Lions are popularly known as ‘The King of the Jungle.’ Ok, well, we all know that lions don’t live in the jungle, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t the kings of their domain. Mighty hunters that rely on teamwork and strength to assert their dominance, a lion tattoo is another way to remind yourself that only the strong survive.
While men’s tattoos of these big cats can be successfully applied to various canvases on the body, their majestic countenance and bold features are best suited for oversized designs. This means that some of the most exciting lion tattoos you come across will be on the chest, thigh, back, and upper arm.
Whether utilizing the understated elegance of black and grey or the jaw-dropping vitality of a full-color piece, the ink in this collection will provide you with plenty of ideas for your very own lion tattoo.
1. Lion with Crown Tattoo
We still call the lion the king of the jungle for a good reason. The undisputed champion of the savannah, a lion with a crown tattoo, is the perfect way to hammer home this regal nature and show off a bit of your own inner king.
2. Lion King Tattoo
The Disney classic that many of us grew up with, The Lion King, is as great today as it was when we were kids. Lion King tattoos are the perfect choice for anyone trying to exemplify the qualities of loyalty, honesty, and friendship that the movie champions.
3. Lion Head Tattoo
Eye-catching in any style, lion head tattoos are impressive designs that look good on various body sections. The bold features of these big cats and the qualities they represent — power, poise, and majesty — make these visually striking tattoos and deeply meaningful.
4. Tribal Lion Tattoo
While they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, tribal work continues to be popular, and it’s easy to see why. The bold lines, stark black ink, and unique shapes that typify this style can make for some exceptional work. When applied to a subject as impressive as the King of the Jungle, the appeal of tribal lion tattoos is obvious.
5. Simple Lion Tattoo
Some of the best art forgoes complexity for simplicity. This straightforward approach can lead to designs that effortlessly capture the essence of these noble beasts with impressively understated results.
6. Lion of Judah Tattoo
A powerful symbol in the Rastafarian belief system, this lion represents strength, nobility, and African sovereignty. Thus, making the lion of Judah tattoo an excellent choice for anyone wanting to show their devotion to Haile Selassie I.
7. Female Lion Tattoo
While the male lion is the king, the females do most of the hunting that keeps these big cats at the top of the food chain. Because of this killer instinct and well-earned reputation as apex predators, female lion tattoos are perfect for anyone who respects feminine power.
8. Lion Cub Tattoo
Undeniably cute young lions make for interesting tattoo subjects thanks to their adorable faces hiding their fierce lineage. For this reason alone, lion cub tattoos are widely used to commemorate children or represent the wearer’s devotion to his offspring.
9. Lion Eyes Tattoo
There is no mistaking the striking gaze of a lion; their piercing eyes and unflinching profile make these tattoos a unique choice for folks that can convey the fierceness of their style with just one look.
10. Lion Face Tattoo
Whether gazing stoically into the distance or baring the canines that strike fear into the animal kingdom, the noble features of the lion make for some eye-catching designs in a variety of styles.
11. Lion and Lamb Tattoo
Packed full of symbolism, lion and lamb tattoos are intensely meaningful to those wearing them. The lion symbolizes power, physical strength, and aggression, representing the dual nature of life, while the lamb stands for innocence, peace, and spirituality. These characters are significant within the context of Christianity.
12. Lion with Flowers Tattoo
Another way to represent binaries in the natural world is incorporating the classic representation of the feminine (a flower) into an arguably masculine tattoo design (a lion). A lion with a flower tattoo offers plenty of unique and creative expression opportunities along with this symbolic meaning.
13. Geometric Lion Tattoo
One recent movement that has gained popularity is the recreation of organic subject matter with angular lines and complex shapes, most resulting in stunning geometric tattoos. With the natural ferocity of these powerful cats, Geometric lion tattoos are excellent examples of this unique approach to design.
14. Lion and Lioness Tattoo
Teamwork makes the dream work, or so they say. Lions embody this ethos, with the females hunting and males providing the muscle. For these reasons, lion and lioness tattoos are great couple tattoos that symbolize this ride-or-die spirit.
15. Lion Family Tattoo
Unlike most big cats, lions live in large extended family groups, using their strength in numbers to increase success when hunting and when protecting the pride. Use this lion family tattoo to represent the importance of family in your life.
16. Roaring Lion Tattoo
Few things capture the raw power of nature like hearing a male lion’s thunderous roar. The apex of masculinity, roaring lion tattoos are good ways to show off the wearer’s spiritual connection to the King of the Jungle.
17. Traditional Lion Tattoo
While not quite as common in old-school tattooing as their Asian cousin (tiger tattoos) traditional lion tattoos can make for some unique and eye-catching pieces. Utilizing the bold lines and vibrant colors that American traditional tattoos are known for, the ferocious lion is perfect for this classic approach.
