Turtles have a quiet charm that is irresistible for many people. If you are one of them, these beautiful turtle tattoos are for you.
Turtles might be one of the oldest creatures on the planet. But the love for them is evergreen.
Because they move slowly, many people think of them as clumsy and cute. Thus, for people that are always on the go, observing a turtle climbing around reminds them to breathe and slow down.
Turtles are also known for their rich symbolism. For example, it’s not uncommon for turtles to live over a hundred years. Therefore, they are often seen as a symbol of good fortune and longevity.
They are also associated with life and a strong will. Female sea turtles swim to the shore to hatch their eggs. And turtle babies must find their way back to the ocean for survival. They are both faced with danger along the way. But they persevere. And that’s why turtles are on each continent except Antarctica.
Why do people get turtle tattoos?
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Many people get turtle tattoos because they relate to the meanings. Whether it’s wisdom, protection, or tranquillity, they see part of them in the characteristics of turtles. And turtle tattoos become a statement of identity.
Others are going for the look. There’s a lot to play with on the shape and shell of a turtle in terms of design. And just like other dragon and mermaid tattoos, turtles have a natural movement that makes the ink more lively.
So whether you want to get a turtle tattoo for its meaning or the aesthetics, we got you covered.In this post, you will find a collection of small to big, simple to bold turtle tattoo ideas to inspire your next ink.
Disclaimer: This collection of turtle tattoos is for inspiration only. Please do not copy the artwork. If you love these tattoos, follow artists and show them some support.
Turtle tattoos for men and women
Small turtle tattoos for minimalist
Small tattoos are dainty, elegant, and easy to hide. If you are opting for something low-profile, these small and simple turtle tattoos are for you.
Single-line turtle tattoo
There’s nothing more minimal than illustrating the silhouette in a single line. It also requires creativity and precision. This simple turtle tattoo makes a perfect example.
Abstract turtle collarbone tattoo
Unlike the previous one, this collarbone tattoo is made of sketchy lines, enhancing its artistry. And the grey-blue paint on the shell shows the tattooist’s constrain on using color – not too much, but enough to highlight the tattoo.
Minimalist turtle outline tattoo
Another small and minimalistic turtle tattoo. It keeps only the outline without compromising the form. The delicate curves bring movement to the tattoo, making it perfect for someone who values freedom and flexibility.
Black and grey realism turtle tattoo
Most realism tattoos contain many details and shadows, which don’t always look minimal. But this ankle tattoo shows just the right amount of detail. In addition, because of the placement and size, it is still a great discreet tattoo option.
Small abstract turtle tattoo
Cute turtle family tattoo
What a cute family tattoo for turtle lovers. Also, if you resonate with the symbolism of turtles, you can adjust the number of turtles to represent your family.
Minimalist turtle tattoo
A shamrock, also known as three-leaf clover like the one in this tattoo, is believed to symbolize hope and love. However, sometimes you may also see four-leaf clover. Since it’s a rare type of shamrock, it represents best wishes and good luck.
Small sea turtle tattoo
Because sea turtles live in water, it feels natural to add bubbles as decoration in a tattoo. They also make the tattoo instantly more alive and cute.
Simple small turtle tattoo
Detailed blackwork turtle arm tattoo
One thing that makes this turtle arm tattoo so unique is the position. It depicts a sea turtle swimming upward, fitting perfectly on the placement. The mosaic patterns on both the skin and the shell are also done to perfection.
Small turtle wrist tattoo
Wrist tattoos are not for everyone because of their high visibility. But a turtle tattoo like this one is small enough, even for those who want low-key ink.
Tiny sea turtle shoulder tattoo
Tiny green turtle tattoo
Bold and beautiful turtle tattoo ideas
The best tattoos are the ones that represent the wearers. If you resonate with the wisdom and patience of turtles, these bold turtle tattoos will be a proud statement of your personality.
Colorful fantasy turtle tattoo
Most turtles in real life are dark green or grey. It’s less likely to see vibrant colors on them. And because of that, the unconventional choice of colors makes this tattoo stand out.
