Tattooed knees are popular today and have been a popular option for really inked-up folks for centuries. The shape of the knee and the (oftentimes) tough skin over the kneecap can make these designs a challenge to tattoo, but seasoned tattoo artists can bang them out with ease! Tattooed knees are some of the most unique and thrilling tats today!
We wanted to learn more about tattooed knees, possible designs, and their limitations, so we turned to social media to discover the latest and greatest knee tattoos that people have shared. What we uncovered was a variety of designs that range from big and bold to small and cute. There are a few knee tattoo trends, but for the most part, this genre of tattoo is all over the map. Check out the coolest designs we spotted!
Common Tattooed Knees
Big Flower Tattooed Knees
Take a look at these breathtaking floral tattooed knees. Done with delicate, fine lines and just black ink, they prove dramatic and haunting. Big flowers over the knees are a huge trend and you will be in good company if you decide to go that route.
More Flower Power
Here’s a colorful example of the floral knee tattoos that are so beloved today. A pink chrysanthemum is so luscious here.
Here is an example of one of the animal face tattooed knees. Animal faces, especially those with open mouths are extremely popular. This one’s an electric tiger. This is so colorful and so full of energy.
Here’s another example of the animal face knee tattoo. We’ve got another cat for you. This one is equally as thrilling as the last. This and big flowers are the mega tattooed knees trends.
Here’s another one of the tiger knee tattoos. This one is done in just black which looks rather tough and bold.
Framing the Cap
Another trend we saw was to frame the knee in an interesting way. It’s done with barbed wire here, but there are plenty of other ways to achieve this look.
Now, For Something Sweet
How cute are these berry knee tattoos? There’s something so sweet and nostalgic about them. If you’re after cute designs, fruit is your friend. This is similar to the framed knee tattoo in that it cups the kneecap.
More Tattoos That Cup the Cap
These cute little below-the-knee bangers are a great option for those who do not want something over their kneecap. You can’t go wrong with florals!
More of the Cup
How smart do these branches look cupping the kneecap? Simplicity really is bliss so feel free to keep things straightforward and you will love the results.
Puns Are Popular
Yes, this is a thing. We found a whole bunch of “bee’s knees” tattoos out there but it seems like that fad has begun to fade today.
Mandala and Geometric Designs Are Warming Up
Mandala-inspired tattooed knees are all the rage today. We find the geometric, flowering design extending from the knees all the way down to almost the ankle. Dramatic in all the right ways, right?
Here’s an example of a geometric tattoo that covers the knee. How stunning is this black and grey design? There are many ways to create patterns out there so feel free to explore a few with your artist before settling.
Stars on Stars
Somewhat similar to the other geometric designs we have shared are these tidy, abstract yet stylized tattooed knees with star shapes. We love tattoos with a singular look like this.
Big Is Not Always Better
We have seen a lot of really big tattoos but you can also go small for a dainty detail. This dog meets flower design is playful and cute.
On the Other Hand
If you’re interested in an investment in time and money, a leg sleeve tattoo might be the perfect option for you. Look at how the antlers accentuate the shape of the knee in this huge tattoo.
Around the Cap
Here, we find two animal skulls that open around the kneecap. For a rather morbid tattoo, you could do something similar.
Here’s a psychedelic tattoo that is weird in all the right ways. For these tattooed knees, we find something truly strange, an eye inside of a mouth. Feel free to lean into your offbeat ideas.
Caught in a Web
For all the spider-lovers out there, you know you’re wrong for it. However, this spiderweb tattoo does look very cool on the knee.
Do you love bat-winged skulls? Perfect! We found the best tattooed knees for you.
You will find the fingers crossed motif in almost any tattoo artist’s flash catalog. It’s a popular symbol of luck and always looks fresh.
A Whale’s Tail
This absolutely marvelous whale tattoo that wraps around the kneecap features flowers worked into the body of the whale.
One Weird Cat
Getting weird with things almost always pays off. We find this otherworldly cat character applied to the knee with black and blue ink that seems to glow. Creepy and fun!
Dagger Right Through It
This old-school tattoo design finds a place in an unlikely spot. You often see these dagger tattoos as filler for sleeves, but it looks splendid on a knee as well.
Stay On Tren But Buck It As Well
If you’re going to choose a design that’s done often, you can make your own stand out with your choice of ink. These colors are electric and are the best part of this tattoo.
It Can Be Soft
While butterflies are an extremely popular subject matter for tattoos, we did not see too many on the knees. Thankfully, we found these amazing tattooed knees with beautiful butterflies on them.
Here is a luminous lightning bug looking absolutely charming. We love the way the artist has captured its “glow.”
Here’s a cool design that we expect more to replicate in the coming years. We find a kneecap busting through a fence or netting. It’s a design full of action and we know plenty of people will love it.
Call Your Mom
This standard Mandala-style tattoo is improved by the addition of text that reads, “Love you, mom.” The artist who shared the image noted that the text was written in her client’s mother’s handwriting. How sweet!
Here’s a clever way to frame your knee! After all, wreaths are round and often in a ring-like shape. We love the ancient look of this resembling lithography.
