15 Most Impactful and Meaningful Lion Tattoo Designs

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The Lion, King of all animals is a primary symbol of strength and power. It denotes not only the ‘king of the jungle’ but also the qualities of courage, wisdom and an awe-inspiring leader. Many people relate to the lion for these and other superior qualities of royalty, authority, fortitude, pride and protection. Each of these traits can be related to uniquely by distinct individuals. Thus, for this reason, the lion is the most popular choice when it comes to tattoo designs. The lion tattoo meaning is quite significant in itself which attracts many towards it.

People getting different forms of the ‘lion’ inked on to themselves are the ones revering the importance of power and bravery. Those who believe to be lion-like themselves i.e. fearless and quite literally – the ‘King’, are the ones that are most interested in these designs. More so, those who might not be all that powerful yet, but aspire to rule the world one day and be the mecca of courage, are the ones gathering up to get lions tattooed.

lion tattoo images

Here is a pick of our favourite lion tattoo designs for those who are all about valour. We have brought you a list of designs each distinct from the other not only in structure, shape and colours but also in their meaning and significance. The lion tattoo images below shall tell you exactly how it will look after getting tattooed. Read on and find your perfect match to get inked on:

Different Types of Lioness and Lion Tattoos and Designs:

Here are the 15 best lion tattoo designs and meanings with pictures are as follows.

1. Artistic Black and Dot Work Lion Tattoo on Wrist:

lion tattoos on wrist

Geometric and perfectly symmetrical is what this exquisite tattoo is all about. The dotted technique, on the other hand, acts that extra edge of sophisticated spunk and creativity the facial detailing is enhanced using the subtle dots. What we especially love about the lion’s face are the passionate eyes that are rather cute and appealing. The stunning mandala work stretches all around the face in a dotted and symmetrical pattern to make them look even more enchanting and highlighted.

  • Best for: The face of the lion and the wide design layout makes this tattoo perfect for men.
  • Preferable ink Colour: Since it’s dotted and only one colour based, a clear dark black ink would be ideal
  • Where: The shape and design of this geometric lion tattoo make it best to be inked on the wrists of men.
  • Size: For this lion wrist tattoo, medium to large sizes are advised depending on the wrist size of the client.
  • Skin tone: This lion tattoo for males is best suitable for those with Wheatish to fair skin.

2. The Lioness Shoulder Tattoo for Girls:

lion tattoos for girls

Looking for lion girl tattoo? This lioness tattoo is intricately done up using shading technique. It consists of a lioness in a rather protective position as if she’s on guard for something. The detailing for the fur, ears and whiskers make the design quite attractive. The eyes capture a beautiful expression which grabs attention immediately (sign of a good tattoo at all times). This is by far one of the best lion tattoos for females. The female lion is also known for its gentle loving nature and this tattoo design seems to bring about a mix of all these qualities through a soft portrayal of the animal.

  • Best for: This one is for all the women out there. This female lion tattoo is also ideal for the gentle yet tough lady and for the strong, independent woman.
  • Preferable ink: This tattoo is mostly in shades of black. Greys and light blacks for the shaded bits.
  • Where: This one looks best when inked on one of the shoulder areas (on the left/right upper back just below the shoulder).
  • Size: This lion back tattoo for women looks best in a medium size as the slightly tilted design is supposed to cover the below shoulder area significantly for the right impact.
  • Skin tone: This is best suitable for those with wheatish or fair skin.

3. Blue Colour Lion Tattoo on Rib Cage for Men:

This lion head tattoo in blue is as majestic as it gets – representing a lion face caught in its ferocious emotion and the colour blue representing utmost royalty. In fact, the colour adds on to make them look vibrant and instantly attention-grabbing (now aren’t lions all about exactly that?). The mane is done up in a funky way making the design modern and spunky. The eyes encapsulate the fiery touch that seals the powerful look and stands out most attractively.

  • Best for: This is another stunning lion tattoo for men.
  • Preferable ink: This lion tattoo drawing is essentially done up in blue.
  • Where: This tattoo should be inked to cover the one side of your entire rib cage (left or right).
  • Size: It usually has to be a large sized one since it’s shaped and designed to cover the entire rib cage length.
  • Skin tone: This tattoo can work for fair skin tone and wheatish tones.

