Woodcut tattoo style (Engraving)

The tattoo engraving, a highly artistic style
Tattoo engraving ... that's an expression that sounds like a pleonasm. Why? Because when we talk about tattooing, we already think of etching, the skin being etched with various patterns using the demographic. However, this is an expression that does make sense: tattoo engraving. It is a form of tattoo that, in a way, symbolizes the artistic character of the tattoo. Today, we will discuss with you what this intriguing style actually means. We will also tell you his story.

What is tattoo engraving?
The engraving tattoo is a style of tattoo consisting of using the body as if it were an engraving support. In the past, there was often talk of stone engraving, wood engraving, etc.engraving is done by digging or cutting the support in order to obtain a text or an image. So we could also talk about Stone or metal engravings. The tattoo engraving thus comes to be presented as an imitation of this art which mixes the skill with the artistic power, the creative energy with the accuracy. But let's go a little further and try to find out what really differentiates the etching tattoo from a standard tattoo.

Differences between tattooing and etching
In tattooing, we use a needle and an object to type, or we use a demographic, depending on whether we are in traditional tattooing or in modern tattooing. To make an engraving, we use a point, whose specified depends on the object to be engraved. So we could see something in common with the tattoo. However, for the latter, since it is the skin, human and sensitive, it is put more delicacy. It is rather a completely different element that we take from the engraving to get the tattoo engraving: the dimensions. Even when they occupy a small area, engravings always have the peculiarity of having features, and thus always appear large. This is what justifies the appearance of a size characteristic of the engraving tattoo.

Evolution of the tattoo engraving
The engraving itself is an art dating back to the Neolithic. The tribes then engraved their stories in stone, to leave them to posterity. But this logic was only incorporated into tattooing at a time when large tattoos began to be feasible, in the 1990s. Although the popularity of Japanese tattooing in the 1940s and 1950s had already set a precedent for large tattoos, it was not until the last decade of the 20th century that the concept of “tattooing“ was introduced. From then on, he evolved by spreading himself among the ranks of tattoo fanatics. So much so that some people turn their entire body into an engraving support, becoming real living works of art. Moreover, in 2015, the Demographic project, set up by two Bordeaux librarians, put the tattoo in the spotlight.

You've already seen some tattoos of black color woodcut? The flat colors make these tattoos are really mysterious and elegant. Usually associated with the esoteric and with science, since they tend to be inspired by religious books, and antique scientific as well as in their own artwork of the literature classical child. In addition, there are also associated with tarot cards. Usually made by using contour (and, therefore, they are quite painful!) and the technique is quite complex.

You can just enjoy the dark vintage style tattoos of ancient prints or, if you prefer, inquire about their origins. Do you want to see some examples of strange but, at the same time, truly beautiful? As it skips a few lines and looks a little more forward. But if you're dying to know a little bit more of the history of art, pays a lot of attention.

Have you ever wondered how art lovers and young artists could access the work of the great masters before there was the Internet? The answer is simple: through prints. This artistic technique allowed to reproduce and distribute the most important paintings in a time in which photography did not exist, and travel was not easy. They posed a great tool to open minds and provide inspiration not only in art but also in science, education, and religion.

But, what are the engravings? The engraving is a process similar to that carried out by putting a stamp of ink. The artist makes a sketch and then carving in a hard material such as for example, wood, stone, or steel. After, put the ink and press on it a sheet of paper to perform the printing. This method can be done time and time again and generate thousands of copies, which are also called engravings.

Depending on the material used and the way in which they work (the engravings are made with a burin and a bit of acid) the designs vary both in style and complexity. The engravings on wood are very dark while the engravings on steel and stone allowed for more variety of tones. To cite some examples, Albrecht Dürer, Gustave Doré, Rembrandt, Francisco de Goya, Jacques Callot and Hokusai are some of the best engravers of all time. Contemporary artists still use the technique, and many artists such as Maud Dardeau, Brucius, and Ottorino d Ambra, impressed by the method, have started to make tattoos of ancient engravings.

The woodcut tattoo, in a highly artistic style

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Roman Zarzeczny
Kraków, Poland
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Fabian Staniec
Gdańsk, Poland
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Ergo Tattoo
Nancy, France
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