Alberta)Elvis Presley (by Douglas Belasco, Ticano Tattoo, Brazil, Vila Velha)Rodney Dangerfield (by Chino, Imperial Tattoos, Toronto)Vlad Tepes (by Quentin Shank, Color Bomb LLC, Milwaukee,Wi)
Marilyn Monroe (by Morgan MacDonald, Bear's Skin Art, Edmonton, Alberta)
Marilyn Monroe (by Morgan MacDonald, Bear's Skin Art, Edmonton, Alberta)
Elvis Presley (by Douglas Belasco, Ticano Tattoo, Brazil, Vila Velha)
Elvis Presley (by Douglas Belasco, Ticano Tattoo, Brazil, Vila Velha)
Rodney Dangerfield (by Chino, Imperial Tattoos, Toronto)
Rodney Dangerfield (by Chino, Imperial Tattoos, Toronto)
Vlad Tepes (by Quentin Shank, Color Bomb LLC, Milwaukee,Wi)
Vlad Tepes (by Quentin Shank, Color Bomb LLC, Milwaukee,Wi)

Where to Put a Portrait Tattoo

When choosing a size for your portrait tattoo, you will want to remember that the smaller the tattoo, the less detail you will see. The less detail in your finished tattoo may lead to a lesser quality portrait design. So, you will want to size your tattoo at least 4" x 6."

The most common placements for portrait tattoos include:

  • Upper arm
  • Calf
  • Back
  • Shoulder

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    • profile image

      cheechee 7 years ago

      yea im with you cecelia it does look god awful shading is all off im sure this place does good work just not up to any portrait i would want to have on me forever

    • profile image

      Brandon Clark 8 years ago

      It's an exact replica. Hate the baby, not the tattoo.

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      cecelia 8 years ago

      no no no hell no i wouldn't get a portrait tattoo from this place....that baby's face looks god awful! hell no

    • profile image

      denise 8 years ago

      tattoos of children is real inspiring

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      Krista Hankins 9 years ago

      I love the portriat of the tattoos i would Love to get one of my sister because she was killed by a drunk driver. and she has a son and me and my mom are trying so hard to raise him as we think she would have. God Love You All Peace

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