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Arguably one of the most popular tattoo styles today is the realism tattoo style. Unlike traditional, old-school, Japanese, or every other tattoo style in the ink world, realism tattoos, as you can tell by the name, distinguish themselves by their often hyper-realistic, lifelike appearance. Though the subjects of lifelike tattoos can be infinite, the only requirement is that the tattoo looks as close to photorealistic as possible.

How is that achieved? Photo realism tattoos ought to be as accurate and detailed as possible. Hence, it only makes sense that realistic tattoos require a highly skilled hand. Outlines do not exist in the real world; thus, they are rarely (if ever) used in realism-style tattoos. To separate the subjects of the tattoo, masters in the hyper-realistic tattoo style entail a lot of shading, way more than any other tattoo style would require. Thus, with the amount of shading necessary to achieve the desired effect, hyper-realistic tattoos take considerably longer to complete than other tattoo styles. And because of all the detailing, realism tattoos require extra aftercare to prevent them from fading. Therefore, getting a realistic tattoo as your first is generally not recommended, considering it’s not a “one-and-done” type of tattoo session. Still, the end result is very much worth it.

If you are considering getting one or simply enjoy looking at the lifelike ink reproductions on the skin, you will undoubtedly appreciate seeing the many realism tattoo ideas we have gathered below. What do you think about realism-style tattoos? Perhaps you’re planning on getting a realism tattoo yourself? Let us know in the comments! And, as always, let us know your favorite realistic tattoos from the list by giving them an upvote!

#5

Everyone’s Favourite Giant Hagrid As Played By The Incomparable And Greatly Missed Robbie Coltrane

Realistic Giant Hagrid portrait tattoo

davidcorden Report

#6

Full 360 Wraparound Choker

Realistic full 360 wraparound metallic choker tattoo on neck

ryanashleymalarkey Report

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Shadozfire
Community Member
11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think the whole point is to never have to wear another necklace ever again! Absolutely stunning!

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#22

Tesla - Sergio Sanchez - Archive Studios Los Angeles California

Tesla portrait tattoo on arm

SergioSanchezArt Report

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Dak Janiels
Community Member
11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is AMAZING, and one of the more deserving for a tattoo considering he's a significant Father of America's technological progress.

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#29

Big And Unusual Project

Japanese theme samurai with building in background tattoo

amp_art Report

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Micaela Royo
Community Member
11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This reminds me of that Scooby Doo movie where theyre in Tokyo and they have to fight this giant samurai ghost

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#39

A Cover Up Tattoo Of A Golden Girl

Realistic girl face tattoo

jamestattooart Report

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Jennifer Clayton
Community Member
11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I don't remember this Golden Girl. Is it from a Blanche flashback? Maybe one of Sofia's memories..."Picture it! Sicily, 1926..."

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#45

My Head Tat Done By Corey Cuc At Hot Rod Tattooing In Martins Ferry Ohio

Dark realistic spider tattoo on head

jboogie41 Report

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Mam cymraeg
Community Member
11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm terrified of spiders that's too realistic and I would run lol

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#47

A Portrait Of A Family Member

A portrait of family member tattoo on arm

jims_ink Report

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#51

Took Inspiration From The Phantom Troupe And Got My Own Version Of The Tattoo

Dark spider tattoo on right shoulder

u/Any-Republic-7025 Report

#53

"The Balance Of Your Brain And Your Heart"

Brain and heart zipped together tattoo

goldenimagination Report

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Shikonah Serigala
Community Member
11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

...okay but the top of the zipper should be open and that would bug me for the rest of my life

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#55

Unfnished Mansion And Graffiti Tattoo

Unfinished mansion and graffiti tattoo on chest

maksimprimo Report

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#62

O' Fortuna by John Embry. Muse & Myth. Louisville, KY

Young woman portrait with her eyes covered

marxist-tsar Report

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sherry powers
Community Member
11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Been thinking about getting a tattoo and have a day trip planned to Louisville next weekend. Might check this place out.

#64

Money Girl

Realistic black woman with full cap and paper money in her hand, and a skunk leg sleeve tattoo

jc.vittorelli.ink Report

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Ghx
Community Member
11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Most of these are so pretentious. "Ayo, g, gimmie a tattoo of a girl with money" they're well executed but I just can't help but wonder, how are they gonna age?

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#65

A Jumper And A Nuthatch, By Gretta At Grettaalva Studios, Ottawa, Canada

Colorful jumper and a nuthatch with autumn leaves tattoo on arm

chilledpepper Report

#69

All-Time-Seeing Woman

Woman portrait and clock tattoo on arm

sarkozi.ninetynine Report

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#75

"This Heart Belongs To No One"

Heart and geometry forearm tattoo

qhuy.tattooist Report

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#76

Santa Carla

Santa Carla theme arm tattoo

victorgemelo.tattoo Report

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Susan Atkinson
Community Member
11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

One thing that always bothered me about Santa Carla, all the Damn Vampires!--- Lost Boys

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#80

Egypt Tattoo

Egypt theme Sphinx head arm tattoo

kokitattooist Report

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#81

"Freedom" Tattoo

Hand holding a torch tattoo

dayan_ink_art Report

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#83

Warrior Girl And Tiger Mix

Woman face like a tiger tattoo on arm

franky_lozano Report

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#84

Beautiful Rose

Light pink rose tattoo

nikkohurtado Report

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#85

Skull Mask

Dark woman face with skull mask and hands on her face tattoo

kimmi.gayle Report

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