... the other Black experience

Well, I have always been fascinated by colors tattoos, but I never see these kind of tattoos on darker skin tones, and the tattoos I'm especially interested in are mostly on white people. I'm especially interested in color sleeves, but have been wondering if it would be as bright and vibrant on my skin. Does anyone have colorful tattoos or know anyone with one that came out nicely? Need advice, thanks.

Views: 70869

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

i had the same thoughts as you but after gettin my arm tat which has red and green in it, it actually turned out ok. you just gotta find a person that is good at putting color ink or darker skin, check out Miya Bailey and Tuki Carter that's actually one of their specialties.
You should track down James Spooner (yes he did the Afro Punk film) on Facebook, I know he now does tattoos at Timeless Tattoos out here.  I bet if you have any questions, he'd like to answer them about tattooing on darker skin.  You could also look up the website of another brother tattoo artist out here called Zulu, he's been in business a long time, and surely also could answer your questions about color tattoos.

I found a wordpress page James has up, go on and contact him.  I notice on there a longtime AP buddy on there, Temba.  The designs are great and Temba's a brown dude, and it appears the color's turned out nice.


Here is Zulu's website:



I have spoken to a number of tattoo artists about this, and the consensus is that it depends on how dark or light you are, and what colors you want. If you are on the darker side, shades like orange, pink, and yellow will not show up well on you. If you are lighter, then it will probably be fine, but it would be wise to avoid a tattoo that is predominantly pink, orange, yellow, or white. Colors that work on nearly everyone: black (of course), blue, red, and green. This still leaves a lot of color options available for most of us, you just have to be realistic about what will look good and what won't. You don't want your tattoo to look like a skin disorder. I wanted to get pink cherry blossoms on my tattoo, but I opted to get red after much discussion with my tattoo artist. I'm kind of a medium brown hue.  Hope this helps!!



First off I'm not a tattoo artist but I do have lots of tattoos. People with more melanin in their skin will not have most color tattoo ink show up well. Maybe some day (or right now and I'm just not aware) someone will create color tattoo ink for darker skin tones. Black tattoo ink shows up on a lot of darker tones but the design can't be too detailed or the tattoo will look like a blob. The reason is that the tattoo gun puts the ink under the first few layers of skin, so as it was described to me: no matter how brightly colored the seats of your car are, if the windows are tinted it'll be hard too see. I have some tattoos on my arm that are now faded because when I was a dog walker my arms got and stayed really tan. I was told that even if I got it touched up it might not be as bright as before.
You might try finding a tattoo artist who's darker skinned, they could probably help you out more. There's a tattoo magazine called: Urban Ink that's dedicated to tatooed people of color.
Hope this helps. Good luck!

I'm fairly dark... an almondy shade, if you will. I can't fux with the blue or green. They would look like mud on my skin.

Black, black + more black, yellow, orange, pinks and reds are precisely what works on me. Those are the colors I stick with. Maybe it's because of all the red in my skin, but they tend to come out in a way I'm satisfied with once they heal and mello. Especially for the type of tattoos I favor, which are old-school/traditional types of designs w/ bold black lines + blocks of color. I stay away from fine detail and too much shading. Two colors max. And I don't expect any of the colors to stay bright which is why I don't make them the feature, just the accent.


I'm constantly on the hunt for pix of brown folks with sleeves. It's a wrap for my right arm. She doesn't even know yet. I got plans... but it's nice to see how certain colors look on certain tones and plot. Think about what will work. You just gotta find what works and when you get it, roll with it.


And I cosign on the Urban Ink. That magazine was much needed.

Ok. Well I have a few ink and for my skin complexion black; cherry bomb red; and deep purple seem to work. I a semi new tat of a lotus flower and the line is black but the flower is shaded in purple I must confess I did rub on the artwork this time around. I don't know why since I have plently, but I will get in retouched in the winter. This is do to the lack of order. White people have the blank slate to show more color but there are still great options for us :)

my complexion is very dark i tend to stick with  bold just straight black in color. it looks alot better as for color i dont favor i have seen alot of color on dark skin individuals once that top layer skin has heal it tends loose its visibility. well lets just say im speak bout those with the same complexion as mines

started tattooing bout 2 years ago still in the process below is my first tat



Reply to Discussion


Latest Activity


  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2017   Created by Matthew.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service