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22 Powerful Dragon Tattoos Design & Ideas

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Are you thinking of getting the symbolism of strength, wisdom, and power tattooed on your body? Think dragon tattoos! They’re among the most popular tattoo imagery worldwide. Of course, a lot of the credit goes to Chinese culture for popularizing these subjects. But, it would be fair to add that Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings have emerged out of the book world to give a massive boost to dragon popularity. These novels brought the fantasy world to mainstream culture and introduced us to mythical creatures, including dragons.

There’s a wide choice of dragon tattoos, each powerful in its unique way. You have the fire-breathing dragon designs, the tribal designs, colored dragon, black and white dragon, miniature dragon, and a lot more to be inspired by. As you go through our list of the top designs, if any of them get you amazed, you can follow the artist for more of their work. The name/source of the talented artist given alongside each image below will lead you to their collections. Finally, don’t forget to check out the faqs in the end to demystify some of your concerns about dragon tattoos.

Are you thinking of getting the symbolism of strength, wisdom, and power tattooed on your body? Think dragon tattoos! They’re among the most popular tattoo imagery worldwide. Of course, a lot of the credit goes to Chinese culture for popularizing these subjects. But, it would be fair to add that Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings have emerged out of the book world to give a massive boost to dragon popularity. These novels brought the fantasy world to mainstream culture and introduced us to mythical creatures, including dragons.

There’s a wide choice of dragon tattoos, each powerful in its unique way. You have the fire-breathing dragon designs, the tribal designs, colored dragon, black and white dragon, miniature dragon, and a lot more to be inspired by. As you go through our list of the top designs, if any of them get you amazed, you can follow the artist for more of their work. The name/source of the talented artist given alongside each image below will lead you to their collections. Finally, don’t forget to check out the faqs in the end to demystify some of your concerns about dragon tattoos.

Dragon Tattoos

Dragons tattoos are mainly trendy among men and, of course, a growing number of women. From Europe to China, dragons have a huge fan following. Tattoo artists, too, love working with dragon designs. They love how they can perfectly suit a dragon design anywhere on the body because of the creature’s curved shape. So there’s a dragon tattoo for each of us. Check out these mind-blowing designs to see which suits your personality best.

#1. Classic Look Dragon Tattoo

Classic Look Dragon Tattoo
Source: @alessandrp_micci via Instagram

Let’s start this list with the classic and most popular dragon tattoo. This classic style has most of what you’d expect from a dragon based on your basic intuition. The dramatic attributes include wings, fire, scales, and sharp claws. The artist must make sure the dragon looks fierce. It should look not very comforting to onlookers, somewhere along the lines of coming to life.

#2. Dragon Tattoo on Back

Dragon Tattoo on Back
Source: @nextuptattoo.61 via Instagram

If a body placement choice ranking were available for dragon tattoos, it would show the back at the top of the ranks. That goes for both men and women. The back gives you enough space to get a giant dragon inked there. It also is a smooth area, which helps bring out the detailing. The back is also easy to conceal, so no one will know if you have a sizable fire-breathing dragon inked on your back during your job interview soon!

#3. Pectoral & Half Sleeve Dragon Tattoo

Pectoral & Half Sleeve Dragon Tattoo
Source: @woodzart via Instagram

The above image shows the classic dragon with its fierce eyes glaring at onlookers’. The black and grey background is a tactful contrast technique that helps bring out the light blue dragon. Overall, this is a fantastic piece if you’re looking to get a powerful symbol inked to your body.

#4. Black Dragon Tattoo on Ribs

Black Dragon Tattoo on Ribs
Source: @restmirato via Instagram

A dragon tattoo design such as the above looks fantastic on the ribs. However, dragons style tattoos are versatile design ideas that look great on almost any body area because of their long tails. The above image is a classic example.

#5. Blue Dragon Tattoo On Arm

Blue Dragon Tattoo On Arm
Source: @franklinmint via Instagram

The blue dragon is also called the azure dragon. It’s a dragon variety inspired by Asian cultures (as per Chinese and Japanese mythologies). This type of tattoo design isn’t necessarily spiritual in meaning, but it is always traditional to represent the culture. It means “guardian of the East.” For best results, the blue dragon looks best when contrasted with red and black inks.

#6. Photo-Realistic Dragon Skeleton Tattoo on Arm

Photo-Realistic Dragon Skeleton Tattoo on Arm
Source: @famoustattoosheffield via Instagram

The skeleton of a dragon is a unique tattoo idea. But, when you add to that a photo-realistic dragon eye, the uniqueness grows manifold.

