Skip to main content

Portrait Tattoo Pictures & Designs

  • Author:
  • Updated date:
(by Nigel Kurt, Fun House tattoos, Barnsley UK)

(by Nigel Kurt, Fun House tattoos, Barnsley UK)

Portrait Tattoos

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 reproduce a picture of your loved one and be sensitive and respectful of what you want in your tattoo.

Choosing 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 to get as a tattoo. Remember that the better the picture, the better the result of your tattoo.

The best picture that you can find doesn't just mean it is clear and crisp. It should also be an appropriate size. You will want to find the best picture you can that's no smaller than 3" x 3".

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.

Choosing a Tattoo Artist for the Job

Portrait tattoos require a great deal of skill that not every tattoo artist has or is capable of possessing. Research 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, like an artist or tattoo shop.

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

Most tattoo artists will have a portfolio of their work. If the tattoo artist is true of his art and skill, you will see the original picture beside 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 artist is familiar with a good portrait tattooist in the area.

Where to Put It

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

© 2008 jaymz


santa on December 01, 2018:

even though some people don't have tattoos it's fine

cheechee on June 13, 2010:

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

Brandon Clark on December 06, 2009:

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

cecelia on September 15, 2009:

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

denise on January 19, 2009:

tattoos of children is real inspiring

Krista Hankins on September 17, 2008:

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