Tanuki Tattoo Melbourne sets the standard for high quality realism tattooing , not just in Melbourne, but Australia wide.

With multiple world class, and award winning artists, including our portrait tattoo specialist Marissa, Peter’s intricate and complex tattoos and our multi-disciplinary superstar Julian. The combined abilities of our incredibly talented team mean that Tanuki Tattoo can bring both your colour realism, and black and grey realism tattoo ideas to life.

Part of our approach to the tattoo consultation process is to not just find out the “what” and the “where” but also the “why”. Finding out your motives, or possible story behind your tattoo ensures we are able to create bespoke designs that reflect who our clients are.

A female tattoo artist sits at a reception desk preparing for a walk-in tattoo

What Is A Realism Tattoo?

Realism tattoos, put simply, are tattoos that emulate and capture real life subjects in the same way a photograph would. When done well, they can create the illusion of movement, gravity, texture, temperature and, when at their best, life. Achieving this on skin is no easy feat, so choosing an artist that specialises in this style is incredibly important. The best realism artists also have their own language, or style when it comes to creating realistic tattoos, so choosing an artist that is capable of getting the look and feel you are after is also important.

Can You Mix Traditional and Realistic Tattoos?

Mixing styles in tattoos can be tricky. When done well though, combining realism with other styles of tattooing such as traditional tattoos, ornamental tattoos, japanese tattoos or any other graphic elements opens up so many additional avenues with regards to creativity, contrast and composition.
The subtlety of realistic details placed next to strong graphic components creates a beautiful aesthetic that draws people in from a distance, and impresses from up close.        

Our team of artists are constantly trying to push the boundaries of what’s possible with realistic tattooing and love a challenge. Plus, the broad amount of talent, and huge amount of experience amongst our team means we can quite literally cover every style of tattooing. So even if your ideas require the talents of 2 or more of our artists, we are more than happy to organise artist collaborations  to ensure you get the best possible tattoo outcome.

Black and Grey Realism Tattoos

Few things in tattooing are as beautiful or as timeless as well executed, black and grey realism. From a technical aspect, this medium enables a skilled artist to execute tattoos with incredibly intricate details that still retain longevity. It’s also amazingly versatile with everything from soft beautiful portrait tattoos and deep intricate landscapes through to frightening horror realism tattoos, stylised chicano tattoos and dynamic animal tattoos all equally achievable.

Image of a new tattoo on a mans arm. The style of the tattoo blends realism style with an artistic flair. It is black and grey and also red colour.
Image of a wrist with a fresh tattoo of three little stars in fineline style

Colour  Realism Tattoos

When it comes to “wow factor” in tattooing, nothing comes close to well executed colour realism tattoos. Even though the same level of detail cannot be achieved in colour that can be achieved with black and grey, the added drama, depth and lighting that colour tattooing enables an artist to play with, more than makes up for it. Not all subject matter lends itself well to colour realism, meaning artists need  to be a lot smarter with their choices and clients may also need to be flexible, but when everything comes together, the results are undeniable.

How Much Does a Realistic Tattoo Cost?

As you may expect, good quality realistic tattoos take time, and compared with other styles, are usually the most time-consuming form of tattooing. For example, a palm sized colour traditional tattoo can be achievable in as little time as an hour, whereas very highly detailed palm sized realistic tattoos can take a whole day. Because of this, quoting realistic tattoos can be very tricky, and most realism tattooists work on a day rate. The day rates amongst our realism artist vary from $1000 – $1800 depending on the artist.
The only way to get an accurate assessment of the necessary time and price is to book in for a free consultation, which we do between 10:00am and 11:30am, 7 days a week.

Do Realistic Tattoos Age Well?

Healing any tattoo properly is important, but realism tattoos often rely heavily on intricate details to create the illusion of photorealism, so healing them correctly is especially important. Having a tiny part of a traditional tattoo, or blackwork tattoo heal out is often no big deal. However, having a small section of a realistic tattoo disappear can be the difference between a beautiful portrait, and someone who looks like they lost a bar fight.

Every artist has their own procedure when it comes to how they prefer their clients to heal their work, but the shop also provides it’s own tattoo aftercare instructions.

Many or our artists recommend using “second skin” products and the instructions for their use can also be found on the website. Looking after your tattoo properly during those first few weeks is the single most important factor to the final outcome.  

With regards to tattoos ageing, the sun is their greatest enemy. Keep them covered by clothing or sunscreen to give your tattoo its best chances of longevity. Giving them a quick moisturise after you shower is also a great idea.  

Choosing the right Realism tattooist in Melbourne

No two artists are made the same, and that’s particularly true when it comes to realism tattooists. From composition to application, every artists language is different when it comes to creating and executing realistic tattoos, so it’s important to make sure you choose an artist that shares your taste and vision. Make sure prior to organising a consultation appointment to thoroughly peruse an artists portfolio, and have as much reference material and information relating to your piece as possible. Our resident realism tattooers at Tanuki Tattoo Melbourne, all have individual styles and approaches to their work. You can find their portfolios here:




Why choose Tanuki Tattoo Hawthorn

Tanuki Tattoo being owned by a realistic tattooer means we take particular pride in the quality of the work we produce in this genre. Add to that the number of realistic tattooers we have on staff and the quality and volume of realistic work we produce and you’ll see we have made the decision of who to contact in Hawthorn, or Melbourne for realism tattooing an easy one. So what are you waiting for? Click the link now to organise your free consultation and let us guide you through the process of acquiring your next beautiful piece of body art.