4. Astrological Lion Tattoo on Chest:

This lion tattoo simple and so Leo is your perfect pick in that case! It consists of a lion face exquisitely tucked within and on the Leo sign’s symbol. This traditional lion tattoo is not only a safe option but also quite meaningful. The symbol chosen itself is the beautiful glyph. It is curved design that signifies a simplified form of a lion and its mane. The angry lion face and the zodiac symbol design together signify born leaders. Your birth date on top of the design inked clear and strong also lay out the pride of being a Leo and link the tattoo to your very existence.

  • Best for: Mostly a lion tattoo design for guys as it consists of a lion face and is quite masculine in its appeal.
  • Preferable ink: Shades of black are perfect to bring out the design.
  • Where: This is ideal for the right or left upper chest area of a well-built man.
  • Size: small – medium sizes are what this lion chest tattoo looks best in.
  • Skin tone: Fair-skinned tone would be best. However wheatish tone to brown skinned can also work.

5. Chinese Lion Tattoo Design for Boys:

lion tattoo designs for boys

This unique lion tattoo might just be your calling! Referred to as guardian lions, they stood for protection and were often placed, in the form of stone lions, in front of Chinese temples to protect them. This tattoo includes a ferocious Chinese lion coloured in exciting hues to grab attention. It clasps a geometrically designed ball under its paws. It has a mane with beautifully curled up patterns going all along and giving fluidity to the look. It aces the lion tattoo designs for men list for plenty out there. It can be an excellent lion tattoo on bicep too.

  • Best for: Again, the lion design is most suitable for men and especially those loving artsy decorative designs.
  • Preferable ink: Vibrant hues of red and purple are used to do up the face, paws and the mane.
  • Where: it looks best on men with a large arm space.
  • Size: This lion arm tattoo tends to be on a larger side only as the design needs quite some space to cover.
  • Skin tone: This lion forearm tattoo can be sported by almost anyone, fair, wheatish and brownish skin tones would work.

[ See More: Tiger Tattoo Designs ]

6. American Flag Tattoo with Lion:

Colourful and on the less ferocious side, this one above is quite a distinct lion tattoo to a sport. The American flag has always been a symbol of the nation’s strength and unity, qualities closely associated with the lion as its rules and unites the jungle. Here you can thus see both the lion face and an American flag in the tattoo design. This illustrative tattoo features an abstract lion picture which is coloured with an array of rainbow colours that runs down in stunning rivulets of pastel and then the quintessential starry background of the flag of America.

  • Best for: The lion face makes it most suitable for men.
  • Preferable ink: The American flag background should be done up using the original red, white and blue colours.
  • Where: It tends to look best on the arms due to its shaping and size.
  • Size: This lion pride tattoo tends to be on a larger side most of the times
  • Skin tone: Brown skin tone really brings out the colours of this lion tattoo in hand. Wheatish and fair skin tones also work super well.

7. Roaring Lion Face Tattoo with Crown:

This is again one of the powerful lion face tattoo designs. Want to go all ferocious and powerful, but also royal and omnipresent? The depiction of the lion with a crown on its head is a bold statement of the fact that the lion is the “King of the Jungle”. Here, as you can see above there is quite an animated roaring lion face caught in its emotion of passionate rage and while on the action. The cliché image of a king’s crown sits with pride on the head of the angry lion tattoo face. The initials of the person are adorned below the lion’s chin.

  • Best for: The ferocious lion face makes it most suitable for men.
  • Preferable ink: This lion with a crown tattoo is multi-coloured and while you can tweak around with your favourite shades, we love the yellow and black theme.
  • Where: It tends to look best on the arms especially on the elbow area of the inner side as shown above.
  • Size: Small to medium size is good enough for this king lion tattoo design
  • Skin tone: This one can stand out and look good on dark-toned skin. It goes well on wheatish to fair skin tones too.

8. Lion Rampant Tattoo on Ribs:

The fluidity in the design is ongoing that makes the look quite artistic. A stunningly wavy and curling up tail and mane.Paws that spread out into beautiful furry twirls. The design here is conceptualized on The Rampant Lion or commonly referred to as ‘Lion Rampant’. It is an emblem of the Royal Scottish Standard and is mostly seen on the Scottish and Belgian flag. It is a symbol of strength among the young people and the wisdom and nobility of the old. Thus this is a perfect design that is creatively artistic and yet signifying strength and wisdom.

