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.