I still tattoo realism if requested, but it is no longer my main focus.
With all the amazing tattoo styles permeating the internet, it's hard to not be impressed even when you know they will not hold up to time. I already had a love for black and grey shading, so it was a no brainer for me to try my hand at realism. The undeniable fact is that tiny details and light color/shading will not last the test of time the way that other styles have proven to do. I have rethought my approach to black and grey realism. Using more of the darker shades and eliminating the lightest shades of grey. The consequence of less shades of grey is that it will look less realistic, but will hold up much longer.
As you age so does your tattoo. The ink will fade and spread out. Light colors and light shading, will be first to fade away leaving you with only the darkest inks. A well built tattoo will be planned to compensate for this.
This brings us to some of the other styles of tattooing that are built to last. They have solid lines, solid shading and lots of space to spread out. Japanese style tattooing in particular has been developed over hundreds of years. Japanese style designs are built in a way to make them easy to read and to fit and flow with the shapes of your body. As you age and your tattoo does with you the ink will fade and spread out. Light colors and light shading, will be first to fade away leaving you with only the darkest inks. A well built tattoo will be planned to compensate for this.
Bellow are random images I have found from old times, old tattoos, the people and the Shops and whatever else is in there.