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30 Excellent Crow Tattoo Design Ideas with Meaning

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Are you a strong heart? If you are and are currently on the lookout for the perfect tattoo to suit your personality, why not consider the uncanny, sharp creature — the crow? Crow tattoos make quite a statement. These striking, fascinating birds have several deep meanings.

What’s more, their meanings have a universality that many enthusiasts identify with their personas. To start with, the crow is a magnificent, ornate creature with much mystery associated with it. Further, they have a zestful personality, identifiable with many tattoo lovers.

Not all meanings are goody two shoes, though. In many cultures, the crow links to darkness, the underworld, magic, death, and the like. The creature is also associated with satanism and certain rituals.

Here’s the good news. In line with Hindu mythology, crows are offered food on Saturdays to please Shani Bhagawan. That is a weekly ritual practiced by those who consider crows ancestors, who visit their hereditary families on Amavasya days.

Crow Tattoo Meanings

As already hinted above, universally, there are both bad and good meanings associated with crows. For example, if you encountered a dead crow in the Middle Ages, it would be considered good luck. On the flip side, bad omens and death are the common negative connotations of a crow, owing to the crow’s natural inclination of neglecting its offspring just moments after hatching.

On the brighter side of things, supreme intelligence is a trait linked with crows. If you pay attention to their cawing sound, that right there is mastery in speech. The Chinese and Japanese noticed love and creativity in their noticeable, unique cawing and daily team activity.

Another plus on the subject — the crow is considered a spirit guide and a symbol of inspiration — according to Native American culture.

Turn to Greek mythology, however, and the crow plays a more antagonistic role. According to myth, the bird delivers terrible news and gets forbidden in Acropolis.

Also Read: Top 20 Yggdrasil Tattoo Designs (+Symbolism & Mythology)

Finally, if you’re about to get a crow-themed tattoo, you may want to be familiar with the meanings associated with the number of crows in a tattoo. Having just one crow is a “bad omen.” A tattoo with two crows signifies “good luck.” Three crows represent “good health.” A crow tattoo featuring four crows implies a “rise in wealth.” Five crows in a tattoo mean “fatal sickness,” while six of them would be representative of “death.”

Crow Tattoo Designs

There’s a broad spectrum of elements and colors that look astonishing with crow tattoos. Using their creativity, tattoo artists can hone their talents to come up with mind-blowing crow tattoo designs. They can achieve amazing shading effects on the wings. By adding suitable hues of different colors or fine detailing, the imagery can look even more wondrous.

Here are the self-explanatory, excellent images of crow tattoo designs that continue to inspire many:

#1. Crow Carrying Red Rose(s) Tattoo

Crow Carrying Red Rose(s) Tattoo
Image via Instagram

This tattoo showing a crow carrying a red rose isn’t just beautiful. We all know that the rose symbolizes love. According to Chinese and Japanese beliefs, the crow is considered a loving symbol. Therefore, the forearm, calf, shin, and sleeve are ideal body placements for the crow holding a rose by its beak tattoo.

#2. Flying Crow Tattoo On Bicep

Flying Crow Tattoo On Bicep
Image via Instagram

The flying crow is one of the most famous depictions when it comes to crow tattoos. The crow is almost always black in this depiction. Additional effects through shading are also commonplace. The bicep is an ideal placement. Other incredible placement options for this tattoo are the shoulder, forearm, chest, back, abdomen, and ribs.

#3. Crow And Skull Tattoo (Leading Souls Through Darkness)

Crow And Skull Tattoo (Leading Souls Through Darkness)
Image via Instagram

In this popular design, the crow is holding onto the skull. Thus, the skull image symbolizes death or the departed soul. These symbolisms have led the skull symbol to represent ending up in a happy resting place. This meaning is in line with that of sugar skull tattoos that stand to mean “rebirth.” Thus, its positive connotation of guiding the deceased spirit through darkness into a resting place in the afterlife makes this a tattoo of choice. Ideal placements include the chest, forearm, back, shoulder, side of your head, ribs, and abdomen area.

You May Also Like: Top 30 Dark Mark Tattoo Designs for Harry Potter Fans

#4. Half Sleeve Crow Tattoo In Black & Grey

Half Sleeve Crow Tattoo In Black & Grey
Image via Instagram

This large piece looks exquisite, just like the bird itself in real life. There are intricate details, superior shading, and elegant styling to contend with here.