  • Best for: The Rampant lion image makes it most suitable for men.
  • Preferable ink: Go with the shades of brown and subtle blacks to keep the design smart and classy.
  • Where: Best would be as shown above on the rib cage area but on the side profile of your body to really do justice to the shape and structure of the design.
  • Size: It has to be in a medium to large size for it to look this good.
  • Skin tone: Wheatish skin-tone would be ideal to bring out the brown beautifully. Fair skin will also work well with the tattoo.

9. Raging Lion Tattoo for Men:

lion tattoos for men

This one is special with a lion face, a dramatic mane and paws in the raging and roaring position. The voracious nature of the lion is represented in all its fierceness in this extravagant work of art. The intricately detailed mane makes it an extremely realistic lion tattoo and vivid. The sharpness of the teeth and nails portrayed in the tattoo further create an aura of ferociousness and authority. The details used for the lion drawing in a tattoo is immensely important and here it is done extraordinarily.

  • Best for: This ferocious lion hand tattoo design is best suited for men. All those who are especially fierce and influential shall love this tattoo.
  • Preferable ink: The shading of brown with black throughout the body and mane creates a great contrast which is clean, smart and eye-catching.
  • Where: A considerable arm space is where this roaring lion tattoo looks best at. Just below the shoulder on the right or left arm is ideal.
  • Size: It has to be in a medium to large size for it to look this good.
  • Skin tone: Wheatish skin-tone and fair tones are perfect.

[ See More: Bull Tattoo Designs ]

10. Sun Lion Face Tattoo Design on Thigh:

This one is another design apt for those Leo zodiac sign obsessed. The lion face as seen in this tattoo design is depicted with its mane in the form of the sun. This combination of the sun along with the lion face denotes the sun sign of Leo which is ruled by the Sun. The face itself manifests ferocity as you can see above. Enraged eyes and an open roaring mouth with sharp teeth shining through, adds to the drama of it all, while the mane extending fluidly into a golden sun like structure encapsulates the Leo sign significance.

  • Best for: It is best suited for men as the image at the centre is that of a lion and not a lioness. Preferable ink: Use hues of yellows, golden, oranges and bright reds as shown here and shaded beautifully to represent a lion in the form of a sun.
  • Where: The shape and size of the tattoo make it most suited to be inked on either the left or right thigh.
  • Size: A medium size is ideal for this particular tattoo design.
  • Skin tone: Fair or dark-skinned tones are best as they shall bring out the colours the most.

11. Small Lion and Lioness Tattoo for Couples:

lion tattoos for couples

A rather cute idea for all the power couples out there – this design is sure to turn heads for you and your partner. This design is the perfect option with a male and female lion face aptly designed to fit your fingers respectively. The ombre effect makes the design ever more creative and attractive. The design is realistic and yet smart and simple! The perfect pick if you’re on the lookout for a tiny lion tattoo, we say!

  • Best for: Couples that want to get inked together. Strong, powerful and confident couples shall love this tattoo. The lion face is for the men and the lioness variant is the for ladies.
  • Preferable ink: Monochrome theme with shades of black is the safest option.
  • Where: It looks superbly smart and cute on each one’s ring finger.
  • Size: A small size is ideal for this lion finger tattoo as it is meant to be cutely placed on the finger. This small lion tattoo design is quite visible on its own.
  • Skin tone: Fair, wheatish and dark-skinned tones can all sport and enjoy this beauty of a design.

12. Lion Tattoo Tribal Design on Leg:

Today tribal tattoos have gone onto become one of the most creative outlets to experiment with designs. The fascination with tribal tattoo art is never-ending. As you can see above, in this design a wavy pattern is used to style the whole look (the body of the lion, hands and legs, mane and the tail). Another half moon or ring-like tribal pattern is used to surround the lion highlighting the creativity even further. This kind of design stands out from the rest as the efforts put into creating it make it rather unique on its own.

  • Best for: Due to its masculine design, its fit for males. The men looking to combine artsy and fluidity with the courage symbol of the lion are most cut out for the design.
  • Preferable ink: tribal lion tattoo designs are mostly done in black. Jet dark black is the best choice for creating the most impact.
  • Where: It needs a large area to really come out well. The shape and size make the side profile of your lower leg ideal for it as shown above. Start below the knee and end well before feet.
  • Size: Usually large size is what you shall be looking for when sporting this lion leg tattoo.
  • Skin tone: Fair and wheatish skin tones are ideal for this design. It could work on dark skin as well though.

