Choosing to wear a Christian tattoo brings you into a long and storied line of those who have borne the marks of the Trinity and other holy figures going back thousands of years. Centuries ago, when the first Christian tattoos began they arose mostly with the Coptics.
After experiencing a period of great hardship and persecution, monks higher up the Coptic Christian order began tattooing themselves with religious Christian symbols as a sign of their permanent obedience to God.
Today people often choose Christian iconography for the same reason. Valid and forever proof that you hold firmly to the belief that the Higher Power will see you through your adversity. Even more common now is to see tattooing after going through a life altering event.
After many believers have been delivered of tribulation, they will mark themselves with an image of Christ, or icons of the Trinity to show to all who can see them that they were delivered through divine providence.
Perhaps a particular scripture calls to you. Maybe it’s the image of a rugged cross. A crown of thorns around your arm shows the world your deep belief. Whatever portrays your feelings is the right image to choose.
However, images don’t have to stop there. Beautiful silhouettes of the Virgin Mary, or of Saints are also popular images to use. Or even of simple mountains with a cross standing proudly at the top. The beauty of the custom tattoo is that no matter what you choose, it will be the perfect expression of your personal relationship with Christianity and with Christ.
This is a good example of how a simple design, like the cross, can be made more interesting with a unique stylistic concept. Here, the artist effectively calls to mind the stained glass windows found in churches around the world by breaking up the interior of the cross into several different patterns and shapes. The bold outline that forms the primary shape is clean and precise, allowing the different forms within to have a fractured feeling without distracting from the overall concept. The whip shading and stipple work help to create a variation in texture without the use of color, allowing this piece to remain a more subtle tattoo.
Here, the artist takes a simple design and uses an interesting technique and application to create this black and gray tattoo. The three crosses represent Jesus and the two criminals he was crucified with and this tattoo is interesting in the way this simple design is able to unequivocally represent this powerful moment in the Christian tradition. Using expert shading, the artist is able to create a tattoo that gives the impression of realistic brush strokes and captures the loose, organic look of paint on canvas. This is a great tattoo that proves sometimes less is more.
Here is another tattoo that uses American traditional design elements to create a tattoo that commemorates the role of the Christian holy book in their life. The black and gray color scheme works well in this piece, thanks to the artist’s use of negative space as well as their skill in applying saturated black ink. The use of whip shading at the bottom of the book adds just enough texture and contrast to this piece while maintaining the subtle, no-frills aesthetic. The line work used for the pages and the bookmark is clean and helps to complete this simple but meaningful tattoo.
Here is another piece that takes the image of the three crosses on Golgotha and creates an interesting black and gray tattoo. The artist uses excellent shading and negative space highlights to expertly create the effect of rays of light breaking through the clouds and illuminating the three crosses. The black in the crosses and at the bottom of the piece is fully saturated, increasing contrast and allowing the highlights to pop. The level of detail here is also worth mentioning: the artist is able to perfectly capture the silhouettes of the figures on the crosses, taking the design to the next level and completing this commemoration to the role Jesus plays in the wearer’s life.
This piece uses the popular Christian image of the “Sacred Heart” along with a cross to create a striking tattoo. The line work is clean and bold in this American traditional piece and the shading is smooth and consistent, effectively capturing the rounded shape of the heart and the stylized grain in the wood. The use of negative space for the flames is also an interesting choice: while others may have preferred more detailed flames, this artist chose a more understated method that keeps this tattoo from feeling cluttered. The prominent placement on the neck is sure to turn heads and proudly announce to everyone the importance of faith in the wearer’s life.
This full-color tattoo makes use of American traditional design elements and is a great example of the style. The line work is bold and consistent and creates a strong outline that allows the artist to incorporate bright colors and still maintain clear definition. The color is fully saturated and the subtle use of yellow on the edges of the leaves is a nice touch and adds a bit more depth to this piece. The whip shading in the cross is excellent and the stars above and red glow behind help to complete the exceptional tattoo.
This is an interesting black and gray tattoo that uses precise line work and clever composition to create a unique tattoo. The artist uses excellent whip shading at the base of the tree to create the outline of the foot of the cross but gradually lets it fade away as the line work in the branches and leaves make up the arms of the cross. The fine line work used for the grain of the wood is excellent and perfectly captures the natural texture of the tree, and the way the artist is able to create the impression of straight edges of the cross without the use of any straight lines is impressive and a testament to their creativity and skill.