Nothing beats a tattoo that symbolizes dominance, strength, the balance of power, and courage than one depicting the king of the jungle — the lion. However, the aforementioned claim does deserve a slight correction, or companion rather — make that queens and kings of the wilderness; since the role of a lioness is equally powerful. Sticking to the topic of tattoos, Lion tattoos have been the range and are here to stay. There is no better place to have landed than this page to get inspiration for the latest, trending lion tattoo designs of current times.
Lion tattoos are immediately recognizable no matter which popular style they’re inked in — tribal, realistic, geometric, colored, illustrative, etc. So, it’s worth your while to go through each of the below 28 awesome lion tattoo designs before you get to the perfect one meant for you. Who knows, one of them could be your next tattoo or perhaps be inspiring enough to make you go for a similar one. As you enjoy viewing each of these top designs, you’ll find the artist/source mentioned beneath each image so that you can directly follow more work from the talented artist.
Without further ado, here are the best 28 lion tattoo designs that are sure to make you and onlookers roar:
#1. Lion Eyes Sleeve Tattoo
In the above mysterious, intriguing tattoo, the focus is on the lion’s fierce eyes. Lovers of realistic lion tattoos have made this particular style a popular choice. Eye tattoos represent watching over someone. Hence, the symbolism of eye tattoos in many cultures is “good luck.” Eyes also are symbolic of a person’s inner self. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to get this tattoo if you associate your inner personality with the strength of a lion.
#2. Chest Lion Tattoo
The left side of the chest is the ideal location for a lion tattoo — your heart is courageous like that of a lion. The roaring lion is the best option for this placement. The tattoo extends down the shoulder to add completeness to this bold design.
#3. Lion Tattoo On Hand
Hand tattoos, especially on the right hand, symbolize self-control, among other things. When you have a masculine design, such as a lion on your hand, it gives you more confidence. You naturally begin to feel more powerful and robust.
#4. Roaring Lion Tattoo On Arm
A lion tattoo represents power, but when the lion is roaring, it means you are showing your strength unafraid to others. Lions roar when they’re marking their territory. The lion’s roar is quite loud, often heard miles away from the source. If you’re looking for a very masculine tattoo, a roaring lion is one of the top choices. It requires more surface area to tattoo a roaring lion, so the arm is the best placement.
#5. Large Lion Tattoo On Thigh
A lion is a beautiful animal with lots of details. Larger lion tattoos are famous among enthusiasts because they bring out masculinity better. The thigh is the placement of choice because of more surface area to work with there. The above lion tattoo looks loud and clear. It has intricate detailing that brings out the boldness through the tattooing technique.
#6. Ribs Lion Tattoo
The ribs are a painful area to tattoo. Yet, it’s the perfect placement for a large piece such as the above lion face. Looking at your lion tattoo in the mirror in your bathroom will be a reminder that you are strong and courageous. It gives you a strong sense of self-confidence that you should be out there be like a king. The pain, expense, and time you spend on such a piece are going to be every bit worth it in the end.
#7. Full Frontal Lion Tattoo
The above tattoo covers the entire chest, stomach, ribs, and both the man’s sleeves. In other words, looking at the wearer from the front, you’ll spot no negative (skin) spaces left. It’s the full coverage, mother of all tattoos, style, and on top of that, it’s a giant roaring lion looking right at onlookers. The technique involves tattooing using black, white, and various colored inks. Overall, it’s a fabulous job at an astonishing design. Kudos to the talented artist.
#8. Geometric Lion Tattoo
When you’re on the hunt for an unusual yet trendy lion tattoo, look no further than a design that incorporates geometric shapes, shading, abstractness, and non-traditional ink techniques. The above lion tattoo uses that exact formula for the modern, futuristic look that it generates. In addition, the shading helps bring out more depth in the design so that it’s more complex and unique in appearance.
#9. Bicep Lion Tattoo
Many folks appreciate and prefer brightness, especially when it comes to a lion tattoo with colored ink. The above design is orange, yellow, and black, with white highlights where necessary. It gives you a more subtle take on the traditional lion tattoo. The colors add realism, while the overall design is more animated than realistic. Overall, it’s a lovely lion tattoo, and the specific placement is the best decision made by the artist and wearer.
