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Black and Grey Tattoos

Well, Black and Grey tattoo style is one of the big ones and, for some people, is the only way to get a tattoo, so this is a big guide.

On this article, we are going to show you:

Some about Black and Grey Tattoo History

Black and Grey tattoos have a big history, in fact, this tattoo style has been among us for thousands of years.

Yes, thousands.

The first known tattoo in human History is Otzi, an Iceman from 3350 BC, nearly 5.000 years back (from the Copper Age).

Otzi’s body was frozen in ice and, when some researchers studied the body, there were some black tattoo marks!

Moreover, there were mummies with black tattoos from ancient Egypt and we can say this art belongs to humanity from long, long time ago.

In fact, in places so far away like Brazil, Polynesia or Japan there was evidence for tattoos from thousands of years ago.


Black and Grey Realism Portrait

Here you can see the first example of an amazing black and grey tattoo.

As you can see, this tattoo is about realism and surrealism all in black and grey, with a fantastic shadowing effect.

And it is the perfect example of something unique and breathtaking with just black and grey colors.

This tattoo is made by Mocco, a fantastic tattoo artist from Korea we think you should follow.

What about Black and Grey Tattoo History in Europe and the US?

Speaking about the US and Europe, Black and Grey Tattoos 50 years back were called just “Jailhouse Tattoos” because they were very popular in prison.

In fact, there was a ban on  tattoos in prison, so they had to hide it from the authorities there.

It stayed that way until the 80’s with some revival, but keeping the underground radar, you know, tattoos were not for everyone, only for the bad people.

Back in late 90’s and with the new millennium, encouraged by punk, hardcore and metal bands, black and grey tattoo started being more popular, specially for West Coast Punk or Nu Metal trend, and black and grey tattoo’s popularity just increased more and more over.

Black and Grey tattoo as the beginning of Tattoo Era

In fact, black and grey tattoos were the first trend in the modern tattoo era, because colored ink results were not good for some kinds of tattoos.

So, you can say black and grey tattoos were the beginning of everything, in ancient tattoos and, moreover, in the modern ones.


Black and Grey Tree Tattoo

Another nice one!

This time, a tree tattoo in black and grey style with a lot of realism and some geometric elements with sizes and measures.

You cannot realize how difficult it is to do something like this, with all the fine lines in the circles, so perfect.

This tattoo is made by Takács Miklós, and amazing tattoo artist working at Törőcsik Art Room in Budapest, Hungary, of course.

Shading is the true point!

Well, when you have only two colors, black and grey, if you want to have some 3D effect to a tattoo you have to master shadowing, and that is the point.

Of course, in line tattoo there is no shadowing at all, and that’s cool, but you have to master this effect to all the realistic black and grey styles.

And, as you are going to find here in a lot of the different designs we want to show you, a perfect shadowing is the point to have perfect finish.


Black and Grey Ram Tattoo

Something more classical, and on realism and illustration styles too is this one.

As you can see, the final result is fantastic, as well as the size of the tattoo.

You may know something: This part of the body is one of the most painful to get inked, so this tattoo is something like a feat.

The tattoo is done by Arin Luger, an awesome tattoo artist working at EastSide Tattoo, in Enschede, The Netherlands, focused on illustration you need to know!

Do Black and Grey Tattoos Last More Than Color Tattoo?

Well, colored inks perform better every time but, you know, black and grey inks level is just amazing.

All tattoos tend to fade, but the point is:


Black and Grey Whale Tattoo

But you do not have to get inked with a very large tattoo so have something beautiful and eye-catching.

No, look at this.

This is a simple whale design with some dotwork and hearts inside but, do you know why?

To get this kind of simple design clean, with straight lines and this power is not easy at all!

This tattoo is done by Macarra Viana, another fantastic tattoo artist, this time, from Sao Paulo, in Brazil.

Top reasons to have a Black and Grey Tattoo

Yes, Black and Grey tattoos are the beginning of tattoos, so, if you want to come back to the basics, you may choose this tattoo style, for sure.

