Reviewed & updated: November 29, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA
If you are looking for tiger tattoo designs done in traditional style and ladened with symbolism, then this list of traditional tiger tattoos is for you.
Traditional tattoos have been enjoying quite a popularity in the tattoo circuit lately.
Owing to their heavy bold lines and striking use of colours, traditional tattoos have been a favourite among most tattoo enthusiasts. The tiger is a popular choice for traditional tattoos.
The tiger has various meanings and symbolism across many cultures worldwide. It is the national animal of India while the Chinese god of wealth and good luck, Tsai Shen Yeh is usually seen riding a tiger. In Japan, the tiger and the dragon are seen as forces that can control the rain and wind. Considered as one of the four sacred animals, the Japanese tiger stands for the season of autumn, is a symbol for North, and is also said to possess the ability to manoeuvre the wind. If you are looking to get a tiger tattoo in traditional style, then this specially curated list of traditional tiger tattoos is a must-read for you.
Japanese Traditional Tiger Tattoo
Of all the schools of traditional tattoo designs, the Japanese form of traditional tattoos remains one of the most popular styles within the tattoo community. One of the most important aspects of Japanese traditional tattoo ideas is that each and every imagery used in these tattoos have a definite meaning and purpose. The traditional Japanese tiger tattoo embodies all the characteristics attributed to the real animal in general – raw power, independence, strength, courage, and innocence. However, the Japanese traditional tiger also stands for longevity and long life. In Japanese culture, the traditional tiger imagery is also used to ward off negative energy, bad luck, diseases, and to keep evil spirits at bay. Go for this Japanese white tiger tattoo design if you wish to pay homage to your Japanese roots.
Traditional Tiger Head Tattoo
The imagery of people adorning animal headdresses can be traced back to ancient warriors helming from the early traditions of the Nordics, Aztecs, Native Indians, Africans as well as those found in Ancient Rome. In such tattoos, such as this traditional tiger head tattoo, the cowl is often adorned by the female warriors. This stunning traditional tiger head tattoo uses shades of brown and black to bring to life the portrait of an ancient female warrior wearing a headdress made from tiger skin. Get this traditional tiger tattoo if you want your body art to portray the unleashing of the animal instinct within you.
Snake And Traditional Tiger Tattoo
The tiger and a snake are some of the most dangerous animals found in the jungle. Both the snake and tiger tattoos are a symbol of male sensuality and sexuality as well as the passion and virility of a person. A tiger tattoo can also be a symbol of personal strength, protection, and courage, while the snake is a symbol of power, desire, and temptation. Due to this conflicting nature of the above two subjects, these snake and tiger tattoos can be a representation of leaving behind toxicity and virulent traits and habits you might have.
American Traditional Tiger Tattoo
Another popular school of traditional tattoos, the American traditional tattoo design implements the technique of bold border lines using solid black colour and a limited colour palette that only uses green, red, blue, and yellow. The American traditional tiger tattoo is a bold choice if you are looking for tattoos that are symbols of raw strength and power. The giant wild cat is generally respected and feared for its courage, hunting skills, wild nature as well as sheer strength. Staying true to its traditional American roots, this traditional tiger tattoo design also consists of bold border lines, a limited colour palette and shows the big cat in a compelling scary manner with sharp protruding claws and bare gleaming teeth. Opt for this traditional tiger tattoo if your aim is to pay homage to your native American roots through your body art.
Skull And Traditional Tiger Tattoo
Tiger tattoos represent power, protection, and a sense of superiority. On the other hand, the human skull is a symbol of death and the inevitability that awaits each and every human being. However, this particular traditional tiger tattoo, with a skull in its mouth, symbolises that not all humans are scared of death. The use of vibrant hues and strikingly bold lines used in this tiger tattoo, in accordance with other traditional tattoos, makes it an absolute eye-catcher.
Traditional Tiger Tattoo On Chest
While those getting inked for the first time or are on a shoestring budget opt for minimal tattoo ideas that are small in size with less complex designs, the seasonal tattoo enthusiasts go for tattoo sleeves or a tattoo design that is not only large and complex but also boasts of a wide range of colours and intricate detailing. This traditional tiger tattoo design may be a dream project for most tattoo enthusiasts out there with its huge size, a lot of delicate detailing, and patterns centring around a giant Royal Bengal tiger and a wild viper. The sheer size and compelling expression on the savage beast as it takes on the poisonous viper is enough to instil fear on the faint-hearted. However, settle for this big traditional tiger tattoo piece only if you are comfortable with the size and appearance as this will require a lot of time, money, and passion to be executed perfectly by an experienced and professional tattoo artist.
