Skull tattoos aren’t suited for just one category of people. They can be drawn, colored and inked in so many ways, that virtually anyone can find a design they like. Even so, skull tattoos are considered badass. Long time ago, only men used to resort to such patterns. In time, things have changed and now there are feminine tattoos that contain skulls as well.
Just as any other symbol, the skull is subject to interpretation. However, most people choose a skull as a tattoo because they think it looks cool, not because they think of death or have other negative thoughts. Indeed, the human skull is seen as a symbol of death and evil, but we somehow find it fascinating. Long time ago, several ancient societies used to associate skulls with honor for humanity and embodied consciousness.
Talked about by Shakespeare and part of the Nazi SS insignia, the skull can also look pretty, not only scary. For example, all skulls dedicated to the Day of the Dead are colorful and express nothing but happy thoughts. This doesn’t mean that you can’t choose a badass design that would give others goose bumps. It’s all about what you like and what makes you feel good.
1. The king of all skulls
The most suited meaning of a skull with a crown is immortality. Although it might seem opposite to you, the fact that this skull is inked in someone’s skin makes it alive even though it isn’t. Regarding the tattooing technique itself, this is a realist style with lots of great shading work!
2. Caressed by sunlight and branches
Skull tattoos will not always refer to death. However, this one does. It depicts the skull as part of nature. I like the sunlight effect reflected by the realistic bone structure. The framing you see on the side is part of a new tattooing technique that has a lot to do with free hand work.
3. Time is a faulty mechanism
While we can use time in our favor, it is still a faulty mechanism because it is limited to us. Skull tattoos that associate clocks with skulls are very common. The idea of having limited time puts us in an uncomfortable situation. However, when we can get such a cool tattoo, we might feel better!
4. Skull tattoos are robotic too
The future of mankind could be robotics, so this tattoo makes a lot of sense. Tattooed on a guy’s arm, it is all about a civilization that isn’t applicable in our days. The coloring is pretty nice, considering the drips.
5. American apocalyptic skull
Everything about this skull is American. We have the cool cowboy hat, the American flag and the sunglasses. It is clearly apocalyptic because of the image reflected in its sunglasses. Otherwise, it looks surreal thanks to the amazing talent of whoever inked it and new technology for tattoo machines.
6. Punk rock skull with mohawk
Skulls have been representative for the punk rock culture as well. This one is sporting a red and green mohawk and the customary spider web. Classic ideas go hand in hand with modern alterations, such as the trippy hemispheres that look like the moon to me.
7. Native American skull on thigh
Since Native Americans are highly spiritual people, I think this tattoo is meant to signify life after death. Skulls have many meanings, so each has to be adapted to the chosen design. Great choice as a thigh tattoo!
8. Skull and poppy flowers
Have you ever seen what happens to poppy flowers if you squeeze them in your hand? They will turn your hands red and die, but the visual effect is amazing! As tattoos, poppy flowers create nice contrasts with black bony structures. This one is quite feminine and it is wisely placed on her ribs.
9. Between life and death
Another example of anatomically correct skull, this one is trapped between a living butterfly and a rose. When you see roses next to skulls, think of the contrast between good and evil. That’s what they are all about. A black rose means death, but then again, according to Christian history, a red rose symbolizes Christ’s death.
10. Side head tattoo looks alive
Side head tattoos are not for beginners. This particular girl looks badass to me and her side head tattoo is sick! Skull tattoos that have eyes are a weird combination. Why would someone put eyes to a bone structure that’s clearly not alive?
11. A macabre landscape
Full back tattoos are impressive thanks to their size. In addition, when you choose such a big skull accompanied by ravens and other birds alike, the effect is even more impressive! I like how this guy’s natural skin color is incorporated in the skull.
12. A line of angry skulls
One courageous woman picked a line of skulls for her side. She connected them with a pattern that looks like a clown’s collar, which is creepy if you think about it. I wonder what made them angry?
13. Catching a glimpse of the inside
Skull tattoos are definitely mysterious. This one looks like it’s going to disappear any minute now. Catching a glimpse of it may seem like an illusion, especially when it is inked in such a realist manner.
14. Inner ear bonification
I always thought inner ear tattoos are extremely cool, but I never had the courage to get one myself. Would you? This one looks so simple and not painful at all since it is small. I think it’s a great idea for those who don’t want to leave that part out.
15. Pretty butterfly skull
This is a hybrid and a result of someone’s imagination. It looks pretty because it is colored, but if you take a second look, you’ll see the skull and those eyes staring at you. A rad combination if you ask me! I also like the location. Not many designs fit on someone’s foot so well!
16. Caution! Cotton candy ahead
Traditionally speaking, the skull and the crossbones are symbols meant to warn people. In this case, be aware of a pink bow that makes me think of cotton candy. Too much sugar could be harmful as well!
