The most beautiful thing about blackwork is that it’s a balancing act; to counteract the negative space, you must also have a balanced positive space. Having this definitive balance draws attention to the intricate artistry behind blackwork pieces. While color and even black and gray pieces employ the use of shading and multiple pigments, blackwork highlights the composition of a piece, calling the design to the forefront.
While it is often misunderstood outside of the tattoo community, blackwork continues to stress the artistry behind the art of tattooing. Japanese artist Gakkin is an exemplary testament to this, as he freehands the majority of his work. Favoring Japanese and macabre imagery, Gakkin’s work takes on everything from mythological creatures, to intricate designs, and political satire.
You can see more of Gakkin's freehanded blackwork here.