13. Half Sleeve Lion Head Tattoo Design for Men:

Tattooing Lion’s head is more common than getting the full body of the lion inked. It is depicted in a number of different designs and expressions from a fierce look to a calm, passive countenance, the latter being the case in this tattoo design. The design itself is that of a lion tattoo sleeve type with detailed shading and playing with hues to create a rather realistic image of the lion. The eyes are done mesmerizingly which captures an expression one just cannot ignore. The white whiskers add to the wisdom aspect of the design.

  • Best for: This lion shoulder tattoo is meant for men as it depicts a large, broad face of the lion.
  • Preferable ink: shades of brown and black are ideal to contrast across the mane and facial expressions. A glassy blue or ice-y grey pair of eyes seal the look.
  • Where: It needs a large area to really come out well and is designed in the form of a half sleeve tattoo. Thus, it would work best on a well built upper arm area.
  • Size: This design has to be in a large size to create the required impact.
  • Skin tone: Fair, wheatish and darker skin tones are all suitable for inking this design.

[ See More: Dragon Tattoo Designs ]

14. Watercolour Lion Tattoo on Leg:

How about going all colourful, vibrant and pastel with your lion tattoo? Yes, what’s unique about this design is the beautiful watercolour effect it has and we absolutely love it. It includes a typical angry lion face but the whole design is softened by the use of beautiful watercolour effects in vibrant hues of blue, purples and greens. The design is artistically conceptualized incorporating the dripping effect of the water-paints usually found on a rough canvas and brush strokes and spots.

  • Best for: With the lion face as the main theme, this one’s again male centred. However, women can also opt for this beauty and tweak the design to be centred around a lioness’s face instead.
  • Preferable ink: Use vibrant distinct hues as this is a multi-coloured design.
  • Where: This colourful lion tattoo is best suited for the lower leg as this one too requires a large area space.
  • Size: Due to the water coloured effect, this design has to be in a large size to create the required impact.
  • Skin tone: Fair skinned tones would work the best. Wheatish tones could also be suitable.

15. Floral Designed Lion Tattoo:

Who said florals are only for feminine designs and themes? Contradicting the common belief, black lion tattoo designed in floral rounded design are very masculine and popular. As you can see above, the design is absolutely magical with its beautiful petals encapsulating the strong lion face at the centre. What we love about this design is the symmetry of it and the hand-sketched touch of the detailing on the petals. Creative to say the least, this design sure stands out from the rest. It also symbolizes the meaning of wisdom, love, beauty and elegance.

  • Best for: With the lion face as the main theme, this one’s again male centred. However, women can also opt for this beauty and tweak the design to be centred around a lioness’s face instead.
  • Preferable ink: Go with the monochrome theme and shaded look. Use black contrasting shades to ink the impact the design deserves.
  • Where: The lower leg or the upper arm is ideal for this design. If you’re keen on a lion neck tattoo only, a smaller variant of it could also work on the neck area.
  • Size: It would look best in medium to small sizes.
  • Skin tone: Fair, Wheatish and brown skin tones would be suitable.

Additional Tips for Lion Tattoos:

  • Remember that getting inked is no child’s play. The design you choose remains with you mostly throughout your life. So do your research and pick a design thoughtfully. Be patient and don’t take brisk decisions about the design.
  • Choose a design that resonates with an important aspect of you as a person, your existence, your family or life in general. This could be a personality trait (eg: lion-like qualities explored above), name or symbol of your spouse, child, mom etc, your sun-sign, an ancestry symbol and the like. Something that means immensely to you now is more likely to stay relevant even in the future.
  • Please pick a reputed and experienced tattoo artist and studio. Talk to him clearly about what is it that you want and let him guide you with what he/she can do best in the respect.

Today, lion tattoo designs have become a hot favourite among both men and women. Peace-loving, authoritative, the protector or ferocious – you can choose distinct lion and lioness tattoos depending on what emotion you would like to portray as apparent in the lion tattoo photos above.So, if you believe yourself to be lion-like, or are a typical Leo or rather aspire to be all-powerful and royal like the king of the jungle, this is your list to follow and pick from. With unique options and something for all sorts of people, this exhaustive list of lion tattoos is the perfect start to your inking journey. So, scan the above pictures of lion tattoos, choose your best fit and get set tattooed!