#7. Subtle Dragon Tattoo on Leg

Subtle Dragon Tattoo on Leg
Source: @glossy_future via Instagram

When you take a fierce, powerful creature and give it a subtle look, much interest adds up to the overall appeal. The symbolism doesn’t change much, but the uniqueness grabs eyeballs. The above tattoo is of a small dragon with light green, purple, and orange highlights. I love how the scales of the dragon are in fine black line work with negative spaces instead of solid ink.

Bonus Read: 27 Best Spine Tattoos for Women

#8. Tribal Dragon Tattoo

Tribal Dragon Tattoo
Source: @dannystattoocollective via Instagram

Fans of tribal tattoo art will always seek tribal designs of their favorite ideas. Dragons included! Men and women have been in love with tribal tattoos for as far as we can remember. The bold, graphic, and straightforward look of tribal tattoos has made them an endless choice. These tattoos are simple in that there is no shading involved. Mostly, they’re drawn in black and filled in black. Thus, it’s less burdensome for the artist to ink these, and the wearer loves how relatively cheap such art is.

#9. Flowers & Dragon Tattoo

Flowers & Dragon Tattoo
Source: @megluantattoo via Instagram

Including flowers in tattoos with creatures isn’t something new. Such combinations of elements look great. Flowers, of course, have been a popular inclusion in tattoo designs for as long as tattooing has been in existence. Of course, different flowers mean different things, but the consensus is they are a sign of positivity, happiness, and transformation. They add a dose of color and vibrancy as well as subtleness to the overall design. The contrast is dramatic when flowers and dragons get paired up, but doing so creates a delicate balance and is pleasurable to view.

#10. Tiny Dragon Tattoo

Tiny Dragon Tattoo
Source: @antstattoo via Instagram

A lot of us have limited space left on our heavily inked bodies. Thus, a tiny dragon tattoo seems the perfect choice for that remaining unoccupied territory. Else, it could be that you want a mini tattoo with a not so mini meaning. Thus, it looks unnoticeable from afar while depicting something powerful and rich with symbolism at the same time. The small dragon tattoo is perfect for those requirements.

#11. Fire-Breathing Dragon Tattoo

Fire-Breathing Dragon Tattoo
Source: Image via Pinterest

A fire-breathing tattoo always gets attention. The flaming fire out of the dragon’s mouth is associated with European culture rather than Asian. In European cultures, fire-breathing dragons represent destruction, raw power, and unstoppable forces of nature. The proof of their popularity of fictional dragon characters lies in the number of fiction, fantasy stories. These include Smaug from The Hobbit and Drogon in Game Of Thrones. These tattoos are sought mainly by men that are bold and unafraid to stand out from the crowd. If you’re into blacklight parties, a great option is to have your artist ink a glow-in-the-dark flame.

#12. Full Forearm Dragon Tattoo

Full Forearm Dragon Tattoo
Source: @saragontie via Instagram

The man’s forearm is fully covered by the dragon in the above tattoo. The dragon is 3-dimensional, yet classical. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a large piece without coloring.

#13. Colorful Dragon TattooColorful Dragon Tattoo

Colorful Dragon Tattoo
Source: @myart_carmen via Instagram

Dragons of different colors mean different things (see the FAQs below for details). Other than the specific meaning, coloring in your dragon tattoo implies you’re giving the design more personality and vividness. Further interesting about the above forearm tattoo is that all the dragons are winged, and each is a different color. So, you have multiple symbols represented in one go. The winged dragons originated in European culture and found further popularity through fantasy books.

#14. Japanese Dragon Tattoo

Japanese Dragon Tattoo
Source: @galoojuradoo via Instagram

Japanese dragon tattoos represent kindness and protection. They are a symbol that will shield you from all kinds of harm. In Japanese culture, the six distinct (in terms of attributes and power) traditional dragon varieties are Ri, Fuku, Sui, Han, Ka, and Hai. For example, you can opt for the authentic Japanese dragon tattoo — irezumi style. It can be colorful and elaborate. Alternatively, there are less detailed styles with minimal detail, which might suit your personality better.

#15. Bearded Dragon Tattoo

Bearded Dragon Tattoo
Source: @.mangetsu. via Instagram

The bearded dragon is a close resemblance to the native Australian lizard. Whenever it’s under attack, the Australian lizard’s flap of skin puffs up. Thus, the bearded dragon tattoo is symbolic of self-protection, preservation, and intelligence.

