20 Bold Dotwork Tattoos Filled With Depth & Edgy Details

Joe Osborne | Dec 30, 2019 Beauty & Style
20 Bold Dotwork Tattoos Filled With Depth & Edgy Details


Whether someone is getting their first or 30th tattoo, there are a few major decisions that need to be made: where they are going to get it, what exactly they're going to get, and what style or colors are they going to get it in. Some know immediately that instead of splashy colors, they like the simplicity (and price point) of black tattoos while others are first drawn to dotwork tats through the gray wash detailing they offer. Either way, the pointillism technique of using dotwork to create shading and depth in a design is a popular style of tattoo.

Not only do dotwork tattoos give a three dimensional feeling to the final product, but also they offer a type of shading specific to this particular approach. It also creates a monochromatic finish thanks to the spacing of the dots, creating a gray wash feeling that gets darker the closer they are together. Luckily, dotwork art shouldn't hurt more than traditional inking and give a common design a more in-depth and interesting feel. From geometric designs to works of art that pay tribute to nature, these are some of our favorite examples of dotwork tattoos to inspire anyone's next ink.

  • Dark Moth


    This moth of death is flying into the dark side with impressive dotwork detailing. From the perfectly placed skull to the forearm placement, this "night butterfly" by MU Body Arts is giving us dark vibes. 

  • Majestic Lion


    This delicate little lion is brought to life through expert dot shading and the details capture this powerful yet gentle giant's loving side. We're obsessed!

  • Geometric Dot Explosion


    We dare anyone to look away from this mesmerizing above-the-knee tattoo. The geometric kaleidoscope design pops against the gray wash execution for the ultimate modern dotwork tattoo.

  • 'Stranger Things' Funko Pop


    Calling all Stranger Things fans! But even those who aren't into the beloved Netflix series can appreciate the dotwork details in this epic portrait. 

  • 'Creepy' Daisies 


    This monochromatic dot daisy tattoo shows off the "cute and creepy" side of this popular flower. From the eyeball center to the stem dripping with cobwebs, this tattoo will change the way people see this sweet bloom. 

  • 'The Nightmare Before Christmas'


    Ah, The Nightmare Before Christmas. Not only is this an incredibly movie, worthy of permanent body real estate but also Jack Skellington just happens to be made to look amazing in the dotwork style. 

  • Swooping Swallow


    As a symbol for love and happiness, the swallow is an adorable and sentimental piece of ink. This soaring little friend sweeping along the forearm looks stoic in all black dots.

  • Shaded Seashell 


    Everyone loves the ocean but not every artist captures its beauty so perfectly. This beachy tattoo, complete with a "sandy" dot seashell, is delicate and intricate thanks to the shading technique. 

  • The Great Wave


    What better way to honor The Great Wave off Kanagawa than by having a physical tribute to the masterpiece. This black tattoo captures the details from this famous painting for a modern take on a classic piece of art.

  • Intricate Buddha


    Just one look at this calf tattoo isn't nearly enough. With the delicate dot details working across the entire back of the leg, this artist created an intriguing Buddha tat filled with details for the eye to discover.

  • Cat Love


    For those whose cat is his or her best friend, this tattoo isn't just sweet -- it's perfect. The dotwork hand holding the kitten's paw is a powerful remind over this priceless connection. 

  • Modern Feather


    Through pointillism, a cluster of dots and geometric lines transforms this from a standard feather tattoo to a unique work of black art on the forearm.

  • Bold Butterfly


    For many, the butterfly isn't just a cute insect but also a meaningful symbol of the soul, hope, change, and life. Whatever this particular butterfly represents to its owner, we know that the black dot shading give it life. 

  • Swimming Turtle


    Oh hello there new friend! This adorable turtle swimming his way through life seriously pops thanks to the black dot shading and adorable expression.

  • Marine Reptile 


    Anyone who hasn't heard of the Ichthyosaurs isn't alone; this large marine reptile is extinct but thanks to detailed tattoos, won't completely be forgotten. 

  • Rooted Tree


    This nod to nature and the strong beauty that comes from firm roots makes for a powerful piece of ink. Just like the tree, this tattoo will preserve through generations and will stay planted instead of withering away.

  • Black & Gray Nature


    From the crescent mountain range to the dark arrow, this nature-inspired black dotwork tattoo is lovely ink for anyone's arm.

  • Blooming Peony


    The only thing that could make a peony even prettier is the dotwork technique this artist used to replicate the full bloom and delicate bud.

  • Winter Snowflake


    Every snowflake is unique, but not many are permanently twinkling. But with this dotwork tattoo, the dots create an effect of the snowflake falling endlessly through the snow.

  • Monochromatic Hand


    The beauty of dotwork tattoos is the artist can make the final design as bold and detailed as they'd like. The darker line border gives this hand and rose tattoo a defining pop.

More Slideshows