Celebrate strength and history with our best bow and arrow tattoo ideas gallery. The bow and arrow are one of humanity’s oldest tools and weapons. Bows and arrows appear in cave art, second only to the spear in the chronology of hunting innovations. The bow and arrow symbol even appears in the stars, by way of the Orion and Sagittarius constellations. In other words, this symbol is almost sacred in the depth of its meaning. It’s no wonder you are considering bow and arrow ink. Thousands of others have already honored strength on their skin by choosing archery-themed tattoos.
60 Best Bow and Arrow Tattoo Designs that are Simply Unforgettable
Taken at face value, the bow and arrow are both a tool and a weapon. Many people choose the bow and arrow tattoos for those reasons alone. For example, a bow is an obvious and appealing design choice for hunters and archers. There are many other possible interpretations of the bow and arrow, though. While some see it as a sign of strength, because of Cupid others see a bow and arrow and immediately think of love. Still, others are drawn to the bow and arrow because it is a popular symbol for the Sagittarius zodiac sign. All inspirations and incarnations of the noble bow and arrow tattoo are represented in the following gallery.
1. Art Deco Contortionist Pinup Archer
This awesome design is a panoply of classic tattoo motifs. The matte, patriotic coloring is old school at its best. The pinup is realized in clean, simple lines. But what really elevates this Art Deco archer is its unexpected, contortionist posture which is tantalizing but not tacky because of the no-nonsense way it is stylized.
2. Tribal Fantasy Bound Twig Arrow
As this tattoo implies, a broken arrow can still fly true. The design features abound twig fitted with a found feather and a flint arrowhead. It speaks to a close connection with nature, perseverance, and maybe a bit of Druid or tribal mysticism.
3. The Math of Great Aim
As with any sport, there is an art to archery. This tattoo pays homage to the math and mechanics of archery. The traditional bow and arrow sketch is overlaid with diagrams demonstrating the ideal angles for drawing and aiming the bow and releasing the arrow.
4. The Quintessential Bow and Arrow
Perfect symmetry is the secret to making simple tattoos great. This sketch relies on bold, clean lines to convey a depth of meaning that belies the uncomplicated design. Forearm placement seems like a no-brainer for a weapon that places so much emphasis on the musculature of the arms.
5. Fantasy Lady Centaur Tribal Archer
This stunning centaur archer represents an amalgamation of references. The symbols painting her body are akin to the geometric motifs of the Pacific Northwest. The colors are decidedly Middle Eastern or South Asian. The centaur is Greco-Roman staple.
6. Native Inspired Maiden Warrior Tattoo
The feather headdress on this bold beauty is one part Native American and one part gypsy with a fantasy fringe following the line of her hair. Her arm is cuffed and extended as she prepares to draw her bow with a hennaed hand. Though her face is expressionless, you can see the tension in its angle.
7. Dark Side of the Moon
What at first appears to be a simple bow and arrow actually encompasses one of our most recognizable celestial bodies. The shading inside the curve of the bow becomes the dark side of the moon. This tattoo speaks to the concept of flights of fancy as well as to the fleeting nature of time.
8. Bow on Three Arrows Ink
In this design, the arrows are not notched. Rather, the bow is laid across three splayed arrows. It creates a star-like design that is both geometric and vaguely directional. It also takes the threat out of the symbol. The number of arrows can be altered to reflect more or fewer children.
9. Bow to My Arrow Marriage Tattoo
One partner is inked with the bow, the other with a similarly stylized arrow. Beneath each symbol is a significant date in Roman numerals, sized and spaced to fit the line of the design above it. The date is likely a wedding anniversary but could just as easily be a birthday.
10. Tribal Bow and Quiver Thigh Design
Placing a tattoo on the thigh allows for a larger size and more dramatic angle in this tribal-themed leg tattoo. Bold shading makes the most of the geometric patterns on the quiver while the bow cuts a graceful curve across it. The bow at rest implies a reserve of power.
11. Viking Archer Taking His Shot
This tattoo depicts an archer of Medieval or Viking origins. He is in full armor with his bow and arrow drawn, clearly in the midst of battle. There is also a sizeable sword at his hip. The design speaks to heritage, history, and a possible military affiliation.
12. Sagittarius Archer’s Bow and Arrow Concept
The lines and circles around this bow and arrow indicate equations for the perfect shot. Such lines are also often associated with the placement of stars in a constellation. In this instance, that constellation is most likely the zodiac Sagittarius.
13. An Arrow Broken by the Moon
This evocative concept has all the feeling of a beloved myth. Many speak romantically of trying to capture or shoot down the moon. Here, an arrow runs a rope around the crescent, but it is broken mid-flight. The end result is a design that incorporates both magic and mayhem.
