If you are considering getting your dream tattoo, you may have found yourself in that tug of war over whether to get a black and white tattoo or a color tattoo.
These are two completely different styles of tattoo, and people will tend to either get black and white tattoos or get colored tattoos, but they will hardly ever both. Is it possible, though, to get both types of tattoos in one piece? Can you mix black and white and color tattoos?
You can mix color and black and white tattoos. Whether you want to get a black and white tattoo with colored details around it, or whether you want a tattoo sleeve with black and white tattoos and colored tattoos, these two styles can be mixed together.
Let’s have a look at the different ways in which you could blend, mix and bring together black and white tattoos with color tattoos.
If you are looking for inspiration before your tattoo, check out my portfolio – you can find my works and projects here – on Instagram.
Can Black And White Tattoos Be Mixed With Color Tattoos?
Color tattoos can be mixed with black and white tattoos. While there are specific guidelines as to how you should and should not mix these two different styles of tattoo, there are usually no set rules telling you what you absolutely can and cannot do.
For example, your artist may suggest that if you are going to add colored details to your full black and white tattoo, to only add one color and to try to keep the colored details to a minimum to avoid your black and white tattoo with colored details turning into just a regular colored tattoo.
Your tattoo artists will be able to guide you as to the best way that you can add color to a black and white tattoo.
Keep an open mind about what your artist suggests, as they will know what will and what will not look good in the end – they have usually seen the good and the bad of all styles of tattoo.
How Can You Mix Color Tattoos And Black And White Tattoos?
There are so many unique ways that you can go about mixing a color tattoo with a black and white tattoo. Because this can be done by choosing a certain style of tattoo or by simply blending two different tattoos together, how you add color to a black and white tattoo will all depend on what you are looking for when it comes to mixing these two styles.
Here are a few different ways that you could mix a color tattoo with a black and white tattoo:
One Tattoo With The Two Styles Blended
If you are wanting to get one tattoo done that will have a mix of black and white with a bit of color to it, there are many different ways you can achieve this.
You can get a beautiful black and white tattoo, and your artist can help you come up with little details in or surrounding the piece that you will then add color to.
For example, you can get a black and white tattoo of a bird sitting on a cage, and at the bottom of the cage, you can have two blue flowers.
Trash Polka Style Tattoo
You can get a trash polka style of tattoo. This style of tattoo is a full black and white piece that will then generally have one large stroke of color, usually red, that goes through it. There will sometimes also be additional small details surrounding the tattoo that will also be red.
Japanese Style Tattoo
You can get a Japanese style tattoo. Japanese style tattoos are beautiful; they will usually consist of a full black and white tattoo, and then certain features of the tattoo will contain color.
For example, your tattoo design may be a dragon, with water around it and some flowers. You could then choose to add color to only the water or maybe only the flowers, giving you a small amount of color in your black and white tattoo.
You could also choose to add color to both the water and the flowers depending on the design of your tattoo, without it looking like a full-blown color tattoo.
Two Tattoos With The Two Styles Blended
If you want to have two separate tattoos, one being a fully colored tattoo and the other being a black and white tattoo, and you want the two blended, this may be more tricky, but definitely still doable.
The most common way that this style would be achieved is by adding a geometric, or just a fitting pattern, as a background that will flow between both/all tattoos.
This is to try to bring the different styles together, making them look more intertwined by giving them the same background that brings them together.
Your tattoo artist may try and blend these two styles of tattoo together to add the same element into both tattoos and then eventually blend them.
For example, if you have a black and white elephant tattoo on your thigh and a big colorful bird tattoo on your calf, and you would like the two pieces to blend with each other, your tattoo artist may add some leaves being blown in the wind in the background of both, each in their appropriate color scheme, and then bring the leaves to blend together, with maybe two or three of the leaves from the different color schemes blending.
This will not detract from the individuality of the black and white tattoo or from the color tattoo at all, but it will bring the two tattoos together to look more mixed together.
Can The Color Section Of My Tattoo Affect The Black And White Section Of The Tattoo?
The color section of your tattoo will not affect the black and white section of your tattoo.
Getting pieces of color added to your black and white tattoo will have the same effect as if you had gotten a regular color tattoo – nothing but a cool tattoo.
No color can “leak” through to the black and white, and while the color in your tattoo heals, it will not change the way the black and white part of your tattoo heals.
Therefore, adding color to your black and white tattoo will have no effect on the black and white section of your tattoo whatsoever.
Will A Mixed Black And White And Color Tattoo Take Longer To Heal?
Having color added to your black and white tattoo will in no way change the amount of time your tattoo will take to heal.
The only thing that may make your tattoo take longer to heal is if the color you have added into your black and white tattoo was a large, solid piece of color, such as the large sections of color that are “painted” over the black and white sections in a trash polka tattoo.
The reason this will take longer to heal is not because of the mix of color schemes at all, but because of how large of an area of skin will now need to work to heal that “wound.”
No matter what the color of that large section being tattooed, whether it be black and white or color, having a large solid area of skin tattooed completely is always going to take longer to heal than small and fine details in a tattoo will.
So that means that black and white tattoos that have the color mixed in them do not take any longer to heal than a regular tattoo will take to heal – it is large tattoos, regardless of color, that take longer to heal.
Some of my favourite designs, tattoo books and aftercare products, selected for you
Thank you for reading my article, I hope that you have found it helpful. If you would have trouble finding ideas for your tattoo, wonder what is meaning of design that you have found or what to buy for aftercare, to make sure that your tattoo will be healing quickly and easily, here are some of my favorite products in one place, hope that this will also help.
Deasign and tattoo ideas
For some ideas you can have a look at those 3 books with hundreds of designs that I use with my Clients, they are available on Amazon for Kindle or in classic, paper version (links below):
- Great Book of Tattoo Designs, Revised Edition: More than 500 Body Art Designs (Fox Chapel Publishing) Fantasy, Celtic, Floral, Wildlife, and Symbol Designs for the Skin by Lora Irish,
- The Big Book of Small Tattoos – Vol.1: 400 small original tattoos for women and men by Roberto Gemori,
- Tiny Tattoos: Over 1,000 Small Inspirational Artworks by Rebecca Vincent.
If you would like to read more about the meaning of different tattoo styles and designs before you will decide what you would like to have, I can recommend a book that was really useful for me when I was starting my tattoo adventure – it’s “Conscious Ink: The Hidden Meaning of Tattoos” by Lisa Barretta (through the link you can find it on Amazon for around $10).
The skin at the tattoo site often dries out. To prevent it and speed up healing for my Clients, I usually recommend one of those tattoo aftercare balms (you can find them on Amazon):
Looking for more info about tattoos? I might have them covered!
I have written almost 100 articles about tattooing – with details about each body part, problems that you might have with your tattoo, designs, styles, aftercare, and much more.
Have a look at the search option and see if you can find what you need here.
Getting a black and white tattoo with color mixed into it can turn out to be a gorgeous, unique looking tattoo – but as always, before you get this tattoo, make sure you have a good tattoo artist to do it, or it may come out looking terrible no matter what.
Do your research into how you would like to mix a black and white tattoo with color and take a look at whether there is a particular style of tattoo you want to go with, or if you would simply like to add colored details into your black and white tattoo.
Now that you know that you are able to mix color and black and white tattoos, get your research on and enjoy your new, beautiful, blended tattoo!