100+ Delightful Blackwork Tattoo Designs-Redefining the Art of Tattooing with Black Ink

Most people think that it is all about bright colors when getting inked, but this could not be further from the truth because a blackwork tattoo will still make you look very trendy.

As the name suggests, it is a type of body art that only uses thick black ink to draw neo-tribal patterns and other geometric shapes. In this kind of tattoo, the images are usually large, and this is why it makes a perfect sleeve or a huge symbol on the back.

Black ink is what people used to draw their body markings in the ancient times because there were no colored inks back then and it is only a few decades ago that safe chemicals that could produce colors for body art came into being.


Does Blackwork Have Any Symbolism?

Although the blackwork designs are in a distinct genre, most people will often confuse them with the tribal or Maori design. And this is rightfully so because the Maori and tribal designs all use black ink, and so one can classify them correctly as blackwork.

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  • Blackwork Tattoo 100

However, it is important to note that you do not have to draw either of the two to have this type of tattoo because there are many other design variations available and new ones are always coming up.

In fact, even painting a small section of your arm or leg with thick black ink is enough to qualify as a tattoo in this genre. The only other thing that you need to know about these tattoos is that they are quite painful.

Drawing a simple sleeve in black ink means that a needle has to run through every inch of your skin, and this is as painful as it can get.

A blackwork tattoo is just like any other body marking, and so it will mean anything that you want. The image that you have on your tattoo is also what will determine what it means.

For example, if you have a Maori pattern design it can show that you respect or adore their ancient culture. Some designs from the Maori and tribal pattern are also a symbol of your status in society while others are a sign of luck.

These tattoo designs are very painful and so if you can withstand getting inked this will be a sign of perseverance. People that can persevere to have a large section of the body inked in plain thick black ink have what it takes to face any challenge that comes their way.

Most of these tattoos will take more time to create than other designs and so having one can also symbolize that you are a very patient person.

Black is also a very symbolic color, and you can also associate your tattoo with all its meaning. Having a solid black symbol anywhere on your body can symbolize the mysterious nature of life, elegance and even death.

Some tattoo enthusiast will get a small solid black armband to show that someone very close to them passed on and that they will always remember and mourn them forever.

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Design Ideas

The fact that a blackwork tattoo is a solid black body marking should not mislead anyone into thinking that there are not many design options available. In fact, it is as versatile as any other type, and if you have a skilled and experienced artist, the design possibilities are endless.

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The following five are the most common ones, and the good thing is that you can draw them in a different way to create a unique tattoo.


Blackwork does not have to be plain or just a simple patch of solid black because there are many designs available that you can use to spice up the body marking.

The outline is one of the most popular ones, and it entails using the solid black sections to create an outline of something such as a phrase, skull or an animal.

Flowers and Mandala

Flowers are a perfect tattoo idea but contrary to what most people think they do not have to be colorful to look stylish and elegant. You can still have a beautiful flower with all its details in black ink, and it will still look fantastic.

There are many flowers that you can have as tattoos, and all of them will look perfect in black ink. The mandala patterns are also an excellent idea for your blackwork totem, and they give you plenty of styles to choose from for your tattoo.

3D Blackwork

Everything looks extra charming and realistic in 3D and the fact that you are using only black ink will not prevent you from enjoying the beauty of 3D tattoos. You only need to choose your design and then have an artist draw in a fantastic 3D style.


An armband in a thick black design looks amazing, and it is also a very symbolic image. This tattoo design is excellent for people that prefer to have a small blackwork totem.

You can have the armband in solid black or enhance its appearance with some Maori or tribal patterns to make it look stylish.


Tribal patterns are one of the most favorite blackwork designs, and this is more so for those that love huge sleeve or back tattoos.

They come in various design, and you can have anything from simple geometric shapes to some intricate animal outlines in a tribal pattern.

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Best Places to Have Your Blackwork

A blackwork tattoo will look fantastic in any part of the body, and this is why people will use it to cover up an ink job that did not go well. However, most people will prefer to have their solid black tattoos as a full sleeve or a massive back tattoo.

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It is also common to see others with solid black markings on the legs or one side of the chest. Some like the armband should be placed on the upper arm as this is where they look best.

Other common placement areas include the wrist for a small black line and the fingers for those that wrap around to create ring-like designs.

A blackwork tattoo might not be anything new but it is still very adorable, and this makes it perfect for anybody that is willing to withstand the pain that comes with it.

There are also many designs to choose from and so you should not always go for the usual colorful designs because the black ink will also help you make a bold statement.

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