#10. Calm Lion Upper Arm Tattoo
The clam lion or lioness symbolizes the animal is in protector mode. As seen above, the cubs are being nurtured and protected under the lion’s care. This imagery is a universal representation of parental love and care. The upper arm has a large enough area for a tattoo of this scope.
#11. Black Line Work Lion Tattoo
The above lion tattoo is inked in artsy style. Black linework does the trick and brings out the features of the handsome lion without having to get into painful detailing. It’s a design more suitable for women who don’t essentially want a masculine appeal from their lion tattoo.
#12. Lioness, Cub, and Flower Tattoo
Here you see the eye moistening depiction of a lioness with her cub. It’s the mother and child. The crux of the meaning is the love and protection of a mother towards her minor child. They’re in the wild, among the presence of other wild and dangerous animals. Cubs being vulnerable, are susceptible to attack. This symbolism sinks well with newbie moms and dads. So if you’re one of them, you’d love to get this tattoo, pronto!
#13. Lion & Roses Hip Tattoo
Her hips don’t lie. This beautiful feminine tattoo showcases a lion and big, fully-bloomed roses. All of that is accentuated pleasingly with filigree artwork.
#14. Colorful Lion Arm Tattoo
The above watercolor style tattoo shows many elements juxtapositioned to perfection. The central part, the lioness, is wearing a crown. The flowers and backdrop add a heavenly aura to the theme. It’s a pretty tattoo, mainly suitable for girls and women.
#15. Lioness Among Pink Roses Tattoo
A female lion behaves with grace and elegance in nature; no wonder female lion tattoos are so popular. They are great hunters who work in packs to get food for their cubs and the rest of the family. The female lion (lioness) is loved and preferred among tattoo options for having superior maternal instincts and exceptional predator skills.
#16. Lion Wearing Crown Tattoo
The lion has a powerful royal image. Being the king of the jungle comes with perks such as a crown. A lion with a crown tattoo symbolizes being a protector, leader, and great predator. If you are the primary bread earner for your family, you could associate well with this symbolism. Furthermore, if you’re independent, strong, and dominant in your family, this tattoo does justice to your personality. Further, as per the Bible, Jesus was referred to as the king and the lion.
#17. Guardian (Chinese) Lion Tattoo On Chin
As per the Chinese, their guardian lions protect their surroundings. Therefore, it’s common to find stone-carved guardian lions featured in Chinese temples. The above tattoo is placed on the shin, an uncommon yet aesthetically impressive placement for a large tattoo.
#18. Lion Of Judah Tattoo
The above impressive lion of Judah tattoo is placed beautifully on the woman’s upper back. Typically, a lion of Judah tattoo is shown with the lion holding a royal scepter. In the Bible, Jesus Christ is referred to as the Lion of Judah. But, that’s just one of the many associated meanings. The design is also meaningful in Rastafarian culture, among others.
#19. Lion Tarot Card Tattoo Design (Strength)
A tarot card featuring a lion represents animal passions and earthly cravings. No stone has been left unturned regarding the artist’s skills, as the tattoo is simply perfect. You can also see an apt “strength” highlighted at the very bottom of this upper arm piece.
#20. Tattoo Of Woman With Lion Hat
A tattoo showing a Native American woman with a lion hat symbolizes her empowerment, strength, confidence. The above tattoo has intricate detail, sharp contrasting elements (red flower versus rest of image), and practical upper arm coverage.
#21. Pectoral Lion Tattoo
The lion is showcased having intricate detail in the above tattoo. The linework, shading, and 3-dimensional effect make this a technically superior tattoo. In addition, the image entirely covers the man’s left pectoral, which has significance for being over the heart (representing power and courage).
#22. Lion And Cross Tattoo
This tattoo could be a great option if you want a cross sign as part of your next tattoo. The imagery is reinforced and made more potent with the lion in the background. It’s a large tattoo suitable for the upper arm.
