Reviewed & updated: December 30, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA
Looking to get a bold, illustrative and ostentatious tattoo? Check out these gorgeous neo-traditional tattoos that will make you want to run to the nearest tatt studio.
The potential of illustration and striking creativity is thoroughly and decadently experimented with, through neotraditional tattoos.
It gives body art, an exquisite twist that mixes old-school styles with the modern era′s bright colors. Resulting in tattoos with a classic look and a bad ass style no one can resist.
Created with bold outlines, advanced methods, and a wider array of styles and motifs; neo traditionalism has become a popular choice among tattoo enthusiasts and tattoo artists.
Their rich history consists of extravagant art blended with American traditional tattooing, making it one of the most sumptuous, aesthetic and flourishing styles of art.
While it is far from the American Traditional style, it, however, does have some common themes including bold lines, black outlines and of course, extravagance. But, line widths often vary from the traditional style or American traditional tattooing.
Neo traditionalism had made its breakthrough with lush colours, striking images inspired by old-school art and the beauty that lies in the old-school and modern culture. It continues to thrive and will do so for a very long time.
Together, we shall explore the lushness, extravagance and aesthetic prowess of neo-traditionalism. If you′ve been yearning to enhance your body art game, try starting with one of these really vibrant artworks.
Black And White Neotraditional Fox Tattoo
For those who aren′t all that acquainted with what is a traditional and neotraditional tattoo style, let us enlighten you.
While they are slightly similar, neotraditional tattoos use more motifs, lush and vibrant colours and their colour palettes have more choices. They use a lot of animal motifs together with flowers and portraits in their art style.
As we can see in this beautiful piece of artwork, the artist created a beautiful black and white fox with a flower motif. Absolute clarity and bold outlines are used to create the tattoo′s overall outline, giving it a glossy and majestic look.
This regality in the art′s neo-traditional motifs does not fail to impress.
The shading in some portions of the tattoo highlights the vibrancy of the darker tone used. Despite its lack of colour, it has dramatic look that we often associate with neo-traditionalism.
Neo Traditional Tattoo Black And Grey
Neotraditional Medusa Tattoo
Medusa, the ultimate femme fatale, is frequently represented as a paradox.
She is a striking image whose legend is a part of history that continues to thrive in the modern world, making her popular old-school imagery in neo-traditionalism.
Neotraditional art style gives you the best of both worlds. Modern techniques blended with old school tattoo.
Similar to that Medusa is a blend of both, her beauty is seductive and her touch destructive. Beautiful ladies have long been a popular option for male tattoo collectors, but neo-traditional tattoos are changing the business to allow for a more upscale degree of lavish charisma.
In this piece of art, the tattooist creates an illustrative and realistic version of Medusa using the ultimate neotraditional techniques that include a wide range of colour palettes, including shades of gold, black and red.
Each detail and bold outline is made to look sleek and glossy and luxuriant.
The tattoo is so vibrant and extravagant that it is almost hard to look away from it.
Neotraditional Owl Tattoo
Neo-traditional tattoo art has found its inspiration from the Art Nouveau and the Art Deco movements which emerged when Japan had closed its gates to the rest of the world, seeing as this floating world wanted to preserve its culture.
However, when trading between Japan and Europe began, people were introduced to Japanese Art, setting up the European society for Art Nouveau. Globally, people were fascinated by Japanese artwork. Later on, Art Nouveau was replaced by Art Deco.
Now, many neo-traditional tattoos and neo-traditional tattoo artists, if not all, are inspired by the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements and the striking foundation of modern neo-traditional tattoos found its inspiration from art history and design.
Here, the neo-traditional tattoo art is created with a simple motif, an owl. Artists with neo-traditional tattoos tend to use several animal and bird motifs.
The striking image of the hooter is made with colours of greys, whites, reds and yellows. The black outlines are typical of neo-traditional tattoos along with the vibrant and conspicuous colours.
Neotraditional Rose Tattoo
The glossy charm of the vintage rivet combines seductively with post-modern artwork. The overall result is a flawlessly elegant mix of self-assurance and playfulness, which is rather evident in this sweet little neo-traditional style of art, a simple yellow rose.
Did you know that other than friendship, yellow roses are also symbols of luck? If you didn′t, well now you do and now you′ve a reason to get this beautiful neo-traditional piece.
With its bright yellow and dark outline, it makes for a simple and sweet tattoo. The tattooist also incorporated a bird motif, further adding to the tattoo′s cuteness.
You can never have enough flower tattoos, and this is just the right one to add to your canvas if you are looking to tattoo a floral style tattoo.
Neotraditional techniques are ideal for rose and other such floral patterns seeing as they add a modern look to an old-school design.
Neotraditional Wolf Tattoo
How stunningly gorgeous does this neo-traditional piece of a wolf look? A wolf, in itself, is a very striking and viciously beautiful animal.
When you think of an American Traditional Tattoo, you are probably reminded of artworks that include such fierce and ferocious animals.
The same theme has become a part of neo-traditional tattoos, where animals like Wolves often make an appearance in loud, flamboyant tattoos.
Here, the tattooist created a vivid, colourful and flamboyant work of art. The fierce-looking wolf with a lantern clenched in its jaw provides an alpha aura.
Ideal for men and women who want their tattoos to represent strength, loyalty and authority.
Neotraditional Skull Tattoo With Crescent Moon
The neo-traditional style is derived from the traditional style and pays tribute to its history by using strong lines, vivid colours, and little shading.
The neo-traditional style, as opposed to the “new school” style, is a rebirth and appreciation of the traditional tattoo style, with a more in-depth colour palette and usage of more diversified imagery and has a thick dimension.
Images like skulls, eyes, flowers, owls, wolves and more are among the most popular neo-traditional tattoo designs.
Here, the tattooist has created, quite possibly one of the most vivid-looking skull tattoos. Perks of getting neo-traditional tattoos, including the dramatic and graphic style. The dense lines used to draw the outer frame of the tattoo and the bright red colour gives the tattoo an edgy and gothic.
Adding to the splendour of the tattoo is the black crescent moon passing through the skull′s eyes and the bright yellow tinkling of the star.
Neotraditional Heart Tattoo
Hearts in neo-traditional tattoos are made of a brew of anatomy and pure romanticism. This may be a fantastic way to honour your emotional side and the interests you care about.
The vivid reds and somewhat textured appearance of neo-traditional tattoos make it ideal for heart tattoos.
Most neo-traditional tattoo designs have high-class creativity and that aspect is clearly showcased in this piece of art. Simple yet stunning, this realistic and creative heart tattoo is the real deal when neo-traditional tattoos are in question.
The illustrative look of the human heart with flowers sprouting out of its arteries, it′s a splendorous piece of art. Artists often create such creative pieces to highlight the imaginative and illustrative aspects of a neo-traditional tattoo.
It′s modern, highly saturated colours, enchanting imagery and stunning splendour is a massive hit in the tattoo community and among tattoo artists.
Neotraditional Snake Tattoo With A Dagger Motif
The neo-traditional tattoo contains distinguishing features, but you′re likely to observe variations from one art piece to the next. And it′s because of this that people find the genre so intriguing.
To bring the tattoo ideas to life, a tattooist might experiment with the nature of the content, colours, and line weights. It′s also an opportunity to pay respect to legendary images that have a special value for you.
The neotraditional snake tattoos pay homage to the animal′s oldest depictions while modernizing them in a similar modern spirit.
Though, to many, the snake is a symbol of doom and death. But, The neo-traditional snake tattoo demonstrates that whatever is never readily embraced frequently produces the most memorable art.
In this piece, the tattooist created a vicious, ready-to-strike serpent, wrapped around a green dagger. The different colour palettes used to etch this stunning and vivid masterpiece includes greys, blacks, greens, reds and other lighter shades.
If you aren′t prejudiced towards this beautiful but ferocious creature, then getting a neo-traditional snake tattoo is a great choice.
Neotraditional Eye Tattoo With A Barbed-Wire Heart
Lastly, we have this small, sweet and aesthetic design of an eye inside a barbed-wire heart shape motif. It is dramatic, detailed and extravagant, with its illustrative eyes and teardrops, while the thick lines that make the barbed-wire heart are sleek and clear.
While it might not hold any deeper meaning, it might still be meaningful for the wearer and represent whatever it is that they intended the tattoo to represent.
The neo-traditional aspects including the vivid and realistic look will not fail to fetch you numerous compliments that you can′t bag enough of.
So, if you are looking for a neo-traditional art piece but nothing to elaborate then this small piece is just your style. Such symbols and patterns are rare in neo traditionalism but not unheard of.
It′s wonderful to get something that appears like it always did years ago, but other individuals prefer something a bit more personalized. Tattoos that are neo-traditional enable some rule-breaking.
This is also an opportunity to pay respect to legendary images that have a special value for you. A Neo-traditional tattoo might borrow from more current symbolism, making it ideal for an old soul.
Japanese Neo Traditional Tattoo
Like neo-traditional tattoo style that has the influence of the American traditional tattooing style, Japanese neo-traditional techniques are heavily influenced and inspired by Irezumi. Irezumi is a particular style of the Japanese art of tattooing that originated among the merchant class along with ukiyo-e woodblock prints. Neo-traditional tattoo artists have improved upon it and have given it a bit modern touch to come up with the Japanese neo-traditonal
Neo-Traditional Tattoos Of Pets
Pet tattoos are one of the most popular tattoo designs. People ink pet tattoos to express their love for their pets or in honour of the family member they lost. Neo-traditional tattoos give you more freedom to design your tattoo in a slightly modern style, like the picture above. It is a tattoo art of an animated cat with a gun in its hand, and the slight shading work in its fur is making the element come to life. Any neo-traditional dog tattoo looks just as good as the tattoo above. However, don’t tell the tattoo artists to animate your pet tattoo too much, as it will turn into a new school tattoo.
Neo-Traditional Flower Tattoo
Flower tattoos have the power to soften any tattoo art, and each variety of flower tattoo has its own meaning. That’s why it’s so very popular. In addition, you can use a plethora of vibrant colours to create flower tattoos, so they look gorgeous when done in the neo-traditional tattoo style. Like, the picture above is of two twin flower tattoos with bold lines of old school tattoos, and shading work of neo-traditional tattoos and its beauty is undeniable. One of the best options to go for would be the neo-traditional rose tattoo art.
