60 Best Watercolor Tattoos – Meanings, Ideas and Designs

As any other domain in the art industry, tattoos also know periods where certain things are in fashion and certain things are not. While some types of tattoos will forever be popular choices, like skulls, snakes, birds or characters in a foreign language (Chinese, Japanese and Arabic being the most popular), there will always be some people who will want something different and special. Watercolor tattoos are a new choice that has proven very popular among some categories of people in recent times, due to reasons which we will detail below.

First things first, we have to state that watercolor tattoos are certainly not for everyone. These tattoos look vivid and lively, are full of color and most of them appear joyful and happy. People do seem to have a resilience to draw something permanent on their body with that much color, even if it’s just tiny wrist tattoos. There are some artists who do use the watercolor technique which don’t abuse colors, but colored pieces are the most popular ones. A common misconception is the fact that these tattoos are somehow created by tattoo artists differently than normal ones – they are not. Artists use the same watercolor technique, ingredients and tools.

The subjects depicted in the tattoos are also different from those one normally finds. If you browse the internet for watercolor tattoos, you will find a lot of them depicting nature scenes, animals, fantastic creatures, artistic drawings, astronomy and symbolism, there are even angel tattoos. These are all subject which are very well portrayed by vivid, strong colors and immediately catch the eye. The entire point behind these tattoos is that they are different, artsy and powerful. There would be no use in trying to use this watercolor technique to draw language symbols or quotes – it just doesn’t work. And it doesn’t have to.

One of the most common questions people ask about watercolor tattoos is how long will they last. Due to the colors used, they might seem like they disappear fairly quickly. Rest assured, they do not. A simple black tattoo will outlive them, but will only do so down the road – maybe 20, 25 or 30 years down the road. We’ve seen watercolor tattoos which are 5 to 10 years old and look great, with no need to a retouch. Speaking of retouches, they are not complicated to execute and behave exactly like normal retouches.

The main reason people seem to favor these tattoos is because they give the artist and the customer a new dimension to focus on : color. For usual tattoos, such as elephant tattoos, you usually produce effects through shading some parts and highlighting others. Color adds new depth to an art piece and can produce outstanding results. There are numerous tattoo blogs on the internet which show exactly what great works artists can create and execute on people’s bodies. Watercolor also work great on finger tattoos.

To sum up, watercolor tattoos are not that different from regular tattoos. They are designed to appeal to different groups of people, and the final works of art look different from what we’re used to seeing from tattoos. Nevertheless, the works of art created and tattooed are nothing short of spectacular and can really bring to life awe-inspiring creations. This type of tattoo can be just what you were looking for and never knew where to find it. Now you know how to create and epic design with an epic story, and live with it forever.

1. Cool rose tattoo on girl’s back

feminine body art

This cool rose flower is the best watercolor tattoo that anyone can have on their backs and it feature the watercolor technique. It looks like a rose for Beauty and the Beast so if you would like to get disney tattoos this could be a great idea. The tattoo makes use of various colors around the rose such as pink which give the tattoo an authentic look.

2. Sexy watercolor tattoo on lady’s back

Do watercolor tattoos hurt?

This simple yet sexy tattoo of simple art depiction is an ideal for anyone who wants something sexy on their backs. The tattoo depicts a stalk that is all black while it is surrounded by various shades of purple and pink around it.

3. Awesome bird tattoo on a guy’s upper arm

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This is the ultimate watercolor tattoo for anyone who wants an awesome tattoo on their upper arm. The tattoo depicts a bird which is flying with its wings spread open. The use of watercolors has been applied on the bird’s wings which various shades of blue have been applied. Hummingbird tattoos are a great alternative if you are looking for a different style.

4. Cool watercolor tattoo on a guy’s lower arm

watercolor ink

This forearm tattoo is best suited for individuals with an interest in dancing. The tattoo is of a female ballet dancer. The dancer appears to be dancing happily. The dancer’s background has a blue color.