#5. Crow & Roses In Black & Grey

Crow & Roses In Black & Grey
Image via Instagram

Here’s another depiction of the loving bird in black and grey shading style. This tattoo is a fantastic idea for ladies to sport on the upper arm.

#6. Two Crows For Good Luck

Two Crows For Good Luck
Image via Instagram

Two crows together signify good luck. But, even if you don’t buy that, you could go in for this design for the way the pair idly sit on the tree branch glazing over with a birds-eye view of things.

#7. Crow’s Full Wingspan On Stomach

Crow's Full Wingspan On Stomach
Image via Instagram

This large piece is an excellent way of covering the abdomen with a crow with its full strength in flight. Additional elements like the leaves held with the creature’s feet add to the appeal of this design, which is deep-rooted in natural habitat.

#8. Fine Line Work On Inner Forearm

Fine Line Work On Inner Forearm
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Not all crow tattoos are intricate, dark, and large. This simple, elegant piece sits subtly on the inner forearm.

#9. Two Crows, Roses, Full Sleeve Tattoo

Two Crows, Roses, Full Sleeve Tattoo
Image via Instagram

The above is a beautiful full sleeve tattoo of crows and roses. Black and grey shading techniques add a subtle vibrancy to this tattoo. The negative spaces give the effect of the perfect natural backdrop, somehow.

#10. Matchbox Crow Tattoo Design

Matchbox Crow Tattoo Design
Image via Instagram

This tattoo is a reminder that your imagination can be your best friend. The imagination, creativity, and talent of an artist can lead to wonderous design depictions. In this case, there’s a crow on a branch on the matchbox. The match heads are crow heads, and the whole illustration travels using the crow’s feet. This illustrative tattoo looks excellent on the lower leg (shin) region.

#11. Black Crow Tattoo With Sun Backdrop

Black Crow Tattoo With Sun Backdrop
Image via Instagram

This pretty forearm piece uses only two colors, with the crow being the obvious focal point.

#12. Full Chest Crow Tattoo

Full Chest Crow Tattoo
Image via Instagram

This crow tattoo beautifully covers your entire chest. The red arrows that have punctured through the crow in this scene leave the crow unaffected. The imagery displays a powerful symbolism of crows being strong creatures having strong foresight.

Bonus Read: 50 Amazing Chest Tattoos for Men & Women

#13. Blue Crow Tattoo

Blue Crow Tattoo
Image via Instagram

A crow with blue feathers is as accurate as it is legendary. It’s Brazilian, natively referred to as Gralha-Azul (a.k.a. the azure jay). The blue crow is a tall, sleek, glorious bird that helps spread the seeds of the araucaria tree while it protects the tree at the same time. The ideal placement for such an exquisite design includes the shin, calf, shoulder, sleeve, and forearm.

#14. Flying Crow On Upper Chest

Flying Crow On Upper Chest
Image via Instagram

The above is a fantastic crow tattoo showing a crow in full flight. The elegant piece is almost entirely black. The bits of shading give it depth, yet essentially this is a semi-abstract crow tattoo.

#15. Tribal Crow Tattoo

Tribal Crow Tattoo
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This tribal design of the crow looks incredible inked on the thigh. Each body part of the crow separated using negative spaces. The above is an artsy piece that only the most experienced tattoo artists’ can ink.

#16. The Crow On Tarot Card

The Crow On Tarot Card
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The above is a unique tattoo showcasing a crow’s head on a tarot card. It’s a way of paying homage to the mystical strength of ravens and crows.

#17. Geometric Crow Tattoo

Geometric Crow Tattoo
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Geometric tattoo designs are among the most loved categories of tattoos. This one has a crow pointing downwards, clinching the moon with its beak. 

#18. Abstract Crow Tattoo

Abstract Crow Tattoo
Image via Instagram

This tattoo is a real work of art. A half sleeve, abstract depiction of the crow, tattooed to perfection.

#19. Crow Watching Over From a Finger

Crow Watching Over From a Finger
Image via Instagram

There are a couple of options for this theme. First, you could have a miniature crow inked on one of your fingers. Yet, for most enthusiasts, the ideal placement is a larger body surface area wherein the depiction is of a crow watching over from the fingers of a human hand. The symbolism is that of a crow and human being allies in watching over the world.

#20. Yellow & Black Crow Tattoo On Calf

Yellow & Black Crow Tattoo On Calf
Image via Instagram

This tattoo is a more subtle take on the design of crow tattoos. The crow is more grey than black, while the natural surroundings (plantation) are in fall season hues.

