Negative space tattoo idea

63 High-Contrast Negative Space Tattoos With Open-Ended Meanings And Interpretations

While most tattoos have deeper secrets which are dug out after tons of research, on the other side are tattoos that are as transparent as they look; one of which remains a negative space tattoo.

Negative space tattoos are always open to interpretation, making them easy to experiment with, irrespective of experience.

However, to really nail the art of wearing negative space tattoos, some insight is a must. And if you've stumbled upon this guide, you've come to the right place!

Where Polar Opposites Unite: A Coverage Of Negative Space Tattoos And Their Meaning!

Negative space tattoo meaning

Negative space tattoos are kind of like yin and yang, if you think about it. It shows the impressive nature of polar opposites when they partake in a collaboration, mainly by generating a high contrast image.

With neutral shades as well as bright shades, it shows how well dissimilar components harmonize when placed in the same booth. Additionally, this tattoo also works as a metaphor for the saying, “opposites attract,” further enhancing its appeal.

Diverse Concepts For Negative Space Tattoos Currently Trending In The Fashion Scene!

When push comes to shove, it's extremely simple to execute as well as come up with an original concept for a negative space tattoo.

Since they only make it mandatory to mix light shades with dark ones for a double ended interpretation, it's also easy to adjust to a negative space tattoo.

From depicting floral patterns, to letters, and even accommodating mountains, negative space tattoos are destined for success. And if you're curious, give the following entry a read.

Negative Space Blackout Tattoo: The Frontrunner In The Scene

Negative Space Blackout Tattoo

A blackout tattoo with negative spacing carries the base notes of a blackwork tattoo, an image where the ratio of neutral shades is higher.

Yet, it appears to be the best among negative space tattoos, perhaps due to the creative freedom it allows users to have.

A negative space blackout tattoo is open to change, but it works well with depictions of the sky, as shown above.

Negative Space Tattoo Fillers: Ashing Out Past Regrets

Negative Space Tattoo Fillers

An Alternative to a coverup tattoo, which can be painful, is a filler tattoo, which is literally what it sounds like.

For those wondering, a negative filler tattoo covers old designs with new shades, and an entirely new theme.

The best part is that the theme can be about anything, as long as it aligns with the person of interest.

Negative Space Sleeve Tattoo: Good Things Take Time

Negative Space Sleeve Tattoo 1

Committing to sleeve tattoos can be hard, especially when you've signed up for a negative space tattoo.

Nonetheless, if you're familiar with pain, and have a special bond with sleeve tattoos, the pain aspect shouldn't get in the way of your dream.

Depicting a negative space tattoo as a sleeve tattoo can be difficult. Remember that patience is a virtue, and be sure to invest in the right source.

Negative Space Japanese Tattoo: A Representation Of A Whole Nation

Negative Space Japanese Tattoo 1

Artwork with traditional and classic themes really stand out when thrown into a depiction with high saturation and contrast, which makes this Japanese tattoo even more special.

Reprising the structure of a half sleeve tattoo, this piece captures ancient Japanese traditions, but in a modern way.

With symbols attached over a brilliant depiction of what appears to be a mountain tattoo, this piece is a standout performer.

Negative Space Cross Tattoos: Staying True To God

Negative Space Cross Tattoos 1
Negative Space Cross Tattoos 2

Finding the green light in religion is a feeling that can’t be expressed with words. However, the strength found in religion can easily be depicted with illustrations, which is exactly what this Cross tattoo aims for.

A negative space Cross tattoo is more spiritually awakening than it is visually appealing, with a rather simple visual outlook to blend with the metaphor.

If you’d like, you may even chop the Cross down into a three Cross tattoo, another popular phenomenon in the world of art.

Negative Space Moon Tattoo: The Power Of Natural Beauty

Negative Space Moon Tattoo

While the sun struggles to find success when covered in a negative theme, the moon tattoo finds light yet again, but this time as a tattoo.