5. Sexy Music notes tattoos on girl’s wrist

watercolor paintings

This is a best friend tattoo which is simple yet sexy and feature the watercolor technique. The tattoo is of a simple music notes tattoo on a lady’s wrist complete with music bars. The use of watercolors have been used to color part of the music bars. The music not drawn is a G-clef. This could also be a great friendship tattoo for music lovers.

6. Awesome watercolor tattoo of a bird on a guy’s arm

makes watercolor tattoos

This watercolor tattoo detailed with the use of different shades of colors to show different aspects of the tattoo. The tattoo is of a colorful bird that has perched on a branch. Below the bird are two stars drawn with no color or details attached to them.

7. Awesome skull tattoo on a lady’s back

tattoo shop

This is an awesome tattoo and body art that best suits an individual who wants something with a bit of some darkness to it, tattooed on their back. The tattoo is of a skull with a rose flower attached on the skull’s side. The rose flower is splash or red color while the leaves underneath it are green in color.

8. Sexy flower tattoo on a girl’s back

watercolor tattooing

This sexy watercolor flower tattoo depicts a simple flower on the back of girl. The flower has simple pinkish petals while its stalks are a splash of grey.

9. Watercolor tattoo of a paw on a girl’s shoulder


This is one of an animal’s paw tattooed on girls shoulder and features the watercolor technique. The paw has taken the various colors and seem to resemble all rainbow color on the animal’s footprint.

10. Awesome rose tattoo on a girls back

darker skin tones

This is the ultimate tattoo idea and body art for individuals who want something sexy on their back. The tattoo depicts a red rose flower that is attached to a green stalk. A splash of a mixture of pink and blue colors seem to be surrounding the rose flower. This is one of the best tattoos for girls.

11. Cool watercolor tattoo on guy’s arm

solid black outlines

This is one of the best watercolor tattoos that any guy would want to have drawn on their arms. The tattoo depicts a girl holding an umbrella with rain falling all around the girl. The color that has been mostly used is a light shade of blue while a bit of some green has also been used.

12. Colorful paper bird tattoo on guys arm

most tattoo artists

This is the perfect design for anyone who wants something unique on their arms. This tattoo and body art depicts two paper birds splashed with various watercolors flying towards in the same direction.

13. Colorful snail watercolor tattoo

vivid tattoo

This is the ultimate design that any lady who wants something unique on their backs should adopt. This tattoo and body art depicts a very colorful snail that appears to be holding a bluish umbrella. There appears to be insects and some leaves that appear to flying about the snail. Various colors have been employed to give the tattoo a very colorful look.

14. Awesome watercolor tattoo on guy’s wrist


This is probably one of the best watercolor tattoos that is best suited for an individual who wants something that speaks the language of love on their arms. This tattoo depicts the word “love” written in such a way that the letter ‘L’ and ‘O’ are placed above letter ‘V’ and ‘E’. Each of these letters has their own unique watercolor. A black key has been drawn between these two sets of letters.

15. Cool watercolor tattoos, chest tattoos on girl’s chest


This is most suitable for anyone who wants something that appreciates their love for lots of colors. The tattoo makes it seem like a tattoo artist was trying out several colors on a test canvas. Various colors have been used in this case.

16. Fox tattoo on girl’s back


This does not use a host of watercolors, but instead concentrates on three colors only. The tattoo and body art is of a fox which appears to be splashed in an orange color. A few parts of the fox have a hint of black and blue to give the fox an exquisite watercolor look.

17. Awesome watercolor tattoo on girls back


This is one of the best ideas that one can adopt to place on their backs. The tattoo and body art is a flower whose pollen seeds are being blown away by the wind. Watercolors are employed here by the use of a mixture of light blue and pink to show the winds action and direction.

18. Circular watercolor tattoo on guy’s arm


This is one of the simplest arm tattoo ideas that one can decide to use on their arms. The tattoo is a simple circle drawn close to the upper arm that can easily be concealed using a long sleeved shirt. The tattoo has employed the used of various colors overlapping each other to show how when they mix different colors are created.