We’ve got a fire snail on a knee with this very weird tattoo. Fire snails or Platymma tweediei are real but they do not actually leave a trail of burning slime in their wake. They are only found in Malaysia and tattooed knees.
Gaze Into the Abyss
Here’s a knee tattoo that wants you to fall into the void. Bold, black ink looks ominous as it guides the eye to the center of the kneecap.
It Came at Night
Bat tattoos have been trending since 2020 for obvious reasons. While we have seen a bunch of bat tats, we have not seen too many bat knee tattoos. We think this one is kind of scary but ultimately fun!
A tattoo that looks like shattered glass was… a choice! We do not know what to make of it, but the comments on the image on Instagram were positive. Enjoy!
We find an Asian-inspired Harajuku design on these tattooed knees. The lines are so crisp and sharp here with beautiful colors applied in creative and fresh ways.
Make Folks Happy
You don’t have to take your tattooed knees or yourself too seriously. Spread joy with something fun like a smiley face. This one’s telling you to “have a good day.” You should do it.
One Final Flower
We leave you with yet another flower. There are so many different ways of getting tattooed knees with them. Play with color, shape, and form to make it something that really looks arresting.
Here’s a very interesting and slightly sinister sun knee tattoo. We love the bold lines and the shading of this piece. If you’re looking for a winning color combination for your tattooed knees black and red will never let you down.
There you go! We hope you found these tattooed knees to be as thrilling as we did. If you would like even more ink inspiration, keep reading. We’ve got even more leg tattoos to share with you. Prepare to be impressed!
Check Out Ricky Martin’s New Leg Tattoo and Others Like It Below:
Is Ricky Martin “Livin’ La Vida Loca?” We think his new leg tattoo looks excellent with a distinct shape and clean design. It almost looks like a drop of pigment in water. Mesmerizing! The star thanked @roxx_____, the artist, on Instagram, calling him a “legend.”
Adam Levine’s Leg Tattoo Is All Drama and Waves
Maroon 5 frontman, Adam Levine has also been chronicling his leg tattoo journey which took days for the artist Bryan Randolph to complete. This is not the musician’s first but it is one of the most ambitious tattoos. So, far he has only shared images of the new tattoo on his Instagram stories, but we hope a clearer shot of the finished product comes soon.
Geometric & Inspired
As you might imagine, there are not a ton of people out there with leg tattoos like Ricky Martin and Adam Levine, but we were able to find continuous designs, similar to the ones they have. Here’s a great example of a black ink tattoo that employs geometric shapes in a wavy pattern. We think it also looks fantastic.
Mandala & More
Here’s another example to get us kicked off. Notice how much of the leg is covered in black ink, almost like a blackout tattoo. Whenever the moody, dark stops, it reveals intricate shapes like the Mandala-inspired design at the knee and interlocking rings on the thighs. A dream!
This half sleeve that goes from the ankle up to the knee looks similar to Levine’s tattoo, as it uses a wave design similar to those found in irezumi, a traditional Japanese style of tattooing. Expect to see more like this as we continue on this leg tattoo journey.
We mentioned blackout tattoos earlier and this is another example, and in fact, it’s a better one. See how both legs have been completely blacked out only to reveal the tattoos that were done beneath them, that’s a big trend right now. While this is a bigger commitment than what Levine or Martin dedicated themselves to, it’s still an option for those who have a lot of patience!
We find a fantasy scene here from Japanese tradition that is more involved than Levine’s leg tattoo, but you can see the similarities. We love the inclusion of figures because we also like busy tattoos, if that’s true for you too, this could be a perfect inspiration.
How handsome is this tattoo that wraps all the way down the leg, fading out at the ankle? We are very fond of this one and felt that others who like more visual interest would as well.
Enter the Void
We really love the way this leg sleeve centers around a sort of vortex that occurs just above the knee. Everything seems to be trying to escape its inescapable pull. Storms like these are popular in irezumi and are often accompanied by cherry blossoms.
Here’s a wild design that is a touch trippy and offers viewers a bit of an optical illusion due to the way the lines run parallel lines make the area around the knee appear larger than it is. If you noticed, at the bottom of Martin’s tattoo, at the foot, the lines turn into parallel ones that run down to the toes.
Here’s another design that should be getting somewhat familiar to you at this point. However, we liked how whittled down this leg tattoo feels in comparison to some of the others on the list. The lines of a wave broaden near the bottom of the leg near the ankle to create thick blocks of black.
This swirling and mesmerizing tattoo design takes elements from tribal and Polynesian tradition to create a truly original design that culminates to a dramatic point just above the thigh. If you are looking for something just as bold, but with less black, something similar would be perfect for you.
It’s not immediately clear when you look at these leg tattoos that there is a giant dragon staring you in the face, but that becomes apparent after time which is a lovely effect. These is very stylish and well-done design. Bravo!
Black Old Sun
Look less at the shin and instead at the area behind the knee. We love the idea of these radiating geometric shapes filled with bold black ink. What do you think? Is it too blocky or a possibility?
