Dragon Tattoos

Dragon tattoos come in many different shapes, styles and sizes, but they all have certain things in common. The dragon tattoo, popular with both men and women, sends a solid message without the need to be formidable (although it certainly can be). Many dragon tattoos are designed to be spiritual, and to send a message of intelligence and compassion.


Related Designs:

The Japanese dragon in tattoo designs: Japanese Dragon Tattoos
The Chinese dragon used in tattoo art: Chinese Dragon Tattoos
The combination of dragon tattoos and tribal art: Tribal Dragon Tattoo Designs


Feminine dragon tattoo design



The word dragon comes from 2 Greek words:


Dragon Tattoos

The dragon is a mythological creature that is both fearsome and beautiful and is the subject of folklore around the world. It is a formidable creature, usually seen as a winged or scaly beast with enormous claws that can emit fire from its mouth. In the Western world, dragons are often seen as mean or scary, but Asian dragons carry a different message.

Dragon tattoos and dragon art in general don't all convey the same meaning. Dragons are part of the myths of many different cultures, and in each culture it has its unique set of characteristics and meanings.

Chinese and Japanese dragon tattoos are very popular, but there are many other designs of dragon tattoos, all of which appeal to a wide variety of people. Today's tattoo artists create dragon tattoo art that can look traditional or modern, tribal or realistic, sweet (baby dragon), charming or terrifying. Some dragon tattoo designs are relatively small, while others are full sleeve or large enough to wrap around the trunk of the body. The dragon tattoo is a strong image and sends a strong message.


Japanese Dragon Tattoos

The dragon is an important part of Japanese mythology. In Japan, the dragon is seen as a water deity (that's why Japanese dragon tattoos often include waves and clouds).

Tattoo of a dragon crawled around a dagger

Japanese dragons have the following characteristics:

 Click here for more Japanese dragon designs: Japanese Dragon Tattoos


Chinese Dragon Tattoos

Dragon Tattoo

The Chinese dragon looks a lot like a Japanese dragon, although there are some differences in style and symbology. Similar with the Japanese dragon is that they are seen as benevolent creatures, in contrast to the evil being that the Western world made of the dragon.


 Click here for Chinese dragon designs: Chinese Dragon Tattoos

Medieval Dragon Tattoos

European dragon tattoo

Dragons are an important part of the world of mythology, folklore and fairy tales in (medieval) Europe. European dragons are quite different from Asian dragons, though they are recognizably the same creature.


The fairy tale dragon may be on its own or it may be accompanied by other associated images – think knights or fairies, for example. The lines are likely to be finer, with intricate detailing. These dragon tattoos make a beautiful and striking visual image.


The appearance of European medieval dragons:



Germany, in particular, has a long history of featuring dragons as representative of greed (the dragons will often be seen guarding treasures). The word for dragon in German mythology is worm, specifically relating to a serpent or a snake. Even though the dragon is often depicted as a winged creature, in German mythology it's often depicted as living underground or in a dark lair.


Medieval dragon tattoo


Dragons also take their place in Celtic mythology. The red dragon in particular is associated with the Britons (the Welsh) and the white dragon with the Saxons. The red dragon is one of the few European benevolent dragons.


Red dragon tattoo design resting on a tribal

Typical dragon tattoo flash with emphasis on the wing


In ancient Roman times, the dragon was a mix of Greek dragons and Asian dragons, creating an interesting blend of Western and Eastern influences.

European dragons are usually combined with a sword, an eagle, a pearl, skeletons, a heart, cross, ...


Dragon tattoo art


Tribal Dragon Tattoos

Tribal dragon tattoos are either composed of or surrounded by the types of curving lines that are typically associated with tribal tattoos, so a dragon done in this style might be simplified. It won't lose any of its impact – in fact these dragons are likely to be large and fierce looking and deliver a very strong visual.

 Click here for tribal dragon designs: Tribal Dragon Tattoos


Black dragon tattoo


Celebrities With Dragon Tattoos


Dragon tattoos, it's easy to see why they are growing in popularity. The graceful, curving lines of a dragon image lend themselves well to a variety of tattoo styles, and dragon tattoos are a great expression of several different folklore traditions.


Dragons tattoo

 More dragon tattoo pictures in the Tattoo Gallery