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Tattoo Related Terms

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Back Tattoos: There are few greater expressions of dedication to an image or idea than the covering of your back in a tattoo of it. There are quite often many, many hours of work and perseverance involved in a full back tattoo. It is the largest singularly viewable piece of canvas on the body and makes for the possibility of very great things to happen.

Background: The area furthest from the viewer in a high depth image or an underlay to a collection of images.

Biker Tattoos: Tattoos of motor parts, tough women, club emblems, bike logos, etc., etc. They generally represent freedom or rebellion in one way or another.

Bird Tattoos: Birds almost always have an air of freedom about them. Their ability to fly makes us jealous in a way. Sometimes this is accompanied by a feeling of power if they are predatory or beauty if they are appealing to the eye.

Bio-mechanical:
An image that consists of swirling organic shapes melding with flowing mechanical parts. This style uses high contrast and depth along with sometimes repetitive patterns or high end geometry. Derived from the artistic works of H.R. Giger and taken mainstream in tattooing by Guy Aitchison. There are quite a few ways to use this style to incorporate many different elements or topics and have them flow well on the body. Also known as bio, bio-mech, bio-organic, but none of the names truly demonstrate the vastness of the style. It can be used to form absolutely serene images like those of Jon Clue, to make your body look as if it were made of machine parts or strange plantlife (or both) like some of the tattoos by Nick Baxter, crystalline structures of madness like the work of Mike Cole, it also works well with alien mechanical organics like those of Aaron Cain and Don McDonald, as well as being a great medium for darkside images to come to life. It is a truly fluid style that can go almost anywhere that you want it to and is therefore very popular with quite a few tattooists.

Black and Grey: A style that is what it says it is. Greyscales only. Though in its simplest form it can be anything. You don't see it get any better than once it goes into realism or biomechanical.

Black-work: (See Black and Grey)

Blowouts: These are areas in a tattoo that have a muddy, unintentionally blurred look to them. This comes from going too deep and pushing the ink into the subcutaneous layer of the skin. This is quite common in poorly done tattoos and typically happens in the linework and especially at a point where two lines form a corner.

For example, the following picture shows a tattoo with a blue haze behind it. This is an extreme case of blowout where the ink has spread pretty far outside of its intended destination.

blown out tattoo

Boldness: Describes how clear and concise and image is or how much POW! it has. A design that is bold is more likely to hold up well over time.

Bugs and Spiders: The insect and arachnid kingdom are vast and filled with many little creepy crawlers, as well as majestic flyers. People generally get the pretty ones to decorate themselves, remind them of a loved one, or a butterfly can also symbolize rebirth. Others get the scorpions and spiders as tattoos out of a fascination with them or as a ward to others that they are not to be messed with.

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