A negative space moon tattoo is a simple way of showing just how wonderful nature is when wearing its most authentic form.

Additionally, this tattoo is also open to interpretation, and can depict anything it’s told to.

Blackwork Negative Space Tattoo: The Best Representation Of Neutral Colors

Blackwork Negative Space Tattoo

Blackout and blackwork tattoos carry the same feel, and are virtually identical, to say the least.

The only difference between the two is that, despite carrying the same palette, blackwork tattoos are larger, and more defined.

A blackwork tattoo also takes time, as filling in the selected area requires tons of shading, and the help of a series of needles. To make the experience easier, be sure to travel with a companion.

Geometric Negative Space Tattoo: The Perfect Pair With The Right Angles

Geometric Negative Space Tattoo 2
Geometric Negative Space Tattoo 3

Geometric shapes and angles appear to be the perfect fit for a negative space image, as the frames look sharper and the shapes release dopamine in a matter of seconds.

The artwork compiles a series of shapes together, too, which not only compliments the negative space tattoo, but also appears to be a real life metaphor of how opposites really attract.

Due to carrying a volume of elements, the best one can do is pursue a sleeve tattoo. For an alternative, look into chest tattoos.

Negative Space Leg Tattoo: A World Full Of Opportunities

Negative Space Leg Tattoo

With the space it provides, the leg can be a great placement area for a negative space tattoo. It not only has enough circumference, but also has tons of fat that prevent pain.

While the image above features mountains and a landscape, the depiction is open to interpretation. You can even invest in abstract paint, as well as incorporate a portrait tattoo without a hassle.

Negative Space Lettering Tattoo: An Open-Ended Affair

Negative Space Lettering Tattoo

Less truly is more in some cases. Likewise, if you’re pursuing a negative space tattoo, using letters might just be enough.

Adding letters might seem too bland at first, but look at the amount of detailing you can add to each letter when using shading techniques. Absolutely phenomenal!

The best part is that the phrases are open to interpretation. In other words, as long as it fills your cup, nothing else should matter!

Negative Space Elbow Tattoo: Standing Out With The Right Depiction

Negative Space Elbow Tattoo

The back of the elbow, while painful, can be a great canvas if you already have a sleeve tattoo you're currently trying to add to.

Furthermore, it can be a great way to make high-contrast images stand out. Making the canvas a natural at negative space tattoos.

Applying numbing cream can be a great way to subside the only drawback of this tattoo, which is the only disadvantage of this piece. You may also break the session down into multiple sessions to make things easier.

Simple Negative Space Tattoo: Smaller Is Better

Simple Negative Space Tattoo

With lighter shades, a lower resolution, and easygoing components, one can also pursue what I like to call a simple negative space tattoo. If you’re lost, think of floral patterns, alongside simple maze-like shapes at the back for starters.

While the placement area of this tattoo is also open to adjustments, the greatest location is surely the forearm.

It can depict anything, that too while reducing pain, being a friend in need for sensitive skin!

Negative Space Flower Tattoo: A Design That Knows No Bounds

Negative Space Flower Tattoo

While it’s a wise idea to depict flowers on a negative image to bring out more shading techniques, you can definitely allow floral patterns to take the lead if you’re hoping to install a memorable image with sentimental value.

Taking into account the amount of species available, you can almost add any flower tattoo as long as it makes sense to you. And if so, be sure to check out all our materials related to flower tattoos here!

If needed, you may even add phrases to strengthen your narrative, and give this design one more element of attraction.

Forearm Negative Space Tattoo: A Canvas With Limitless Opportunities

Forearm Negative Space Tattoo

Finding the right location can be difficult if you haven’t figured out the dimensions you’d like to experiment with. That being said, if you’re open to suggestions, consider wearing a forearm tattoo.

A forearm negative space tattoo offers all the space in the world to explore one’s creative ventures, admitting any piece of work required to align with the wearer’s mindset.

Though bold, a forearm tattoo also enables one to promote individuality and reflect on the importance of self-expressions.

