Portrait Tattoo Ideas
A good deal of portraits are tattooed as a memorial to a loved one who has passed (animals included). Getting the tattoo tends to be an emotional process for some so it's important that the tattoo artist be courteous, sensitive, and respectful. If you've ever watched the show "Miami Ink" on TLC, you'll be familiar with renowned tattoo artist Kat von D who specializes in portrait tattoos. Customers seek her out when they want a reproduction of an idol or loved one tattooed on their skin. An expert in her field, Kat has done hundreds of portrait tattoos.
Portrait tattoos are complex. The level of detail that goes into a portrait requires an expert understanding of shading, blending, and other artistic techniques. Of course, the artist will need a photograph to base the design on, and there will likely be some edits to the design to get it just right.
Tattoos of PeopleClick thumbnail to view full-size
How to choose the right artist for a portrait tattoo?
Portrait tattoos require a high degree of skill that not every tattoo artist has and a talent in drawing that not every artist is capable of. As with any body modification, do your research ahead of time. If you know someone who has a portrait tattoo that you admire, ask them which artist or shop they went to. If you are choosing a tattoo artist out of the blue, ask to see examples of their portrait work beforehand. Most seasoned tattooists have put together a portfolio displaying samples of work they have done. The best portfolios will have a picture of the finished tattoo alongside a copy of the original photograph. You want to make sure that the completed tat is realistic and that it actually looks like the person it's supposed to resemble.
Portrait Tattoos of PetsClick thumbnail to view full-size
How big does a portrait tattoo have to be?
Keep in mind that there is a minimum size requirement for portrait tattoos. The absolute smallest an artist will be able to do is about 3" by 3", and that's pushing it. The smaller the tattoo, the less detail you will be able to get. Typical size ranges from 4" by 6" and larger, which should fit nicely on an adult shoulder.