Elephant tattoos are of great popularity in the Asian and African countries, where people interact with the elephants for centuries. In today’s world, especially in Europe, it has been formed a misconception about the elephants as unwieldy, heavy and infirm animals.
The 150 Best Elephant Tattoos for Your Next Inking Session
Have you ever seen elephant tattoos on people?
Those full-sized, over the entire back or arm type of elephant tattoos? Those tattoos look absolutely smashing and incredible! When these 100+ elephant tattoo ideas were compiled, we came across so many different forms of these tattoos. Take a look at the compilation below and see for yourself!
1. The Hindu Religion Symbol
Elephant tattoos are easily associated with Hinduism because of Ganesh, a religious deity in that religion. You would have seen something like this before even if you didn’t know the name.
2. Perfectly Inked Elephant Tattoo on the Back
This tattoo is one of the most common designs to be inked, even if said person is not religious. It’s kind of easy to see why – it’s an amazing tattoo to show off!
3. In the Wildlife Context
Even outside religious views, these elephants can still make a graceful tattoo appearance. This is especially true when colors like this are involved.
4. Topped with Gems
Perhaps the point of this elephant tattoo is to say that elephants are also the kings of the jungle. They are after all, the biggest mammal that walks the forest.
5. Life-like Elephant Back Tattoo
Elephants are depicted as wise, gentle beast that does not seek to harm anyone. They are peaceful and remembers everyone well.
6. Small Elephant Tattoo on Finger
Make the biggest forest animal on Earth seem small just by inking it onto your finger! On a scale of 1 – 10, how will you rate this small elephant tattoo?
7. A Complex Elephant Tattoo
Just how much work has gone into designing this back tattoo piece? The elephant is made up of many types of creatures and animals. Perhaps it is trying to say that we can all make up something bigger together.
8. Gentle Like Flowers
When elephants are portrayed with flowers, they start to appear a lot more gentler in nature. Elephants are not all just violent and scary!
9. The Elephant with the Butterfly Ears
This is one creative way to merge two animals into a single tattoo piece. The ears’ size is still the same for a normal elephant, but the motifs in the tattoo are from a butterfly’s wings!
10. A Gentle Beast in Gorgeous Scenery
Elephant tattoos for women can be a little more gentle, just like this one. There is plenty of wildlife in the background and there are feminine motifs – the blossoming trees and butterflies are a nice touch!
11. Elephant Tattoo with Gold Ornaments
They even inserted the reflecting shine into the tusks of this elephant! It matches well with the golden designs behind the elephant.
12. Elephant Tattoo on Top of Back
These tattoos do not need to cover the entire back to look amazing or elegant. This one covers only the top area of the back and it still looks amazing!
13. Elephant Tattoo on the Arm & Chest
Do we need to explain what is going on here? The elephant’s head is tattooed over an arm, its ears reaching the chest areas as well. Fantastic!
14. Pictured with Monkeys
When we think about wildlife and nature, monkeys and primates can also be easily pictured. That’s why it is also appropriate to tattoo monkeys together with elephants!
15. A Well Decorated Elephant
What’s not to love about this elephant tattoo idea? The design within this elephant is so clear and intricate!
16. The Elephant on the Arm
To some extent, the image of an elephant can be equated to the meaning of a turtle tattoo. You can think of both animals as old and wise!
17. The Religious Undertone of Elephant Tattoos
Folklore spreads fast – religion spreads faster. This tattoo is yet another way or portraying the popular religion icon.
17. Ganesha’s Strengths & Power
In this elephant tattoo piece, God is seen holding several items, a symbol of its strengths and powers.
18. Some Coloring In
This is the first tattoo in this list that actually has some colors in it, and it looks good!
19. Dotwork Elephant Tattoo
This arm elephant tattoo is absolutely stunning. The dotwork involved must have taken hours, but the results are worth it all!
20. Just the Elephant’s Head
Not too keen on tattooing an entire elephant anywhere on your body? How about just the head area like in this simple arm tattoo piece?
21. All Glossed Up!
Tattoos look good, especially when these tattoos have just been completed and glossed up like this!
22. Intricate Dotwork for Elephant Tattoo on Arm
This is by no means a small elephant tattoo, but the tattoo artist managed to create an intricate dotwork art for it just the same. Awesome!
23. Medium-Sized Elephant Tattoo on Back of Hand
This is another partial tattoo that you can have on your hand. It has only the elephant’s head and one of its hands locked in its symbolic gesture.
24. Big Arm, Big Elephant
For some people, it seems like the elephant tattoo is symbolic of their own size! They may appear huge and muscular, which matches well with the tattoos.
25. Geometric Elephant Tattoo Design
Not all tattoos of elephants need to be the same! This one, as an example, shows the elephant with a geometric design.
26. Half Faded Elephant
Some wildlife animals are slowly going extinct. This elephant tattoo can serve as a subtle reminder of Mother Nature slowly wasting away.
27. Some Watercolor Elephant Tattoo
If we look at the picture of the elephant from the view of people living side by side with them, they appear to be like complete opposite creatures. Elephants are so much gentler in nature, just like these watercolor splashes. Will you consider this watercolour elephant tatoo?
28. Elephant Tattoo on the Back
As the famous Hindu legend says, once the elephants flown like birds, but then were cursed by an old hermit and lost their miraculous gift.
29. Small Elephant Tattoo for Women
Instead of a family portrait, this lady chose to paint her family with this lovely baby elephant family tattoo! It’s simply adorable, don’t you think?
30. A Full Back Spread Tattoo
The elephant is a symbol of loyalty. If anything, this tattoo sure did show a sign of dedication and loyalty!
31. Clean & Minimalist Elephant Tattoo
Elephants usually portray strength, but it is not easily seen in a tattoo like this one. It seems quite the opposite!
32. Like a Coloring Book
The clear outlines of this tattoo remind its onlookers of a coloring book. However, elephants are also always portrayed as a symbol of wisdom – not as fun as this tattoo may seem!
33. One with the Trees
Elephants just seem to have a look like they have been walking the earth forever. As such, elephant tattoos are also linked with longevity.
34. The Tattoo of Gods
Elephant tattoos also symbolize peace due to its religious association. When tattooed along with that of Buddha, there’s no more doubt – this tattoo is quite a religious one!
35. Small Elephant Tattoo on Foot
36. Amidst the Stars
This elephant tattoo is placed between other tattoos with star motifs. Such tattoos are usual both for men and women.
37. Half An Elephant
The pictures of elephants are depicted in different styles. Usually, if the tattoo is a little more realistic, you can see all the little crevices in the elephant’s skin.
38. Walking Among the Greens
This family of elephants are slowly walking through the green lands, making this tattoo piece look like something straight out of nature.
39. A Glimpse of Sunset
When it comes to elephant tattoos or any other forms of tattoos, there are no fixed sizes. They are designed to decorate different parts of a person’s body, that’s why they can be of large and small size. This one has both a big and small elephant tattoo in it!
40. A Little Family
The little elephant tattoo here is smaller because it is portrayed as the youngest child elephant of the family. Isn’t that adorable?
41. Small Elephant Tattoo Idea
If this person is wearing long pants, you won’t even be able to see this small elephant tattoo! This spot just above the ankle is also popular for inking purposes.
42. Decorated with Accessories
You can find elephant tattoos with subtle differences, such as size, shading, as well as of different colors. This one is simple and has only some brown shadings.
43. Like a Sketch
Tattoos do not need to be extremely detailed every time. They can also be just like this, with a simple sketched look, accompanied by vibrant colors!
44. Cover-up Tattoo with an Elephant
Have an old tattoo that you don’t want anymore? A Tattoo as big as an elephant can surely cover up the traces of your old one, as long as you have the right skilled tattoo artist to help you do it!
Meaning of Elephant Tattoos in Different Cultures
So you probably have seen some of the cultural significance of elephant tattoos from the above examples. The common associations are always with wisdom and strength, but different cultures may perceive it with a stronger trait as well.
