25 Epic 3D Tattoos That’ll Make You Want One

There is never a shortage of awesome 3D tattoos – and it seems like the work out there just keeps getting better and more innovative.

3D tattoo pioneers like Jesse Rix and Winston The Whale have helped transform ordinary tattoos into masterful works of 3D art.

Some of these tattoos look so real they literally jump off of the skin. Others play tricks on the eyes, forming optical illusions that make the human body look impossibly cool.

No matter if you have zero tattoos or twenty, the following tattoos will inspire you to get your next ink in 3D.

1. Adding a masterful 3D touch to an existing tattoo


Most tattoos are 2-D (two dimensional), a 3-D tattoo adds an extra dimension to the art. These tattoos are intended to interact with the skin to create an illusion that it is above or popping out of the skin/body.

In the world of animation, 2D animation is also known as traditional animation. Think of the flat cartoons you adored as a kid.

2D animation relies on thousands of drawings that are shown quickly and in succession to make it appear like the drawings are living, moving characters.

2. Cat lovers can’t get enough of this 3D feline that literally pops off the skin, meow!


3D art adds an additional dimension: depth, or distance. This third layer of art tells the eye how much space exists between an object that is closer to the viewer, as well as farther away.

A combination of lighting, shadowing, blurring, and shading is used to create this effect.

3D art is a newer technique in the tattoo scene. It’s been around for about a decade and is becoming more popular with time. Therefore, instead of it looking like you have a cat tattoo, it looks like you have a cat popping out of your skin.

3. No words to even describe how cool this one is


Tattoo artists need extra skill to pull off these tricky creations. They must use areas of “high light” or shine, shading to create a rounding effect, and shadows to create depth and distance.

When done right, 3D tattoos look like they are floating on the skin, popping out of the skin, or a part of the body. 3D tattoos have a much more life-like appearance.

4. Small but realistic tattoo


They are equally great for creating optical illusions. You can make it appear like part of your skin is missing or peeling away to reveal a skull, alien, or the bright blue sky.

One of the most popular types of 3D tattoos involve making it look like something is sitting on top of the skin. The artist does this by rounding the subject of the design using a combination of highlighting and shading with the addition of shadows to the skin.

5. Smokin’ finger candles


When our eyes see shadows, our brain becomes convinced that we are looking at something sitting on top of the skin. That’s because shadows signify the existence of space between the drawing and the skin.

In other words, 3D tattoos are really just the perfect dose of trickery.

6. Shattered glass tattoo


7. Scuba diver’s dream tattoo


8. Speaking of black holes…


9. Perfectly structured 3D blocks


10. Optical illusion tattoo


11. Gnarly tattoo by Danny and Domestic’s Tattoos in Mossend, Scotland


12. This tattoo is meant to symbolize the inner power in letting go of pain and freeing your mind


13. Skull with bees and honey – a sweet twist on a sinister image


14. So awesome!


15. This tattoo by Jesse Rix was inspired by artwork by @borisipsum 


16. Butterfly poppin


17. 3D blow pop art


18. 3D Pink Floyd work of art



19. “Progress shot of this fun piece I started today” – Jesse Rix


20. A beautiful 3D rose


21. Another super sweet piece by Jesse Rix


22. “After 2 Sessions Totaling 12 Hours Of Work. The Damper Is Fully Healed. The Background Was Made In The Freehand With No References”


23. Nature breaking through the human body


24. 3D tattoo with a creepy twist


25. Piercing or 3D rainbow? We’ll let you decide