Have you ever seen seemingly translucent tattoos? If you’re wondering what these tattoos are, they feature white ink that allows naturally dark complexions to show through. On pale skin, they look subtle and dainty.
White ink tattoos appear rather unique and aesthetic. Besides the classic black and multicolored tattoos, you’ll find white tattoos that give off an airy sensation and create an ethereal look.
With white ink designs, you’ll make a striking statement. They immediately stand out amid dark-colored tattoos. What’s more, they actually glow beautifully when spotlighted with ultraviolet light!
The rare tattoo color gives you a variety of design options. Your artist may outline a blackwork motif in white to make the design pop out and look more attention-catching. Some artists also outline colorful patterns to attain a halo effect. Another technique is to fill in dark outlines in white ink to create stark contrast. You can easily see the design as it contrasts the light white hue. This technique achieves a stunning, dimensional appearance.
Check out our collection of splendid white ink tattoos below! With these designs, you’ll get an idea of what theme or pattern to choose for your next tattoo.
White Ink Tattoo Ideas
Artistically positioned on the wrist, this tattoo emphasizes the word “courage.” If you’re experiencing a personal struggle or you’ve successfully overcome a past trouble, then this kind of tattoo best captures your characteristic.
Beautiful, cursive writing suits word tattoos. The simplistic design spells out the word “courage” without any other additional element. The lighter ink makes the tattoo look prominently raised and noticeable.
Choose the word that best describes your personality. Alternatively, you can select a word that’s memorable to you, like the name of your favorite person. You can even opt for special dates, such as an anniversary.
This full-sleeve tattoo features a pure black backdrop that covers the entire arm down to the wrist. White ink is mainly used to highlight the geometric patterns, emphasizing the beauty of the symmetrical design. With the use of white ink, the tattoo portrays stunning contrast against the dark-colored sleeve.
Covering the entire length of the arm, this is another full-sleeve tattoo that features visually pleasing geometric forms. White ink creates a raised effect, adding dimension and a punch of appeal to the overall design.
In this design, the artist blends in white hue with a dark palette to achieve a glowing effect. Incorporating white ink intensifies the look of this three-dimensional tattoo, which features an ominous gas mask.
Another full-sleeve tattoo, this design boasts a mandala pattern. Mandala tattoos consist of shapes and symbols that emanate from the middle and spread outward in a circular pattern.
These tattoos exemplify symmetry as they look perfectly balanced. They signify wholeness and eternity. Mandalas also represent varying aspects of the universe, and they are a common symbol in meditation and sacred rites.
With the help of white ink, the mandala pattern stands out against the black background. The tattoo appears like it’s glowing, and it immediately draws the eye.
Also See: What are Watercolor Tattoos? Origins, Pros, Cons, Techniques & More
This elaborate tattoo features the motivational phrase “Life Goes On” in the middle. White ink makes the typography tattoo look easily readable and striking. Bold lineworks with linear elements surround the main design.
Covering the entire leg down to the ankle, this tattoo boasts different types of animals and insects outlined using white ink. The application of white ink creates the figures of a snake, spider, centipede, scorpion and other insects.
This full-sleeve tattoo appears to delineate the silhouettes of clouds and the breeze of the wind. With white ink, the curvy lines look raised on the skin’s surface.
Blending white ink with an intricate, dark-colored tattoo somehow attains a lightening effect. Talk to your artist about the kind of effect you’re going after to make sure you get the right results.
This Mandala tattoo covers part of the arm and creates a lovely contrast between white ink and solid black color. More subtle symbols with lighter shading extend down to the wrist.
When done correctly and adeptly, white ink can be incorporated to any tattoo to achieve a three-dimensional look. White ink adds depth and intensity to dark-colored and multicolored tattoos. It also helps highlight elaborate designs.
Typography themes look great when done in white ink. Charming, cursive designs will look pretty on your arm, wrist, ankle or near the collarbone.
Remember though that white ink tattoos are tricky to accomplish on very pale skin. Thus, be sure to choose the best artist around. Your selected tattoo artist should have plenty of experience and expert skills when it comes to white ink designs. If done poorly, a white ink tattoo will transform into a yellowish color over the years, particularly when constantly exposed to bright sunlight.
Skillfully blending white ink with other palettes will elevate and highlight your 3-D tattoo. The three-dimensional motif above combines geometric and abstract elements. Splashes of red add a burst of color to the highlighted design.
Putting a modern twist to traditional mandala patterns, the arm tattoo above portrays a mandala symbol in clean, geometric form with straightforward lines and sharp edges. The white ink adds emphasis and elevates the meaningful symbol.
If you’d like to express your artistic, creative side, this abstract tattoo on the upper arm is a cool choice. The white, raised ink creates staggered lines for an aesthetic, uneven look.
In this hand tattoo, the white ink design looks noticeably elevated. White ink helps make more impact as the design appears like it’s raised a few millimeters from your skin.
These floral tattoos are positioned on the feet. Without using any other color, these purely white ink tattoos look delicate and give off a feminine vibe. White ink is used to create subtle outlines of flowers, and the lack of shading achieves a simplistic, dainty look.
Applying white ink on top of a solid black sleeve helps create the outline of a hand with crossed fingers. White ink is also used to add more detail to the design.
