Sharpie Tattoos by the Lake

Just back from a fun week at Lake Pillsbury with family and friends. Last year I brought my black sharpie to the lake to ink a few campers. This year, I brought out the big guns: COLOR Sharpies in two tip sizes, books of hand lettering and tattoo flash images for visual reference and a couple of clip art books. There was something for everyone. Who knew Sharpies could be so fun.Jeff’s FAMILY tattoo, what a cutie! Drawn in color first, then outlined in black fine-point.The Led Zeppelin angel from T-shirt reference. I’m not the best with drawing the human figure, so I sketched with a light grey pen to start.Froggy tat from black & white clip art reference.Another FAMILY tattoo for this little princess.Faux henna work with a brown sharpie.The patriotic camp host.A young man’s family rose design.His little sister’s flower of choice.A tribal dragon from tattoo flash design reference.A family star.When the star faded, a family crest design taken from a tiny gold pendant she wears.Sarah’s custom design of choice, a yin yang with pink wings.Love script with a fleur de lis, her favorite symbol.Even my cheap blue ball cap was tattood!

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76 Responses to Sharpie Tattoos by the Lake

  1. #1 - Not the Good Scissors! says:

    Who knew that sharpies could be this much fun! All of them are adorable.

  2. #2 - leta joy says:

    So fun! I love this.

  3. #3 - LindaSonia says:

    WoW – major display of your talent!! How fun!!!

  4. #4 - blueviolet says:

    Holy cow, you are super talented!!! Those are great!

  5. #5 - Christie Cottage says:


  6. #6 - Kate8085 says:

    You are gonna put us out of business!!
    Very cute!

  7. #7 - Lindsey says:

    AWESOME! They look so realistic! I want one now!

    { Lindsey }

  8. #8 - SharDon Exclusives says:

    Goodness! The art work is lovely! Now if someone is not sure about getting a tattoo then to get a temporary one is such a GREAT idea. I want to try it just for the arts sake. However, at my age it seems like such a huge step. Thanks for sharing this idea with us.

  9. #9 - Anonymous says:

    I cannot imagine how steady your hand must be – and skin is not even and steady. Amazing.

    –Vicki K.

  10. #10 - threemoonbabies says:

    Those are amazing! You are very talented!

  11. #11 - NicNacManiac says:

    Awesome, you are super talented!!
    What a fun idea!!!

  12. #12 - thewillowsnest says:

    what a versatile artist you are!
    these are brilliant!

  13. #13 - Creative Crafter UK says:

    Hope you had a great vacation – it looks like you did – these are excellent. I especially love the flourish 'LOVE' design and the frog. Thanks for sharing Cathe!

  14. #14 - Diana says:

    What a great idea! Looks like a lot of fun. Love it.

  15. #15 - WW says:

    You are awfully good with a sharpie!!

  16. #16 - Sandy Toes says:

    Are you sure those aren't real?? They are amazing…you are talented, my bloggy friend.
    sandy toe

  17. #17 - Jenn Klee says:

    Really extraordinary work, how fun can sharpies be!

  18. #18 - Joyce says:

    Wow!! i think i just fell in love with sharpies! didn't know they can be used like that. awesome designs!

  19. #19 - Diane Costanza says:

    How fun is that!

    Love that idea. Do you think the parents at our upcoming block party would have a problem with me tatooing their kids with permanent marker???

  20. #20 - Princess of Everything (and then some) says:

    You flippin ROCK!!!

  21. #21 - Avian says:

    Omg! I love these!! So talented!!

  22. #22 - Annie Anderson says:

    Now that is cool! I must admit, I never would have thought to do temporary tattoos with sharpies.

    (Must be those old childhood memories of my mother yelling "Pens are not for skin! Do NOT write on YOURSELF! Pens are for paper!" LOL)

    Nonetheless, I may have to try it!


  23. #23 - xashee's corner says:

    i am heading over to see Maya Made now but had to compliment you on your drawing!!! GREAT job and what FUN you created with sharpies!!! lol you NEVER cease to AMAZE me!! Thank you for sharing such FUN!! GLAD you're back, safe and sound!! 😉 Have a WONDERFUL day!! 😀

  24. #24 - mommax3 says:

    You are amazing!! I love my sharpies but mine never do anything quite like that 🙂

  25. #25 - Jennifer says:

    Make a note: When I come to visit I want a Sharpie tatoo!

  26. #26 - Hana says:

    Those are awesome! You did great! Gotta love sharpies!

  27. #27 - Jennie says:

    Color me impressed! I have fantasies about being able to draw. I draw stick people, badly. What a fun way to pass the time on a camping trip!

  28. #28 - The Dragonfly says:

    You rock on so many levels with this Sharpie tatoo thing I cannot even begin to wrap my brain around it! And since I'd never get a real tatoo, a sharpie one is right up my alley!

  29. #29 - Karin says:

    What a fun tradition this is becoming!!! And a great way to keep being invited back. : )

  30. #30 - Stacey says:

    I really like this idea and what a fun time for everyone. I esp. liked the love "tat" since I just came back from NOLA and those fluers (hope I spelled that right) are everywhere. Awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  31. #31 - T.Allen-Mercado says:

    Where were you when I got my first real tattoo at 14?! Great work, as usual! 🙂

  32. #32 - Wendy says:

    Love, love, love them! How long do they last?

