Brown is often an over-looked color when it comes to body art. We’re used to all-black designs, colorful rainbow pieces, and the use of vivid colors to enhance our tattoos. But the power of a brown ink tattoo; of burnt sienna; of chocolate; of amber – These shades can be just as alluring, if not, more enticing and elegant than using a color that might end up looking awkward on our skin tone.
Here at Creem, we’ve found 65 lovely photos of tattoos that include the use of some form of brown. You can use the color to help shade in realistic art pieces (tats of things that are actually brown in reality), or to enhance abstract creations.
Brown is a gentle mix of all the colors, and here are the 65 tattoos that’ve turned out looking marvelous with its use:
1. Henna Tree If you’re unsure whether or not to get a tat of any kind, you can always tray it out in henna first to ensure you’ll be getting exactly what you want and that it will actually look good on you!
2. Sienna Feet This beautiful design uses a burnt sienna shade of brown to enhance the beauty of the surrounding vivid colors of blues and pinks.
3. Flower Toning Many flowers are done in pinks and reds – and using different shades of brown can enhance either color, creating a dimensional appeal to the tat.
4. Black & Brown Match Brown and black can look lovely together if done correctly. The trick is to not use too much of either, creating an even balance.
5. Christmas Favorite in the Detail This tattoo wouldn’t be the same if Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree wasn’t brown along with the little stand beneath it.
6. Shades Darker If you have lighter skin, sometimes black can make your skin look paler and many of us don’t want that. Use browns to outline your designs instead.
7. Bird in Flight This simple little bird looks more realistic instead of tribal since brown was used instead of black.
8. Drawing You To Her Eyes Many times, brown is a great color to use surrounding a small delicate color such as the green eyes above.
9. Ancient Sea Journey If you like tats that display old-time or ancient scenes, you’re bound to need brown for the details.
10. Blended into the Skin This guy has bronze-toned skin, and his tattoo evenly fades from his skin color into a deep brown and eventually to the edges of each segment which are black.
11. Enhancing the Mold Well, if you’re into tats that include rotting animals, you’re bound to need some brown ink in there somewhere.
12. More Subtle than Black These flowers simply wouldn’t be the same using any other color. They’re more delicate looking and appealing with the use of brown.
13. Browning Leaves A great example of both deep shades of brown in the leaves and lighter shades within the heart.
14. Autumn Flowers Not all of us want rainbow colored butterflies. This one has an almost moth-like appearance surrounded by flowers that could be looming on death.
15. Faint Freedom Since this tat was done on the neck, the wearer wanted it to be a bit more subtle than a black tattoo that would have stolen the grace of the bird.
16. Peacock’s Beauty Teals and yellows make lovely pairs when different shades of browns surround them.
17. Shaded Amber Sleeve Here we can see brown and white ink used together to shape the tat on the left. Very close to the wearer’s skin tone.
18. Tribal Wings
This sienna shade just looks amazing and more unique than if it had been done with black.
19. Falling Blossoms Lovely Elegant flowers outlined in brown. The wearer can choose any amount of palate to shade them in.
20. Wonderland Blooms You can use brown to make your design reminiscent of your favorite movie – like here, it has a subtle Alice in Wonderland appeal.
21. Enhancing Colors Just a bit of brown was used here for shading, bringing out the other surrounding colors.
22. Lion’s Mane Even greens can work well with brown if done properly.
23. Edges of a Feather Brown can often be used on the edges of colors to blend into the skin.
24. Natural Portrait Black was used to encircle the beauty of this ink art, while a light brown was used for the intricate details.
25. Tinted & Shaded Black doesn’t always work well when shading – which is why some tat artists recommend brown.
26. Flowing Snake Fade If you have any oranges or reds in your design, brown can be used to help transition colors.
27. Brown Crab A little brown crap. Why not?
28. Pulling out the Lines This tat doesn’t look done yet, but we can see that brown is very important for the shading before additional colors are used.
29. Creepy Creature Usually sea monsters will have some form of awesome brown in their design!
30. A Hunter’s Favorite Most animals will have either brown fur or brown eyes. If you like animals, brown is a must.
31. Realistic Deer And if you’re thinking about making your animal look more realistic, you’ll definitely want to include browns in your design.
32. Griffin Domination This griffin has some brown shading done in its fur.
33. Lovely Little Owl Owls come in many colors, but brown owls are quite dominant.
34. Shaded Brown Skull A perfect example of how shading with brown can bring out the dimensions that a skull can have in ink.
35. Cute Chocolate Bunny This tattoo is reminiscent of a children’s book and wouldn’t look the same without brown ink!
36. Gorgeous Sienna Lines This gorgeous body piece has a plethora of brown ink, the vines a deep shade as well as some of the flowers’ abstract petals.
37. Easier on the Eyes Brown is often used to signify vines and natural floral shading.
38. Shaded to Perfection The brown shading here helps bring out the black numbers and music notes. If it had been shaded with black, we might not be able to see them as well.
39. Dragon’s Skin & Scales Black and brown duo within a dragon’s design – really quite original since many choose to use more vivid colors in dragon designs.
40. Enhancing Time’s Flight This symbolic piece needs no extra colors, brown being a perfect ink to catch onlookers eyes and try to interpret its meaning.
41. Artfully Crafted Lovely shades of brown used alongside black.
42. Riding the Clouds This samurai has been done in more natural colors.
43. Rusty Detail If you’ve any tat or want a tat to portray rust on metal, brown will do the trick.
44. Creating a Glow If you’ve darker skin, deep brown inks can help to make your natural tone have a glowing effect.
45. Bambi’s Dad Just a bit of subtle brown detail can help make a little tattoo pop.
46. The Power of Chocolate This piece is seemingly elegant and more natural looking than if it had been done in any other color.
47. Autumn Wishes An Autumn leaf wouldn’t be the same without differing shades of browns.
48. Native American Twist Brown is a gorgeous color to include in most Native American tattoos.
49. Coy Kitten We aren’t sure what this creature is, but it looks great with some brown shading!
50. From Red to Brown Brown ink can be used to help create a shimmering look on a red palate.
51. Dirty Snake in Skull Some of us like a dirty look to our tats, and deep shades of brown can do the trick.
52. Twisting Magic Tree This beautiful tree is done with various shades of deep and light browns to create a majestic look.
53. Medusa’s Wrath Mythological creatures will often have brown hair or fur – and in this case, shaded brown snakes.
54. Intriguing Tribal Tribute Tribal tattoos are predominantly done in black, but adding some brown can make yours unique and eye-catching.
55. Little Brown Seahorse Some animals that are normally done in tons of color can be replaced with shades of brown to make it more masculine.
56. Minor Details This black tattoo would look more devilish and daring with added browns and reds.
57. Within the Idea Brown and red can create a glowing effect around your tat.
58. A Hidden Message These words have a more ancient appeal to them done in deep brown.
59. Blending with Hair The small waves of brown created through this star will seemingly blend with the wearer’s hair.
60. Even Butterflies Have Brown
Brown ink helps yellows and reds transition into one another.
61. Tiger Treat A great example of brown being used to enhance a tiger’s appearance to give it more natural coloring.
62. Brown Haired Beauty This poor girl will forever be sad, but at least her brown hair will always look good.
63. Outlines Differing shades of browns and pinks used to create beautiful petals and branches.
64. The Thoughts Within Our one and only tat of purples and browns being used creatively to shape an abstract design coming out of this portrait’s head like thoughts.
65. Subtle Flames Below Browns can replace any colors that infect your skin/that your skin rejects. Here, browns were used to help shade in flames behind the warrior instead of colors that would be too vivid for this skin type.