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50+ Dragon Tattoo Ideas

50+ Dragon Tattoo Ideas

Timeless, beautiful, powerful, and occupying a special place at the heart of many of the world’s mythologies and cultures, dragons are a popular choice among those who want to get a tattoo.

In some ancient cultures, dragons were revered and viewed as gods, while in others, they were feared and associated with danger. Some say the dragon myth was inspired by the stories of fishermen off the coast and their encounters with large sea creatures, while others talk of the tales told in the tavern about the beasts residing at the top of mountains.

Whatever their origins, dragons have always been associated with powerful characteristics like strength, wisdom, good luck, and prosperity. So if you fancy these mystical creatures and want to get a majestic dragon tattoo inked, then you can easily accentuate it with many added features to give the tattoo design a strong and personal symbolic meaning.

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Different Types of Dragon Tattoos

Learning about the main types of dragon interpretations will allow you to find the right type of dragon to express your personality perfectly. While there are quite a few dragon representations across the globe, below are the most popular ones among tattoo aficionados.

Chinese Dragons

In ancient China, dragons were worshiped as water-deities that controlled rains and water. It was the symbol of the emperor of imperial China and was once used on the Qing Dynasty flag as well. Generally, Chinese mythology associates dragons with strength, power, wisdom, and longevity. In addition, Chinese dragons are considered helpful protectors of humankind that bring good fortune.

Japanese Dragons

Dragons have always been an inseparable part of Japanese culture. It was even believed that ancient Japanese Emperors were descendants of dragons. Yet unlike in other representations, Japanese dragons are pictured as aquatic creatures. Some Japanese legends, however, also describe flying dragons that live in the sky as guardians of humanity. In any case, Japanese dragons represent the protection of family and loved ones, and are associated with power, happiness, and longevity.

Western Dragons

In Western traditions, dragons are depicted as fierce and frightening monsters that live in mountains and caves, have bat-like wings, and can breathe fire. In Nordic and Greek mythologies, fighting a dragon was considered a way to become great heroes and warriors. This means that a western dragon tattoo can represent power, strength, courage, and the fighting spirit of the knights and Vikings.

Celtic Dragons

Dragons are considered one of the most powerful Celtic symbols, and are associated with wisdom, balance, and spirituality. In the Celtic culture, dragons are regarded as guardians of the universe’s secrets, which is why they were depicted on ancient Celtic flags, armors, and clothing for centuries. Typically, Celtic dragons are depicted with many intertwined knots to represent the ups and downs of life.

Apart from these famous dragon representations, you can also go for koi dragons, Heraldic dragons, sea serpent dragons, dragonets, or any other type to give a special meaning to your dragon tattoo. It all boils down to your personal liking and preferences and how you want to associate the tattoo with your individuality.

Here are the 50 best dragon tattoo ideas to inspire you in your search for your own tattoo of these ancient mythical creatures.

1. Traditional Red Chinese Dragon Tattoo

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If you are looking for a traditional dragon tattoo design, then go for the red Chinese dragon as illustrated in this one. This not only allows you to keep your design as close to the Oriental representation of dragons but also gives you a colorful tattoo to show off on any occasion. In addition to that, include your or your loved one’s initials in Chinese calligraphy to the tattoo design to make it look more personal.

2. Watercolor Dragon Tattoo

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As dragons are portrayed in legends from different cultures around the world and in fiction, they can be inked in many different colors too. This dragon tattoo features an intricate play of blue, yellow, black, and red colors to give you an artistic and elaborate design. You can also choose your favorite colors or ask your tattoo artist to ink this tattoo in hues that go well with your skin tone.

3. Koi Dragon Tattoo

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Koi dragon tattoos carry elements of Japanese fish ink style and can be portrayed in several ways. According to Eastern legends, koi fish can swim against powerful currents, which gives this tattoo a deeply symbolic meaning of perseverance and progress through hard work.

Koi dragons are also associated with Samurai warriors in Japanese culture, which imbue characters like bravery, strength, and fearlessness to this tattoo design. Inking the koi dragon in a circular design with cherry blossom flowers further elevates its appeal while symbolizing traits like renewal, fulfillment, and triumph over difficult times.