19. Cute watercolor tattoo on a lady’s shoulder


This is probably one of those watercolor tattoos ideas that would best be placed on a shoulder. The tattoo makes use various water colors to give it an authentic look. The tattoo depicts some colors that appear to circling around the shoulder.

20. Awesome tattoo of the world map on a guy’s feet


Of all watercolor tattoos ideas that one could possibly get, this is probably the most creative one. The tattoo employs the use of watercolors to show the map on the world in such a way that the nap starts on one foot and extends to other foot. By placing both feet together, one can view the whole map of the world.

21. Dandelion in the Wind


The simplicity of the dandelion is completed by vivid cold and warm shades. The messages add personality and help the owner of the tattoo remember the purpose of the body art. Though there are various shades, they blend very smoothly across the design.

22. Beauty of Rainbow Lotus


The lotus flower is a hit between tattoos ideas as it is one of the most meaningful symbols. Whether it has to do with purity, religion, enlightenment or any other relevant interpretation, the lotus will always be stunning and the design emphasizes this nicely. A black and white tattoo version also works great!

23. Compass and Anchor of Time


This is anidea that appeals most to individuals who have had a rocky path in life and who tried to find their way. The compass and anchor symbols can have very deep meanings on a personal level. Still, the watercolors soften the effect as the shades significantly beautify it.

24. Watercolor Fantasy


If you want something truly daring, this might be the choice for you. It is very colorful, striking and will never fail to impress. All of its features make it truly unforgettable to anyone who sees it. The shades combine and form a happy mix.

25. We Are Falling Leaves


Falling autumn leaves can have dual significance. They can either refer to the endless cycle of life and regeneration or to the frailty of life. Irrespective of the meaning that it has for you, the autumn shades of the watercolor tattoos idea will look great on your skin.

26. Black Paint


The tattoos ideas included here go with quite pale shades that fade away in the background due to the intensity of the black lines. However, they manage to improve the design not only by adding a bit of color, but also by giving it a more gentle touch and softening the effect.

27. Feathers


The intense black design overshadows the blue feathers, yet the extra effects prevents them from fading away in the background. The shades of blue and yellow are mesmerizing and turn the leg into a canvas. The whole tattoo looks like a watercolor painting created by a skillful tattoo artist.

28. The Heart Tattoo as it Really Is Watercolor Painting


We are accustomed to see the heart as the simple and eternal symbol of love. However, this shows it as it really looks like. For this idea can be regarded to be an unconventional and creative approach.

29. Foxy Foxy


This bright watercolor tattoos idea brings along a new concept. As the body of the fox fades away, it transforms into watercolor marks. The tattoo is an aesthetic experience on its own. It is specially created for bold individuals who like to stand out.

30. Contrasting Colors


This is one of those watercolor tattoos that you always remember mostly because it is intriguing and unusual. The colors contrast nicely with each other and contribute to a visual harmony that doesn’t fail to impress. If you want a tattoo like no other, this watercolor tattoo is for you.

31. Cat Eyes


Most people are quite obsessed with cats nowadays. This manly design presents the feline in a different light. It is a less cuter approach than the ones we are usually accustomed with. The eyes are heavily emphasized due to the green, blue and amber shades, while rest of the cat’s head sticks with plain black.

32. Motivational Heart


It features an empowering motto, meant to help the individual move on and keep fighting for his or her dreams. The heart is very complex. The G-clef accompanies the rest of the tattoo. This is a personal work of art with valuable meaning for the owner.

33. Butterflies and Skulls


Most girls get a simple butterfly tattoo if they want one of the cute tattoos. But there is nothing simple, nor conventional about this butterfly. It is daring and surprising like no other. It fits the requirements of independent women who don’t like girly stuffs. It is obvious that it is one of the unique tattoo ideas that you can get.

