Shoulder Tattoos – Designs & Ideas

maori inspired tattoo on shoulder

Maori inspired shoulder tattoo

Shoulder tattoos have been a long time favorite with both men and women. The large surface area allows plenty of room for large sized or teamed tattoos. Visibility is about the best reason for placing tattoos here. The tattoo will be at eye level and can be covered up when needed. One thing about shoulder tattoos is by definition, the shoulder is the part of the body where the arm and body come together. In the world of tattoos it is common for the areas around the shoulder like the shoulder blade to be worked in and all fall under the shoulder tattoos label.

Types of Shoulder Tattoos

Star Shoulder Tattoos –  Star shoulder tattoos look great on men and women and when the design runs over on to the chest and waist the design is very captivating. An idea here is try starting off with about 8 stars inked on the shoulder in varying sizes with the largest ones about the size of a quarter. The larger ones will be placed lower on the shoulder with the smaller ones fading in the shape of a comet trail traveling over the shoulder to the chest side.

Small Shoulder Tattoos  –  Small tattoos on the shoulder are just plain cool. Small shoulder tattoos look clean and tidy like they belong there even when they are evil looking. A classic idea here is try a butterfly from the top view so you can fully show off the open wings with the pattern being no larger than a 50 cent piece. The butterfly design should be placed in the center of the shoulder close to the arm at a 45 degree angle; detail in the wings with your favorite colors for the finishing touch.

Shoulder Sleeve Tattoos. Shoulder sleeve tattoos allow the wearer and tattoo artist to create large themed works of art with the tattoo starting on the shoulder and then working its way over the shoulder and down the arm and ending close to the wrist. Ideas to work with here are to start off with a pair of golden eyes and black nose showing through very heavy green grass and vines of a camouflaged black panther. A small butterfly and bee tattooed in the air to finish this part off and give an in the wild appearance. As the tattoo rolls over the shoulder and down the arm animals like hippo, rhino, tiger or you’re favorite wild beast can be camouflaged in like the panther. Try adding insects, small birds and flowers to capture that in the wild look.

Shoulder Tattoos for Men –  Most often shoulder tattoos for men will be bold and make a statement even if no statement was intended. Ideas for cool tattoo ideas here are try sugar skull design in bright colors. The skulls normally have flowers or flower petals in the eye sockets and the skull is colored in pastel colors. The designs look great on men and are very popular. Sugar skulls are very detailed, so do some home work here for a great sugar skull shoulder tattoos for men.

shoulder tattoo

Colorful shoulder tattoo on man

Celtic Shoulder Tattoos – The classic Celtic never ending knot looks great on men and women and is still in high demand because of the history and stunning good looks. Ideas here are;  a 4 sided Celtic knot which is made of  4 strands woven together on the flat side where all 4 pieces meet. Repeat this process as many times as needed to roll over the shoulder and the taper it in towards the arm pit. The larger the 4 sided knot the fewer links are needed to create the Celtic shoulder band tattoos.

Cherry Blossom Shoulder Tattoos –  Cherry blossom shoulder tattoos are a popular design and is in high demand; the finished product is quite the show stopper. Cherry blossom shoulder tattoos are a favorite with women and will not disappoint. Ideas here are try inking two branches with the starting point under the shoulder blade and then curving them towards the top of the shoulder near the arm trying to keep them life like in appearance. Now the artist will have to make smaller branches with the cherry blossoms. Cherry blossoms look great with 5 petals one each blossom and are dark red in color or pink.

Flower Shoulder Tattoos –  Flower shoulder tattoos take advantage of the large space to create some unbelievable flower tattoos. Ideas here are try two large roses in full bloom looking down at them from an angle so you can see part of the side and stem in the tattoo. Beside the roses add a few small daises around the sides of the roses for a little contrasting color and to show a little depth in the tattoo. Detail work along with proper shading work is necessary to get a life like flower tattoo.

shoulder flower tattoo

Flower tattoo on shoulder

Tribal Shoulder Tattoos – Tribal shoulder tattoos can range from the mild to the wild. These tattoos are very popular with men and women and look fantastic on the shoulder. A simple design here is a dark ink tribal sun with 5 curving rays of light done in the flame pattern.  In between each of the 5 rays of light ink 2 small rays in the razor pattern.

Coloring and Size of Shoulder Tattoos

Colors for shoulder tattoos will most often be in rich vibrant colors because the tattoo is in right in the line of sight. Most often you will see true to life coloring on in flowers, butterflies, grass, trees, and bugs. Other things like stars, Celtic art, and sugar skulls can be colored any way you want them to look.

Shoulder tattoos offer the wearer the skin to create large size tattoos with amazing detail to wow the crowds, yet can be covered up in seconds with a shirt when needed. When considering your shoulder tattoos keep in mind that a simple tattoo can be turned in to large scale piece that runs over to the chest and arm in time to make a great themed work of art. You tattoo artist with their tattoo experience and galleries can help when looking for design patterns for shoulder tattoos.