While thirty years ago it may have been surprising to see woman wearing visible tattoos, thankfully times have changed. An entire subset of the ink industry caters to tattoos for women.
Some people may still think of butterfly and flower tattoo when it comes to women’s ink, but the following gallery demonstrates that these stereotypical assumptions about female tattoo design no longer hold true.
Skull tattoo, dagger, or dragon are all fair game when it comes to a woman’s body art, and they don’t have to be a small tattoo design either: with sleeves and large chest tattoos just two placements gaining popularity for feminine tattoos.
This stunning tattoo gallery provides a taste of what is possible when talented artists’ attention is turned to applying ink to the female form. The tattoo shop is no longer just a site for men to get ink.
1. Animal Tattoo Design
Women have been getting animal tattoos for centuries. In fact, one of the oldest tattoos ever documented was a 2,500 year old deer tattoo discovered on the mummified remains of a Siberian princess.
The tattoos in this gallery demonstrate the variety of styles and approaches that are available to female tattoo enthusiasts. Photo-realistic lions, black and gray elephants and full color tigers are all represented here and these tattoo designs exhibit just how versatile and exciting animals can for a tattoo idea.
Symbols are used to represent different beliefs, attitudes and concepts in a single design and they can be used to take the significance of a simple tattoo to the next level.
Some of the tattoos here take established and easily recognizable symbols—the Christian cross, astrological signs and the female symbol are all represented—and build compelling tattoo designs around them.
Other pieces take a more abstract approach. The unmistakable eyebrows of painter and activist Frida Kahlo are used to inform the script tattoo beneath it and create a one of a kind and compelling tattoo.
3. Watercolor for Women
Watercolor tattoo is one approach that has gained particular popularity among female tattoo enthusiasts. By using bold lines and a loose application of colors that is not contained by the outline, tattoo artists are able to expertly recreate the effect of watercolor paintings.
The tattoos in this gallery perfectly demonstrate the versatility of this approach. Common designs that utilize animals, birds and lotus flowers are all represented here as well as more unique designs like the line work figure with a swirling, multi-colored galaxy for a head.
4. Linework Body Art
Given the essential nature of solid line work in any tattoo it is unsurprising that many women today are choosing to get tattoos that eschew complex shading and bright colors in favor of more subdued designs that rely solely on lines to complete the piece.
This is not to say that these tattoos are boring or one dimensional. In fact, as the tattoo designs in this gallery show line work tattoos can be just as exciting and unique as color pieces when a talented artist applies their skills to an interesting concept.
5. Flower Tattoo Ideas
Flowers are powerful symbols: one only has to look at their ubiquitous presence at just about every significant cultural celebration around the world to understand how important they are to the human experience. For this reason—along with the fact they look beautiful—flowers are common elements in many tattoos for women.
The work in this gallery demonstrates that a flower tattoo does not fall into a single homogenous style. Some of these pieces use full color and a realistic approach to the blossoms, while another incorporates other elements like lace tattoo concepts for a black and gray wrist tattoo.
6. Delicate Tattoo Art
While the old tattoo adage “bold will hold” still applies today as much as it did fifty years ago, more and more women are choosing a delicate approach for their tattoo designs. However, a delicate tattoo doesn’t mean it isn’t an exciting tattoo.
As these girl tattoos demonstrate intricate and compelling designs can be applied using this approach, from a fine line feather tattoo to an ornate dagger surrounded by intricate flowers, delicate tattoos perfectly capture a feminine sensibility that many tattoos for girls strive to achieve.
7. Unique Tattoo Options for Women
Utilizing a variety of approaches across different styles these tattoos for women show off what is possible when a talented artist can turn their attention to interesting, unique concepts.
One of a kind flower tattoos, stylized koi fish alongside a photo-realistic face, and an intricate Russian nesting doll completed with brilliant white ink flourishes, all show off these artists’ technical skill and dedication to their craft.
8. Small Tattoo Design for Women
Not everyone wants a sleeve tattoo or a large and elaborate chest tattoo. The fact is that for some people small tattoo designs just better line up with their style and sensibilities.
While these tiny tattoos can be successfully applied anywhere on the body this approach is especially appropriate for wrist tattoos, a finger tattoo, and even shoulder tattoo art.
Utilizing both black and gray and color ink, the clean and precise work in these tattoos for women demonstrates that just because a tattoo is small doesn’t mean it can’t be good.
9. Heavy Black Ink Body Art
While vibrant colors may suit some girls’ styles, for other women black ink is the best way to express themselves. There is something compelling about bold lines executed in stark black ink that has a classic quality about them; some of these tattoos for women evoke images of black evening wear and the subtle elegance of a simple black dress.
The pieces in this gallery are great examples of the different subject matter and tattoo designs that can benefit from this subdued, monochromatic approach.
10. Girl Power: New Wave Tattooing Examples
The work in this gallery utilizes a variety of approaches to create unique and exciting tattoo designs that truly break the mold. A photo-realistic rose superimposed over a geometric mandala creates as stylistic contrast that sets it apart from other pieces. A full color bumblebee placed on the forearm, complete with a splatter of honey and simplified honeycomb demonstrates both the artist’s technical skill and their understanding of placement and composition. These pieces demonstrate what is possible for unique tattoo concepts designed purely for women.
Tattoos for Women FAQs
What are the most popular tattoo designs for women?
First off, it is worth noting that tattoos are personal, creative expressions and that a person’s gender doesn’t limit the style or subject matter for their tattoos. That being said, there are a number of tattoo design styles that have become popular among many women in the United States, although at this point many consider them cliché.
When it comes to animals, dolphin and butterfly tattoo ideas have been popular subjects. However, as some of the tattoo art in this gallery demonstrates fierce tigers and more aggressive animals can be especially compelling when applied to feminine tattoos.
Script tattoos are another approach that is popular among girls. Fine line cursive in particular is a common choice for girls and is often incorporated into larger tattoo designs to create more direct significance in a piece. Again, this doesn’t mean that large, Old English lettering won’t look good and in fact sometimes bolder more masculine script can be particularly successful in women’s tattoos.
Other designs like feather tattoo variations or a dream catcher remains popular. Designs are also incorporating Lace tattoo inspiration from the complex patterns in this delicate fabric.
What are popular tattoo locations for women?
The placement of a tattoo is an important element to consider when getting your first tattoo or new ink. This is just as true for women as it is for men.
An arm tattoo, foot tattoo, ankle ink and wrist tattoos are common placements utilized for simple tattoo design. While it’s true that these placements are common there are by no means any rules dictating where a woman can get inked when they visit a contemporary tattoo parlor.
In fact, sleeve tattoos and larger designs are becoming popular among female tattoo enthusiasts emphasizing that what may have once been off limits is now open to anyone. Tiny tattoo styles are also growing rapidly, with ear tattoo, and finger tattoo concepts growing a tattoo shop’s flash board almost daily.
With more women opting for a stronger, bolder, sexy tattoo style of personal body art,a thigh tattoo ,full leg tattoo, shoulder tattoo, or back tattoo accentuating the curve and flow of skin has also been gaining popularity. The increased range of beautiful tattoo concepts women are exploring has been a boon for tattoo artist portfolios everywhere.
Did you enjoy the tattoos for women in this gallery? Click on the links below for more beautiful tattoo galleries you can apply to your next piece: