Bears hold symbolic meaning for many people. They represent courage, strength, vitality, nobility, patience, and playfulness. So it should be no surprise that bear tattoos are wildly popular today. Bear tattoos come in all shapes, sizes, and styles and range in tone from sweet to dangerous. We at Mamas Uncut are big fans of nature-inspired tattoos, so we absolutely love bear tattoos in all their forms.
If you are thinking about getting a bear tattoo, you might be looking for ink inspiration. We are here to help! We have rounded up dozens of fresh bear designs to share with you to better understand the possibilities and limitations of these sorts of tattoos. We were surprised at the variety and diversity among bear tattoos, and we think you will agree that the sky’s the limit. Take a look at our inspired finds to discover the right sort of design for you.
Big on the Back
Let’s kick things off with a bear tattoo that takes a maximalist approach. You can create an entire scene for your bear to live in if you want to make a big commitment. This roaring bear hovers over a handsome natural scene and finds a balance between the two.
Bear tattoos that utilize the shape of the bear but are filled with interesting motifs are popular today. We find a touching mama bear here that’s filled with beautiful blossoms.
We find another dangerous-looking bear tattoo again in this half-sleeve design. If your motto is “go big or go home,” something similar could be the perfect fit for you.
Okay! This one is singular in style, and unlike any other bear tattoos, we saw while researching these sorts of designs. Offbeat and weird ideas are welcome and often result in the most attractive tattoos.
Surreal Watercolor Design
Wow! We find a tattoo exploding with color in this unique watercolor-style design. If you are one to take the road less traveled, it pays to stray from the beaten path.
Neo-Traditional on the Elbow
Neo-traditional tattoos combine classic elements from old-school designs with newer approaches and techniques. This design sits over the elbow with the mouth situated directly on top of it. You will also find this type of design popular on the knees.
We find another mama bear here, this time with two cubs in a natural setting. This tattoo is a love letter to the rugged wilderness and all of its beauty.
The person who shared this image explained that the character is a Viking with a bear headdress. If you’ve got a warrior spirit, something similar could be fitting.
Now for a dose of serious cuteness with these darling teddy bears with little patches sewn on. Not all bear tattoos have to be so serious. Feel free to have fun with it and explore nostalgic imagery and themes.
As we mentioned, these bear-shaped tattoos with an interesting fill are popular. This time, we find a landscape with a compass that seems to signify adventure.
Here’s another example of a watercolor tattoo. The ink looks like paint that’s been splattered and allowed to drip. The result is a design that is full of movement and energy.
Wow! For this bear tattoo, the artist has really created something special. Instead of standard fur, we find ornamental designs that bring the bear’s face to life. What a brilliant idea.
In Memory of His Late Father
The individual who shared this image explained that this piece memorialized a late father. We like the shield background and the objects that hold meaning to this person.
If you’ve seen Midsommar, this tattoo likely strikes fear in your heart. In the folk horror movie’s brutal final act, audiences watched in horror as a character who has been sewn into a bear hide is set ablaze. Yikes!
On the Paw
Hand tattoos will not be for everyone, but this one is so thrilling that it will make you consider it. There’s so much action for you to feast your eyes on.
I Just Called to Say I Love You
A teddy bear making a phone call? Why not! In this sweet design, we find a little bear with delicate shading that is so childlike and sweet. We’d definitely take this call.
Traditional on Fire
Here is a bear tattoo that skews more traditional with thick lines and a limited color palate. If you want to celebrate the history of tattooing, something similar would do the trick.
Florals help soften this bear tattoo and bring a sense of romance. Any flowers will do but we encourage you to choose your favorites to make this type of design all your own.
Micro tattoos are a huge trend today. You don’t have to get a huge tattoo if that’s not your style. Sometimes the smallest designs make the biggest impact.
By including a background color like this, you get even more contrast and a tattoo that really pops. Pick your favorite color and go for something similar to express yourself to the fullest.
Shapes filled with green and purple color to resemble the Northern Lights was a spectacular idea. We’re treated to shapes in silhouette at the bottom of the tattoo with a clearer bear portrait up top.
Bears love honey, and this sweet tattoo is a play on that. There are tiny bees and little, yellow flowers floating around the bear to help give it a playful and lighthearted look.
Another Sweet One
The artist has taken such care with this bear tattoo that is big on texture. The bear’s coat looks so fluffy and shiny. What a dream!
