It took over thirteen years to finally understand why they call the lion the king of the jungle. Well, actually we still don’t quite get it because lions don’t live in the jungle, but, hey, maybe they did at some point in time. Anyways, our point is that we didn’t get why lions were such a big deal until we found ourselves standing face to face with a gigantic male lion that was capable of chewing our head off in one bite and possibly even swallowing, and pooping it out whole. Yes, they are that big and will quickly humble even the largest of men. Respect is instantly given and that’s not even taking into account their impressive hunting and roaring capabilities. They are huge!
Earlier this month it was finally looking like we had enough designs to begin putting together our much-anticipated collection of lion tattoos. Much anticipated as in we were looking forward to it and have been collecting designs ever since we started this website. With a collection of over 200 designs, it took a lot sorting, deliberating, and more than a few tough decisions to get the final count down to just 50 designs that we thought our audience would enjoy the most. We hope you enjoy this list and if you have a design that you think deserves to be on the list, send it on over and maybe we’ll add it to the list. Enjoy!
This gorgeous thigh piece.
If a gypsy lion were to get married, this is what he would look like. This list features a number of various lion tattoos placed squarely on the thigh—probably because it’s one of the largest canvas areas available. Besides rocking a crown of flowers, the lion’s eye color matches the jewels on his forehead and beard. (Photo: Diogo Rocha)
This negative space mane.
River always rips it up no matter what he’s working on. His signature style is easy to identify by his subtle use of negative space throughout most of his works. If you stare at this design long enough, your mind will start to put together abstract shapes and other designs while studying the back part of the lion’s mane. (Photo: River)
This abstract watercolor piece.
Tayfun loves to play around with abstract black lines that look as if they dripped off none other than Jackson Pollock’s brush. In this case, the jet black lines are a complimentary contrast to the expertly executed blending of color. (Photo: Tayfun Bezgin)
This epic watercolor lion tattoo.
Watercolor designs done solely in black and grey ink are an awesome trend that, in our opinion, can look even better than their more colorful counterparts. If you’ve ever been to the zoo and had a chance to see a lion up close and personal, the first thing that you notice is their incredible size and presence. (Photo: Boni Lucena)
This colorful geometric lion.
If you didn’t get your fill of abstract watercolor goodness earlier, this design will definitely put you over the top. This article includes a number of equally amazing watercolor designs that are all surprisingly unique in their own right. Here, Armand uses colorful geometric shapes set against a black ink watercolor backfill to frame the lion’s face. (Photo: Armand Munoz)
This stunning dotwork design.
Anything but your typical dotwork design, this lion was created using strings of tiny dots to achieve a wonderful fluffy texture. Frank always comes through, crafting large and detailed works with his unique and widely coveted style that’s always done in black and grey ink. (Photo: Frank Carrilho)
This magical sternum tat.
You might recognize this design from a list of sternum tattoos we put together last year. When we started gathering content for a list comprised solely of lion tattoos, this design instantly came to mind, and it took the better part of an hour find it again. Sadly enough, we weren’t able to find a photo of the completed piece. (Photo: Simina)
This elegant ankle piece.
If you’re looking for a smaller design with a more feminine feel to it, something like this charming little ankle tattoo by South Korean tattooist Doy might be right for you. As far as delicate watercolor shading goes, it doesn’t get much better than this. (Photo: Tattooist Doy)
This sketched thigh piece.
Eyes are often regarded as one of the most challenging aspects of a design—which is probably why so many of the designs on this list don’t have any. The way Kamil was able to capture the light in this lion’s gaze is something not easily achieved. (Photo: Kamil Mokot)
This fun forearm design.
There are countless awe-inspiring watercolor designs floating around the web, and a few on this very list, but every once in a while the stars align and everything falls perfectly into place and a truly amazing piece of art gets created. Bari’s work always seems so unreal to us. No matter how many times we visit his Instagram page we always find ourselves going over each and every one of his designs like we’re viewing them for the very first time. (Photo: Baris Yesilbas)