14. Goth Skeleton Archer with Rose Arrow
A skeletal hand draws a rose across an elegantly scrolled bow. It is a romantic and macabre interpretation of the classic bow and arrow motif. Its vulnerable placement adds to the context of mortality as well as heightening the sense that love can be dangerous.
15. Middle Eastern Bow & Arrows
A bold, barbed bow draws three arrows at once. A Middle Eastern symbol in a medallion is inked overtop. The design gives the impression of a storied heritage while the adjacent simple string bracelet suggests a deeper spirituality.
More bow and arrow tattoos for men on the next page…
16. Bow with Roman Numeral Date Dedication
Numbers are an easy way to add significance to a beloved design. This Neoclassical bow and arrow are adorned with Roman numeral dates to each side of the string. The pair of dates suggests either more than one event – like the births of children – or a beginning and an end, as in the life and death of someone significant.
17. Greco Roman Style Bow and Laurel Wreath
In ancient Greece and Rome, the laurel wreath was an exalted symbol. To this day, it represents victory. The symbol is still most strongly associated with the Olympics, wherein the earliest winners were crowned with them. The combination of a bow and arrow and a laurel wreath suggests that the owner of this tattoo may be a competitive archer.
18. Naturalistic Art Nouveau Bow & Arrow
There is no shame in wanting your martial references to be more aesthetically pleasing. This engraved wooden bow is embellished with scrollwork and twined with vines. A delicate metal arrow is set with pearls or gems and trails ribbons.
19. Native American Feather Bow & Dreamcatcher Arrow
Coordinating forearm tattoos pay separate homage to the bow and arrow. An eagle feather hints at Native American spiritualism. A dreamcatcher on the arrow suggests the wearer’s determination to banish the bad and champion the good.
20. Shoot Down the Sun Tattoo
Clever shading and design imply that this bow is from the Bronze Age. Its scrolled metal frame is notched with a narrow metal arrow. The tense string bisects a background sun whose flames expand beyond the curve of the weapon.
21. Renaissance Inspired Dimensional Grayscale Cherub
Cherubs (or putti) are a common sight in both ancient Roman and later Renaissance art. The addition of a bow and arrow clearly designates one of these beings as Cupid, the god of love. This wonderful rendering is well-shaded to create the impression of both dimension and movement. The arrow is cheekily pointed at its bearer’s heart.
22. Behold the Huntress Goddess Diana
Both Greek and Roman mythology had famous female archers. Perhaps the most famous was the goddess of the hunt. In Greek mythology, she was Artemis, and in Roman she was Diana. This tattoo honors that storied legend with a well-muscled beauty partly concealed in mystical swirls of smoke.
23. Ancient Irish Celtic Power in Ink
Celtic knots combine eye appeal with historical significance. Both bow and arrow display impressive linear knotwork. The green color choice leaves little doubt that the bearer of this tattoo is Irish. Black filler makes the design more distinct against pale skin.
24. Rock and Roll Centaur Archer
This triumphant centaur archer tattoo has a distinctly 1980s glam rock feel. Though the centaur and his bow and arrow are classically depicted, a leather quiver speaks to vintage biker culture. Purple and black smoke silhouette effects heighten the retro rock vibe.
25. Work Friendly Behind the Ear Bow
If you yearn for meaningful ink but need something discrete, the behind-the-ear placement is ideal for anyone with long enough hair to hide it. The bow and arrow make a suitably romantic statement when revealed by this man’s upswept man bun.
26. You Raise Me Up Spiritual Tattoo
A dramatic grayscale bow and arrow design is set against shadows and flames. In a semi-circle around the bow are the lyrics, “You Raise Me Up to Walk on Stormy Seas.” Though dark in color and imagery, it is clear that the meaning of this tattoo is both spiritual and inspirational.
27. A Bow to Fit Any Body
The cool thing about the geometry of bows and arrows is that they are easily resized and reshaped to fit any part of the human body. In this instance, the inner thigh makes an inviting canvas for a beautifully scrolled and tastefully highlighted bow and arrow design.
28. Bow and Arrow Tribute Tattoo
This sizeable sketch-style bow and arrow arm tattoo honors the passion of parenthood. On one side of the bow is a child’s birthday in Roman numerals. On the other side of the bow is the child’s name. They say the arrow is an extension of the archer’s soul, and the same is true of our children.
29. My Aim Is True Directional Design
Some of the best new tattoos are ones that combine unexpected imagery. The artist for this piece has transformed half of a compass into the curve of a drawn bow with an arrowhead pointing the way. The resulting symbolism suggests a resilient heart that knows its true purpose.