Neo-Traditional Tattoos Of Birds
Similar to flower tattoos, every bird tattoo art has its own symbolism. Additionally, birds can also be extremely colourful animals, so using various vibrant colours and shading work of neo-traditional style becomes easy. Like, the picture above is of a neo-traditional piece of little chickadee bird perching on a luminous flowering tree. Even though chickadees don’t have plumage with many colours, it’s hard to avert our eyes from the gleaming colouring and shading work done on the bird and the other elements. You can choose a neo-traditional eagle tattoo, neo-traditional owl tattoo, or others to create your unique neo-traditional bird tattoo.
Neo-Traditional Tattoos Of Animals
The picture above is of a colourful morphed snake tattoo art done in a neo-traditional manner. It’s pretty evident that the bold borders are making a statement of their own while the slight shading work is enhancing the beauty of the creature. You can choose any other animal that has symbolism that you feel related to for your own tattoo. For example, you can get a neo-traditional bat tattoo to express ambition, vision, facing your demon, and more.
Neo-Traditional Tattoos Of Moth And Butterfly
Moths and butterflies are probably the most colourful animals in this world. Hence, if you want to show off the shading and colouring work of your neo-traditional tattoos, then they could really be the perfect choice for you. Additionally, you get the freedom to choose any design to draw on their wings, and they will look gorgeous, as evident from the picture above. It’s a large back tattoo of a stunning moth design with aesthetic colours and bold outlines. You can change and alter the design to your heart’s content for your next neo-traditional butterfly tattoo.
Neo-Traditional Tattoos Of Portraits
It’s hard to beat a portrait tattoo done in a realistic style, isn’t it? However, let’s take a peek at how remarkable a portrait tattoo can look in a neo-traditional style in the picture above. Even with the bold outlines, the face of the girl seems to be coming alive in the tattoo. The shading is done perfectly in the exact right places, and the amount is the actual highlight of the tattoo. Even the orange flowers on her head are glowing.
Historic Neo-Traditional Tattoos
Primarily, people who love the history of the world, religious stories surrounding it and folklore, get historical tattoos. These tattoos that are steeped in history can be pretty intriguing as you can choose to portray a historical event or person in any manner you want. Like the picture above is of Vlad The Impaler, or otherwise known as Dracula. The tattoo is done in a scary manner with smoky, ghostly eyes and tongue. The shine on the helmet of the man is done impeccably well.
Fictional Neo-Traditional Tattoos
We get our daily dose of the fictional world from stories, like Harry Potter or Alice in Wonderland, to movies and shows, like Doctor Who or Star Wars and video games, like Super Mario or Assassin’s Creed. They all have given us numerous characters that we have fallen in love with over the years and chosen to get new ink on our bodies, and we dare say that we are proud of these tattoos. Like, the picture above is of a cool neo-traditional tattoo sleeve of a Nintendo GameBoy world. Tattoo artists do most animated tattoos mainly in new school techniques, but if there’s a slight realistic touch, then you’ve got yourself a fictional subject matter in a neo-traditional tattoo.
Now you can go to the tattoo shop, discuss with the tattoo artists to give them a sense of what kind of neo-traditional tattoo you want and ink them. However, before that, here are a few more suggestions – full-body art neo-traditional
Neo-Traditional Tattoo Ideas
Neo Traditional Tattoo ideas
Traditional Vs Neo Traditional Tattoo
Neo Traditional Flower Tattoo
Neo Traditional Portrait Tattoo
Neo Traditional Animal Tattoo
Neo Traditional Medusa Tattoo
Neo Traditional Candle Tattoo
Neo Traditional Skull Tattoo
Neo Traditional Heart Tattoo
Neo Traditional Bird Tattoo
Feature image from Pinterest
What is a neotraditional tattoo?
A neotraditional tattoo is a modern take on the traditional tattoo. Traditional tattoos feature bold lines and bright colors, while neotraditional tattoos tend to be more subdued, with softer colors and shading.
What are the characteristics of a neotraditional tattoo?
Neotraditional tattoos often feature animals, birds, and flowers. They also tend to be larger than traditional tattoos, and may cover more of the body.
What are some of the most popular neotraditional tattoo designs?
Some of the most popular neotraditional tattoo designs include roses, lions, and skulls.
How much does a neotraditional tattoo cost?
Neotraditional tattoos can range in price, depending on the size and complexity of the design. Expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $1000 for a neotraditional tattoo.
Are neotraditional tattoos painful?
Neotraditional tattoos can be painful, depending on the location of the tattoo. Areas that are more bony, such as the ribs or ankles, tend to be more painful than fleshier areas, such as the thighs or back.
What are some common misconceptions about neotraditional tattoos?
Some people believe that neotraditional tattoos are more expensive than traditional tattoos, when in reality, they can be just as affordable. Additionally, some people think that neotraditional tattoos take longer to heal, when in fact, they often heal just as quickly as traditional tattoos.