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Neil Dransfield's Deep, Dark Body Art

Neil Dransfield's Deep, Dark Body Art

Tattoo Artists1 min Read

Black neo-traditional tattoos with an ominous essence.

Neil Dransfield has developed a unique brand of black tattoos. His style is a bit difficult to nail down. It is neo-traditional in composition but also breaks the mold with its graphic elements and impactful white highlighting. Not only is his signature aesthetic dark in appearance, it is also dark in subject matter. Looking at his portfolio, one can tell that he revels in the grimmer iconography of the tattoo world. 

A badass reaper by Neil Dransfield (IG—neil_dransfield_tattoo). #barbedwire #black #dark #NeilDransfield #neotraditional #reaper #rose

The true genius of Dransfield's work rests in his designs. He combines classic tattoo motifs in a thought-provoking fashion, with most of his body art creating a mixture of romance and death. He frames macabre imagery like skeletons inside ornate hearts and then runs daggers through them. His lovers inside sacred hearts are a sublime blend of sensuality and the divine. He doesn't just make pinups, he creates depictions of ladies drinking away their sorrows or losing their souls. A lady head in his hands is gorgeous as well as gruesome. Body art doesn't come more poetic than his. Each of his pieces is rich with somber yet beautiful meaning.

Guitar god Slash by Neil Dransfield (IG—neil_dransfield_tattoo). #black #dark #NeilDransfield #neotraditional #portraitrue #slash

Though there is a emotional complexity to most of his work, not all of Dransfield's body art is so moody. Beyond marrying themes of love and death in many of his design, he also creates illustrations of hardcore imagery like spiders with skulls for abdomens and brass knuckles knocking out teeth. His unique style is perfect for rending this sort of edgy iconography. It makes intense motifs look that much more badass.

To see more of Dransfield's dark body art, hit up his Instagram. He work at Oddfellows Tattoo Collective in Leeds, England and can be reached at if you want to get a grim tattoo by him for yourself.

Ross Howerton
Written byRoss Howerton

BA in Literary Studies from The New School. MFA in Creative Writing from NMSU. Staff Writer for Tattoodo. I love art, books, movies, music, and video games. Hit me up on Twitter @Powertonium

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