Skip to Content

What are color bomb tattoos?

Tattoos have become increasingly popular over the past few decades, evolving into an art form with many different styles and techniques. One tattoo genre that has emerged is the “color bomb” tattoo – a bold, bright, and vibrant take on traditional ink. In this article, we’ll explore what defines a color bomb tattoo, examine the different color styles, and present a comprehensive guide to this eye-catching tattoo trend.

What is a Color Bomb Tattoo?

A color bomb tattoo is characterized by its vivid colors and often exaggerated shading. The term “color bomb” refers to the explosive, bold pops of color that make up the tattoo. The goal of a color bomb piece is to pack as much vibrant color into the design as possible.

These tattoos typically feature bright colors like neon greens, pinks, oranges, yellows, and blues. The artist uses heavy outlining and strategic shading to make the colors really stand out. This style is the opposite of pastel or watercolor tattoos – color bomb tattoos are all about saturating the design with pure, true hues.

Color bomb tattoos first emerged in the 1990s but have surged in popularity over the last decade. They represent a shift away from the traditional Americana or black and gray tattoo styles. Color bomb tattoos are generally considered a form of new school tattoo art, though they’ve developed an aesthetic all their own.

Color Bomb Styles

There are a few main styles of color bomb tattoos:

Solid Color

As the name implies, solid color bomb tattoos contain large blocks of single, bold colors. There is very little blending or gradient used. The artist chooses vivid colors and packs them into the design. Outlining is used to separate the color blocks. This style has a bright, graphic look.

Exaggerated Shading

This color bomb style uses exaggerated and strategic shading to make the colors stand out. Smooth gradients and color blending are used within a single color to add highlights and shadows. The colors pop off the skin, giving the tattoo added dimension.


Dotwork refers to using small dots of color to form an image. Dotwork color bomb tattoos combine vivid color dots to create a brighter, bolder effect. The dots range in saturation to add depth and shading. Dotwork allows for a softer color gradient than solid color tattoos.


Neon color bomb tattoos use UV/fluorescent ink to create an extremely bright, eye-catching look. The UV ink has a glow under blacklight. This futuristic style amps up the intensity of the color bomb effect. The downside is that the neon colors fade faster than regular tattoo ink.


Watercolor bomb tattoos blend colors with a paint-splatter technique, but maintain the vivid saturation. Soft edges and Bleeding creates a softer look compared to the other color bomb styles. The layered colors have depth while still packing a bold punch.

Popular Color Palettes

Color bomb tattoos run the gamut of color combinations, but some palettes are more prevalent:


As mentioned, neon colors like yellow, green, pink, and orange are extremely popular. They make the boldest statement. Neon color bombs have an ’80s and futuristic vibe.


Using the entire rainbow palette creates a joyful, Pride-inspired color bomb. Rainbow color schemes have meaning for the LGBTQ community but can symbolize happiness for anyone.

Blue and Orange

This complementary color pair pops. Orange outlines or shading helps blue hues shine. A blue and orange tattoo makes a bold impression.

Pink and Green

The cotton candy color combo of bright pink and lime green has a playful, pastel-gone-wild effect. It’s a girly alternative to the primary color rainbow scheme.

Black and Neon

Combining black with neon colors creates a dimensional, graphic look. The black outlines and shading let the neon pop even more.

Color Palette Colors Used Mood
Neon Yellow, green, pink, orange Bold, futuristic
Rainbow Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple Joyful, Pride
Blue and Orange Shades of blue and orange Energetic, summery
Pink and Green Shades of pink and green Playful, feminine
Black and Neon Black plus neon colors Edgy, graphic

Color Bomb Tattoo Subjects

Color bomb tattoos work best with bold, clearly defined subjects that can be filled with lots of color. Some popular examples include:


From traditional roses to wildflowers, flower tattoos pop in color bomb style. Bright colors enhance the natural vividness of floral subjects.

Animal Portraits

Warm, saturated colors bring life to portraits of pets and wild animals. Solid shapes work well for blocking in vivid color.

Geometric Shapes

Geometric designs have clear edges perfect for packing in different colors. Circles, triangles and hexagons make fun color bomb motifs.

Cartoon Characters

The simple outlines and flat colors of cartoon, comic, anime, and video game characters translate perfectly into color bomb style.