Traditional Tiger Tattoo Arm Sleeve
Tiger tattoos often symbolise sheer power and represent strength. While the first-timers are on the lookout for minimal tattoos, the seasonal tattoo enthusiast opts for tattoo sleeves. A tiger tattoo sleeve is a very cool choice of getting inked as a sleeve tattoo gives a much larger canvas to draw the black striped wild beast. With much larger skin space to work on, tattoo artists can use their expertise to make the giant tiger look scary and formidable which is in line with traditional tiger tattoos. However, we would advise only seasonal tattoo enthusiasts to go for these traditional tiger tattoo sleeves as it can be a bit too overwhelming for those getting inked for the very first time.
Black And Grey Traditional Tiger Tattoo
While most of the traditional tiger tattoo designs on this list make use of a colour palette consisting of rich and vibrant hues, this particular tiger tattoo relies on the classic tattoo inks of black, white, and grey. These colours once formed the only colour palette used in the tattoo industry but with the advent of new technology, a whole wide range of hues was introduced that consisted of even neon ones. However, black and white continued to be classical tattoo ink preferred by conservative tattoo enthusiasts and the popularity of grayscale and black and white tattoos never waned. This particular white tiger tattoo design bears testimony to that with its subtle use of black and white ink as well as extensive shading technique to make the horrifying wild beast look alive. Go for this white tiger with black stripes if you prefer the conservative tradition of tattooing over the new and popular ones that use a wider range of hues.
Flower And Traditional Tiger Tattoo
Owing to their simplistic two-dimensional designs, overfilled use of the colour palette and the usual use of bold black coloured outlines found in most traditional tattoos, the American traditional flower tattoos are in much demand within the tattoo community. Each traditional flower design has some specific symbolism and characteristic attached to it. This particular traditional tiger body art features a tiger head coupled with a flower drawn in traditional design. While most traditional tiger tattoos feature the wild beast in a scary manner much akin to this tiger tattoo, the presence of a flower adds a feminine flair to the picture that somewhat softens the scary and bold appearance of the overall tiger tattoo.
Traditional Tiger And Panther Tattoo
Often considered as the most powerful and supreme among all the jungle cats, the tiger and panther tattoos usually comprise of both the beasts in conflict with each other. This traditional tiger tattoo design, coupled with a panther tattoo, employs the same technique by drawing both the cats in a traditional style. With each of the cats inked on either leg, this tattoo can symbolise an internal battle that a person often goes through in life.
Going by the current trends, traditional tiger tattoos will remain a popular tattoo choice among tattoo enthusiasts. As always, opt for an experienced and professional tattoo artist to save yourself from future skin issues. Happy inking!
Feature image from Pinterest
What does a traditional tiger tattoo mean?
A traditional tiger tattoo is often seen as a symbol of strength, courage, and protection. It can also represent power, royalty, respect, and good luck. In some cultures and religions a tiger tattoo is symbolic of fertility or the cycle of life. The color and design of a traditional tiger tattoo may have different meanings depending on the context it is being used in. For example, a black tiger usually symbolizes good fortune while a white tiger can represent determination and courage. A fully colored tiger tattoo may also be seen as representing the four elements of nature: earth, water, fire, and air. No matter what its meaning is to you, a traditional tiger tattoo will always be an eye-catching addition to any body art collection.
What are the different elements of a traditional tiger tattoo?
The design of a traditional tiger tattoo often includes a large and powerful tiger with a striking background, whether it is an intricate pattern or a beautiful landscape. Other elements may include plants, leaves, trees, Chinese symbols such as Yin-Yang, dragons and clouds. In some cultures the tiger is accompanied by the sun and moon to represent balance and harmony. Flowers, such as lilies and lotus, can also be used in a traditional tiger tattoo to represent purity and rebirth. Additionally, some tattoos may feature the Chinese characters for “longevity” or “good luck” to add an extra layer of symbolism. The colors chosen for a traditional tiger tattoo often have specific meanings, but it is ultimately up to the individual to decide what their design conveys.
How much will my traditional tiger tattoo cost?
The cost of a traditional tiger tattoo will depend on the size, complexity and design of the piece. A smaller simple tattoo may cost around $50 while a larger or more complex one can be up to $400 or even more. It is best to consult with a professional artist to get an accurate quote. Additionally, make sure that your tattoo artist is experienced and licensed. This will ensure that your tattoo is done correctly and looks its best.
How long will it take to get my traditional tiger tattoo?
The time it takes to complete your traditional tiger tattoo will depend on the size, complexity and design. Generally, smaller and simpler designs can be completed in one session while larger or more intricate ones may take multiple sessions. On average, a traditional tiger tattoo could take up to 3-5 hours to finish depending on the individual’s pain tolerance and the artist’s skill.