It is believed that the Black & Grey Tattoos started and originated in the prisons of the US. The reason could be the difficulty the prisoners had to lay their hands on the colored ink. Famous tattooists like California's Jack Rudy and Good time Charlie Cartwright saw this kind of inking work for the first time; they realized that there was great artistic potential and thus decided to use it on daily tattooing purposes. They finally started using this new way of inking outside the prison as a fully fledged method art form.
This underground technique was refined in the 70s, turning black and grey tattooing into mainstay of the modern technology. This technique is mainly used for portraits or for achieving a very realistic effect in the tattoo. The shading effect makes the tattoo very appealing and attractive for one and all. As the name suggests, these kinds of tattoos are done only in the shades of black and grey.
Diluting the black ink with water in various proportions creates a wash resulting in the lighter shades of the grey depending upon the requirement. For a proper shade, there are few things to be kept in mind. For a lighter shade, the hand speed can be increased. After a tattoo has been completed with varying degrees of black, highlights are often added using white. White ink can also be used to smooth out sharp transitions between the different shades of the black in a tattoo.