So you’re thinking about getting a new tattoo and an owl came to mind. Well, we can assure you that you’re not alone as owls tend to be one of the more popular animal tattoo designs, which is somewhat surprising considering most people have never even seen an owl in the wild, ever. But. Hey. Unicorn tattoos are pretty popular as well so there’s that.
Our readers often ask us if we can design tattoos for them. This is not something we do nor have we ever advertised or even hinted at offering this service, but nonetheless, the requests still come in on what seems like a daily basis. I brought this up because lately we’ve had a strong request for watercolor owl tattoo designs, which eventually led to the creation of this list.
Whether you are indeed in the market for an owl tattoo or just like to look at neat and interesting designs, you definitely came to the right place. We have been working on this list for the better part of a year, only selecting the most beautiful and most creative designs that we think represent the best in the business. If you think you have a tattoo that deserves to be on this list, feel free to send it on over and if we love it like you do, we’ll add it to the list.
Types of owl tattoos.
As you would expect, owl tattoos come in various shapes and sizes. Popular designs as of late have been watercolor pieces jam-packed with vivid color and technique, linework designs created using a collection of thin lines, and dotwork designs that are crafted by carefully arranging small dots of ink on the skin. Sketch style designs, which are identified by their over-drawn lines that mimic an artist’s rough draft sketches are also a trendy style that is being used to ink owl tattoos.
Let’s take a look at a few owl tattoos that definitely deserve a second look.
This blackwork barn owl.
The common barn owl is a popular tattoo choice for its unique-looking snowy white face. The barn owl is the most widely distributed species of owl in the world and if you’ve ever had the chance to see an owl up close that wasn’t in a zoo, this is probably the owl you saw. When creating the design above, Sara expertly blended black and grey ink to give the owl a soft and natural appearance. (Photo: Sara Reichardt)
This watercolor owl tattoo.
You’ll see a few of Ewa’s designs throughout this list. Besides having an obvious love for owls, Polish tattooist Ewa Sroka has her own unique watercolor style that utilizes her signature watercolor application technique that mimics a crude brushes’ attempt to fill in specific areas of the design while often wandering far outside the lines. (Photo: Ewa Sroka)
This sketch style chest piece.
People just can’t seem to get enough of everything sketch style these days. When you think sketch style tattoos, one artist (Inez Janiak) usually comes to mind, but this example of an owl with its wings spread wide is nothing short of spectacular. Damo has a sketch style of his own that’s unique from any other artist out there. Be sure to check out his Instagram profile for more owl tats and sketch style designs in general. (Photo: Damo)
This awesome forearm piece.
We’re almost at a loss for words here. The first thing you notice is the dynamic contrast between the bold black tears and the softer grey ink feathers. The way the artist was able to capture the piercing concentration in the owls eyes is something that many tattooists strive for but few ever achieve. (Photo: Levi Barnett)
This stunning dotwork forearm design.
Here we have another amazing forearm piece from the talented Resul Odabas. This guy’s portfolio of work is full of some of the most tasteful tattoo designs you’ll ever encounter. Resul’s works always seem to be as complex as they are beautiful. In this design we have multiple focal points, with two awesome inverse sections flanking the owl in the center. (Photo: Resul Odabas)
This owl tattoo on thigh.
When it comes to style, Brazilian born tattoo artist Frank Carrilho has the stuff in spades. Combining both the linework and dotwork styles, Frank uses tiny dots to create his lines which make for a soft and fluffy texture that he’s mastered beyond belief. This design uses heavy blackwork elements to really highlight the soft nature of the feathers. (Photo: Frank Carrilho)
This crazy-cool barn own tat.
Think 90’s artwork with a psychedelic feel from the 60’s. If you’re looking for something colorful and wacky, then this design is definitely right up your alley. For more super snazzy designs like this one, be sure to visit Katie’s Instagram profile to view her complete portfolio. (Photo: Katie Shocrylas)
This sketched owl tattoo.
Mentioned earlier in this post, Inez Janiak absolutely dominates the sketch style scene and rarely deviates from her signature style. Almost all of her work is black and grey ink and sketched for effect. This piece was designed to cover several scars on the forearm and boy is it doing a good job. The erratic lines used in this particular style are perfect for those looking for scar-concealing tattoo designs. (Photo: Inez Janiak)
This colorful back piece.
“Is this even real?” Is what most people probably think when they first lays eye on this freshly inked design. Looking like anything but a traditional tattoo, the bright colors and new techniques often seen these days continue to amaze us even though we’re surrounded by them on a daily basis. (Photo: Szymon Gdowicz)
This circular back piece.
Here we have an owl, flowers, and a crescent moon all packed into a relatively small circle. The placement and simple technique give this piece a charming vintage feel that any woman can appreciate. (Photo: Tattooist Grain)