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Remarkably Realistic Tattoo Portraits by Valentina Ryabova

Tattooing is an art that can be done in many different ways, and Valentina Ryabova from St. Petersburg, Russia has skillfully made her works look incredibly realistic. When you consider that the entire image is on skin, the depth that's achieved from subtle changes in hue and shading is remarkable.

Ryabova, or @val_tatboo on Instagram, has tattooed since 2013 and garnered a large following during that time. It's no surprise considering the gorgeous colors and the awe-inspiring depictions of animals, people, and objects. The artist also includes small details that you might not normally expect to see in tattoos; she's created a stunning tribute to Marilyn Monroe, mimicked the texture of a tiger's fur, and even highlighted the intricate reflections in someone's sunglasses.

According to the Smithsonian, tattoos have been around for over 5,000 years and began in the form of simplified line drawings. Ryabova's technique brings a contemporary and painterly touch to this permanent form of body art.

Valentina Ryabova Instagram and Facebook page
via [This Isn't Happiness]

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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