Dragon Tattoo Designs
Myths and legends have always been a popular inspiration for dragon tattoos designs. They are powerful, magnificent, and awe-inspiring—not to mention they can breathe fire!
As dragons are a mythical creature they can take any shape, style or color you wish and be adapted to any part of the body.
These magnificent mythological beasts are commonly incorporated into tattoo flash designs and are used on men and women alike, as they are one of the few mythical creatures that work as both a masculine and a feminine symbol.
In legend there are two main kinds of dragon.
The Eastern Dragon, found in Chinese culture, was generally viewed as a benevolent beast that protected people from harm. These dragons provided water—without which everyone would die.
On the opposite end of the spectrum was the Western Dragon tattoo, found in European countries such as Russia. This mythological brute had a nasty reputation for stomping out tiny villages (and tiny villagers). To add insult to injury he (or she) would then gather all the treasure they could find and stash it away in a dark cave somewhere—think Gollum, only really— really big and with the ability to extinguish your home with an errant sneeze.
In short, the Western Dragon was probably not the best of friends with the western people… or the Eastern Dragon. In terms of which type of dragon to get tattooed on your body, people usually opt for the Eastern Dragon, commonly known as the Chinese Dragon. If you are a man considering getting a dragon tattoo, location is everything. You have to be sure you are wearing the dragon - that the dragon is not wearing you.
Large dragon tattoos work well for men, so capitalize on prominent features such as broad shoulders, big biceps, and strong calves. Let the imagery add to your power and mystique… in other words, if you’ve got skinny legs, draw attention away from that area by strategically placing your tat on a more favored body part such as a shoulder or forearm. Dragon tattoos on men add to their mystique and can be extremely edgy and sexy—especially if you incorporate their fire breathing powers in to your design.
Just because men like to get it on with dragons doesn’t mean that women can’t own these powerful beasts too! Dragon images are extremely sexy on a woman’s body because these powerful creatures tend towards a masculine depiction. It is as if a woman has conquered the beast, trapping them on her body.
Larger dragon tattoos work well on a woman’s back, with their wings stretching out to cover the shoulder blades. There is nothing more exciting than breaking out your tank tops and camisoles in the summer; finally being able to reveal elegant wings spread across your back.
Chinese Dragon Tattoos
Essentially, the Eastern Dragon was pretty darn important to the Eastern people.
In addition to being protectors and life givers, Japanese and Chinese Dragon tattoos symbolize power, good luck, and strength. There are many famous Chinese Dragons in myth, including a dragon that guards palaces in heaven, a god dragon that controls the weather, and a dragon who leads all aquatic life.
Some Chinese Dragons are closer to giant serpents, while others are four legged scaled creatures with colorful bodies and powerful claws. Chinese Dragons tattoos are sometimes depicted as having wings like a bat, but most are wing-free, unlike the modern perception of dragons.
There are many Chinese legends that tell of Emperors being born with a birthmark in the shape of a dragon…much like a tattoo. These Emperors are sometimes born in peasant form and go on to overthrow the current dynasty and become rulers. In other stories, Emperors in hiding are identified by their dragon body art birthmark. These legends provide the wearer of a Chinese dragon tattoo with a sense of mythical importance, not to mention a royal link!
Because many tattoos depict dragons as winged creatures, try to simulate flight with your flash. Slant the design either upwards as if taking off or downwards as if making a landing. Go for a 3-D look with shading and positioning; just make sure that both wings are visible in the design. A flying dragon looks best in a medium or smaller size, although larger ones can make for spectacular full back tattoos.
Incorporating a dragon into your body art is a great way to provide extra meaning to any existing design. Try using a fire-breathing dragon to illuminate a quote or extinguish a former lover, addiction, etc.
Because of a dragon’s inherent brute strength and intimidating demeanor, dragon images have been claimed by the male population as a sort of tattoo mascot.
Smaller dragon designs work exceptionally well as lower back tattoos. Other popular areas for dragon artwork include the shoulder blade, the back of the neck, the upper arm, the hipbone, the calf, the foot, and the ankle.