To achieve the organic shapes that Martin and Levine’s tattoos both share, consider any element from nature. A snake would be an excellent choice for someone looking for a little edge. You can have the artist design it in such a way that it wraps around the leg to accentuate its shape.
Another Mix of Patterns
This is not the first geometric tattoo design that has mixed patterns on this list, but it is the closest look we have had tattoos in this genre. Play with different geometric patterns like this to mix and match and find the best combinations.
Swirls and More
See? By blocking sections with a bold design like these arches holding little t-shapes you can pair others with it to create even more visual interest. The swirling vortex at the knee is just a blast.
If you are wanting something a little softer with even more contrast, think of pairing something soft like a flower with a whole bunch of black. See how the flowers really pop and yet a swirl shape is twisting underneath? Not a bad idea!
Pop of Color
We bring you more chrysanthemums in this leg tattoo, but this time the person has chosen to go with a lovely orange color to stand out against the grey and black of the heavy background. This is a beautiful tattoo and the black meeting the bright golden color is truly breathtaking.
As we hinted at before, Ricky Martin’s leg tattoo looks almost like oil in water or smoke or something making its way into a heavier substance. We love these liquid tattoos that look so fresh and fun.
Ricky Martin really nailed his tattoo design and highlighted an emerging trend that we might have to go and do a whole list about! How cool and bewitching are these liquid designs? We think something similar would look fantastic on a leg.
Go Against the Grain
This person really went out on a limb, did they not? We’re sorry. We have been waiting to make a limb joke for so long now, and this leg that with a tattoo that looks like the inside of a tree is pretty remarkable.
Bolts of electricity, radio waves, mind control… We are not sure, but we are really into this design that evokes one of the continuing visual metaphors in Twin Peaks. There’s so much energy here and you always want that in a tattoo, especially a big one.
At the end of the day, you have to get yourself a tattoo that you love and that expresses your point of view and aesthetic. Get weird. Find yourself a tattoo artist you trust and play with all sorts of styles and designs. You can create some stunning works of art like this one!
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 25 Architecturally Inspired Cathedral Tattoos That Embrace Gothic Style
This tattoo looks like ink applied by brushstroke. It’s an evocative design that is reminiscent of Japanese calligraphy. See how the shape of the tattoo wraps around the knee and accentuates the natural shape of the leg? That’s the money!
There you go! What do you think of Ricky Martin and Adam Levine’s leg tattoos? Do you have the guts to get something as big and in-your-face? If so, we hope you take these other tattoos into consideration and use one or more to inspire your own original piece of art!
Andrew is an Assistant Editor for Mamas Uncut with over ten years of experience as a writer in the creative, marketing, and blogging spaces. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a passion for telling stories in a variety of mediums. Obsessively making lists, reporting celebrity news, and diving into emerging pop cultural topics are a few of his interests.
- 1 Common Tattooed Knees
- 1.1 Big Flower Tattooed Knees
- 1.2 More Flower Power
- 1.3 Animal Faces
- 1.4 Rawr!
- 1.5 Black Tiger
- 1.6 Framing the Cap
- 1.7 Now, For Something Sweet
- 1.8 More Tattoos That Cup the Cap
- 1.9 More of the Cup
- 1.10 Puns Are Popular
- 1.11 Mandala and Geometric Designs Are Warming Up
- 1.12 Geometric Groove
- 1.13 Stars on Stars
- 1.14 Big Is Not Always Better
- 1.15 On the Other Hand
- 1.16 Around the Cap
- 1.17 Tasty
- 1.18 Caught in a Web
- 1.19 Flying Skull
- 1.20 Lucky Knees
- 1.21 A Whale’s Tail
- 1.22 One Weird Cat
- 1.23 Dagger Right Through It
- 1.24 Stay On Tren But Buck It As Well
- 1.25 It Can Be Soft
- 1.26 You’re Glowing
- 1.27 Busting Out
- 1.28 Call Your Mom
- 1.29 Festive
- 1.30 Straight Fire
- 1.31 Gaze Into the Abyss
- 1.32 It Came at Night
- 1.33 Broken
- 1.34 Dreaming
- 1.35 Make Folks Happy
- 1.36 One Final Flower
- 1.37 Sunshine
- 1.38 Check Out Ricky Martin’s New Leg Tattoo and Others Like It Below:
- 1.39 Adam Levine’s Leg Tattoo Is All Drama and Waves
- 1.40 Geometric & Inspired
- 1.41 Mandala & More
- 1.42 Irezumi-Inspired
- 1.43 Real Blackout
- 1.44 Samurai
- 1.45 The Wrap
- 1.46 Enter the Void
- 1.47 Psychedelic
- 1.48 Less Busy
- 1.49 Polynesian-Adjacent
- 1.50 Dragon Fire
- 1.51 Black Old Sun
- 1.52 Creeping Snake
- 1.53 Another Mix of Patterns
- 1.54 Swirls and More
- 1.55 Chrysanthemum
- 1.56 Pop of Color
- 1.57 Liquid
- 1.58 Parallel Lines
- 1.59 Go Against the Grain
- 1.60 Radio Waves
- 1.61 Express Yourself
- 1.62 Brushstrokes
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