#16. Full Body Dragon-Themed Tattoo

Full Body Dragon-Themed Tattoo
Source: @jonmesatattoos via Instagram

#17. Dragon Eye Tattoo

Dragon Eye Tattoo
Source: @aleco_ink via Instagram

There’s nothing more fierce and striking than a nicely inked dragon eye tattoo. The above tattoo is sure to command onlookers’ attention. Doesn’t the reptilian eye look incredibly realistic? On top of that, the forearm is the perfect placement. Whenever you don’t want to show the tattoo, roll down your sleeves, and you’re good to go. Of course, the artist must be very experienced to do a photorealistic eye like the one depicted above.

#18. Walking, Winged Dragon Tattoo

Walking, Winged Dragon Tattoo
Source: @slimesociety via Instagram

There are a plethora of postures when it comes to dragon tattoos. The above chest piece is a classic one, entailing a winged dragon with walking idly. The claws, scales, and wings are prominent. It’s an incredible tattoo with great detail using only black ink.

Also Read: 30 Traditional Rose Tattoo Design Ideas

#19. Dragon Tattoo on Hand

Dragon Tattoo on Hand
Source: @outofstepbooks via Instagram

Hand tattoos are famous these days. The hand is a painful spot to tattoo. Yet, once you undergo that brief moment of pain (brief, of course, because there’s limited surface area to tattoo), the outcome will be worth every bit of it.

#20. Lower Leg Dragon Tattoo

Lower Leg Dragon Tattoo
Source: @purplehazetattooz via Instagram

In the above image, the lower leg is completely tattooed along its entire circumference. This looks like a sleeve for the lower leg. It’s an incredibly detailed tattoo that requires onlookers’ to get up close to see the theme.

#21. Dragon Tattoo on Shoulder

Dragon Tattoo on Shoulder
Source: @sebastian_tattoo via Instagram

The above shoulder tattoo gives a subtle, soft look. Although the tattoo design is of a dragon, the artist has focused on the symmetry, fine shading work, and the flow of the design rather than highlighting the fierce attributes of the dragon itself.

#22. Full Sleeve Dragon Tattoo

Full Sleeve Dragon Tattoo
Source: @tdosstattoos via Instagram

If you’re serious about dragons, there’s no comparison to getting an entire sleeve dragon theme. Typically, it would run from the shoulder to your wrist. However, if you are inclined to get one, it can be extended to the pectoral of your chest. The sleeve is one of the most prominent tattoo spots; it would clearly show all the bold, detailed elements. The only thing to worry about will be the time taken to do the work. Most sleeve tattoos take weeks to accomplish and come at a high cost due to the hours. However, it’s always worth the time and money to get a fantastic outcome.

FAQs

Q. What do Dragon Tattoos Symbolize?

Ans. There are many things dragon tattoos symbolize. Some associations include physical strength, courage, grace, intelligence, and power. In the warrior culture of many countries, dragons were depicted on armor and flags. Also, it’s not uncommon for dragons to be spiritual or protective symbols. Furthermore, to be born in the Chinese year of the dragon means you’re a leader who’s unafraid of challenges and doing things on your terms.

Q. What’s the Significance of a Black Dragon Tattoo?

Ans. Black dragon tattoos are an excellent choice. Black dragons represent experience and wisdom. So, if you think you have enough experience and knowledge to be mature, confident, and knowledgeable, you can proudly wear a black dragon tattoo.

Q. What’s the Significance of different colored Dragon Tattoos?

Ans. The color Green is universally attached to the natural environment. In line with that thought, Green dragons and Green dragon tattoos represent nature. Blue dragons, on the other hand, represent the still blue waters. They are symbolic of the East, associated with protectiveness and being magical. Moving on, Golden dragons represent prosperity and wealth, while Yellow ones are associated with power and good fortune. Finally, purple dragons are representative of balance, spiritual healing, and awareness.

Q. What is the Meaning of Dragon Tattoos in Western & Eastern Cultures?

Ans. In Western cultures, dragons are often depicted with wings and intricate scales. These creatures are iconic characters in the world of fantasy. In the fantasy world, the protagonist often encounters dragons in their path of obstacles. In East Asian culture, dragons symbolize good fortune. In Chinese culture, for instance, they’re sacred serpent-like creatures with four legs.

Summary

As you witnessed above, dragons make for some of the most badass tattoos. The inspiration behind the designs is the beautiful creatures (the dragons), a rich worldwide cultural significance, and excellent overall symbolism.

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!

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