Oh, the humble little dot. Alone, it doesn’t look like much, but when it’s used as a part of a design it can help create intricate shapes, depth, shading, and more. Tattoos that are composed in total or in part by dots are called dotwork tattoos. Dotwork is simply the application of tons of tiny dots to form a tattoo design. You might have come across the term, stippling, which is another name for this style of shading in art.
You might think dotwork tattoos aren’t that exciting because they can only produce simple designs, but you’d be mistaken. The most detailed and painstaking designs are often made up of tons of tiny dots. These tattoos can be given by a tattoo gun in a skilled hand or using the stick and poke method which is performed by hand. The results vary depending on the artist and the tattoos they create can be truly breathtaking. We decided to take a look at the latest tattoos shared on social media to bring you the best dotwork tattoos you’ll ever see. Here are 25 dotwork tats that are going to make you see spots.
To start, here’s an extreme closeup shot of a mandala. Look at all of those teeny tiny dots that are used to create this abstract shape. Notice how neatly formed they are to give the appearance of clean lines.
Take a look at these black lips. Can you see how they’re composed of thousands and thousands of little dots? By now, we think you probably know what to look for.
This gorgeous sun and moon design proves that stippling is a superior form of shading. The tattoo artist who shared this image captioned the photo with a Dr. Seuss quote: “Day Play We play all day. Night Fight We fight all night.”
A Lot Of Dots
This gorgeous peony tattoo is paired with a soft geometric design to create a wholly unique tattoo. We love the light grey appearance of the dots that intensifies to black at the centers of each petal.
Well, we want a tangerine now. This cute little fruit tattoo is composed of thousands of little dots to give its peel a textured appearance.
This wrist tattoo is mesmerizing. It almost looks as if it’s been airbrushed on. If you’re an adventurer, you could do no better than this landscape-style design.
Sounds of the Sea
Artist Georges Seurat helped put pointillism of the map and move art forward after impressionism. Dotwork tattoos are sometimes called pointillism tattoos because they use a similar technique as painters employ.
This extremely fine and light tattoo is breathtaking. You have to take a very close look, but those little fish are indeed shaded with dots. What a fabulous piece!
Dots in black and dots in purple give this chrysanthemum a lot of character. If you’re after a touch of drama, dotwork will help your artist achieve it.
Dots arranged in a linear shape help give this dog’s fur dimension and bring the little pup to life. White ink is also sparingly used here to add highlight.
Wow! These fingers certainly look exquisite. The very fine dots help give this design a dip-dyed look that we imagine will appeal to many people.
Does anyone else feel like a skeleton floating through space right now? Just us? Okay! We love this incredibly detailed pointillism tattoo that is shaded entirely with little spots.
Here’s another mandala-style tattoo worth taking a look at. Inside the abstract design, you’ll find an elephant and flower that have both been expertly shaded.
Here’s another wrist banger, this time, with disjointed palm leaves as the subject matter. This very handsome tattoo looks fantastic and we’d love to see more blocked designs filled with organic shapes. Bravo!
Moth and Moon
The artist who shared this image explained that the moth, with all of its fine lines and stippling, took two hours to compose. The hard work certainly paid off. We love this nighttime design. It’s haunting.
Here, we find expert shading on this turtle. This whimsical design is one of the sharpest on the list.
You’re a Star
We’re still underwater! Here’s a lovely starfish. We love how the artist captured the rough nooks and crannies.
This tattoo is so delicate it looks like it’s floating in air. We love this floral design with its humble and light shading.
Or, blue to seafoam? At any rate, the artist has created an ombre effect with the use of stippling to gradually blend the inks. The neat linear design makes the color the star.
Two roses framed by geometric designs allow soft lines and color to juxtapose with hard, black ink. The opposing styles give this tattoo so much balance and beauty.
People love their Disney tattoos. And, here’s an excellent example of one. We find Mulan shaded with a constellation of dots inside a tidy circle.
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A Lot to Dot
Yes, go ahead and get a half sleeve tattoo shaded with nothing but dots. This tattoo comes all the way from Poland and the artist explained that it’s an octopus holding a vial. Sure, why not?
Here, we find a sort of UFO-lake-monster mashup. There’s a lot of dots in this. We have no idea what inspired this design, but we’re into it.
Take Time & Reflect
Look very closely and you’ll see that this daytime/nighttime cat is shaded and colored with tons of tiny little dots. We love the landscape designs inside the cat shape. This is a fun one!
There you go! 25 delightfully detailed dotwork or pointillism tattoos that show the variety and utility of this tattooing technique. We hope you enjoyed these designs and feel inspired to get your very own dots!
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
- 1 Marvelous Mandala
- 2 Black Lips
- 3 Sunny
- 4 A Lot Of Dots
- 5 Spot On
- 6 The Traveler
- 7 Sounds of the Sea
- 8 Dreamy Fish
- 9 Dramatic Chrysanthemum
- 10 Cute Pooch
- 11 Fine Fingers
- 12 Lift Off
- 13 Elephant Mandala
- 14 Palm Leaves
- 15 Lucky Feeling
- 16 Moth and Moon
- 17 Turtle Time
- 18 You’re a Star
- 19 Apricots
- 20 Blue Block
- 21 Fun Floral
- 22 Mulan
- 23 A Lot to Dot
- 24 Sci-Fi Fantasy
- 25 Take Time & Reflect
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