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Do you want to add a realistic tattoo effect to your model’s photo in Photoshop? This tutorial will show you how to do it in just a few simple steps. We’ll cover everything from choosing the right tattoo image to blending it into the model’s skin. By the end of this tutorial, you’ll be able to add realistic tattoos to your photos like a pro!

Stock Image Required


Tattoo Pattern by hellonage

Video Tutorial

If you perfer the steps in a video format, check out my video on PSD Vault Youtube Channel:

Step 1

Load the model image into Photoshop, duplicate the background layer:

Step 2

To make things slightly more interesting, we are going to be place the Tattoo over the upper arm area, and the hand of the model will be covering part of the Tattoo.

We will want to select the hand first – go to the Object Selection Tool:

Draw a selection over the hand area:

You will notice Photoshop automatically select the hand for us – let’s go ahead and apply a layer mask using this selection:

Step 3

We will want to choose a tattoo pattern for the model. A few things to consider here:

  1. The tattoo needs to fit the body (you can re-size it, but its overall shape need to fit);
  2. The tattoo needs to look natural to the model’s pose;
  3. Ideally, the tattoo image needs to be of a good resolution.

Once you chose the tattoo image, load the image into Photoshop, reduce its size and place it over the arm area, change its layer blend mode to “Multiply”, reduce the opacity of the tattoo layer to 80%:

Apply the following Levels adjustments to this tattoo layer – this will make any white edge disappear:

Warp this layer to make it look more realistic:

We can then move the “Background Copy” layer above the tattoo layer:

And you will have the following effect – the hand covering the tattoo:

Final Result

Extra tips for adding a realistic tattoo effect in Photoshop

  • Use a high-quality tattoo image. The better the quality of the tattoo image, the more realistic the final result will be.
  • Choose a tattoo that is a good fit for the model’s body. The tattoo should be in the right size and shape, and it should be placed in a location that makes sense for the model’s pose.
  • You can add a Gaussian blur to the tattoo layer to soften the edges. This will help to blend the tattoo into the skin and make it look more realistic.
  • Adjust the brightness and contrast of the tattoo layer to match the rest of the photo. This will help the tattoo look more natural and less like it was added after the fact.

I hope this tutorial helps you to add realistic tattoo effects to your photos in Photoshop. Got a question? Drop me a comment below.

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