Portrait Tattoos 101

A portrait tattoo is a great way to honor or remember someone you love. It can be a portrait of a family member, a pet or even a celebrity icon. This type of tattoo can be tricky though due to the level of detail and the realism. Before you sit down to get your new portrait tattoo inked consider the following.


Portrait tattoos take a lot of time due to the level of detail and skill. Expect to spend between 4-10 hours in the chair. This time can go up though depending on the size, placement, and details.


Most tattoos are done in the realism style, capturing the lifelike image from the photograph. However, recently people are getting portraits done in another style such as dotwork, cubism or watercolors. Consider if you want a colored portrait or black and gray as well.


Portrait tattoos can be costly due to the high level of details and skills needed to capture the realism. They can be pricey but you never want to go cheap on tattoos, especially not portrait ones.


Always, always, look through an artist’s portfolio. Make sure they have experience and skill in portrait tattoos. It’s a good idea to ask to see the original photo and compare it with the finished tattoo they completed.


An artist can only recreate a quality image if they’re given a quality image. Make sure to always print out the picture and make it larger than the tattoo size you want. Make sure the image isn’t blurry, pixilated or faded.

If you’re looking to get a portrait tattoo done check out our Toronto tattoo studio. We have many gifted artists that specialize in portrait tattoos.

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