#21. Crow With Heart Tattoo

Crow With Heart Tattoo
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Crows carrying a heart reinforces the symbolism of death and the afterlife.

#22. Green Crow Tattoo

Green Crow Tattoo
Image via Instagram

There are no green crows in real life. Yet this green depiction of a crow — that perhaps you dreamt of — looks beautiful. Crows flying across your path are a sign of change. It’s a sign your plans are on their way to coming to fruition.

#23. The Crow As One With Nature

The Crow As One With Nature
Image via Instagram

This intricate tattoo shows a reflection of nature in a crow. That’s because crows are unbothered by mother nature during their flight. Instead, they’re a resilient, strong, and prosperous bird that’s one with nature.

#24. The Crow And Cross Tattoo

The Crow And Cross Tattoo
Image via Instagram

The mention of crows is present in the Bible. As per the Bible, crows are messengers of God that provide for the people. We can refer to Job 38:41, wherein God expressed to Job that he was considerate of all creations and his people. There is also a mention of ravens, specifically to do with feeding them. The above sleeve showcases the cross held by the realistic crow.

#25. Majestically Flying Crow

Majestically Flying Crow
Image via Instagram

The crow is a majestic creature that effortlessly flies through the roughest forces of nature. When the sun is scorching hot, or the wind is blowing at rampant speeds, the crow doesn’t stop. The same holds in other extreme weather. Unbothered by mother nature, the crow is a resilient, strong, and prosperous bird that’s one with nature. The ideal placement for this prominent piece is the back. Yet, the chest, shoulder, ribs, and forearm are other alternative placements that could stand out nicely.

#26. Red-Eyed Crow Tattoo

Red-Eyed Crow Tattoo
Image via Instagram

The red-eyed crow is a symbol of foresight. The red-eyed crow can look incredible in most body placements, especially a more straightforward version on the chest, back, arm, and lower leg. This breathtaking sleeve design uses various colors, resulting in a vibrant crow tattoo that’ll make you proud.

#27. The Realistic Crow – A Guardian Figure

The Realistic Crow - A Guardian Figure
Image via Instagram

A subtle, realistic crow tattooed on the bicep, shoulder, sleeve, or elsewhere can depict a devoted companion. It’s like a friend that watches over you like a guardian. It’s comfortable in your presence, as you can see it easily tattooed on a visible part of your body. The use of flowers or other melded designs elements adds to the crow’s friendly portrayal and natural habitat.

#28. Crow Benefiting From Its Higher Perspective

Crow Benefiting From Its Higher Perspective
Image via Instagram

It’s a common sight to spot a crow sitting on a tree branch. It gets a birds-eye view as it peaks down, which is a pretty striking pose to ink. A tattoo like the above needs sufficient space since multiple elements, including the tree branch, the crow, and a scenic backdrop, are positioned together. The rib area, back, chest, and arm are some ideal placement options.

#29. Multiple Crows

Multiple Crows
Image via Instagram

As mentioned earlier, a tattoo of multiple crows holds different meanings. The exact meaning depends on the number of crows. This massive tattoo shows a dark scene with numerous crows flying around. It’s the perfect design for the chest, entire arm, and abdomen combined.

#30. Crow Shapeshifting Tattoo On Shoulder

Crow Shapeshifting Tattoo On Shoulder
Image via Instagram

The placement and pixelated technique used for this crow tattoo help display the shapeshifting ability of the crow. As the wearer of the tattoo moves his arm, his shoulder would move, thus causing the crow’s shape to shift into a flying position. Only an experienced artist can make such an original work of art come to life. Therefore, for the shapeshifting effect (i.e., crow flying effect), the only placement for this art is the upper arm and shoulder.

Conclusion

This article showcased some of the best crow tattoos currently on Instagram. All taken together, it’s clear crow tattoos are for the strong-hearted. 

If you don’t want any symbolism directly or indirectly associated with death, darkness, or bad luck, then these tattoos aren’t for you. However, by how the Japanese and Chinese beliefs around the crow are centered, the crow can be taken as one lovable bird.

Let’s not forget, two crows depicted together are a symbol of good luck! As a tip, take good aftercare of your tattoos. Start by keeping your new tattoo clean so that they heal properly and stay vibrant for years to come.

About Author

Jonathan Corby "Jonny" is a guy who is passionate about Tattooing and successfully running a Tattoo Studio in NY. Through my journey as a Tattoo Artist I have made unforgettable memories. This irrational poetry and sense of freedom of art on skin has given a blissfull experience to my life. Each Tattoo has a story behind it; Lets share one!