Black realism sea turtle tattoo
The combination of real and unreal always brings the wow factor. In this shoulder tattoo, for example, every detail of the turtle screams realism. But the hoop makes the turtle feel like it’s flowing, which brings drama and fantasy to this blackwork.
Matching heart-shape turtle tattoos
Couple tattoos don’t have to be identical or matchy-matchy. For example, the tattooist transforms the silhouette of a turtle into a heart shape. Then, another heart shape is carved out from it to make another tattoo. The creativity keeps the tattoos cohesive, making them a token of unbreakable love.
Turtle and crown tattoo
From first sight, the crown may capture all your attention. But look closer, and you will spot the glamorous mosaic patterns on the shell, making the tattoo look royal.
Axis and turtle arm tattoo
Simple colored sea turtle tattoo
Floral turtle back tattoo
Back tattoos are versatile. They can be small or as big as this one. Plus, The back is a large enough placement for you to be creative. By adding flowers and a half circle, the tattooist reveals the feminine side of the wearer.
Bubbles and turtles
If you want a color tattoo but want to keep the main motifs simple, this tattoo offers a solution. The blue bubbles in the background are eye-catching because of the high saturation. However, the turtles in the foreground remain clean and simple, creating visual contrast.
Super cute turtle thigh tattoo
This thigh tattoo has a lot to love. The beret, the paintbrush, and the shell that looks like a color palette all create a painter turtle image. This artistic tattoo would belong to someone with a girly point of view in art.
Fantasy turtle arm tattoo
Sea turtle quote tattoo
Turtles are a symbol of longevity and life. And it makes sense to pair a turtle tattoo with a sentence that reflects your attitude and beliefs. And this quote tattoo is a good example.
Watercolor turtle ankle tattoo
Adding watercolor in the background is a great way to make a tattoo more vibrant and interesting. Without clear borders between colors, watercolor tattoos have a fluidity that makes them both whimsical and natural.
Girly flowers and turtle tattoo
Ink wash painting turtle tattoo
Mountains, turtles, trees, and the sun, this ink has all the elements in oriental tattoos. And the solid black brushstrokes make it feel like a painting rather than a tattoo.
Turtle symbol tattoo
If you want to express multiple ideas in one tattoo, symbolic tattoos are for you. By lining up a series of meaningful symbols, you create a unique tattoo that reflects your perspectives.
Moon and turtle thigh tattoo
Sea turtle seascape tattoo
Most seascape or landscape tattoos are horizontal. However, this one from tattooist Eunyu crops out a stripe of a sea. She also adds a turtle swimming out of the frame. And this creative highlight not only creates a 3D effect but also makes it more lively and less rigid.
Intricate floral forearm tattoo
Simple realism turtle tattoo
Simple turtles on the arm
Symbolic turtle spine tattoo
Spine tattoos are often a combination of small symbols that align in a straight line. The turtle in this tattoo, however, is significantly bigger than other symbols, no doubt the center of attention.
Creative turtle tattoos
So far, we’ve covered some of the best turtle tattoos. But some tattoo artists think outside the box and inject their creativity into the tattoos. So if you are looking for something different, don’t miss out on these creative turtle tattoos.
Stunning turtle tattoo
Tattooist Non-Lee has a portfolio of gorgeous realism fantasy tattoos. This one is no exception. The flowers and mushrooms on the shell have a wide range of colors. The way they bloom on the shell makes this turtle look like a creature from a Studio Ghibli movie.
Yin-yang turtle tattoo
Cute rabbit and turtle tattoo
This tattoo for sure melts hearts. Both the rabbit and the sea turtle are portrayed perfectly. But the highlight is the scuba mask. It makes everything so reasonable, but at the same time, adds fun to the tattoo.
Colorful turtle tattoo
Lotus and turtle tattoo
In Buddhism and Hinduism, the lotus flower represents calmness and peace of mind. On the other hand, turtle tattoos are seen as a symbol of life and longevity. Together, this tattoo shows that the wearer prioritizes her inner peace over materials in life.
Geometric turtle arm tattoo
Stunning blue turtle tattoo
Flowers and sea turtle arm tattoo
Turtle mandala tattoo on the thigh
Which of these turtle tattoos is your favorite?
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