30. Personalizing a Simple Wrist Tattoo
Huge technicolor back or chest-spanning tattoo murals are fantastic, but small tattoos can be very impactful, too. This straightforward bow and arrow ink fits neatly inside the wrist. Tiny letters and numbers hint at a secret secondary meaning, allowing this tattoo to serve as an important totem for the one that wears it.
More bow and arrow tattoos for girls on the next page…
31. Sexy Celtic Woman Archer Centerfold
This centerfold-sized lady archer is a prime example of comic book cover-worthy ink art. There are many old Celtic details, including a hint of knotwork on her quiver and feathers on her costume. The flow of her hair and tension in her arms expertly suggest action.
32. Sagittarius Bow and Arrow Art
There are many different symbols that can be used to represent the zodiac sign of Sagittarius. Perhaps the most recognizable is demonstrated here with a delicate bow and arrow. Pinpoint circles and lines indicate a form and function that is written in the stars.
33. Feminine Fantasy Bow, Arrow, and Roses
Thousands of tattoos feature bows and arrows. While the level of detail and cultural references vary from one to the next, they are overwhelmingly masculine in style. But with blue silk wrappings and yellow roses, this is a stunning example of how the weapons can be both feminine and intimidating.
34. Women’s Nude Amazon Archer Tattoo
Few historical figures are as female-empowered as the Amazons. Here, a nude Amazon archer celebrates both the strength and the beauty of the mythological society. A single frond of laurel leaves helps to maintain the archer’s modesty while reinforcing the idea of valor.
35. Cat of the Universe Bats Sagittarius
Fans of astrology will delight in this distinctive design. A black cat’s body offers a porthole view of the universe. It holds a bow and arrow in its paws. Faintly behind the figure and its toy, we can see the stars of the archer’s constellation.
36. Video Game Aim Rainbow Archery Design
This smartly layered and beautifully colored tattoo is so much more than a plain old bow and arrow. The circles reference the aiming guides used in video game shooting sequences. An unexpected background splatter of rainbow fire breathes dynamic new life into the overall design.
37. Beflowered Moon and Bejeweled Arrow
A long, lean arrow and crescent moon are combined to create a tattoo that fits very naturally into the space of a side leg. The moon is beautifully embellished with a flower in full bloom. Meanwhile, the arrow is fierce but pretty with a narrow stem and jewel accents.
38. Floral Illusion Bow and Arrow
In this design, the bow portion of the bow and arrow symbol is entirely concealed by a chain of flowers. In a similar manner, the traditional feather at the end of the arrow is actually a fan of pine needles. The stem of the arrow is a pink thread tied to the floral arrangement, and the arrowhead is a matching fuchsia point.
39. Behold A Well Scrolled Weapon
When you’re dealing with a popular symbol like the bow and arrow, making it look and feel personal comes down to a series of small design choices. Note the scrolled framework. The fine, unembellished strings. The oversized feather. Each small detail creates a more impressive whole.
40. Getting Abstract with an Arrow and Bow
If you find traditional designs start to look the same, then a more abstract interpretation may appeal to you. While the basic components of this bow and arrow are recognizable, further inspection makes the bow look more like wings on the arrow and the wings and frame begin to look like doves.
41. A Warrior Woman for a Woman Warrior
Sometimes we are our own heroes. This brave model has embraced that idea by covering her back in a fearsome female archer. While feathers and a tribal cuff hint at some recognizable cultures, the sketch style of the bow and watercolor lines in the skirt keep the look firmly in the fantasy arena.
42. Hylian Link Meets Robin Hood
The hooded archer is almost always a heroic character. The famous archer, Robin Hood, frequently traveled disguised. Likewise, the popular Zelda franchise hero Link also favors an occasional hood. The dark archer in this tattoo stands in the rays of a rising sun, prepared to battle and defend.
43. Unexpected Ghost Archery Combination Ink
Here’s a tattoo you have probably never seen before. At first glance, the eye registers the elegant bow with live flowers on its frame. But as your vision focuses, you see an unexpected companion. A luminescent blue ghost makes an unexpected pairing with this historical piece of weaponry.
44. A Bow Becomes a Necklace
This tattoo borrows on the same peace-loving concept as the famous daisy in a gun picture. The arrow is laid across the bow but not notched. The frame of the bow is decorated in lush green leaves. In place of taut string, fat, glossy black beads dangle from each side.
45. She’s Aiming for the Moon
An ethereal color palette sets the tone for this fun fantasy concept. The bow is made of a sinuous branch covered in pale blue blossoms. The arrowhead is sharp, but a trailing purple ribbon and lush feather give it a feminine touch. The aim of the arrow is clear: a perfect crescent moon.