4. Dragon Eye Tattoo

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Dragon tattoos give you a lot of room for creativity. You do not even have to ink a full-scale fierce dragon to create a bold and striking tattoo design; a realistic dragon eye tattoo can carry the same features and give you a fashionable accessory that will draw everyone’s attention to your body art instantly. It can be a very intimidating tattoo design though, so it is crucial to ensure the right placement and sizing for your dragon eye tattoo.

5. Thunder of Dragons Tattoo

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A group of dragons is called “thunder” of dragons, which sounds quite interesting in itself to show off your tattoo on any day. Besides, this small dragon tattoo design can also be a perfect way to get your first ink.

You can choose this tattoo design to honor your family, with each dragon representing one of your siblings. You can also include a couple of slightly bigger dragons in the tattoo’s design to represent your parents or accentuate it with other features like flowers, initials, etc., to make it more special.

6. Horned Chinese Dragon Tattoo

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There are nine types of dragons in Chinese mythology, all of which have distinct appearances and features. The horned dragons, or Qiulong, are considered to be the mightiest of all dragons. They are seen as protectors of sacred relics from intruders, while they also help to stabilize continental shifts to keep the world from disintegrating. This means a horned dragon tattoo can symbolize characters like strength, power, and protection.

7. Dragon Head Tattoo

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A dragon head tattoo can be the best way to get a stylistic design without having to ink a full-size dragon on your body. You can also scale this tattoo design to suit the area as per your liking, while highlighting all the details of the mythical beast impeccably. You can even play with your favorite colors in this design to get a stunning dragon tattoo that will suit all your desires.

8. Red Dragon With Lotus Tattoo

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Asian tattoos are known for including flowers in the design. This gives you a more vibrant and colorful tattoo, while adding to its symbolic meaning and significance. This dragon tattoo incorporates a lotus to highlight qualities like wisdom and accomplishment. The red dragon, on the other hand, symbolizes good luck and happiness. Together, a red dragon and lotus flower make a great tattoo idea to express your inner qualities with some style.

9. Classic Winged Dragon Tattoo

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Legends in Western cultures portray dragons as winged creatures with a crested head. They also have features of many other animals like the tail of a serpent and the claws of a lion. This artistic tattoo design tries to embody the classic representation of Western dragons to give you a statement masterpiece. As mentioned earlier, this tattoo design can symbolize how you have overcome difficult times in life holding onto your inner strength and courage.

10. Compass and Chinese Dragon Tattoo

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Compass tattoos symbolize protection and are considered good luck charms that guide you toward the right direction in life. They have been a popular tattoo design among sailors for ages, as they also represent the hope of safely navigating through the seas to reach the destination. Chinese dragons are also associated with good fortune, protection, and prosperity, which make this tattoo design a powerful symbol of success over the difficult challenges in life.

11. Red and Black Dragon Tattoo

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This is a small tattoo design that features a cute little red and black dragon. A red dragon generally represents good fortune in Chinese mythology, but they do not have wings as depicted in the Heraldic dragon representations. On the other hand, Western winged dragons are usually illustrated in dark brownish-red color only. So a red and black colored dragon on your forearm can mean different things depending upon how you want to express your personality.

12. Night Fury Dragon Tattoo

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The Night Fury dragon in the How to Train Your Dragon movie series is depicted as “one of the most mysterious and fearsome species of dragons.” At the same time, it looks quite adorable with big and wide eyes, and was easily befriended by the movie’s protagonist. This gives you a cute dragon tattoo design to flaunt your style and associate it with your bold yet friendly personality.

13. Small Dragon Tattoo

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Although dragons are pictured as ferocious beasts, you can convert them into cute tattoo designs by scaling their size down to fit on your wrist. This tattoo design can represent your bold and carefree nature while giving you an adorable yet significant accessory to show off. You can also pair it with bold red nails to create a dramatic gothic appearance that will draw everyone’s attention to you.