Negative Space Mountain Tattoo: Embracing The Highs And Lows Of Living

Negative Space Mountain Tattoo

Mountains make for great views. In addition, beyond the visuals it provides, a mountain represents the highs and lows of life.

The image of a mountain can be depicted as a tattoo in various ways, one of which involves the theme of a negative space tattoo.

And though it lacks color, it surely brings out the jarring components that makes nature as appealing as it is to the human eye.

Negative Space Galaxy Tattoo: A Calling For Astronomers

Negative Space Galaxy Tattoo 1
Negative Space Galaxy Tattoo 2

Galaxy tattoos have been a language for people fond of astronomy for years. In addition, it has been a great figure in modern art, carrying a mix of jarring colors, planets, and just the right supporting components.

A negative space galaxy tattoo often adjusts to a galaxy tattoo’s demands, exploring a world full of color to satisfy the latter.

Since the artwork is highly-detailed, it is best if you place the concept on larger surfaces, such as the back. You may even check out our guide on back tattoos, just in case you need a plan B.

Negative Space Armband Tattoo: A Call For Assistance

Negative Space Armband Tattoo

Armband tattoos can be great investments for one’s physical appearance, since they always enhance the definition of the wrist, alongside benefitting the muscle-to-bone density of the forearms.

However, if you’d like to sweep everyone by their feet, go for neutral colors. Furthermore, if you’d like an option to experiment with, try out a negative space tattoo.

Negative Space Skull Tattoo: Coming To Terms With Death

Negative Space Skull Tattoo 1
Negative Space Skull Tattoo 2

Closing off this list is a skull tattoo, which carries a lot of metaphorical weight, and makes space for other symbols to stand out.

A high contrast skull tattoo is an intimidating one for sure. Negative spacing only adds to the former, giving users a reality check on the inevitability of death.

Though scary, this tattoo also encourages one to live up to their potential, as well as work towards living a better life with healthier habits.

Small Negative Space Tattoo: Adjusting To Subtle Changes

Small Negative Space Tattoo

Negative Space Dragon Tattoo: An Eye Candy In Asia

Negative Space Dragon Tattoo 1
Negative Space Dragon Tattoo 2

Negative Space Mandala Tattoo: Going Against Your Principles

Negative Space Mandala Tattoo 1
Negative Space Mandala Tattoo 2

Negative Space Rose Tattoo: The Opportunity Cost Of Love

Negative Space Rose Tattoo 1

Negative Space Spider Web Tattoo: The Bright Side Of Second Chances

Negative Space Spider Web Tattoo 1
Negative Space Spider Web Tattoo 2

Negative Space Owl Tattoo: Protecting Your Piece Of Mind

Negative Space Owl Tattoo 1
Negative Space Owl Tattoo 2

Frequently Asked Question

Negative space tattoos are the designs one should pursue if they have an eye for, as well as a liking towards high-contrast photos. It is true that each entry is complex to create, and requires tons of commitment to come into existence.

However, as long as you have the right idea in mind, you should be met with tons of success.

That being said, if you’re still stuck between a rock and a hard place, listed below are some questions that might change that narrative!

Q: How much do negative space tattoos cost?

Ans: Due to being time-consuming concepts, negative space tattoos are extremely expensive. They're also full of detail, and mostly cover larger surfaces, further adding to their cost.

Q: What is the upkeep of a negative space tattoo like?

Ans: Negative space tattoos fade easily due to being black and white tattoos on most occasions. For that reason alone, the maintenance of such tattoos are rather demanding. To keep a negative space tattoos safe and sound, bimonthly touch-ups might be required.


All in all, negative space tattoos are open to interpretation, being ideal for both visionaries, as well as adventures.

While the only limitation is the fact that they lack color, negative space tattoos depict high contrast images with even higher notes of realism.

Before obtaining the artwork, be sure to get your tolerance in check. You should also travel with a companion, as the time frame for each design is prolonged and painful.

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