34. Rise Like a Phoenix


This watercolor tattoo symbolizes rebirth. Unlike most others of its kind that only use black and read, this one uses a variety of shades to express the idea. It is an interesting and intriguing approach worth taking into account.

35. Rainbow in a Rose


The tattoo displays beautifully the elegance of shades. Though the rose design is a popular one, the watercolors give it a new twist and manage to make it a visual masterpiece not only for the fans of the flower but for anyone else as well.

36. Shapes and Shades


Watercolor tattoos are rarely dull. This one is no exception as it is not too far-fetched to say that it is a small work of art. The design is created through the black shapes and gently using various shades, which brings an interesting perspective. Ankle tattoos also work well with this design.

37. Celebration of Color


This is one of those watercolor tattoo ideas that focuses on art rather than on meaning. It is full of rich light and dark colors that blend with one another. It is a good choice for individuals with a sense of style who are fascinated by fashion trends.

38. Dark Pink Rose


The rose has always been associated with femininity as one of the traditional tattoos. This particular watercolor tattoo design that overlooks a bit the well-known elegance of the rose and focuses on creating daring contrasts and a sharper look. It is perfect for a strong woman who knows what she wants from life.

39. Koi Symbolism


Koi fish has been one of the most famous themes due to its plethora of meaningful interpretations. In these koi fish tattoos creation, the graceful curves combine with intense shades to create true body art. Whether there is a story behind your choice or you just enjoy Japanese art, this is a wise pick.

40. Shady Skull


These kinds of watercolor tattoo ideas bring a bit of color to the skull theme, which is usually only designed using black. The blue shade is the center of attention here, due to its remarkable intensity. The warmer reddish, yellowish and purple shades frame the design smoothly.

41. Tetrahedron Watercolor Tattoos on two arms


Two geometric watercolor tattoos featuring a tetrahedron with watercolor backgrounds. One background is only in blue and the other background is blue and red. The mix of the watercolor tattoo with unrelated black edges give these tattoos a wonderful effect of the mix of opposites.

42. A Fish Watercolor tattoo on the left Side of a Woman’s Back


This is a very multi colored fish tattoo in watercolor style. The fish starts out looking like a goldfish, but then different colors blend in from red to blue to orange. The multiple colors used in this tattoo make it a very beautiful and unique addition to this woman’s body.

43. A Writing on a Paper Watercolor Tattoo on a woman’s Side


A very ingenious watercolor tattoo design, this tattoo creates a very wonderful effect on the body. The three lines of color slowly dripping down make it a very realistic looking tattoo. There are also many other stains on the paper which make it look even more real.

44. Question and Exclamation Mark Watercolor Tattoo


This Tattoo combines two different tattoos ideas. The first is the black colored outline of the question and exclamation marks. The second is the watercolor style tattoo with the three different colors. Together, these two different tattoo styles create a unique style of tattoo art and expression.

45. A pussycat head and Kite Watercolor Tattoo on a Leg


This tattoo incorporates a unique watercolor tattoos idea. It uses contrast of colors to create the edges of the cat’s head and also uses a straight black line for the kite’s thread-line. This results in an art-form that is not just a watercolor tattoo style but pure fine art.

46. A heart shaped Watercolor matching couple tattoo


Two very cool tattoos that together make up a whole because they are opposites of each other. This watercolor tattoo design is a perfect choice for couples who need something extra-ordinary to signify their love in very vibrant colors. This matching tattoo concept is a very nice one.

47. A small Bird on a Flower Watercolor Tattoo


If you are bored with the traditional tattoos, this small tattoo depicts a bird picking nectar from a hibiscus flower. It is done in a very excellent watercolor style and the choice of colors for this tattoo is also very good. Using very professional strokes, the tattoo artist created the illusion of actual flight by the bird.

