55 Amazing Forearm Tattoo Designs (for Men & Women)

Of the body parts that people get tattoos on, the forearm is probably the most popular.

It’s very visible. When you talk, shake hands, or work—your forearms aren’t getting out of the way. This makes it very easy for you and the people around you to notice the work of art you constantly walk around with.

In this article, I’ve compiled 55 amazing forearm tattoo designs that you can choose from. And, if you happen to like the style of a certain piece, you can go check out the artist’s online portfolio. I made sure to credit each artist if I could find their names.

But first, let’s talk about why you should be getting a forearm tattoo in the first place.

55 Meaningful Forearm Tattoo Designs (for Men & Women)

Since the forearm is one of the most eye-catching parts of the body (losing only to the face and neck) in terms of where you can get a tattoo, it’s one of the greatest canvases that you can use to tell the world who you are and what you believe in.

Tattoos are a different experience for everyone who gets one. People have different reasons for getting the tattoos they get. Some just get theirs for kicks, and some go back and forth, anxiously, trying to get the perfect tattoo—and that’s okay!

That’s the best part of getting a tattoo. You can do whatever the hell you want—it’s your body—it’s your call. 

And that’s why I’ve compiled these tattoo designs—so you can get your voice heard without saying a word. 

Check them out.

Forearm Tattoos

Check out this adorable tattoo a client got of their mom’s name, by Tat Man Smush (@_smush on Instagram)

Awesome Forearm Tattoos

One very badass danger noodle, by Jeri Dobson (@jeridobsontattoos_ on Instagram)

Forearm Tattoos For Men

Yes, this is technically an elbow tattoo, but it’s close enough. Sick, though, right? Artist unknown.

Stylish Forearm Tattoos

Ride the waves with this sick Maori sleeve, artist unknown.

Funky Forearm Tattoos

Put on your nastiest Haka face! Artist unknown.

Greatest Forearm Tattoos

The colors on this one are breathtaking, by Juan David Rendón

Best Forearm Tattoo For Men

In their tongue, he is ‘Dovahkiin’—Dragonborn! by Ganesh Acharya

Best Forearm Tattoos For Men

A tattoo of a head of a marble statue on your forearm—trippy, artist unknown.

Forearm Tattoos For Men

I didn’t think my breath could be even more taken, by Nicola Nik.

Men Forearm Tattoos

Pretty slick take on biomechanical, by Guy Aitchison.

Coolest Forearm Tattoos

The lineart on this piece is so clean! by @neocorticalhoney on Instagram.

Forearm Tattoos For Cool Guys

This sleeve makes me feel a good kind of weird, artist unknown.

Cool Forearm Tattoos

Psychedelic vibes all over, by David SZ.

Flower Forearm Tattoo

Beautify your forearm with this lovely piece, artist unknown.

Men Forearm Tattoos

Ornate and decorative pieces – 1, by Charly Saconi

Forearm Tattoos For Men

Ornate and decorative pieces – 2, by Charly Saconi

Men Forearm Tattoo

Ornate and decorative pieces – 3, by Charly Saconi

Forearm Tattoo For Men

Creative geometric tattoo by Noam Yona

Men Tattoos

Sick neotraditional tattoo by Alex Gotza

Round Forearm tattoo

A charming landscape tattoo for Earth day, by Eva Krbdk

awesome round forearm tattoo

Another hyper-realistic landscape tattoo, by Jefree Naderali

ornamental men tattoo

A stylish ornamental tattoo, artist unknown.

ghost forearm tattoo for men

Amazing surrealist take on the grim reaper, by Thomas Bennington (@badluckveteran on Instagram)

Horse Forearm Tattoo For Men

Check out more of Tom’s work if you’re into surrealism, by Thomas Bennington (@badluckveteran on Instagram)

unknown forearm tattoo for men

Sak Yant Thai Temple tattoo on Angelina Jolie’s forearm herself, artist unknown.

Geometrical Forearm Men Tattoo

Powerful geometric motif, by Ben Volt.

simple design men tattoo

Perfect execution on a simple design, by Ben Volt.

men forearm tattoo

My personal favorite from Ben’s portfolio, by Ben Volt.

forearm stylish tattoo

Decorative wrist/forearm motif, by Zelina Reissinger.

Elegant Foream men tattoo

Simple and elegant, by Zelina Reissinger.

Sun Forearm Men Tattoo

Elegant take on the sun, by Zelina Reissinger.

awesome forearm men tattoo

Decorative geometric dotwork – 1, by Taras Shtanko.

Forearm Tattoo For Women

Decorative geometric dotwork – 2, by Taras Shtanko.

Ornamental Forearm Tattoo

Ornamental piece, by Taras Shtanko.

Forearm Tattoo

Coolest Forearm Tattoos

Oriental by Jaime Tud

Owl forearm men tattoo

Owl, artist unknown.

Stylish Forearm men tattoo

Small but detail-heavy, by Alessandro Capozzi.

