We are booking appointments. Tell us your idea!

Your cart

Your cart is empty


Tattoo Styles: Fine Line Tattoos

Elegant, discreet, usually small and often monochrome, fine line tattoos are so uniquely delicate that they are often mistaken as a “fake” penned in tattoo. Rest assured, they are real, and they bring a unique take to the genre. Recently, fine line tattoos have been increasing in popularity among residents of Toronto, Markham, Mississauga and Kitsilano. But it's not just a local trend. One quick digital trip over to websites such as Pinterest or Instagram and you’ll notice them popping up all over the place. Increased awareness about the style, coupled with their intricate and delicate beauty has brought attention of the artwork to center stage. They are often incredibly detailed pieces of art, so cleanly drawn with crisp fluid lines, so much so that one might perceive it as a drawing on the skin with an ink pen at first glance. This is, of course, in contrast to the thick and bold lines of traditional tattoos. Stylistically, fine line tattoos usually consist of straight curved thin lines that are elaborate but still minimal and Spartan in appearance. Fine line tattoos are commonly drawn with no other colours apart from black and gray. As surprising as it may be, this technique actually adds appeal and emphasizes the purity of the art without the need to utilize colour or boldness.

Fine Line Tattoo Technology – how are they done?

The precision involved in the artistic style involved with this tattoo lies not only with the artist, but also the tools used to achieve a masterful result. Thin lines and accompanying details require tattoo to artists use round liner needles such as a one (1RL) or three round liner (3RL). For those of you not familiar, the numbers of the needles correspond to how many needle tips are in each one. These particular counts allow for enhanced precision and space for details when it comes to the tattooing process. compass arrow

Getting a Fine Line Tattoo – what should I know before taking the plunge?

Be sure you have done enough research, apart from reading this guide of course, before proceeding to get a tattoo. Have a good idea of the design you want, where you want it, how big you desire it to be, and most importantly, check out your artist. Not all tattoo shops and artists are willing to do fine line tattoos because the style can be very tricky and requires a very steady and accurate hand. Unfamiliar artists might be hesitant because this type of tattoo leaves little room for error. Try to learn about your artist as much as you can. Check out online reviews and ratings, read about their biography online, ask questions about their experience with various styles, ask to see sample portfolios of their work or even references you can check with. Just as important, make sure you are comfortable with the tattoo artist. You’ll possibly be spending hours together as they complete your tattoo, and while you certainly don’t need to chat during your session, it can help immensely to have your tattoo done by someone you trust and get along with. Also, factor in the fact that fine line tattoos may fade faster than traditional tattoos. Why? Some artists reduce the amount of ink they use with the single round liners since the black ink just bleeds out. Keeping in mind that the immune system wants to get rid of the tattoo once the ink has settled on the skin, having a weaker black pigment for the tattoo means it is easier for the body to rid of it. No worries though, you can always go back and have it redone once you notice it starting to fade. Speaking of designs… Don’t think that just because this method might seem to be more complicated that your options are limited. In fact, because of the precise needling involved, clients have a broad spectrum of options for designs open to them. From portrait to small tattoos with basic framing, the options are endless. Additionally, the subtle effect a fine line design gives the client more options in choosing where they want the tattoo to go. As a tip, it is highly suggested by many to opt for a large but less detailed design when getting the tattoo in areas where the skin may be prone to stretching later in life. This is because, for some people, the skin stretches and grows or moves, distorting the original image and making it harder to read the tattoos in the future. Your tattoo artist will likely have good suggestions and advice in this area. If you find yourself still undecided, you can begin by looking for artists online and viewing their work for inspiration. Most artists have online portfolios or a site where prospective clients can go through their works and see how it turned out. dragon fineline moon

Will a Fine Line Tattoo Hurt?

Is this your first tattoo? Are you worried about how much it will hurt? This is a common question we get from those contemplating a fine line tattoo. Since most artists use a single needle or sometimes three, depending on what is needed for the design, there is generally less pain reported from customers having this style done. Furthermore, fine line tattoos are usually synonymous with black and gray colours only. It isn’t common to see someone with a coloured, fine line tattoo. Luckily, black and gray lines are more bearable on the skin because it isn’t necessary to fill in large bold areas with colour. On the other hand, coloured tattoos require deeper and longer penetration of the needle into the skin for the colour to be fully absorbed. This less invasive form of tattoo also ensures faster healing time!
Fineline Piece by Alison

Have More Questions? Ready to learn more?

If you find yourself in the Toronto, Markham, Mississauga, Kitsilano area and are interested in learning more about fine line or other tattoos, give us a call, drop us a message or stop by one of our conveniently located tattoo shops today. We’d love to learn more about how we can help.

Ready to Explore Your Own Fine Line Tattoo?

At Chronic Ink Tattoo, our talented artists are ready to help you explore Fine Line and other tattoos to make sure you find something you’ll want to show off for decades to come. If you’re in the Toronto, Markham, Mississauga, Kitsilano Vancouver area drop by our shop and check us out for yourself.

Tell us Your Idea

Tattoo Studio Locations

Downtown Toronto

378 Yonge Street, 2nd Floor, Toronto, Ontario M5B 1S6 Directions

Midtown Toronto

252 Eglinton Ave East, 2nd Floor, Toronto, Ontario M4P 1K2 Directions


7381 Kennedy Road, Unit #105, Markham, Ontario L3R 5B5 Directions


100 City Centre Dr., Unit #2-311, Mississauga, Ontario L5N 2C9 Directions


1804 W 4th Ave, Vancouver, British Columbia V6J 1M3 Directions

Looking for your next Tattoo Idea?

Browse our selection of one of a kinda tattoo designs created by our Chronic Ink artists. Each piece is individual and will only ever be tattooed once.

Previous post
Next post