How to Design a Tattoo

A course by Aníbal Pantoja
Illustrator and tattooist. Mexico City, Mexico.
Joined March 2016
, Illustrator and tattooist

Learn the graphic process behind a tattoo

  • Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 84% positive reviews (230)
  • 6363 students

Learn the graphic process behind a tattoo

Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 84% positive reviews (230)
  • 6363 students
  • 20 lessons (5h 3m)
  • 13 additional resources (3 files)
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Available on the app
  • Audio: Spanish
  • Spanish, English, Portuguese
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Unlimited access forever

Aníbal Pantoja, illustrator and tattoo artist, will show you the different alternatives when designing a tattoo according to the style, the complexity of the drawing, the size and the area of the body to be tattooed.

You will know the technical description of the tattoo process, you will discover the work tools, the limitations and characteristics of each skin, you will recognize styles and the use of color and pigments.

You will know what are the supports to make a good tattoo design, what conditions you must have to do it and the basic characteristics of the organic, realistic, geometric designs and the use of grays and color.

At the end of the course, you will know how to make a template with different designs ready to be tattooed.

What will you learn in this online course?

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. Let's talk about tattoos
  • U3
    U3. Let's start Designing
  • U4
    U4. Final score
  • FP
    FP Final project
View details

You will begin to know better the career and work of the illustrator and tattoo artist Aníbal Pantoja as well as the influences that inspire him.

Below you will discover the principles and basic techniques for the realization of a tattoo. You will know the elements that form it, you will analyze the composition of a drawing and the different types of skin that exist. Hannibal will also tell you about the working tools (coil and rotary machines), their use, applications and types of pigments used.

Once you have learned the basics, it will be time to move on to the design phase of your first tattoo. At this point, you will learn to identify different styles of the tattoo, the supports and the use of flash sheets for the transfer of the drawing to the skin.

Aníbal will teach you how to make organic designs, realistic designs and computer designs by practicing geometry, symmetry and repetition with analog and digital tools.

At the end of the course you will be ready to create your own designs mixing all kinds of techniques, styles and making the most of the drawing through the use of color and composition.

What is this course's project?

You will design a tattoo applying all the knowledge and resources acquired in the course.

Projects by course students

Who is this online course for?

To illustrators, designers, tattooists, image professionals, visual artists and curious people who look for a different perspective of the tattoo.

Requirements and materials

To carry out this course it is important to have previous knowledge about composition, color management and drawing notions. Also know how to use Illustrator and be willing to "unlearn" and keep an open mind.

Regarding the materials, you will need pencils, markers, pens, paper, markers, colored pencils, ruler, square, compass, computer, Illustrator and Internet.


6363 Students
230 Reviews
84% Positive ratings
  • More reviews

Aníbal Pantoja

A course by Aníbal Pantoja

Teacher Plus
Illustrator and tattooist

Aníbal Pantoja is a Mexican artist who makes illustrations, engravings and tattoo designs. He studied Design and Visual Communication and currently develops his professional career as a tattoo artist in his own studio, Gallo Negro, located in Mexico City. He is passionate about organic forms and black and white works in which he has to work especially with shadows and volumes.


  • U1


    • Presentation
    • Influences
  • U2

    Let's talk about tattoos

    • Principles and technical description of the tattoo process
    • Principles and technical description of the tattoo process 2
    • Description of work tools
    • Tattoo analysis
    • Tattoo analysis 2
  • U3

    Let's start Designing

    • Design for tattoos
    • Design for tattoos 2
    • Organic designs
    • Organic designs 2
    • Organic designs 3
    • Realism designs
    • Realism designs 2
    • Computer design, geometric and repetitions
    • Computer design, geometric and repetitions 2
  • U4

    Final score

    • Draw the stencil
    • Prepare the material
    • Tattoo with mix of elements
    • Tattoo with mix of elements 2
  • FP

    Final project

    • How to design a tattoo

What to expect from a Domestika course

  • Learn at your own pace

    Enjoy learning from home without a set schedule and with an easy-to-follow method. You set your own pace.

  • Learn from the best professionals

    Learn valuable methods and techniques explained by top experts in the creative sector.

  • Meet expert teachers

    Each expert teaches what they do best, with clear guidelines, true passion, and professional insight in every lesson.

  • Certificates

    If you're a Plus or PRO member, get a custom certificate signed by your teacher for every course. Share it on your portfolio, social media, or wherever you like.

  • Get front-row seats

    Videos of the highest quality, so you don't miss a single detail. With unlimited access, you can watch them as many times as you need to perfect your technique.

  • Share knowledge and ideas

    Ask questions, request feedback, or offer solutions. Share your learning experience with other students in the community who are as passionate about creativity as you are.

  • Connect with a global creative community

    The community is home to millions of people from around the world who are curious and passionate about exploring and expressing their creativity.

  • Watch professionally produced courses

    Domestika curates its teacher roster and produces every course in-house to ensure a high-quality online learning experience.


Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need to complete a specific project. Every step of the project combines video lessons with complementary instructional material, so you can learn by doing. Domestika's courses also allow you to share your own projects with the teacher and with other students, creating a dynamic course community.

All courses are 100% online, so once they're published, courses start and finish whenever you want. You set the pace of the class. You can go back to review what interests you most and skip what you already know, ask questions, answer questions, share your projects, and more.

The courses are divided into different units. Each one includes lessons, informational text, tasks, and practice exercises to help you carry out your project step by step, with additional complementary resources and downloads. You'll also have access to an exclusive forum where you can interact with the teacher and with other students, as well as share your work and your course project, creating a community around the course.

You can redeem the course you received by accessing the redeeming page and entering your gift code.

If you're a Plus or PRO member, when you complete a course you'll instantly get your personalized certificate. You can see all your certificates in the Certificates section of your profile. You can download your certificates as PDFs and share the link online. Learn more about certificates
How to Design a Tattoo. Illustration course by Aníbal Pantoja

How to Design a Tattoo

A course by Aníbal Pantoja
Illustrator and tattooist. Mexico City, Mexico.
Joined March 2016
  • 84% positive reviews (230)
  • 6363 students