Sugar Skulls

Mexican sugar skull tattoos celebrate the Day of the Dead with festive colors. They epitomize the vibrant spirit of color bomb tattoos.

Art Deco

The bold lines and geometric shapes of Art Deco designs were made for color bombs. Pair with art deco fonts for mystic, abstract body art.

Subject Description
Flowers Roses, peonies, tropical flowers with bright, saturated colors
Animal Portraits Cats, dogs, deer, etc filled in with solid vivid colors
Geometric Shapes Circles, triangles, hexagons in bold hues
Cartoon Characters Comic and anime characters with outlines perfect for color bombs
Sugar Skulls Mexican sugar skulls decoratively painted for Day of the Dead
Art Deco Bold geometric art deco designs


Color bomb tattoos make the most visual impact when composition is carefully planned:

Balance colors

The color palette should feel balanced, with warm tones complementing cool ones. Don’t use too many competing shades.

Color flow

Use color to create the illusion of movement or direction within the tattoo design.

Alternate saturation

Vary the intensity of the colors to create highlights and focal points. Deeper shading increases vibrancy.


Thick black outlines help colors pop against the skin and separates them from each other.

Negative space

Use negative space wisely to let skin be part of the design. This prevents overwhelming color overload.


Make sure elements are harmonious. The color bomb style can create visual clutter if not cohesive.

Color Bomb Tattoo Artists

It takes great skill to create eye-catching color bomb tattoos. Here are some pioneering artists leading the way in this specialty:

– Lea Vendetta – French artist known for vibrant floral designs and dotwork

– Mr Koozy – American artist based in Atlanta, expert at high-saturation color schemes

– Eva Krbdk – Color realism painter and tattooer based in New York City

– Thomas Eckeard – Specializes in saturated color sleeves and Comic book art

– Funny Juker – Thai artist popular for videogame characters and neo-traditional

– Miya Bailey – Atlanta-based artist, bold color themes focused on African American art

– Nikko Hurtado – Industry veteran, excels at color portraits and realism

– Ilya Brezinski – Color bomb blackwork, dotwork and graphic design pieces

To find more amazing color bomb tattoo artists, look up portfolios on platforms like Instagram under relevant hashtags like #colorbombtattoo.

How Long Do They Last?

When properly cared for, a color bomb tattoo can remain vibrant for many years. However, the saturated colors may fade faster compared to black and gray. Bright reds, oranges, pinks and yellows tend to fade quicker than blues and greens.

Bold outlines help colors last longer. After initial healing, application of good quality sunscreen helps preserve the intensity of color bomb tattoos. Avoid sun damage, which fades tattoo color.

Depending on the individual and tattoo care, color saturation can remain strong for around 5-10 years. After this time, color touch-ups may be necessary if vibrancy is lost. An experienced artist can refresh and revitalize the color bomb tattoo.


Pricing for color bomb tattoos depends on:

– Size: Larger, more detailed designs cost more.

– Number of colors: Tattoos with more ink colors are pricier.

– Placement: Difficult body areas like hands, feet and head are charged a premium.

– Artist skill: Top tattooists can command higher rates.

Generally expect to pay around $150-$200 per hour for professional-quality color bomb tattoos. Sleeves and full back pieces with lots of color easily exceed $1000+ for 10 hours of work. Smaller designs like wrists or shoulders may only take 1-3 hours.

Shop around artist portfolios so you can budget accordingly. The most skilled color tattooists are worthwhile investments.

Are Color Bomb Tattoos Right for Me?

If you answer “yes” to the below, you may be an ideal fit for the color bomb tattoo style:

– You want a tattoo that makes a bold statement.

– You aren’t afraid of bright, vivid colors.

– You appreciate and collect art.

– You want an eye-catching, unique tattoo.

– You have interests well-suited to color bomb like Mexican culture or geometric design.

– You don’t mind undergoing touch-ups to maintain color vibrancy.

Color bomb tattoos allow you to become a living canvas, showcasing walking art. If you want your ink to turn heads with its vivid hues, this might just be the perfect style for you.


Color bomb tattoos offer a way to transform skin into a palette for brilliant artwork. Strategic color choices, balanced saturation and expert outlining result in incredible designs. While they require care and maintenance to retain their eye-popping hues, color bomb tattoos make a phenomenal impact. If you’re seeking a bold, bright tattoo that celebrates the full spectrum, look no further than color bombs.