Here are some examples:
- In many African countries, the elephant is considered to be the strongest animal and correspondingly the most revered one.
- In India and China, elephants symbolize the supreme power. The Buddhist religion ascribes to the animal such properties as stability and spiritual knowledge.
- In the Middle Ages, Europeans believed the elephant was also a symbol of chastity and love as she-elephants abstain from sexual intercourse during the pregnancy.
- In the Roman Empire, the elephant was considered a sign of victory and wisdom, and later, after the collapse of the Empire, the elephant has become a symbol of victory over evil in Christianity.
- In many Buddhist countries, the white elephant symbolizes happiness and spirituality; it is believed that it brings longevity and fertility.
But the most revered the elephant still remains in India. Here, the god Ganesha has an elephant’s head. He is a patron of literature, wisdom and earthly happiness. He is also a symbol of taming the passions because he holds the trunk in his hand.
45. Cute Elephant Tattoo
The elephant is a symbol of peace and friendship, longevity and wisdom, devotion and inner strength. This tiny little friend here sure does look friendly!
46. Full Colored Tattoo
In general, the elephant is good and positive, but at the same time it can be perceived as a very serious symbol. This full-color elephant tattoo on the arm is one example out of many other similar ones!
47. Like A Warrior
Look at this elephant tattoo! It is protected with many armor pieces that it does not just look like an elephant for battles.
48. Simple Elephant Tattoo
Often, mythology and legends associate elephants with gods and call it a sacred animal. This tattoo does give off the vibe, doesn’t it?
49. Emerging from Sunflowers
Elephants are perceived in different ways by different nations. Some of us may perceive elephants as gentle, lovely and would not ever hurt anyone. The tattoo above shows an elephant’s gentle nature.
50. The Elephant’s Steps
This elephant tattoo is a little different from the others. It shows an elephant from a lower eye-level perspective with one leg out, ready to stomp around.
51. Dotwork Background
While most of this tattoo is just line art, there are small areas on this tattoo filled with intricate dotwork, making it a cute and unique design.
52. Amazing Colored Elephant Tattoo
The color choices in this elephant tattoo are perfect! The shadings and color tone were perfectly thought out in this piece and we absolutely love it.
53. Adorned with Decorative Chains
These chains are in no way binding the elephant. Instead, they make the elephant appear more elegant and wise, almost like a sage!
54. Show Elephant Tattoo Piece
This elephant tattoo is very different from the other pieces here. It looks visibly more feminine with the eyelashes, feathers and flowers.
55. Realistic Elephant Tattoo
It must have taken lots of pain and time to finish this tattoo piece! There’s so much shading involved that the tattoo looks like a black and white photo now.
56. With a Purple Gem
When linked with religion, elephants are often associated with unique flowers as well, especially orchids.
57. Arm Elephant Tattoo
This tattoo has it all – dotwork, flowery motifs, flashy backgrounds. What else can a person ever need in an elephant tattoo?
The only linework in this elephant tattoo here is the outline. The remaining parts of the elephant are left to us to imagine with the color splatters!
59. An Adorable Deity
This has to be the cutest tattoo depiction of one of the strongest Hindu Gods! While its gestures and items are maintained, the overall appearance is now cute and adorable.
60. Green, Green Eyes
While the other parts of this tattoo are relatively cartoon-ish, the eyes appear a little more realistic, giving this tattoo a unique appearance.
Elephant Tattoos For Men And Women
Elephant tattoos are well-suited for strong-willed and self-confident people. This animal can also help in the acquisition of some necessary qualities for a ruler or chief, such as wisdom, intelligence, dignity, and humility.
In any case, the meaning of the tattoo is unique and interesting. This tattoo combines the wisdom of thousands of years, so it is very strong and worthy. Moreover, they look beautiful in every design and on each part of the body. The sketch of elephant tattoo is usually performed in color. Most often the pattern is applied on:
61. A Rosy Outline
The elephant is a symbol of strength and insight, but a tattoo like this one can only reflect an elephant’s gentle side!