More bow and arrow tattoos for women on the next page…
46. Lovely in Lilies Black Female Archer
This bold tattoo design has serious Wakanda vibes. A powerful black female archer fixes her gaze on the viewer while drawing back an oversized bow. A pair of lush lilies at the bottom softens the martial implications of the piece.
47. Erotic Earth Mother Tattoo Concept
Fans of surrealism will appreciate how the drawing of a bow has been used to create a window. Inside the plain black lines of the bow is a vibrant Mother Earth. Her head is tossed back in pleasure with flowers pouring from her torso and water flowing over her tree root thighs.
48. Uninhibited Nude Female Centaur Archer
A female centaur with wild, flowing hair makes a bold statement about confidence. The lower half of her body is a realistic horse while the upper half is a toned female torso. Her pouted lips and narrow eyes warn watchers not to test her as she aims her mighty bow.
49. Ancient Bow and Peacock Feather
Expect the unexpected in modern tattoo art. That doesn’t always mean the finished product is abstract. But unexpected pairings are a great way to make viewers pause and consider the meaning of your ink. For example, why pair a beautifully scrolled ancient bow with a jewel-tone peacock feather?
50. All the Beauty Under the Moon
Though this elaborate fantasy tattoo is quite beautiful on its own, the staging with the moon gives us a clear context for interpreting the symbols within the design. They include recognizable fantasy favorites like stag horns, flowers, stars, a bow and arrow, and the crescent moon.
51. This Bow Is Coming Up Roses
This romantic bow and arrow rendering speaks to the symbols’ association with love. In place of aggressive metal and sharpened stone, we have a bow made of roses and golden string and an arrow made of feathery soft green pine needles, and a single pearl.
52. There Is Power in Beauty
Feminine and masculine energy are artfully combined in this bow and floral design. A metallic bow serves as the easel. Its drawn string and feathered arrow add greater dimension. Luscious pink flowers serve as a bright focal point against the monochromatic background.
53. An LGBTQ Warrior Forearm Tattoo
Many find the bow and arrow to be among humanity’s most elegant weapons. They require both skill and patience and rarely hurt anyone but the intended target. This ink enthusiast has embraced the noble power of the bow and arrow. With a rainbow splatter background, they enlist that power in their LGBTQ crusade.
54. Shoot Down the Moon for Me
The moon commonly appears alongside bows and arrows. One theory for this is that the shape of a drawn bow resembles the shape of a crescent moon. In this tattoo, the target of the pointed arrow is the moon, but flowers and ribbons suggest the attention is more worshipful than ill-meaning.
55. Rococo Extravagance Bejeweled Bow and Arrow
The rococo design was first popularized in the 18th century. A bow makes an unusual canvas for the style’s many elaborate scrolls. The sense of excess and luxury is heightened by prisms and pearls. A giant jewel glitters from the center of the arrow.
56. Warrior Beauty Portrait with Thigh Placement
Apart from the back, the thigh is one of the largest expanses of skin that we can dedicate to a tattoo. This stunning portrait was well worth the time and effort. A serene warrior’s beauty is framed by her bow. Etched glyphs and dangling feathers speak to a deeper spirituality.
57. Siga Em Frente Means Move On
Siga Em Frente has been the title of a couple of popular songs. In English, the meaning depends on the context. It can be a suggestion to move on from a failed relationship. Or it can be an encouragement to go forward with confidence, as the bow and arrow in this tattoo imply.
58. Abstract Sagittarius Constellation to Bow to Bouquet
This expansive Sagittarius chest tattoo contains a little bit of everything. At the top is the zodiac star placement for the namesake constellation. The stars fade into the tip of a bow and arrow – another popular symbol of the sign. Beyond the string of the bow, large petals unfold in a joyous bloom.
59. Skin of a Lady, Heart of Hunter
The bold message on this bow and arrow tattoo leaves no room for misinterpretation. The bow is illustrated in bold, biomorphic lines. The arrow’s sharp point is bound for its bearer’s heart. The words, “Skin of a Lady, Heart of a Hunter” set the triumphant tone.
60 of the Boldest and Best Bow and Arrow Tattoo Ideas with Deep Meanings
As evidenced by this gallery, the bow and arrow mean many things to many people. For some, a bow and arrow tattoo honors past military experience. For others, the bow and arrow speak to personal resilience and fortitude. Astrology lovers use the symbols to represent the Sagittarius zodiac sign. Still, others love the bow and arrow’s cherubic association with love. With the right design, these symbols can mean any and all of those things and so much more. If the bow and arrow speak to you, then find yourself a good artist and shoot for the stars.