As we have told you just a few lines above, black and grey inks are amazing and they last “forever”, and this is another nice point when you are going to wear something forever too.

You know, really classic things do not go out of style, because they are just above all styles.

Well, black and grey tattoos are that kind of thing.

Black and Grey tattoo style is one of the biggest, from One Line Tattoos to hyper realistic ones, we are sure you may find your best.

And, for course, there are plenty of fantastic tattoo artists who perform perfectly on Black and Grey tattoos.

And now, a lot of Black and Grey Tattoo designs for you

We hope this list can inspire you:


Black and Grey Skull Tattoo

Yes, skulls are a subtrend inside black and grey tattoo, and we do love it.

Here you can see something like a deer skull from a tattoo apprentice (yes, this blows our mind too), mastering dotwork and illustration style.

This tattoo is made by Cleo, working at Rob’s Tattoowierstube, in Germany.

Nice work there!


Black and Grey Samurai Tattoo

And now, a samurai tattoo in black and grey as a half sleeve (we can read this will continue to a full sleeve one, so we cannot wait to see it!).

This time, illustration and realism is again here, with a perfect shadowing effect to give all the composition a 3D effect.

This tattoo is made by our beloved Trix, a wonderful artist working at Pol Studio Tattoo, in Jerez, Spain.


Clown Pedal Black and Grey Tattoo

This time you can see another black and grey tattoo, with a clown design in a drum pedal.

The design itself is very creative and we do love it, but the final result is just perfect.

As you can see, the tattoo artist masters illustration, shadowing and dotwork for this project.

This tattoo is done by Ken Carlos, working at Fudoshin Tattoos & Piercing, in London.


Zeus & Poseidon Black and Grey Tattoo

Breathtaking, isn’t it?

Here you can see another level black and grey tattoo, a chest work with Zeus and Poseidon in a realistic style made by a real master.

Shadowing is just perfect, with geometric elements, 3D effect and many other things to write “it is just beautiful”.

This tattoo is done by Lozé, a fantastic tattoo artist from Korea focused on realistic black and grey tattoos.


Black and Grey Flower Tattoo

Yes, botanical tattoos are a trend itself, but a lot of them used to be in black and grey style, as you can see here.

This delicate flower with some abstract patterns is maybe the perfect mix of styles with a minimalistic essence, and we think it is very harmonic.

This tattoo is done by Yuval Shir Shani, Founder of November Studio in Tel Aviv, Israel, and we think you should follow him right now.


Hell Kitten Black and Grey Tattoo

We do love cats, and we do love dark tattoos, so this example is just in the very center of our hearts.

As you can see, this is a kitten portrait tattoo in a realistic style (in the more classical way), but with a pentagram and some weird eyes, like being with The Devil inside.

This cute and scary tattoo was made by Marcel Schmidt, working at Inkbird , in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany.


Black and Grey Geometric Half Sleeve Tattoo

And another example of a perfect black and grey tattoo, this time in a geometric style.

As you can see, it is a half sleeve tattoo starting by the hand, from some geometrical elements with some 3D effect, finishing in a blackout with some runes.

All the compositions have a purpose and you cannot think how difficult it is doing something like these patterns so perfectly.

This tattoo is done by our beloved Ika Rial, a wonderful tattoo artist owner of Ekura’s Tattoo at Vilafranca del Penedés, in Spain.


Realistic Angel Black and Grey Tattoo

Realistic style matches perfectly with black and grey tattoos, is something you realized on this list, when you can find a lot of realistic tattoos.

This masterpiece is about an angel tattoo with “Family” inscription (or tattoo, you know).

It is like an ancient statue tattoo, in the most classical way, and it is done perfectly, with a huge mastery of shadowing.

The tattoo is done by Silvia Trezzi, owner of Many Many Tattoo, in Busto Arsizio, Italy, with a few guest spots.

We hope you enjoyed this guide about black and grey tattoos!

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