This sleeping bear tattoo looks like it’s been carved in wood. This serene scene is a far cry from some of the more ferocious designs we have seen.
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Bear In Space
We leave you with this teddy bear tattoo that finds the character plopped into outer space. The black fill makes all of the colors really sing. Listen to your heart when coming up with your design and lean into your weird ideas for a tattoo that no one else can claim.
Wow! Aren’t these bear tattoos spectacular? We love the wild nature of these designs, that range from fierce to fierce. If you want even more ink inspiration, keep reading. We’ve got some more animal tattoos to share with you.
Check Out These Small Animal Tattoos for Ink Inspiration!
Pup portraits are in high demand these days and we saw many of them among the small animal tattoos people are getting today. If you’ve got a furry friend, celebrate him/her forever with your very own pet portrait!
Butterflies were another huge trend among small animal tattoos. Here, we find delicate and small ones done in crisp, black ink.
Cat portraits and “cattoos” are another huge hit among small animal tattoos. We found a ton of little kitties decorating people’s bodies. Here are two small tattoos of cats with a lovely blue background for each.
Itty Bitty Bears
We find a koala and panda bear on these ankles! Who doesn’t love these super cute bears? To get the kawaii look think cartoon over photorealism.
Just a black line and some delicate shading result in one of the most understated small animal tattoos on this list. Artists sometimes refer to designs like this as “single line” and you can discuss it with your tattoo artist in those terms and they will likely know exactly what you mean.
Here’s an Asian-inspired tiger design that finds one fierce little face in a small package. Convey big emotions in your small animal tattoos and you won’t regret it!
For a Pisces, we find two little fish done in black, grey, and white ink. Small animal tattoos can be for a love of nature but also they can symbolize other ideas and meanings.
For instance, ladybugs are a sign of good luck. Here’s an impressionistic one that is so stylish and unique. Get creative with your tattoo artist and your small animal tattoos will stand out for all the right reasons.
One Sophisticated Snake
You can add detail to your small animal tattoos by incorporating a pattern or floral scene like the one above that’s housed in the body of a snake. It results in an incredibly detailed and sophisticated look.
Here’s one of the most original small animal tattoos on this list. We find a beautifully tattooed zebra but there are strange squares that seem to magnify the design beneath in some and others filled with black. How fun!
These turtle tattoos look like they’re floating on air. Equally dreamy and ghostly, these small animal tattoos really dazzle in soft grey that’s been expertly shaded.
Does this creep you out? We are torn on how we feel about it so, naturally, we’ll let you be the judge. Two octopus tentacles forming a heart symbol is rather unnerving but it does look great!
Of all of the small animal tattoos we surveyed for this list, we saw more butterflies and turtles than any others. These shelled creatures are capturing a lot of hearts and imaginations. A rainbow-colored shell really puts this tattoo over the top!
Cute Little Pig
Well, this is just tender. We find a very minimal pig tattooed in peach-colored ink with little black arches for eyes. It’s one of the small tattoos on this list that feels nostalgic and childlike.
Watercolor small animal tattoos are big business! We saw a number of them as we researched animal tattoos for this list. Here’s an excellent example that’s a little bigger than the rest but you could pick and choose elements you like from it to make it smaller and all your own!
We did not know we needed to see a horse in cowboy boots. But, it’s one of our favorite small animal tattoos on this list. Whimsical, playful, and full of offbeat energy, this tattoo is certainly a winner!
Wow! This portrait of a bunny rabbit is one of the most stunning on this list of small animal tattoos for the level of detail that’s been included. The fur is so textural that it looks like you could “pet” it.
On the other end of the spectrum, you can go with a more cartoonish look and have some real fun with color. How cute is this little tiger playing in some flowers? For your small animal tattoos, keep things simple to expedite the tattooing process.
Pretty in Pink
Here’s a handsome flamingo that has a really subtle ombre effect that gives a great overall effect. Birds are so aesthetically pleasing that you can almost never go wrong with them for tattoos!
A Cheese-Loving Rascal
Here’s a raccoon with some cheese, because, why not! Take a look at how clean and crisp the lines on this tattoo are. The whiskers are so small that it’s a wonder to marvel at.
There are small animal tattoos and then there are micro ones. Micro tattoos really are hot today with many people choosing to go photorealistic with their tiny designs for even more novelty.
Eeeep! How cute! This little rabbit tattoo looks like it was pulled from a children’s book illustration. Emotive and expressive, this is definitely a standout among the other small animal tattoos on this list.