62. Some Simple Elephant Tattoo with Geometrics
There are only a few colors and line sketches in this simple elephant tattoo, but that is enough to make the tattoo appear artistic and striking in color.
63. Partial Watercolor Filling
The shadings in this watercolor elephant tattoo on a man’s arm are just partial – it’s not fully shaded, and it looks like wide watercolor brush strokes. The texture looks soft & natural!
64. With Guan Yin
Elephant tattoos seem to have had some influence from the Chinese culture as well. Have you ever seen elephants being inked together with Guan Yin, a Chinese deity? Now you have!
65. The Appearance of a Deity
There is a gentle benevolent appearance to this tattoo of Ganesha. We say so because of the expression in its eyes.
66. A Mother with Her Children
This mama elephant has had two offspring, and it seems like they are doing well! Elephants or not, mothers frequently take good care of their children.
67. The Freckles on An Elephant’s Trunk
Okay, so it’s not freckled per se, but they appear to like it all the same in this elephant tattoo. Doesn’t the texture look realistic?
68. Elephant Tattoo Glow Up
Wow, this tattoo sure improved a lot from its original looks! The tattoo artist changed the old elephant tattoo with only the elephant head into a full-bodied tattoo.
69. Lions & Elephants
Lions may be the kings of the jungle, but elephants are still the biggest creatures walking the forest!
70. Simple Geometric Colors
Color choices and where the shadings go are important in determining how solid and glass-like the elephant tattoo looks. Simple colors and shapes work the best!
71. Compass & Elephant
With a trunk that long, this elephant tattoo can surely lead the way! There are plenty or random shapes and motifs that make up this elephant tattoo here.
72. Small Geometric Elephant Tattoo for Women
It looks just like an origami elephant, which is simply adorable! These small elephant tattoos can be easily hidden from sight because it is so small, but it can still get some attention with its cute appearance.
73. White Highlights
There is one super important aspect of artwork that is often overlooked by beginner artists – the bright highlights. This elephant tattoo has bright, white highlights to make the tattoo more realistic!
74. The Elephant & The Mouse
Most of us have heard of how elephants are afraid of mice. Is that actually true? If that is, then this must have been one brave elephant!
75. The Elephant Tattoo with a Golden Star
While this image is in black and white, it feels like the image has colors that we can see in our minds. That’s the power of images!
Types of Elephant Tattoos for Ladies & Women
Girls choose for the sketches of elephant tattoos such styles as:
76. An Elephant with its Back on the Tree
That is one adorable little elephant! This elephant appears to be sitting on the floor with its back against the tree. It even looks so very happy!
77. Elegant Elephant Tattoo for Women
This elegant elephant tattoo will be very suitable for women. It features simple designs and colors, but they are matched together with an intricate and delicate designs.
78. Elephant Tattoo on Neck Area
You can also choose to tattoo your elephant on other areas besides the arms, torso or back. The small area on your back is suitable for a small-sized tattoo just like this one!
79. Elephant Outline Tattoo with Flower Designs
These tattoos are big, as it is senseless to depict such a great animal in a small size. One way to make these big tattoos look a bit smaller is by filling the large outline with smaller design motifs.
80. An Elephant Head on the Back of Your Hand
Look where creativity can bring you! This elephant tattoo on the hands features only an elephant’s head, but it looks so lovely and it fits very snugly on the area.
80. Elephant Half Sleeve Tattoo
Elephant half sleeve tattoos may suit both for men and women, especially when paired with additional decorative motifs behind this amazing creature.
81. Almost Like A Mandala
Look at how delicate this elephant tattoo idea turned out to be! When intricate decorative swirls like what you can find on mandala designs are inserted into tattoos, it can instantly appear much more feminine.
82. Vibrant Colors
The easiest way to make a tattoo look vibrant is by using bright, pastel-like colors. The common hues include light blue, purple and indigo. These colors give off a cosmic experience feel!
