Neotraditional Tattoos

© Mitchell Allenden

Neo Traditional expands on American traditional techniques to include more depth of dimension, more options for line widths, and a broader color palette. The subject matter often pays homage to classic themes, updating but not wholly replacing Traditional motifs.

Neotraditional sleeve © Matt Webb

The post-1970s resurgence of tattoo popularity in the west led to technical innovations with tattoo machines and inks. With more color options and different tools available, and a more diverse group of people participating, evolution was inevitable.

Neotraditional cat head © Young Woong Han

A key difference between Neo Traditional and New School is that the former aims to honor the aesthetic heritage of western military tattoo culture, while the latter shares more overlap with modern street art culture.

Neotraditional Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones) tattoo © Mimi

The bold, clean black outlines of Old School tattoos are also used in this style, but the minimal, well saturated color palette consisting mainly of primary colors used in American traditional style is replaced by more realistic depth, shading, color and detail.

Neotraditional koala tattoo © Debora Cherrys
Neotraditional Medusa tattoo © Shio Zaragoza

Author: Morgan English

Originally published at