Skull Forearm tattoo

Hyper-realistic dotwork by Thomas Bennington (@badluckveteran on Instagram)

forearm men tattoo

by Thomas Bennington (@badluckveteran on Instagram)

forearm men tattoos

Amazing as usual! by Thomas Bennington (@badluckveteran on Instagram)

wierd forearm men tattoo

Realistic blackwork tattoo of Korean band Hyukoh, by Thomas Bennington (@badluckveteran on Instagram)

black panther forearm tattoo

Exceptionally fierce black panther, by Daniel Snoeks (@lepapillon_tattoo on Instagram).

forearm tattoos for women

by Daniel Snoeks (@lepapillon_tattoo on Instagram).

butterfly forearm men tattoo

by Daniel Snoeks (@lepapillon_tattoo on Instagram).

awesome forearm women tattoo

by Daniel Snoeks (@lepapillon_tattoo on Instagram).

snake forearm men tattoo

by Daniel Snoeks (@lepapillon_tattoo on Instagram).

forearm tattoos for women & men

by Matt Roe (@mattroetattoo on Instagram).

forearm tattoos

by Matt Roe (@mattroetattoo on Instagram).

scary forearm men tattoos

The detail on this one is crazy, by Matt Roe (@mattroetattoo on Instagram).

forearm tattoos for women

Artist unknown.

girly forearm men tattoos

Artist unknown.

scary forearm tattoos

That’s one handsome foo dog, by Howard Sears (@howardstattoos on Instagram).

forearm tattoos

by Franky Yang (@newtattoo_franky on Instagram).

unique forearm tattoos

by Franky Yang (@newtattoo_franky on Instagram).

forearm tattoos

by Franky Yang (@newtattoo_franky on Instagram).

What to Know Before Getting a Forearm Tattoo

Why get a forearm tattoo?

Before walking into the tattoo shop, it’s important to know what you’re dealing with. Though the forearm is one of the more popular places people get tattoos on, it still has its downsides.

Let’s talk about some of the more common pros and cons mentioned by tattoo experts.

Cons

  • It’s hard to hide.

Let’s start with the obvious. If the nature of your work requires you to hide tattoos, you’re going to have a pretty rough time hiding one that’s on your forearm. Depending on how low on your forearm the tattoo is, it still gets pretty hard to hide even with long sleeves.

It’s one of the most visible areas to get a tattoo. So if you don’t want to spend your weekdays wearing long sleeves all the time, perhaps you should think of somewhere else to place your tattoo.

  • It can be hard for it look right.

Since the forearm isn’t a flat surface (especially farther down), it can be hard to have it look right unless your design is inherently small.

Pros

  • It is very easy to heal

Since the forearm doesn’t naturally come into contact with other parts of your body (unlike the inner bicep which always touches the ribs), healing doesn’t take very long.

  • It doesn’t take very long

Since the forearm has less space to work with (compared to the likes of your chest or thighs), forearm tattoos usually don’t take very long to make. Larger tattoos for the chest or the back usually take multiple sessions, but that isn’t the case for forearm tattoos. This makes it ideal if you want to get a tattoo quick.

  • It is one of the most visible parts of the body

Unless you wear long sleeves all the time, getting a tattoo on your forearm ensures that it’s always seen. If the tattoo you’re getting is something that means a lot to you and you take pride in showing it off, get it on your forearm!

  • It’ll hug the natural form of your forearm

Since a lot of forearm tattoos are pretty big and wrap around your forearm, it creates a kind of outlining effect that highlights the attractive form of your forearm.

  • It doesn’t get affected much by weight change

Unlike the other parts of the body (especially the torso), the meat on the forearm is generally pretty lean. This means that if you lose or gain a few hundred pounds, your tattoo should still maintain its original appearance.

Does a forearm tattoo hurt?

In terms of pain, you might be wondering how the forearm fares compared to other parts of your body.

The forearm is actually pretty far down the list of body parts that hurt the most when being tattooed. It’s got a hefty bit of fat and muscle which provides enough padding between the needle and the nerves. 

But as you get farther from the elbow and move more towards the wrist, you’ll notice the fat and muscle gets noticeably thinner. Obviously, this means it’ll hurt more, but not by much. This helpful infographic by Healthline should help you gauge the pain level associated with each body part.

forearm tattoo

forearm tattoo pain

If you can’t shake off your anxiety, try asking your tattoo artist if they can apply some numbing cream to the tattoo area. Some patients have very low pain thresholds, so your tattoo artist should understand your situation.

Just keep in mind that numbing cream can make tattoo sessions disastrously unproductive. The oily residue tends to mess up the artist’s stencils and just prolongs the session. So if you don’t have any conditions that prevent you from getting a tattoo without pre-numbing, it’s best if you tough it out.

The tattooing process naturally comes with a bit of pain. Think of it as part of the experience—an initiation. In a way, you have to earn the confidence that your tattoo gives you. 

The feeling after you walk out of the tattoo shop is one of the greatest feelings in the world. It’ll still hurt, but the rush you get from getting a well-made, customized tattoo is worth it. 

Caring for your forearm tattoo

Along with the pain you’ll experience during your tattooing session, your tattoo will also be at risk of infection if not properly cared for. To help manage the hazards that come with the first few weeks of tattooing, check out this guide I made on tattoo aftercare.

Getting Your Forearm Tattoo

The forearm is the perfect place to get your message out in the open, a place where everyone will see who you are without you needing to utter a word. It’s your canvas to paint on.

So never forget that your body is yours. You are free to do anything you want to it. It doesn’t matter if you want to keep it totally clean, get a hidden tattoo here and there, or get a full-blown sleeve.

What matters is that you get to say what you need to say.