  33. #33 - La Table De Nana says:

    OMgosh they are ALL great..I love the Peace and Love:)

  34. #34 - Sasaki Creations says:

    I love this! I make handbags and was thinking of having someone "tattoo" the blank canvas with sharpies because you can wash them. (I can't draw!)
    Here is my autograph/doodle bag that I have made for others to fill up with sharpie drawings:
    Just to give you an idea of what I am talking about. I have also worked with an artist who paints with acrylic on canvas and then I sew it into a bag.
    Barb Sasaki

  35. #35 - Trish says:

    holy cow that must have taken you all weekend! you are very talented with a sharpie 🙂 that henna tattoo is amazing!!!

  36. #36 - José says:


    There is some really great art there.
    While they don't find out that some of the paint may not come off easily, I'd run while you have time 🙂

    Best regards,


  37. #37 - forever folding laundry says:

    Holy smokes – those are amazing!!! Super cool.


  38. #38 - Skitzo Leezra says:

    Looking for my Sharpies so I can draw a ladybug on my toe . . .

  39. #39 - jenny says:

    Super cool! You are very talented. I just had my tattoo artist husband check out your work, and even he was impressed! Not bad for fun with some sharpies by the lake!

  40. #40 - Mel says:

    A M A Z I N G !!
    I love that you showed the pics!
    I want one!!

  41. #41 - Amy @ Living Locurto says:

    You are such a great illustrator! Wow:-)

  42. #42 - HeatherBabe says:

    OMG… I HEART YOU!! 😀

  43. #43 - SueLovesCherries says:

    It's too bad they're only "temporary". Good thing you took photos!

  44. #44 - Kristal says:


  45. #45 - Sarah A. says:

    I love, love, love Sharpies! These are beautiful!

  46. #46 - Andrea - Faded Plains says:

    You are absolutely amazing!

  47. #47 - Kaye says:

    What talent! Love that! They look like actual ink needle tattoos! Bet it was fun for you and all who got to wear a tat! Great Job! Hope you keep showing us more!

  48. #48 - Meghan T. says:

    Wow can I go camping with you! What fun, you are so talented, I can hardly stand it!

  49. #49 - sharon says:

    you are soooo talented Ms. Cathe! Everything that you do is like magic — a touch of your hands and out comes a beautiful image…

  50. #50 - Whitney@Whisker Graphics says:

    Cathe, you did an amazing job on ALL the tattoos!! Check out this site:
    Perhaps you would like to share your photos there too? Who knew there was a whole community of Sharpie lovers??!!

  51. #51 - jen says:

    These are awesome! What a fun thing to do with a group. I had a friend who used to give me small "tatoos" with a sharpie, but nothing like this! Great job!

  52. #52 - TidyMom says:

    OMG what fun!!! Those all look FANTASTIC!


  53. #53 - Kay says:

    This is fabulous….I especially love the henna hand…you are do clever!!

  54. #54 - The Short Mom says:

    Wow, those all look so good! And you did that free hand, super impressive.

  55. #55 - The Asquad says:

    You are awesome, this looks like so much fun!!

  56. #56 - Suzy says:

    Wow, wow, wow!!! Love them all and so nice to know there not permanent until your 80 years old!!

  57. #57 - Anonymous says:

    why didn't you guys grab the rv?

  58. #58 - Jann says:

    Absolutely amazing! I'm not a big fan of permanent tattoos, but these are extraordinary, and the amazing thing is that you can keep photos of them forever, but the image will wear off with time. Did you draw all of those—you are a gifted artist! Beautiful . . .

  59. #59 - Anonymous says:

    I think you should open a business. What a great way to decide if you really want the permanent tatoo… before you get it!

  60. #60 - dragonflydreamer says:

    You are so awesome! How fun, Sharpie tatoos. You are super talented.

  61. #61 - MonkeyKnits says:

    These are amazing! I want a Sharpie tattoo!!!

  62. #62 - labdogs42 says:

    What a great idea! Your work is GORGEOUS! How long do they last? I'm too chicken to get a real tattoo, but I'd totally love to have a sharpie tattoo for a little while.

  63. #63 - Mommyof2girlz says:

    Those are drawn from Sharpies?? Why do I pay $$ for the real ink..haha Wow those are awesome and look so real! Found you from Her Cup Overflowth 🙂

  64. #64 - Blythe says:

    You have a nice blog, tattoo art and beautiful.
    please visit my tattoo blog tattoo design
    and tattoo flash design


  65. #65 - Simply Susan says:

    I don't *do* camping anymore, BUT if you were there with your Sharpie's I might be inclined to go again ;o)

    Great works of art! You have a great talent.

  66. #66 - Cre8tivegirl says:

    Wow! That is awesome fun! I love the henna! You got a gift girl, I hear tattoo artist can make some cash!

  67. #67 - Crissi aka Wine Country Mom says:

    Sharpies are so great! I love getting color sharpies and creating peices of art with the kiddos. They really are the best for creating crafty things on the fly.

    Thanks for visiting the forums over at I hope to hear from you more, and I can't wait to read more of your blog!

  68. #68 - Kami says:

    Utterly amazing!

  69. #69 - Anonymous says:

    i love the fluer de lis with love in script soooo much that i got the same exact tattoo 🙂 🙂
    thank you so much for whoever designed it i love it sooo much its on my hip and looks great 🙂

  70. #70 - Cathe Holden says:

    You HAVE to send me a photo of your Love tattoo!!! You HAVE to!

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  72. #72 - jen says:

    While the work is nice, Sharpies are by NO MEANS meant to go on the skin. This is very dangerous and toxic.
    Please invest in some temporary tattoo ink products, or at the least, some proper face and body paints!

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  74. #73 - Cindy says:

    I have a question. First I love this idea – but is it safe for the skin

  75. #74 - kellie says:

    What can I say WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GREAT…..