14. Flying Dragon Tattoo

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This is another cool representation of a flying Western dragon, pictured as if it is about to pounce on its prey. It can be a powerful symbol of your courage and strength, symbolizing how you never let go of any opportunity in life but are always vigilant to make the most of them. This dragon tattoo can also be scaled to a smaller size to suit your styling needs and preferences.

15. Dragon Zodiac Sign Tattoo

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In Chinese culture, the dragon zodiac sign is associated with characters like honesty, reliability, independence, and hard work. Ancient representations of dragons also featured them holding a sparkling pearl, which represents wisdom, prosperity, spirituality, and immortality. All of that makes a dragon zodiac sign tattoo design a great choice for those who are born in the year of the dragon as per the Chinese calendrical cycle.

16. Red Dragon With Bamboo Tattoo

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This is a colorful Chinese dragon tattoo, which features the mythical beast holding onto a bamboo. Bamboo symbolizes strength, flexibility, and good health, which, when coupled with the symbolic meanings of red dragon such as fire and passion, make this tattoo a powerful insignia of triumph over challenging circumstances. What’s more, the upright nature of bamboo will be a subtle reminder for you to stay strong, keep your head high, and adapt to the situations so that you can thrive like a dragon.

17. Traditional Western Dragon Tattoo

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Similar to the Classic Winged Dragon Tattoo design, this one also features a fearsome black dragon as depicted in Western mythologies. As these supernatural creatures exist in legends and are illustrated in so many ways, you can easily work along the lines to create your own masterpiece and associate it with your personality the way you want.

18. Tribal Dragon Tattoo

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This tribal dragon tattoo will be the ideal choice for those who want to express their spiritual side and ancestry in a single design. Tribal dragon tattoos represent nature, bravery, good luck, and eternal glory. They are generally inked in black and white, but modern tribal tattoos also allow you to experiment with different colors to give a unique touch to them. So you can customize this tribal dragon tattoo as per your styling preferences as well.

19. Yin & Yang Dragon Tattoo

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The yin and yang symbol represents the concept of dualism and describes how contrary forces may be interconnected in the natural world. In Chinese mythology, dragons are considered yang, representing active masculine energies, while phoenix is considered yin, symbolizing passive feminine energies in life. Together, they symbolize a balance of both energies and the wholeness of the universe. This makes a yin and yang dragon tattoo an outstanding spiritual symbol to ink on your body.

20. Dragon and Roses Tattoo

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If you wanted to give your dragon tattoo a feminine touch, then adding some roses to the design will perfectly justify your tastes. Including a soft floral element in the tattoo design gives a contrast of everlasting love to the usual dragon tattoo symbolism. At the same time, it adds a burst of bright red colors to your black dragon tattoo design, making it a fashionable accessory.

21. Dragons, Butterflies, and Birds Tattoo

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This is one of the most creative dragon tattoo ideas to ink. It features a thunder of dragons that can represent your siblings, butterflies that can stand for your children, and birds that can represent your parents. A floral heart shape on the bottom with a tiny heart and infinity symbol inside further elevates the elegance of this tattoo design. Collectively, the different elements in this tattoo can show your unending love and attachment to your family.

22. Celtic Cross and Dragon Tattoo

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The Celtic cross is a powerful representation and an idyllic reflection of the hopes and goals of the Celts. This makes it a popular tattoo design idea to show off your ancestry and heritage. As dragons were considered gatekeepers to other realms in Celtic culture, adding a ferocious dragon in the design further elevates its appeal while giving your tattoo a deeper spiritual meaning.

23. Cherry Blossom and Dragon Tattoo

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Cherry blossoms are considered a symbol of love, beauty, and mortality in Japanese culture, which is why they can be seen on many Japanese tattoo designs. This tattoo features a Japanese aquatic dragon coiling around a branch of cherry blossoms to portray the benevolent nature and protective qualities of the mythical creature. This makes it a simple tattoo design to express your loving and kind nature.

24. Blue and Red Dragons Heart Tattoo

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This adorable tattoo design gives a romantic touch to your dragon tattoo. The blue and red dragons can represent you and your partner making eye contact and forming a heart shape. Meanwhile, it can also give your tattoo design the added meanings of beauty, happiness, vitality, prosperity, and harmony, which are represented by the colors blue and red.