We expected to see more chickens than we did but we did stumble across this beautiful bird that’s tattooed in a neo-traditional style. There are no bells or whistles, just a straightforward design that really pops.
Here’s a neon-colored grasshopper for all of the weirdos out there! While we are not huge fans of bugs, this one caught our eye with all of its glorious detail and color. Go off the beaten path in your creative process to come up with original designs with your tattoo artist!
Take a Sip
Here’s a beautiful little hummingbird tattoo. The wings have been so delicately applied that they give the illusion of movement. It’s one of the small animal tattoos on this list that we can see a great many people opting for.
A Pet Portrait
Here’s another cat portrait for you to feast your eyes on. It’s been expertly tattooed here and definitely lands in the photorealistic bucket for us. Find yourself an artist with a robust portfolio and you could walk away with something as truly breathtaking as this ink.
Here’s a cute little snail on a branch. For your small animal tattoos, you can stick to the basics and still end up with a fantastic design that you will cherish for a lifetime.
A Horse, Of Course
Here’s a pretty portrait of a horse. Yes, even large beasts can be taken down in size for small animal tattoos. This evocative design really pops out at you thanks to the diamond-shaped frame.
The Other Tiger King
Here’s a stylish design that you could pare down to a size that suits your tastes. We love all of the ornamental elements of this tattoo including the unique crosses and the detailed crown. Roar!
Pair of Poodles
Here are more of those “single line” tattoos that we discussed before. These poodles are very simple but they look smart and clean.
Back to Black
We love the original style of this small snake tattoo that packs a bold punch with solid shapes that have been uniformly filled with color as opposed to a distinct shading technique. We think it truly pays off and looks unlike any of the small animal tattoos on this list.
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Fancy a Cup?
What’s a bird without wings? In this surrealist design, we find a bird that has human arms and hands instead of them. It’s imaginative, mysterious, and dreamy. We said it before but we will say it once more: get weird! It’s fun.
There you go! Aren’t these small animal tattoos just terrific!? We hope you feel inspired by these designs and have a better idea about how you want to go for your next tattoo. Whether you are getting a design inspired by your pet or simply ink that celebrates wildlife, there is no wrong way to go about it! Just make sure the design expresses your point of view and mirrors your own personal style. Happy tattooing!
- 0.1 Big on the Back
- 0.2 Mama Bear
- 0.3 Scary Bear
- 0.4 Waterfall Bear
- 0.5 Surreal Watercolor Design
- 0.6 Neo-Traditional on the Elbow
- 0.7 Family Portrait
- 0.8 Viking Style
- 0.9 Teddies
- 0.10 Adventure
- 0.11 Intense
- 0.12 Singular Take
- 0.13 In Memory of His Late Father
- 0.14 Midsommar
- 0.15 On the Paw
- 0.16 I Just Called to Say I Love You
- 0.17 Traditional on Fire
- 0.18 Floral Fun
- 0.19 Micro Bear
- 0.20 Blue Baby
- 0.21 Northern Lights
- 0.22 Honey Bear
- 0.23 Another Sweet One
- 0.24 Sleeping Beauty
- 0.25 Bear In Space
- 1 Check Out These Small Animal Tattoos for Ink Inspiration!
- 1.1 Micro Pup
- 1.2 Beautiful Butterflies
- 1.3 Fur Babies
- 1.4 Itty Bitty Bears
- 1.5 Pretty Penguin
- 1.6 Mini Stork
- 1.7 Roar!
- 1.8 Two Fish
- 1.9 Lovely Ladybug
- 1.10 One Sophisticated Snake
- 1.11 Zesty Zebra
- 1.12 Dreamy Turtles
- 1.13 Octo-Love
- 1.14 More Turtle
- 1.15 Cute Little Pig
- 1.16 Watercolor Wow!
- 1.17 Yeehaw!
- 1.18 Precious Bun
- 1.19 Cartoon Tiger
- 1.20 Pretty in Pink
- 1.21 A Cheese-Loving Rascal
- 1.22 Micro Giraffe
- 1.23 Curious Rabbit
- 1.24 Cute Chick
- 1.25 The Hopper
- 1.26 Take a Sip
- 1.27 A Pet Portrait
- 1.28 Tiny Snail
- 1.29 A Horse, Of Course
- 1.30 The Other Tiger King
- 1.31 Pair of Poodles
- 1.32 Back to Black
- 1.33 Fancy a Cup?
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