As tattoos continue to grow in popularity, artists push the envelope with the color, complexity, and scope of their designs. The classic Sailor Jerry style of tattooing–which champions dark outlines and a limited color palette–is joined by other styles such as dotwork, watercolor, and cross stitch. Another popular and striking approach that has been gaining recent attention online is called blackout, which covers the skin with solid fields of black ink.
Like any technique, how a blackout tattoo looks falls on a spectrum. Some artists will fill their client’s skin with large areas of ink that turns entire body parts another color. Others might shy away from that much black, and they’ll instead use it as a bold design element that’s coupled with intricate lines, geometric shapes, or dots. But no matter how the tattooist approaches blackout, one thing is certain: these tattoos are nothing short of stunning.
Check out 17 of our favorite blackout tattoos, below.