How to Draw a Broken Heart Tattoo

Being able to draw tattoo designs is an important part of becoming a successful tattoo artist.

If you’re new to drawing, we recommend starting with traditional style tattoos, like a traditional “broken heart,” because you don’t have to worry about drawing with the flow of the body.

In this article, we’ll break down exactly how to draw a traditional “broken heart” by covering how to:

  • Experiment with placement in the “red pencil” layer
  • Define your design in the “blue pencil” layer
  • Perfect your tattoo in the “black marker” layer

Broken Heart Tattoo Design Tutorial

To create this design, you’ll need three layers. You can use layers in Procreate on an iPad, or you can use three pieces of paper. 

Layer One: Red Pencil Layer

On your first layer, you’ll use a red Sketcher brush on Procreate (or a red pencil if you’re working on paper). You’ll use this red pencil layer to draw out your shapes. 

For a broken heart, you’ll start with a big oval, since the heart is a circular shape. Then draw another oval where you want your bandage to wrap around the heart.

You can continue to map out the design using smaller shapes. Mapping out your design with loose shapes will make sure you know exactly where everything goes, which means you won’t be lost when you start adding linework. 

When you first start out, you can do this process to break down designs by other artists as a reference for your own design. From there, you’ll add your own flair and create a new design. 

Pro Tip: 

Don’t worry about making anything look perfect in this layer. The red pencil layer is for experimenting and deciding where parts of your image will go. You can move things around and easily erase pieces at this layer. 

Layer Two: Blue Pencil Layer

On your next Procreate layer, or your second sheet of paper, you’ll switch to a blue pencil. In this layer, you’ll start to define features in your design and finalize where everything will go. The blue pencil layer is still a “sketching” layer.

The best way to create your second layer is to follow the general shapes you created in the red layer, but this time you’ll be more specific with your line work and add in details.

Layer Three: Black Marker Layer

On the third and final layer, you’ll use a black brush (or a black pen or Sharpie, if you’re working on paper). This is when you’ll go through and finalize your design. 

You’ll also use this layer to make the stencil, so you want everything to be as perfect as possible. That way, you can just follow your stencil while tattooing and know everything is in the right place.

To create your final design, follow the design you created in the blue pencil layer with a dark, bold line (no “sketching” lines). You can also use this time to add in final details. 


If you’re using pen and paper, you’ll want to use a lightbox to make sure you can see the design on the blue layer.

Learn to Tattoo at Home

While getting the fundamentals of tattoo design is an important part of tattooing, we’ve only just scratched the surface of what you need to know as a tattoo artist.

In the past, learning to tattoo in an apprenticeship was a full-time, unpaid job, which kept many talented artists locked out of the industry.

Today, full-time teachers, restaurant and construction workers, parents, and more are learning to tattoo at home, on their own time with the Artist Accelerator Program

The program’s easy-to-follow, 9-step framework guides you through all the information you need to know to become a tattoo artist, and our online Mastermind community gives you support and feedback on your art and tattoos from professionals in the industry.

Over 2500 students have used our proven framework to break into the tattoo industry, with many of them leaving their old jobs to tattoo in shops all around the world, or even open up their own studios.

If you want to see the framework they used to get their dream jobs…

Click here to check out the Artist Accelerator Program

Looking for a tattoo apprenticeship?

Tattooing 101's Artist Accelerator 90 day program is the closest thing to a real apprenticeship

  • 500 video modules
  • Professional tattoo artist coaches
  • Private mastermind community
Nathan Molenaar

Nathan is a licensed professional tattoo artist with over 8 years’ experience working at studios across the globe, including Celebrity Ink, the world's largest tattoo studio chain.

When he's not tattooing, he spends his free time sharing his experience and knowledge with aspiring artists who dream of pursuing a career in the tattooing industry.

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