83. The Curve of an Elephant’s Trunk
This dotwork elephant tattoo piece put a lot of attention into the details in the elephant’s skin texture. Only intricate dotwork can give off this perfect look!
84. Elephant Tattoo on Arm with Inscriptions
Since elephants are associated with wisdom, it is not uncommon to see them tattooed alongside inscriptions. These texts can be anything and it will still make your tattoo look wise!
85. Realistic Elephant Tattoo with Cartoon-ish Background
While the elephant looks photorealistic, the green and orange background does not look like it at all. As such, this tattoo appears quite contrasting with elements within itself.
86. Elephant with Jewel & Flowers
Men and women sometimes tattoo their backs with the sketch of an elephant. These tattoos are of different variations, but the one pictured above seems to be a common recurring theme.
87. Like a Batik Design
There are a lot of photos of elephant tattoos just like this one on sites about tattoos, which represent how diverse tattoos with elephants are.
88. Trunk Held High
Be happy with yourself and be proud, just like this little elephant here with its trunk held high!
89. Big & Strong Elephant Tattoo on Arm for Men
An elephant’s strength is the most obvious when these animals are portrayed with their head and trunk held high. We can almost hear the elephant bellowing just from this tattoo!
90. Intricate Elephant Tattoo Design
Wow, this is just a beautiful elephant tattoo, isn’t it? This elephant tattoo is inked on the arms, so it makes sense that the design is as intricate as it shows here.
91. Watercolour Elephant Tattoo Designs
This elephant tattoo looks like it has just been inked, watercolor style. Isn’t it just beautiful? We love how the tattoo turned out to look just like a painting!
92. A Feminine Deity
While Ganesha is known as a powerful God, some also portray it leaning more towards the feminine side rather than the usual male-ish appearances.
93. Elephant Tattoo for Women on the Shoulders
Feminine tattoos are noticeable because of their bright colors, interesting design, use of floral motives and ornaments. The tattoo above gives off a feminine vibe, doesn’t it?
94. Starry Starry Night with an Elephant
This is another example of an elephant tattoo that makes use of the space within it. Rather than a stereotypical elephant tattoo, this one contains the night sky and forest within it!
95. Elephant and Dream Catcher Tattoo
Since elephants are often linked with wisdom, peace and calmness as well, some people tattoo elephants together with dream catchers which help to protect them from bad dreams.
Elephant Tattoo Styles for Men
Boys meanwhile, will opt for elephant tattoos in the following styles:
96. Realistic Elephant Tattoo for Men
Are you looking at how realistic the elephant looks? Even the little skin cracks in the elephant’s face and the trunk are emphasized!
97. Intricate Line Work
This is another top favorite tattoo style among men. This elephant tattoo is made entirely out of fine lines and some dotwork only. We can see why it is a popular choice!
98. All Sorts of Graphics
There’s a mix of various artistic and graphic elements in this back piece elephant tattoo. If you look closely at the ears and trunk area, you will notice plenty of patterns embedded in it!
99. Trash Polka
Trash polka designs take up after a little bit of several elements, including realism, surrealism and some bright colors.
100. Black and White Elephant Tattoo
Men also prefer black and white tattoos as compared to full-colored ones. As such, you might be able to find an elephant tattoo like pictured above on men rather than women!
Celebrities’ Elephant Tattoos
Even celebrities have their own elephant tattoos. There are two however, that is particularly striking.
Eleanor Calder has an elephant tattoo on her right wrist.
Samantha Maria has a large tattoo of an elephant with a feather in its trunk on her arm.
Renee Phoenix from Fit For Rivals has a tattoo of a circus elephant on the back of her left hand.
Have you seen these elephant tattoos on celebrities? What about other designs that you can see in this list of 100 elephant tattoo design ideas? If you have other ideas that are just as appealing, do let us know in the comment section and maybe we can even show your elephant tattoo design to the entire world for you. Here’s to the strongest, wisest elephant tattoos there can ever be!