18. Lion Skull Tattoo
The lion skull tattoo offers a unique alternative to often more straightforward pieces inspired by these big cats. Perhaps representing the death of the traditional characteristics associated with lions — strength, aggression, masculinity — the skull of a lion is as aesthetically appealing as it is symbolically complex.
19. Lion Paw Tattoo
Another alternative to the classic lion head design, lion paw tattoos can make impressive designs. They are also a great way to memorialize your family, with each paw print representing a new child or cherished loved one.
20. Mountain Lion Tattoo
The African lion’s American cousin, the mountain lion, or puma, is another fierce cat that uses stealth instead of brute force. The mountain lion is an excellent alternative for the person that wants a big cat but prefers something a bit more memorable than the typical lion or tiger tat.
21. Lion Cross Tattoo
Powerful symbols in Christian beliefs, the lion represents Jesus resurrected. When another important Christian symbol, the cross, is added to a design, lion cross tattoos become intense expressions of the strength of the wearer’s faith in god.
22. Lionheart Tattoo
To be lionhearted is to have bravery and fortitude inscribed in one’s heart so deeply that only the noblest creatures fully convey these traits’ weight. Lionheart tattoos are an obvious choice for anyone looking to show the world the depth of their character.
23. Lion and Rose Tattoo
Some of the most rugged designs use opposing concepts to create unique, profound works. Lion and rose tattoos are excellent examples of this approach, pairing the King of the Jungle’s strength, aggression, and masculinity with the delicate feminine beauty of a rose.
24. Lion Outline Tattoo
Not every design needs to be full of complex line work or deep shading. Sometimes the simplest method is best; with the lion’s specific features, this tattoo demonstrates how successful this ‘less is more’ approach can be.
25. Lion Sleeve Tattoo
A subject that is larger than life like the lion deserves a canvas that can do it justice. Therefore committing to a lion sleeve is a great choice, not only for the space it gives the lion but also for the ability to incorporate other design elements, like different animals and landscapes.
26. Lion Forearm Tattoo
Not everyone wants to dedicate their entire arm to a single piece. Lion forearm tattoos are a good way for these folks to give their favorite big cat some skin and save room for other meaningful ink.
27. Lion Chest Tattoo
Quite possibly the perfect placement for a lion piece, the chest is the largest and most prominent canvas, save for the back. For this reason — as well as the symbolism of having the King of the Jungle over your heart — lion chest tattoos continue to be popular worldwide.
28. Lion Tattoo on Hand
While it isn’t as big as the chest, few canvases can challenge the hand’s prominence. Putting a lion tattoo on your hand thus makes it one of the boldest design choices for anyone who wants to dedicate a bit of skin to the ultimate big cat.
29. Shoulder Lion Tattoo
Another popular area of the body, the shoulders, contains a variety of natural lines that can be effectively utilized to create striking and dynamic designs in the hands of a talented artist.
30. Lion Thigh Tattoo
The thigh is an overlooked canvas that is finally getting the recognition it deserves. This placement is particularly well suited to the broad face of a fully maned lion, making lion thigh tattoos an easy choice for anyone that respects the king of cats.
31. Lion Arm Tattoo
The arms can bear several good-sized pieces or one large, comprehensive design full of potential. Add to this the natural anatomical lines of these limbs, and it’s easy to see the appeal of lion arm tattoos.
32. Lion Back Tattoo
By far the most prominent area on the body, there is something awe-inspiring about a complex, precise, full-back tattoo. Lion back tattoos are the only option for anyone looking to go big.
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33. Lion Neck Tattoo
Some folks wear their heart on their sleeve, and others wear a lion on their neck. Lion neck tattoos are a bold way to show the world you play by your own rules, warning these tattoos may not be suitable for the button-down office worker.
34. Lion Finger Tattoo
In the past, such a detailed design might have been hard to come by, but with the skill of modern artists, lion finger tattoos are not only possible but are truly impressive.
35. Lion Leo Tattoo
The king of the Jungle is the king for a reason, one that always shows might, fierce, and loyal to their pack. It makes sense why the lion is paired with the Leo zodiac symbol. Either representing your sign, or the star sign of someone you love, this tattoo speaks for itself.
What does a lion tattoo mean?
Lion tattoos represent strength, loyalty, and courage and for those men that live their lives by these principles, a lion tattoo is the perfect expression of individuality.
What is the best place for a lion tattoo?
These striking animals can be successfully applied to several locations on the body. Still, the chest is probably the best place for a lion tattoo, thanks to the prominent orientation and large body part size.
What would go well with a lion tattoo?
From crowns to skulls to roses, many different design elements can be incorporated into a lion tattoo. The only thing limiting the design is your imagination and your artist’s skills.