25. Medieval Dragon Tattoo

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This tattoo design is a unique take on medieval Western dragons. It shows that the dragon is holding a pearl, which is more common in depictions of East-Asian dragons. The pearl is believed to be a celestial item, symbolizing wisdom, power, affluence, and other characters associated with the moon. So this can be your hybrid dragon tattoo design that pays tribute to both Western and Eastern cultures, while giving you a stunning accessory to flaunt.

26. Golden Dragon Tattoo

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Golden or yellow dragons are the most revered of all Chinese dragons as they represent the Chinese emperor and the imperial family. Golden dragons can also symbolize reliability and solidity, and they are often used in festive celebrations as symbols of wisdom, compassion, and wealth. Adding some flowers to the tattoo design further elevates its charm and makes it a beautiful body art to show off on any occasion.

27. Red Baby Dragon Tattoo

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If you liked how the Small Dragon Tattoo turned a fierce mythological beast into a cute design, but wanted something more unique, then this tiny red dragon tattoo will be just the thing for you. Here, the baby red dragon gives you a fashionable design to flatter yourself while still carrying all the traits that dragons in general are associated with. It can be a great way to celebrate the birth of your newborn baby as well.

28. Dreamcatcher Dragon Tattoo

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Dreamcatchers represent protection and safety, which go hand-in-hand with the symbolic meanings of dragons. This makes it a stylish, spiritual symbol that will remind you of the guidance and protection from your loved ones or God. You can also have the dreamcatcher in this tattoo design inked in different colors that go well with your skin tone to give it a personal touch.

29. Celtic Dragon Tattoo

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A Celtic dragon can symbolize courage and power even though they are associated with negative connotations in Western folklore. This tattoo design features the lower part of the dragon in a Triquetra-inspired design to give it a deeper meaning and significance. It can be a great tattoo idea to honor your ancestral roots and heritage while expressing the innate qualities you share with a Celtic dragon.

30. Dragon Ring Tattoo

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This dragon tattoo design will suit those who are looking for something subtle and unique. At the same time, this dragon ring silhouette will carry all the positive qualities of dragons that you want to express. Moreover, the dragon biting its tail as shown in this tattoo design also represents the cycle of life and how it repeats itself.

This tattoo design can also be scaled to a smaller size to fit on any desired area on your body. It can be easily covered too with clothing when you do not want to show off your tattoo like when going to the office.

31. Fire Breathing Dragon Tattoo

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This is another hybrid dragon tattoo like the Medieval Dragon Tattoo, which merges the representations of Eastern and Western dragons in a single design. It features an Eastern-Asian dragon silhouette without wings but pictured as breathing fire, which is a dragon-specific feature described in Western mythologies. This gives you a unique and classy dragon tattoo design that combines all the positive symbolic virtues of dragons from diverse cultures.

32. Sea Serpent Dragon Tattoo

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Sea serpent dragons are described in various cultures across the globe, predominantly in Mesopotamian, Greek, Hebrew, and Norse mythologies. All these cultures describe the majestic marine creature differently, but they all generally symbolize protection, fertility, and revival. This makes it an excellent tattoo design to honor women in your family. The delicate touch of turquoise color on the dragon gives it a cool, sea-evoking appeal, making it a stylish tattoo design to match with your attire.

33. Wraparound Japanese Dragon Tattoo

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Coiling dragon tattoos are very popular in Japanese culture, as they create a stunning impact on the overall tattoo design. This tattoo design features a Japanese dragon wrapping around the entire length of the forearm with a background of cherry blossoms. This gives it a deeper symbolic meaning like in the Cherry Blossom and Dragon Tattoo, while giving you a colorful and fashionable tattoo to be proud of.

34. Dragon With Sword Tattoo

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This creative tattoo design features a Chinese dragon gracefully coiling on a sword. Sword represents protection, power, strength, and courage in many cultures, which blend well with the symbolic meanings of a dragon tattoo. That means you not only get a dragon tattoo that looks cool and stylish, but also one that has a special meaning attached to it. This tattoo design can also be scaled to suit smaller areas on your body.

