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Angel Tattoos

On the long list of tattoo subjects inspired by religion, angels have found their place as one of the more popular choices. From religious to ironic, from cute to scary, angels found their way on to our skin.

Depending on your personal tastes, there are numerous tattoo designs that can incorporate the angel motif. Whether you are specifically looking at angel tattoos for men, or broadly searching images for inspiration, there are a number of creative choices that can be made.

DISCLAIMER: First off, we don’t buy in to the idea that some designs are for men, while other are for women. However, we do understand people consider certain designs to be more ‘masculine’, wile other are more ‘feminine’, and yes, there are certain distinctive differences between them, and yes, men tend to choose certain designs over other, and vice-versa. Still, we encourage you to get the tattoo you like and are ready to look at for the rest of your life, regardless of your gender.

Masculine Angel Tattoo Designs

angel tattoo on chest - Fine Line style by Катя
Tattoo by Катя

Many may consider angels as a delicate character infrequently associated with male tattoos, however this couldn’t be further from the truth. You’ll often find strong black and white depictions designed specifically for men.

Replicating a statuesque look in a realism style, they can be made as impressive standalone pieces, half sleeves, or as a compliment to surrounding tattoos. The most common depiction involves the Holy Guardian Angel, originating from the Catholic branch of Christianity. Representing a protective force sent from God, it has become the most notorious symbol of religious guardianship.

The Fallen Angel has complex meaning in religious lore, but is still an iconic character throughout the tattooing community. Described throughout religious history as angels cast from heaven due to sin, they are a diametric take on the idea of the traditional angel. Representing temptation or rebellion, they adopt a darker meaning in artwork. These tattoos can have a more brooding atmosphere and design, more often associated with masculine pieces.

Feminine Angel Tattoo Designs

angel    tattoo on Forearm (full) - Black and Grey style by Pascal Kurz
Tattoo by Pascal Kurz

Not as a rule, but usually seen with a softer approach, the portrayal of angels in women’s tattoos can incorporate a different tone and style. The use of color is more often associated with feminine designs, with light blues being common among the wings or clothes of the angel. Similar to men’s designs, feminine tattoos are usually depicting the holy guardian angel as a symbol of protection.

The most common tattoo among women is that of solely the angel’s wings. These are used regularly by tattoo artist s, taking on a similar meaning to the traditional design. With designs as complex as sprawling back pieces, they can also be smaller tattoos complimenting different areas of the body. Although usually in black and white, they can also be pieces with color highlights throughout the feathers of the wings.

angel    tattoo on Arm (upper) - Black and Grey style by Berkan Ünlü
Tattoo by Berkan Ünlü

Angel Tattoos Placements

The strength of a popular tattoo theme is the flexibility for the artist. With numerous references to other designs, they are able to accommodate the specific requests of their client. The angel motif can be easily incorporated into almost any part of the body, as a standalone design or a part of a bigger tattoo.

Angel tattoos on forearm are often seen as a variation with solely the wings. Because the wings are a simplistic design, they can be fit to almost any part of the body. The wings can be fit to the neck, wrist, lower back, or even behind the ear. These small angel tattoos can be a great way to include the symbolism and meaning for someone who isn’t looking for an overwhelming design.

Full illustrations of an angel will require a more forgiving area of the body. This will usually involve a large flat area of the body to ensure an accurate and readable tattoo. The outer area of the bicep, chest, thigh, or back are all great areas for a clear design. Finding pictures of similar tattoos can be helpful for the artist, both as a reference to the size as well as how it should contour to the area of the body.

Understanding the correct steps when getting tattoo shouldn’t be overlooked. Having a clear idea for the direction of your tattoo and then being able to work in cohesion with your artist is imperative in the process.

The angel tattoos meaning, what artistic style (realistic as opposed to new age), location and size should all be considered to ensure you’re getting the right piece for your body. Always consult with your artist about their strengths and suggestions. They will have a wealth of knowledge and expertise to ensure you are both satisfied with the end result.

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