50 Insanely Detailed Dotwork Tattoos That Will Make You Want One (Like, Now.)

dotwork tattoos dot tattoo designs minimalistic tattoo ideas

The best tattoos are masterful works of art that come to life as they’re inked onto skin. Dotwork tattoos are a great example of this, as they are incredibly detailed and intricate. Using a series of dots, tattoo artists create elaborate shapes, minimalistic designs, and complex figures.

In this video, a tattoo artist is seen applying a dot tattoo to their client. First, the artist applies a sticker to the desired area. They press down on the sticker to ensure that the outline transfers from the sticker to the client’s skin. Using the outline provided by the sticker as a guideline, the artist then adds numerous dots around the outline. Ultimately, these dots form the majority of the tattoo, including the shading.

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The client in the above video ended up with a floral design, but dotwork tattoos have been made in various other forms. This video shows a tattoo artist applying dotwork tattoos in the forms of a book and a cup of coffee:

Again, a colored template is overlaid on the client’s skin to help the tattoo artist maintain the desired form as they add the dots. In the end, the client is left with two incredible dotwork tattoos.

Dotwork tattoos can be designed in many ways, including religious symbols, patterns, animals, objects, faces, or a combination of these. It can also be used to make interesting abstract tattoo designs, shadows, and fades.

What makes dot tattoos unique is the very specific way they are created by tattoo artists. The method seems simple but can actually be very complicated, depending on how complex of a tattoo design you are trying to achieve.

Even if what you’re looking for is simple, dotwork tattoos can make the simplest of things more detailed and intricate. Whatever the case, here are some of the most impressive and intricate dotwork tattoos that will inspire you to get your own ink.

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1. A tattoo with a lake and mountain scene under sun.

In this landscape, dots are used to make plants, rocks, and mountains.

2. Yin and yang tattoo: wind and waves

Using dots to create lines makes these waves and clouds come to life.

3. Expanding floral pattern created by dots.

Dots of various decreasing shades allow this pattern to slowly fade out.

4. Tree line and lake dotwork tattoo wrapping around an arm.

This design appears to have a sharp tree line on one end and a fading lake on the other.

5. Semicircle flower tattoo design.

Dots separate the various rounded sections and flower petals that make up this design.

6. Mountain and water landscape.

This design uses dots to enhance the shadows on the sides of the mountains and form the waves at the base of the landscape.

7. Thin band tattoo of dotwork mountains.

A thin band of dots create a sharply-defined row of mountains beneath a dark skyline.

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8. Radiant thoughts made with dots, like this Buddha tattoo.

The design surrounding the meditating person is an intricate pattern formed by dots and space.

9. An island sunset makes for a simple, but beautiful, tattoo.

See if you can spot the whale amidst the serene water and assortment of plants.

10. Alien abduction dotwork tattoo.

Surrounding the central alien figure is a cosmic skyline and UFO made up of dots.

11. Radiant floral pattern shoulder tattoo.

It may take a while for a tattoo artist to finish this, but this design is worth the wait.

12. Mountains and trees tattoo under starry sky.

This design is on the smaller side, but the elaborate details can be seen if you look up close.

13. Two sides of a lion, both a geometric tattoo, and a dotwork tattoo.

Dots are used to bring together the two very different sides of the lion’s face.

14. A dotwork astronaut tattoo in full gear.

If you’re curious about the cosmos, this tattoo is designed with you in mind.

15. Face made with dots.

The shading provided by the dots makes the person’s face look more realistic.

16. Compass tattoo surrounded by various symbols.

This compass uses dots to highlight certain sections of the large star in the center and the surrounding areas.

17. A never-ending flower, with dots and solid lines.

Each of this flower’s many petals is filled with dots.

18. A pair of nature scenes, one for each arm.

Dots make up the sharp, jagged mountains on the left and a wavy sea on the right.

19. An incredibly detailed eye dotwork tattoo.

It’s clear to see that the dots in this tattoo help give definition to the eye, eyebrow, and surrounding area.

20. Complex cube tattoo design down arm.

How many cubes do you see in this design?

21. Flower petal design on wrist.

This flower’s many petals are filled with dots.

22. Three patterned sections on shoulder and arm.

Complex dotted patterns fill each section of this large tattoo.

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23. Radiating flower tattoo design idea.

This symmetrical flower pattern radiates outward with the help of dots.

24. Skull tattoo with floral headdress.

Dots make living things look livelier and spooky things look spookier.

25. Feeling like an outsider with a dotted alien tattoo.

Using dots, this UFO writes its message across the sky.

26. Skull tattoo on back of leg.

This could easily end up in my nightmares tonight…

27. Cosmic tattoo assortment.

These planets and other celestial beings are surrounded by a dot-filled sky.

28. Face and flower surrounded by dots.

This multifaceted tattoo includes a face and floral design, both of which are made up of dots.

29. Dotwork and tribal arm bands of varying thickness.

Dark dots create contrast between the each of the arm bands and the untouched skin around them.

30. Heart and brain on puppet strings.

This one gives the phrase “tugging at your heart strings” a whole new meaning.

31. Hidden face tattoo.

At first glance, you may not be able to spot what appears to be a bird’s face staring right toward you.

32. Dotted leaf tattoo with a thin stem.

Dots of various shades really bring this leaf to life.

33. Geometric tattoo with a cube pattern.

To form this pattern, dots are arranged in various shapes and intersecting lines.

34. 3 arm bands of various scenery.

Whether you’re a fan of cities, island sunsets, or forests, this tattoo is sure to please.

35. Expanding circle illusion tattoo.

These dots decrease in size as you move further from the center, making for an eye-catching design.

36. Block steps and triangle patterned tattoo.

The arrangement of dots makes this design look 3D.

37. Cat tattoo looking away.

It seems that even a tattooed cat won’t face forward long enough to have its picture taken.

38. Decorative mandala tattoo design.

This tattoo may seem crowded and disorganized, but there’s a method to its madness.

39. Nature scene arm band.

This scene is very tiny, but the dots make this tattoo’s details prominent, even from a distance.

40. Disappearing dots tattoo.

In this one, it looks like the dots are being pulled out into space by some unknown force. Spooky!

41. Mountains under moonlight.

The dots are seen most prominently in the hills under the mountains and the night sky.

42. Diamond design with various shapes.

Dots make this geometric masterpiece come together.

43. Mask tattoo.

Each of these masks has a unique facial expression, and dots help make them seem more realistic.  

44. Mandala tattoo pattern divided into sections.

This large flower design is made up of many isolated sections that come together to form a complete picture.

45. Assorted patterns on shoulder and arm.

It’s hard to believe that all of these complex patterns could be made by a series of dots.

46. Triathlon tattoo.

This one is designed with athletes in mind.

47. Flowers atop flowers.

Thanks to skilled dividing lines, this design looks like a series of flowers on top of one another.

48. Thick, fading arm bands.

If you’re looking for something simple, yet powerful, this one is for you.

49. Triangle tattoo overlay.

Dots of various shades are used throughout this design to illustrate the overlay of triangles.

50. Complex mandala tattoo.

This complicated design relies heavily on symmetry and balance.

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Roman Chiarello is a writer and aspiring journalist who is committed to helping others. He currently attends Pace University and resides in New Jersey.