48. Full flowered Legs Watercolor Tattoo


One of the greatest watercolor tattoo ideas, this tattoo is so elegant, beautiful and unbelievable. With a design that makes the legs appear better than porcelain, this tattoo wearer will not be needing stockings anymore, because the art on her legs is superior. The tattoo artist really thought outside the box.

49. An abstract Watercolor Tattoo on the arm


This watercolor tattoo is a very abstract tattoo and although quite artistic in nature, the meaning is a bit difficult to decipher. It goes from a thick red color, then changes from orange to yellow, green and then blue to purple, all the while getting fainter and fainter.

50. A beautiful Compass Watercolor Tattoo on the Shoulder

traditional tattoos

This is a very beautiful tattoo, carefully designed and tattooed. The red and blue background colors are so well done and the introduction of the compass without much black outline makes everything fit in so well, creating a perfect piece of artistic beauty on this woman’s body.

51. An Abstract multi-colored Watercolor Tattoo on a Leg


This is a very striking, unique and inspiring Tattoo. The mix of colors from purple, orange to blue and green create a unique blend of colors that added to the weird basic shape of the tattoo creates a piece of work that can be looked at for hours.

52. A very brightly colored Watercolor Tattoo on a Foot


This artistic expression of brightly colored flowers is probably the best watercolor tattoos idea to grace a woman’s foot. Though black is used in the foot tattoo, its role is so different from the traditional use of black in tattooing. Also, the choice of colors is so perfect and fits together.

53. An Ow Watercolor Tattoo on a Leg


On a leg is a watercolor tattoo done in a very artistic manner. The combination and use of color in this tattoo is very professional and inspired. Especially the use of black is the most impressive, added to the deep purple, and faint yellow, this is truly a masterpiece.

54. Great Star Tattoo Idea: A Cosmic Night Watercolor Tattoo on a woman’s Arm


This tattoo is the expression of a cosmic night, well designed on the woman’s arm. The colors are very well put together to perfectly reflect the natural skies. With stars shown shining and distant galaxies faintly glowing, this tattoo is perfect for any person with interest in astronomy.

55. Cat and Dog Watercolor Tattoo on a Leg


This very modern expression is a unique form of watercolor tattoo design. The cat and the dog are properly traced out in thick black lines while the rest of the tattoo, the background is a mix of bright colors in a trendy explosion. This tattoo paints a very happy picture.

56. A Compass and Anchor Tattoo on a Hand


This love tattoo is one of the most perfectly expressed tattoos ideas. The compass and anchor hint at a love for the seas. Maybe he’s a sailor, maybe not, but the combination of color for the compass which is warm compared to the cool colors of the anchor make this impressive.

57. Lovely Flower Watercolor Tattoo


This watercolor flower tattoo is one of the most beautiful uses of watercolor tattoo art. The gentle fade outs and the occasional color intensity of the base color with a very sparse use of a second color speak of the mastery of this tattoo artist, a genius.

58. A Photo Camera Watercolor Tattoo on an Arm


This Tattoo showcases a special tattoo art-form. Though the upper part has straight lines defining the contours of the camera in a rigid way, at the lower part of the hand tattoo, the colors mix together and appear to flow down the hand, made fluid from water.

59. Extraordinary Design Watercolor Tattoo on an Arm


The watercolor tattoo on this arm has a background reminiscent of Japanese artwork. The shock then comes with the introduction of the light-bulb which seems to have an origami boat floating on a blue sea inside, but the top of the light-bulb again seems to depict a thunderstorm, crazy stuff.

60. A vibrantly Colored Watercolor Tattoo on an Arm


This watercolor tattoo on the arm is set in vibrant happy colors. Although an abstract expression, it still does give the impression of a slow natural dynamic, like flowing colored water or colors floating in the air. On the other hand, it may have a definite meaning for the wearer.

About the Author

Based in Miami, FL and I’m a tattoo artist. I work hard and learn new techniques every day to improve my tattooing skills.On my website, you will find an amazing tattoo collection which I use myself too for inspiration and help my clients to find the perfect piece of masterwork.