With the use of white ink, the branches of trees appear more lifelike and eye-popping. This full-sleeve tattoo relies on white ink to sharpen the look of the trees.
Only white ink is used to form a symmetrical snowflake on this hand tattoo. The bright, translucent color of the ink contrasts the nearby dark tattoos.
Translucent White Ink
By using translucent ink, professional tattoo artists are able to create subtle tattoos that look delicate. White ink is also an excellent complement when it comes to achieving contrast in bold, elaborate blackwork designs. Artists also sometimes use white ink to highlight certain designs as well as blend in with different color palettes.
White ink has become a versatile and intriguing choice among tattoo enthusiasts. Whether you want a traditional tattoo, a typography art tattoo, a minimalist design or a 3-D pattern, white ink can be a unique, standout choice.
White ink tattoos boats a raised effect, creating a dimensional appearance. As mentioned earlier, they also glow stunningly when exposed to UV light.
Longevity of White Ink Tattoos
Fresh tattoos always look great within the first couple of years. Because white ink is ideally used to highlight or alter the tone of other hues, it may be vulnerable to fading after some time. This is especially true when white ink is used on its own without other darker colors. However, keep in mind that all tattoos will eventually fade after many years. The way you care for your tattoo will affect its longevity and vibrancy.
In some cases, a standalone white ink tattoo ends up looking like a dainty scar. To make sure your tattoo stands the test of time, keep your tattoo area properly moisturized. Apply a generous amount of sunscreen with adequate SPF to shield your skin from sun damage.
Here are aftercare tips to ensure your tattoo heals fully and preserves its look:
- Cleanse your white ink tattoo using water and mild soap on the first day.
- On the following days, keep it clean using soap and water. Dab some moisturizer on it afterward.
- Avoid picking at any scabs that form. Doing so may increase risk of scarring.
- In the second week, continue applying moisturizer to alleviate itching and discomfort.
- In the following weeks, keep your tattoo area cleansed and well-moisturized. Allow the scabs to naturally fall off.
Pros of White Ink Tattoos
White ink designs look naturally radiant and glowing. Moreover, the light, translucent color complements a variety of skin tones. Upon healing fully, white ink tattoos create the appearance of raised skin that makes the designs more prominent.
And if you want a 3-D tattoo, mixing white ink with other shades attains an impressive result. White ink is a versatile color to pair with darker outlines for beautiful contrast. It also looks beautiful with bright colors. Whether you want to achieve a halo effect or highlight certain patterns, white ink can magnify the appeal of your tattoo.
Standalone white ink tattoos, which solely use white ink, are also a practical choice if you want low visibility. They can look inconspicuous, especially if you work in a setting that doesn’t openly accept tattoos. You can place a white ink tattoo on your wrist or finger while maintaining a discrete look.
White Henna Tattoos
If you’re hesitating to get a permanent tattoo, you can give white henna designs a try. Henna is an excellent, temporary alternative. It creates a noticeably bright and vivid look that doesn’t lose its color.
In some cultures, white henna is a beautiful ornament for brides. Ornate lace patterns beautify the arms, legs and backs of the brides. White henna typically consists of white body paint, glitter, adhesive and metallic stickers.
White henna tattoo stickers are quite easy to use. The white henna stickers below mainly feature lace designs for a delicate, feminine look. You can use them as accessories on special occasions or simply to make a statement on typical days.
DIY White Henna Tattoos
Typically, upon mixing henna with water, you can apply it onto your skin as a form of temporary skin dye. However, when it comes to white henna, you can create your own, DIY, temporary tattoo. Just use two, simple ingredients to make a white henna tattoo.
Simply mix white body paint and medical adhesive glue. The body paint creates a vibrant white look, while the glue ensures your henna sticks to your skin. This type of DIY henna usually lasts for up to 10 days.
White Ink Tattoo FAQs
Are white ink designs suitable for pale colors?
If you have pale skin, white ink tattoos will look rather subtle. Be sure to find a skilled artist so the result looks amazing on your particular skin color.
Do white ink designs look great on dark skin?
White ink tattoos look brighter on dark complexions. They actually stand out on naturally dark skin colors.
Can I choose a design that combines white ink with dark hues and multiple colors?
Definitely yes! Skilled artists can outline blackwork patterns in white ink for a more dimensional look. They can also use white ink to fill in black outlines or complement bright colors.
Will my white ink tattoo fade more quickly?
Keep in mind that white ink is more prone to fading when regularly exposed to sunlight for long hours. Thus, make sure to put on ample sunscreen and keep your tattoo protected from direct exposure to sun rays.
Is it more painful to get white ink tattoos compared to the typical black ink tattoos?
Artists apply a different procedure when tattooing using white ink, which may cause more pain than black ink tattoos. However, the placement of your tattoo and your individual pain tolerance still play a big role when it comes to the amount of pain you’ll feel during and after the tattoo session.
If you’re interested in getting a white ink tattoo, one of your most important decisions is to find a professional tattoo artist who has specific knowledge and skill sets related to white ink designs. Ensure that your selected artist knows exactly how to use white ink on your specific skin color, whether you have a pale complexion or a dark skin tone. With the help of a reliable artist, your tattoo will look striking for a long time.