#23. Feminine Rib Tattoo With Lion Theme
Although this tattoo is based around the lion, the overall image is highly feminine. The artist has styled the lion’s fur and adorned it with pretty flowers. That’s quite a trick, yet the general meaning is intact — power, desire, dominance, strength, etc. Tip: Want color added to the above? The alternative is shown next.
#24. Feminine Upper Arm Tattoo Depicting A lion
The previous tattoo in this list was identical yet black and white. This one has a splash of pink added to the flowers only. The lion, the focal point, remains an artsy black and white.
#25. Astronomical Lion Tattoo
The above is a Leo (zodiac sign) constellation tattoo inked on the back of the thigh. As a Leo (born between July 23rd and 22nd August), you possess leadership skills and charisma. In addition, a person of Leo zodiac association is communicative, extroverted, and charming. Their dominating personalities either backtrack folks or have them lining up to socialize with you. You are talkative, outgoing, and charming.
#26. Jigsaw Style Lion Tattoo
Enthusiasts online are currently raving about the above style of tattoo. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle without the requirement to use your cognitive skills to put pieces together. The gaps between the elements making up the complete picture add to the uniqueness, and overall the image looks great. This tattoo looks fantastic on the left side of the chest. Other placement options include the center of the upper back, upper arm, or thigh.
#27. Lion And Clock Tattoo
The lion, of course, means courage and strength. It’s a big cat whose meaning becomes more potent if you add a clock to the tattoo design. A clock could represent “time is running out” or “life and death.” So, in life, be like a lion, conquer your quests with courage and determination, and do it quickly as everyone’s time is precious and limited.
#28. Simple Outline Lion Tattoo
Not all that’s always intricate, large, bold, and realistic is effective. The simplest and cutest tattoos can represent something powerful and impactful. The above-outlined lion tattoo probably didn’t take longer than an hour to ink free-handedly, yet it looks stunning. The woman’s calf looks gorgeous, and the lion is vivid and clear to onlookers from afar. The neck, behind the ear, and other smaller body surface areas are equally worthy of such minimalistic versions of the lion.
Lion Tattoo Symbolism
There is an ample number of meanings associated with lion tattoos. Each meaning’s implications are generally similar, yet they change according to the additional elements represented in each design.
Lion tattoos are more prevalent among men than women, yet the variation in popularity among the sexes is thinning yearly. That’s because the technique and style of tattooing can make the most masculine designs tilt favorably in favor of the female side.
Generally, a lion tattoo symbolizes courage, power, guardianship, loyalty, protection, leadership, royalty, etc. A lion is the king of the jungle, so a crowned lion is a popular tattoo option. Lion tattoos at times also have Christian associations, which is why you’ll often find variations featuring a cross with the lion.
Ans. Lion tattoos signify courage, strength, and pride. Individuals that have such a personality are enthusiastic about getting inked with lion tattoos.
Ans. Yes. Lion tattoos are pretty much here to stay. They have been popular for as long as one can remember. Popularity is more prevalent among men than women. However, that difference is quickly dissipating since women get these wild cats drawn with a feminine twist. Generally, though, lions do come to mind foremost if you’re looking for options for the most masculine tattoo concepts.
Ans. The left chest (pectoral muscle) is one of the hot favorites among men. Next in line, in no particular order, the upper arm, sleeve, thigh, back, front, and ribs are pretty famous, too. On the other hand, women prefer their lion tattoos on the thighs, arms, upper back, or stomach.
Ans. Lion tattoos are relatively expensive because of the amount of detailing required to replicate a lion image. There are minimalistic versions, too, but those are not as popular as the traditional styles. Lion tattoo prices, on average, can be in the range of $150-$400. The price depends on the time taken, the experience of the artist, and the size of the design.
If those lion tattoos didn’t make you roar, it’s uncertain what will! Well, you could follow the above-referenced artists on Instagram for more of their work to get closer to your perfect pick. But, always remember to follow up your fresh ink with the proper aftercare for the best healing results.