17. Modern, color splashed skull
Tattoos that look randomly splashed with color are modern. This technique isn’t used for long. Any classic design can be adapted to this style, as you can easily see in this example. Red and black are often used together for this type of skin art.
18. Day of the Dead begins
For the past 3 or 4 years, people went crazy for this type of skulls, especially girls. Those who didn’t get a tattoo, did put on makeup to look like this. Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday that has gained many adepts lately and it’s about the spiritual journey of the dead ones.
19. The skull with roses instead of eyes
Day of the Dead is not a sad celebration and it spreads on multiple days. It is a family and friends holiday and everyone is supposed to have fun. When it comes to drawing the essence of such holiday, the results are pretty and they send a very positive message. I’d say these candy skulls are feminine!
20. A pair of candy skulls
Just as any other thing in this world, candy skulls are dual. There is a manly side and a feminine side. This is how they look together. The importance of colors for candy skulls is high. They must be bright and as opaque as possible.
21. Skull art requires bright colors
The Spanish tried to suppress Mexican’s pagan traditions regarding candy skulls and other offerings to the dead. However, they didn’t succeed and the results are more than visually appealing. They have gained the status of art.
22. A leg offering to the dead
Candy skulls represent a big part of the skull tattoos out there. They can be placed on one’s thighs, legs, forearms and so on. They fit best on wide skin surfaces, but, as you can see, they can be adapted for thin legs as well.
23. A smiling candy skull among flowers
Day of the Dead is meant for celebration. You will not see anyone being sad or mourning in a negative way. People are enthusiastic about making the best of the worst. This smiling skull embellished with blue flowers is the best representation of their mood. The chosen colors are complementary, which makes it a pleasure to look at.
24. Flowery eyes and a golden tooth
Mexican art is based on certain guidelines, but it is also flexible. Skull tattoos may have eyes in the shape of flowers and they may contain religious symbols. The golden tooth is a funny addition to me, but perhaps it means something deeper we can imagine.
25. Pretty with a crown of flowers
Women have smaller skulls than men. That’s a way of distinguishing them at first. In case of skull tattoos, they usually contain feminine elements, such as this crown of flowers. I like the heart-shaped eyes!
26. In the memory of a former plumber
Candy skulls serve as tribute tattoos as well. This one has to be for a former plumber because otherwise I can’t find any other explanation for the plumbing in this tattoo. Although it’s embellished with feminine accents, it could be dedicated to a man.
27. Sugar lacks the black
As you’ve probably noticed, there are few tattoos that aren’t based on the color black. Even colored tattoos have a lot of black ink in them. This particular sugar skull is made of thin black lines and pure color. It doesn’t lack depth though!
28. Decorated, half-evil skull
Skull tattoos may not send a clear message. This example is both evil looking and cute looking. So, I guess it’s up to you to see the part that you like. However, the black roses talk about death.
29. Golden skull addition on foot
As already mentioned before, there aren’t many tattoo designs fitted for the foot. The surface isn’t too generous and it is quite painful to get inked there. Even so, skull tattoos make it worth the sacrifice because they look best anywhere!
30. Blushing candy skull
It might sound awkward to say that a skull is blushing, but isn’t that pink color in its cheeks supposed to suggest that? It could be dedicated to a dead girl who was shy and smiling all the time. I love how all candy skulls are different and unique too!
31. Skull on a bed of roses
Roses have different colors that actually mean something, but I feel like the colors chosen for the roses in this tattoo are just meant to match the color palette used for the candy skull. They are beautiful nevertheless.
32. Forearm candy skull with sunflower eyes
You’ll see skull tattoos on men all the time, but not candy skulls. This guy is an exception and I think it’s admirable. He adapted the colored candy skull to a version that fits him better. The tattooing styles are mixed.
33. Baby blue skull with heart-shaped eyes
In high contrast with the previous candy skull, this one is girly. It is colored with a baby blue shade and its eyes are shaped like hearts. All the colors match this girl’s bracelets, which is nice.
34. Purification and exaltation through death
One of the meanings of swords is purification. If you add the symbolism of wings to this equation, you’ll get exaltation. An imposing tattoo, this one spreads on a man’s back and it is perfectly symmetrical.
35. Skull tattoo as part of a sleeve
Skull tattoos look great by themselves or as part of sleeves. This is how a guy decided to incorporate a skull with a crown in his sleeve. He chose a black and white design that looks serious and could be considered a masterpiece considering how well it is inked.
36. The skull meant to guide
This pretty realistic skull is meant to guide because it has a sort of compass on its forehead. It features a few roses on the bottom and a cool purple background. Yellow and purple are complementary colors, so they look amazing together.
