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Colour Ink on Dark Skin


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Hey everybody, I have a question that may have a simple answer. I'm a black guy and I would love to get some colour in a few of my future pieces but the person who did my first few said that colour will not take to my skin and red would end up turning out like a burnt orange colour. I've done some research online and most things say that it depends on the artist, their skill level and the quality of ink they use. So basically my question is are there any people of colour on here that have colour tattoos or any artists that have done colour tattoos on a coloured person?

Also if there is anybody in the Toronto area that could recommend a good artist for the job, if it is in fact possible.

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It depends on how dark you are as to how the color 'takes'. Generally speaking, you should take the artist's advice as he is the expert, however one expert may be more expert than another. I get a lot of color tattoos and I am not exactly a white guy.

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I think it really depends on how dark your skin is really. Quality of artist and pigment used is going to affect the tattoo regardless, but ultimately the tattoo is viewed through the first few layers of your skin. The more me melanin in your skin the harder it will be able to see certain colors and the more it affects how those colors look. Even being light brown this affects how color tattoos look on my skin. I know there is a thread somewhere about shops to go in Toronto, because at the end of the the tattooer is going to be the one to make the final call about what is feasible and what they feel comfortable doing.

From what I understand TCB tattoo is a good shop but not that familiar with the city.

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I've done lots of full color tattoos on darker skin, it does have a lot to do with not only how dark you are, but also weather you have a warm or cool complexion. The last part kind of has to do with what colors would be smart to use on you. But like everyone has already said check with your favorite tattoo artist and go from there.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Basically, its like this. Go try to color on a black piece of construction paper. Not gonna happen. Our skin is like a sheet of paper.

Not actually. The reason dark skin doesn't "take" color is that tattoo ink is placed below the layer of skin that contains the natural pigment. The color is in effect being shown thru a filter tinted by the skins pigment. Depending on the warm or cool values of the skin you can determine what colors will show up best. Example yellows don't show well in warm skin tones.

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There is a black guy at the gym I frequent who has the spartan shield with the red cloak hanging around it. You can definitely tell that it's red, but it's very dark. I'd say on the scale of blackness, he is about average skin tone.

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definitely about the exact skin tone... the former vocalist from Killswitch Engage has a bunch of color tattoos, but i've also seen a tattooer put a tiger on a guy that was invisible, until he came back and threw in some white highlights. the contrast afforded popped it right out.

for clarification, the tattoo was invisible, not the gentleman being tattooed. that'd be a completely different story.

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  • 9 months later...
  • 3 months later...

The answer to this question is, of course, "it depends on your skin tone" which leads to "talk to an artist". "Talk to an artist" is usually a good suggestion. But to add some more interesting content, here are a few of mine to see how some color works on my skin:

waxyyIM.jpg

dragon_20130602.jpg

I'm on the lighter side, though, so again, exact skin tone will be key.

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the one thing you have to remember is tattoo ink is opaque or see through if your skin tone is dark then no matter what the colors in your skin will be muted out by the darkness of your skin. however having an artist that puts color in solid will be the most important think if you decide to go with color. one last think most people with dark complexions will have lighter areas that are not exposed to the sun your upper legs inner biceps upper rib areas. If you take these things into considerations and have a honest good artist you will be happy with what ever you decide

good luck

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  • 1 month later...
I've done lots of full color tattoos on darker skin, it does have a lot to do with not only how dark you are, but also weather you have a warm or cool complexion. The last part kind of has to do with what colors would be smart to use on you. But like everyone has already said check with your favorite tattoo artist and go from there.
What does this mean?
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Here is an example of what red and blue might look like on darker skin:

Tattoo by JoJo Ackermann

fyi incase you are at work... the picture is of a full female back piece so it includes lady butt

Tried to open it but it won't. Am on the iPhone. Will try when I get home. And thanks
She needs to talk to a tattoo artist in person, that is the only person who can give her an answer.
Ok.
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She needs to talk to a tattoo artist in person, that is the only person who can give her an answer.

Really this is the only answer. We can give opinions and post examples and the artists here can give expert opinions, but talking to someone in person will give you a better answer. Find out who the good artists are in your travel range, whatever that may be, and talk to some. Just don't settle for a mediocre artist just because they have experience with darker skin. She should get the best work possible.

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Really this is the only answer. We can give opinions and post examples and the artists here can give expert opinions, but talking to someone in person will give you a better answer. Find out who the good artists are in your travel range, whatever that may be, and talk to some. Just don't settle for a mediocre artist just because they have experience with darker skin. She should get the best work possible.
Ok. She is in the Dominican Republic for the next 5 months and I am going to see her next week. We connected with a artist in Punta Cana,Dominican Republic and he did not recommend it. But he was not sure because everybody is different. He gave no guarantee. Thank you for your support.
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I am a warm brown complexion, and got my first colour tattoos over 10 years ago in Brampton, ON. I distinctly remember Chris, the tattoo artist, telling me I couldn't use orange or yellow, because it wouldn't show. I have a teal (bluish green) clover and a red fox, and both of them the colours show perfectly.

My brother who is the same complexion as me, has a full chest piece, upper arms, and back piece, using virtually all bright colours, except orange. His does have a little yellow in one, but its a very small section.

My next piece is a large floral piece, and I intend to use colours in it.

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