White ink tattoos are a white-hot tattoo trend right now. As you might have guessed, white ink tattoos use predominantly white ink to create their designs. The ink itself is thicker than most tattoo ink which makes it difficult for artists to apply. Many will tell you that white ink is better for shading than actually doing any line work. However, it can be done and certain tattoo artists are learning to specialize in it due to the growing demand. What they’ve learned is that white ink in itself is not ideal because it ages and the color changes over time. This is because white ink has a lot of transparency to it. Because each person’s skin tone is different, the white ink will end up looking different on each person. A trick tattoo artists have learned is to mix the white ink with a small amount of contrasting ink with pigment. For instance, for people with very pale or pink skin, grey or blue ink might be added to make it stand out more. Because the ink is so thick it often requires a different application process, which actually causes more scarring. As you’ll see some of these tattoos look raised from the skin because the skin is actually scarred over the area. Some people love this effect while others might not want to look like they’ve been sliced up. White ink tattoos are tricky, but they are absolutely breathtaking when they’re done right. Here are 27 white ink tattoos that we think you’ll love.
27. A Ghostly Jellyfish
We hope this didn’t sting! This ghostly white ink jellyfish tattoo is light as air. This delicate tattoo showcases how great white ink tatts can be and what’s so appealing about them. They’re unique and understated tattoos.
26. A Kiss of Sun
A simple sun design might look a little bland if it were done in just black ink. With white ink, this tattoo has so much brightness and seems to emit a cheerful energy. She’s a beauty.
25. A White Chest Piece
This stunning white ink chest piece was shared by the tattoo artist who did it. She says that this tattoo was extremely tedious because of the ink and that she was very concerned before it dried. Fortunately, the tattoo healed and looks incredible.
24. A Study in Contrasts
These contrasting simple line designs in black and white come together to form an inspired tattoo. White and black is a timeless color combination that works splendidly here for these two faces.
23. A White Snake (Not the Band)
Again, we’ve got a beautiful marriage between white and black. Look closely at the white snake and you’ll notice that there’s been a little bit of yellow or orange ink added to the white to help it stand out. This tattoo is haunting.
22. A Pretty Pearl
The white pearl inside this black and grey tattoos looks like it’s glowing. This tattoo is beautifully done and will probably be prized and complimented for years to come.
21. White Noise
Tattooing a perfect circle is extremely difficult. This tattoo artist has managed to do a fantastic job given that they’ve had to use such thick and unwieldy ink. There are hundreds of dots of varying sizes that radiate out from the center and fill this tattoo. Pretty amazing.
20. White on Black
A blackout tattoo is a tattoo that’s all black and is usually used to cover an old, unwanted tattoo. This person has decorated their blackout with a white ink tattoo of a peony. The result is wholly unique and very beautiful.
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19. A Rune and a Moon
While this isn’t our favorite design, we found this tattoo strangely fascinating. As you can see, there’s a crescent moon and then a rune. We believe it’s a symbol for “day.” So this person got a tattoo that essentially means day and night on their forehead. The courage this took…
18. A White Mandala
This gorgeous mandala-inspired tattoo looks like it’s been applied with a little bit of grey ink to give contrast. It’s a gorgeous tattoo that will benefit from the thickness of the lines. As the tattoo ages, it will remain pronounced because of the bold application.
17. A Lovely Lotus
This white lotus on top of black ink was done by a Japanese tattoo artist and the design feels almost abstract. We really love the white on black look.
16. White Dots
The person who shared this image of their tattoo says it was inspired by a Roma design. If you look closely, you’ll notice that this tattoo is comprised of thousands of little dots. The overall effect is gorgeous and it looks like the rose windows that you find in many cathedrals.
15. A Heartbeat Away
This sinus rhythm tattoo looks like what you’d see on an electrocardiogram only in white. This delicate tattoo is almost invisible against this person’s skin tone and will end up aging and looking more like a scar than a tattoo.
14. A Lucky White Feather
The person who shared this picture says that finding white feathers means that angels are near. The tattoo artist has made the design look almost like an etching. It’s an interesting look and we’re interested to see how it’s healed.
13. A Japanese Bird
The Japanese tattoo artist who did this piece should be proud of themselves. The geometric design of this tattoo took a very steady hand and these short lines are difficult with white ink. As you can see, the tattoo is raised from the skin and it gives the tattoo a very intriguing look.
12. A Kaleidoscopic Design
As an example for you to see just how different these tattoos look after they heal, here’s a geometric sunburst tattoo. The image on the left shows what the tattoo looked like fresh from tattooing. As you can see, more pigment is visible and it looks uneven. The image on the right shows the tattoo fully healed and it’s bright white and cleaner. White ink looks great but it’s so tricky.
11. It’s In the Abstract
A Cercelée cross is similar to an anchored cross and was commonly displayed on the armor of knights. This tattoo incorporates them into an interesting design that might be something you’d see as part of a family coat of arms.
10. A Punctuated Brow
These white dot tattoos get progressively bigger as they move towards the center of the face. It makes them look like a diagram of the moon or other celestial bodies. This was a bold choice!
9. An Olive Branch
Here’s another bold face tattoo. It creeps into the hairline and probably will dramatically fade after it’s healed.
8. Tied Up
Here’s another example of a tattoo that uses both black and white inks. It gives such a ghostly, decidely creepy vibe. And, we mean that as a compliment.
7. Got Your Back
This tattoo took our breath away. It had to have taken several hours over the course of several days to complete. If we had to guess how this was achieved, we’d say white ink was laid down first as a “base” layer and then black and grey was applied on top of it. If not that, grey ink was laid down and white was used to make all the dots. This is a sharp, beautiful, well-done design. Magic!
6. It’s Geometric
This geometric white on black ink design is made even more dramatic looking by the black and white photograph. The honeycomb motif appears again and again on this sleeve along with other designs that are reminiscent of 1950s pop art.
5. A Fine Floral Tatt
This fine line floral tattoo must have been extremely difficult to tattoo. It’s so delicate and light it looks like it could float off in a breeze. The person who got this tattoo shared it with the explanation that it is an experiment to see how white ink heals and ages on her skin.
4. Thoughts on Art
Yes, she is! This small tattoo of script that reads “she is art” is charming. We’re all works of art if you think about it.
3. A Stunning Sleeve
This is another example of a blackout tattoo that’s been tattooed with white ink. The Asian inspired design is visually stunning. As you might have guessed, white ink is easier for tattoo artists to apply when it’s going on another pigment like black.
2. A Mini Heart
That’s love! This micro tattoo of a heart in white ink is going to be so subtle when it heals that you would hardly notice it’s there. Although this looks minimal, tattoos this fine with white ink are super hard. There’s even more pressure on the artist because it’s going on someone’s face. The artist must have had a lot of experience and nerves of steel.
1. Negative Space
A tattoo artist shared this image and explained that he’s experimenting with white ink on himself. This is after the first application of white ink on his blackout sleeve. It will add another coat after this heals. We love the design here and think it looks much more interesting than a normal blackout or coverup tattoo.
White ink tattoos are super hot right now, but heed our warnings: they’re not easy. Of course, tattooing with white is more of an art than a science. Before you decide to get one of these stunning tattoos, be sure to do some homework and I find an artist you trust who has plenty of experience with this sort of application.
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.
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