37. Disintegrating colored skull
Skull tattoos that are colored and not from the candy skulls category look like this. If you ask me, the color dripping technique is catchy, just like a song that you really like. It’s a new type of detail that you won’t find in older tattoos. It represents progress and the new generation in a better way. The symbols might stay the same, but art changes.
38. A skull that’s out of this world
Well, basically all skulls are out of this world since their owners left them, but I was referring to how much depth this skull has. You should feel like it’s ready to grab your hand anytime! This is why choosing a professional tattoo artist is important.
39. Tiny skull on wrist
For less courageous people or tiny tattoo enthusiasts, here is a tiny skull tattooed on a girl’s wrist. In fact, it is just the outline of a pretty cute skull.
40. The mechanism of life
This is a truly unique tattoo design. It speaks about the mechanism of life, that involves several body parts connected together. When they are no longer functional, they can’t stay intact. This design is a good looking metaphor!
41. The clock is ticking
When we realize how precious time is, we tend to associate it with the end of life. We use clocks to measure time and skulls to represent death. This tattoo is a combination of the both, inked with perfect hues and flawless technique!
42. One angry skull
Skull tattoos often depict dissatisfied or angry faces. This could be because they look badass, but also because their wearer wants to obtain reactions from others. Getting a tattoo on your hand is not advisable if you work in a corporation or other similar places. Do think twice!
43. Complex skull on leg
While colored tattoos are more visually appealing, black and white tattoos have more impact. This particular tattoo looks mysterious and dark at the same time. It must be a pretty interesting person the one who’s wearing it!
44. Skull undergoing a metamorphosis
The shape, the colors and the change itself are deceiving. This is not your typical skull. It looks like it’s going through a metamorphosis thanks to the chosen colors, placement and, of course, technique!
45. A classical view
A classical view or an austere tattoo, this one contains the image of a bird, a rose and a skull. This composition makes me think of classic writers. What does it make you think about?
46. Modern skull and tattoo machine
Color splashes, along with color drippings are marks of the modern area in tattooing. The tattoo machine is the type of addition that can easily help us figure out this person’s profession. One well-done tattoo, on a well prepared tattoo artist!
47. The elegance of the darkness
Dark and classical things tend to look more elegant that others. The tattoo above is a good example in this regard. A thigh tattoo, it comprises a skull and a rose.
48. Awesomeness of full back
Speaking of which tattoos have more impact and which not, this is an example of a skull tattoo that has a big impact thanks to its size. I’m not saying that tiny tattoos aren’t pretty, but they are just too small to have a notable impact.
49. Still life immortalized on a thigh
Wild flowers plus the image of an animal skull makeup the sort of scenery that I would call still life. Amazing choice in colors!
50. Inking a skin lesion
Red and yellow tend to be characteristic colors for skin lesions. This skull looks clearly drawn, but the tissue around it looks harmed. This is not the type of tattoo you see often, so enjoy its originality!
51. The skull of a goat
If you wonder how do I know that is the skull of a goat, look at the symbol engraved on the yellow jewelry. That should answer your question.
52. Feeding with life
Skulls aren’t supposed to feed. However, this realistic one looks hungry for the butterfly!
53. When a skull and an octopus merge
Human skull tattoos are rarely associated with suction cups, but I have to admit they are a killer combination! They make me think of Edgar Allan Poe.
54. Pursuit of happiness
A metaphor referring to discovering space and failing to live more while doing it, this tattoo doesn’t fail to deliver the message!
55. Skull and flowers consistent with reality
Modern fascination is all about realism. Look at how real this skull looks like and the flowers as well! Fascinating indeed!
56. When human and beast meet
Skull tattoos of humans and animals are often combined for an impressive and scary effect. The technique used for inking this anomaly is called etching.
57. The rainbow skull
Placed on the back of a woman, this skull makes me think of a rainbow! How about you?
58. Creating volume with line
Professional artists are able to create volume with line only. This rib tattoo is a really cool representation of line art.
59. Simple thigh tattoo
A skull and a flower crown look pretty nice on this woman’s thigh. Would you add some color?
60. The Minnie Mouse skull
When you like Minnie Mouse’s look better dead than alive, you can opt for this tattoo idea!
61. A skull like a paw
Inserting a skull in a paw drawing is original as well! It is a simple, but rad finger tattoo!
62. Everything is connected
Nature, humans and their symbols are connected and the truth is somewhere in the middle. A graphic pattern with a deep meaning! The placement of this tattoo is inspired because most people have the tendency to ask a lot of questions.
63. The guardian of the potion
This tattoo idea could be from a videogame or a movie. Even so, it looks too hot to handle! The skull is too real to look at, while the magic white lines that surround the potion look like they are really there!