Factors That Impact How Long A Tattoo Will Take

The biggest question on people’s mind when they start to consider getting a tattoo is, how long will it take? Tattoo artists get asked that all the time and the answer every time is “it all depends”. There are a number of different factors that impact how long it will take for your tattoo to be completed and we’ve covered them all here.


       Simply put, the more complex the tattoo the more time under the needle. High levels of detail requires more time to get the right shading and shape necessary to make the image come to life- and look good! Last thing you want is a rushed tattoo job.


            Certain styles take longer than others. Pointillism and realism portraits typically take longer than simple line work or minimalist ink. The color pallet of your tattoo also impacts the length. Black and grey ink is usually faster than color ink, which requires the ink to be layered multiple times to get the correct vibrancy.


            Size is probably the biggest factor when it comes to determining how long your tattoo is going to take. Small tattoos clearly will take less time. Larger tattoos can take multiple sessions over weeks or years to complete.            


            The more comfortable and practice a tattoo artist has with a certain style, or in general, will impact their speed at inking. Check out their portfolio and be sure to ask them how long certain pieces took to get an idea.

After Care (For Multiple Sessions)

            If you decided to go with a large, multi-session piece it’s key to listen to your tattoo artist’s after care plan. The longer it takes for your skin to heal, the longer you have to wait in-between each session.

            There’s no magical timeline for tattoos but after you decide on the location, size and design of your tattoo your artist should be able to give you a best estimate on the time until completion. Book an appointment with one today to start planning!



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