35. Celtic Dragon Head Tattoo

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If you are fascinated by the symbolism of Celtic dragons but do not want a full-scale dragon tattoo, then go for a Celtic dragon head design instead. This tattoo features a dragon head illustrated with intertwined Celtic knots to add a touch of creativity to the design. It can be the perfect way to honor Celtic dragons that were believed to carry the torch of eternal glory in Norse mythology.

36. Dragons and Flowers Tattoo

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This is a monochrome version of the Dragon and Roses Tattoo design with all the floral elements and dragon inked in black and white. Yet you can customize this tattoo design with your choice of flowers like cherry blossoms or peonies as well to give it a personal meaning. When coupled with a scaly dragon, it will create a dramatic contrast and make your tattoo unique.

37. Purple Dragon Tattoo

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Purple dragons are not that common, making purple dragons a rare choice and an interesting thread of inspiration. As purple is the combination of red and blue colors, inking a purple dragon can represent a balance between the characteristics of red and blue.

The red color symbolizes courage, enthusiasm, and life whereas blue represents perseverance, vigilance, and respect for God. In Feng Shui, the purple color also symbolizes spiritual healing and awareness. That makes this dragon tattoo a great spiritual symbol to ink on your body.

38. Wyvern Dragon Tattoo

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Wyverns or dragonets are famous two-legged dragons shown in movies and TV shows. They are generally associated with extraordinary might, power, and courage.

These Western-style dragons are also considered protectors of treasures, which gives this tattoo design an added meaning of protection and wisdom. You can also incorporate this tattoo idea for your tribal dragon tattoo inspiration and accentuate it with other features as you like.

39. Dragon Silhouette Tattoo

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This is a tiny dragon tattoo that can be inked on any smaller area on your body, such as the back of the neck, behind the ear, on the inner wrist, etc. If you want to scale it to a bigger design, the dragon silhouette can be accentuated with other elements like flowers or splashes of color. That will also make it more significant to you and add a deeper symbolic meaning to the tattoo design.

40. Baby Green Dragon Tattoo

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This tattoo design is similar to the Red Baby Dragon Tattoo, but it features a baby green dragon instead of a red one. In addition to that, this tattoo also shows the cute baby dragon holding a heart-shaped gemstone to make it look more adorable. This can represent your love and affection for your partner while adding characters like fertility and rebirth to the general symbolism of dragon tattoos.

41. Ferocious Dragon Tattoo

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This is an intricate tattoo design that stays true to the description of dragons in Western culture. It features a flying dragon silhouette over a mountain, a dragonhead, and a dragon eye, all on a fiery-red background. As dragons are associated with fire in Western legends, this tattoo design can be a powerful symbol of passion, desire, and authority. If these characters represent your personality, then this dragon tattoo will be the ideal choice for you.

42. Light Fury Dragon Tattoo

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If you liked the lovable appeal of the Night Fury Dragon Tattoo design, but are not a fan of black, then you can choose this one to create a magnificent dragon tattoo. While it is not the exact representation of the Light Fury dragon as shown in the How to Train Your Dragon movies, it is an adorable tattoo design that plays with colorful hues to create a magnificent artwork on your body.

43. Dragon With Spear Tattoo

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Spear is considered the symbol of power and strength, which is similar to what Western dragons symbolize in general. This makes your tattoo an influential piece of art to express how you have overcome the challenges in life holding fast to your inner strength and courage. Even without the symbolic meaning, this is a magnificent tattoo design that is sure to put you in the spotlight on any occasion.

44. Blue Dragon Tattoo

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If you wanted to give your small dragon tattoo a colorful twist, then ask your tattoo artist to ink it in blue. In Chinese culture, blue dragons are deemed as gods and associated with the season of spring. While this tattoo design features a winged dragon as represented in Western legends, you can blend the symbolism of Chinese blue dragons to your tattoo design as well to make it a unique piece of body art.

45. Flying Flock of Dragons Tattoo

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If you wanted to add a splash of colors to your dragon tattoo, then try this one for an impressive symbolic ink. Similar to the Thunder of Dragons Tattoo design, the flock of dragons in this one can also symbolize your family. Likewise, you can also add initials or other features to accentuate the tattoo and create a magnificent design that you can cherish your entire life.

46. Scorpion Dragon Tattoo

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Scorpions are considered symbols of defense, transformation, dominance, rebirth, passion, and devotion. When you blend a scorpion with a dragon, you get an invincible and mysterious beast that carries all the characteristics of both the creatures at a magnified level. This can be a unique way to express your unpredictable and ambiguous personality, depicting how you live on your own terms and never adjust to other people’s standards.

47. Aquatic Dragon Tattoo

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If you are a nature lover, then this Japanese aquatic dragon tattoo will be an excellent choice for you. It features a coiling sea dragon on your shoulder but the claws of the mystical creature are painted like flowers. That gives a soft touch of elegance to this tattoo design while adding to its spiritual meaning of affluence, contentment, and fulfillment. You can also ask your tattoo artist to ink the flowers in color to give your dragon tattoo a vibrant look.

48. Snake and Dragon Tattoo

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Snake and dragon is a traditional Chinese tattoo design that represents characters like good health and regenerative power. As dragons and snakes are believed to be deadly enemies in Chinese mythology, this tattoo can symbolize the conflict between intelligence and intuition. However, some say that it also represents the balance in nature similar to what the Yin and Yang Dragon Tattoo symbolizes.

49. Minimalistic Dragon Tattoo

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Not all dragon tattoos need to be complicated; you can also get a minimal dragon tattoo inked to match your styling tastes while keeping its symbolic meanings intact. With a wealth of history and varied descriptions of dragons across different cultures, a simplistic dragon tattoo may look counterproductive to some. Yet this one holds true to the original ideology of dragons, giving you a minimalistic design to flaunt as you like.

50. Dragon Egg Tattoo

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If you are a Game of Thrones follower, then this can be the simplest idea to show off your creativity and surprise everyone with your “dragon” tattoo. Dragon eggs are as fascinating as dragons themselves are and are considered spiritual symbols of selflessness and intuition. You can also go for a black, green, or golden color dragon egg as shown in the fan-favorite TV series to give a colorful twist to your tattoo design.

The Best Places to Get a Dragon Tattoo

You will need to find the right placement for your dragon tattoo so that it blends well with your style and attire.

Not all dragon tattoos are loud and bold; some are simple like Dragon Ring Tattoo and Dragon Silhouette Tattoo and can be scaled to suit smaller areas as well. However, if you are going with a dragon tattoo that covers all its classic details, then you will need to place it well on your body so that it becomes a statement piece. You will also need to consult with your tattoo artist to determine the right sizing of your preferred design so that all its features look great on your body.

It will be a good idea to buy some temporary tattoos as per the size of your desired dragon tattoo design and see how it will look on the area you have in mind. In general, though, Eastern-Asian dragon tattoos can be inked on the arm or leg depending upon the details included in the design. On the contrary, as Western dragons are bulkier in comparison, they will look better on the back or chest. Yet again, it all boils down to which dragon tattoo design you choose.

Thighs, biceps, chest, and forearm are the most popular spots for getting a dragon tattoo inked in its full glory. Remember that no matter where you place it, you will need to follow proper aftercare measures to ensure that your dragon tattoo looks as amazing as you had imagined. Therefore, make sure to use a good-quality tattoo lotion like the Mad Rabbit Tattoo Balm or Ink Scribd Aftercare Ointment to ensure that the tattooed skin remains well moisturized and gives you the best results.

Here Be Dragons

Tattoos are always personal, and they can mean anything you want to convey. With dragon tattoos, you get more opportunities to be imaginative and create your own masterpiece because there is such a rich history and mythology to draw from. You can pick one of the dragons from folklore and hold on to its particular symbolic meaning, or you can customize it the way you want and add your own dragon to the world’s collective consciousness.