To permanently honor your father in a way that is worldly and poignant, the most polished option possible is a memorial tattoo. These so-called “dad tattoos” are totally progressive!
While parents have been disapproving of tattoos for decades, this trend is rapidly changing, especially with the innovative inception of homage tattoos that specifically pay tribute to our dads.
These rousing emblems are uniquely meaningful, and their sensitive origins imply an attractively humble background. Familial affection is eloquently contained in a customized emblem.
For those who want to revel in the masculinity of their lost patriarch, there are countless avenues to make it happen with a dad tattoo. A lot of guys simply choose their father’s favorite piece of manly equipment. This can include a variety of cars and tools. Sports memorabilia is often featured as well. You can also include the dates that would normally be featured on a tombstone as a loving reminder of his presence.
These memorial tattoos are often attained around the time of a funeral, but your dad doesn’t have to be deceased for you to enjoy these beneficial creations. If you get one now, he’ll be able to enjoy it with you. You two can even acquire matching emblazonments. Enjoy this series for some serious inspiration:
This is a beautifully rendered American traditional tattoo the subject has chosen to honor their parent with. The artist has followed the Sailor Jerry model – muted color palette using black, gray, red, and yellow in solid etching – while the ink line work is a solid, crisp black. What little shading is in the artwork has been delivered effectively.
This is a funky new wave tribute to dad tattoo. The use of bright colors vamp up the spanner focal point and turn the piece happy, while the artist also drops in some classic style by using traditional lettering in the word Papa.
This small tattoo delivers a proper old school technical work. The tribute to dad is very simple but done expertly in the classic style.
This text work sends a beautiful tribute to a deceased parent. There’s nothing flashy about the artwork, it’s just a well thought caption placed over the heart designed to pay tribute to memory with simple flowing cursive.
An interesting old school chest piece paying tribute to both parents in classical style. The artist combines the old school color – black, red, green – with technical font choice to create a large tattoo. The artist employs good line work in conjunction with negative space in the hollow, central circle and name badges to give the image an alternative, almost outside in look. The spider webbing background is quite faint – it may be shaded up at a later date.
Old school simplicity here mixed with new school delivery – wonder what the liquid is? This simple design and execution balance the new wave coffee cup by utilizing classical text in the word dad.
Another American traditional tattoo this time with Dad being linked to a steam train. It’s an effective piece, however the flat angle of the train does tend to squash up the image a bit awkwardly, particularly the otherwise cracking red grille at the point of the locomotive.
This is a beautifully delivered combination of American Classic style mixed with traditional portraiture elements, creating a 1950s Buddy Holly style artwork. It’s an example of how crisp, clean black lines – note the clarity of black line in hair and attire – can form patterns that are then manipulated into depth by clever adaption of shadow directional changes. This is technically brilliant tattoo work.
Another classical tattoo with an absurdist twist, the cola bottle and straw make this inner bicep artwork a unique dad tattoo. The detail within the colors – the contrast of leaves with gold type rose petals for example – help the balance, while the shading is minimal but deft.
A beautiful memorial tattoo. The artist and subject have created a tribute based on service and patriotism. The tattoo features date of birth and date of death, while also emphasizing the naval ship he sailed on (the number 63). One thing to note is the tattoo does a good job covering up pre-existing scars by nice use of black line clouds.
This is excellently done. The art is of a classical camping scene that kids take with parents all the time. By utilizing great, bright transitional color for the tents (in green and purple) the technically sturdy image is considerably enlivened. The artist cleverly uses thick linework in the foreground but doesn’t for the supporting trees and sky, so they remain support images. The flowing cursive of dad is expertly etched with single needle.
Another old school wrench. It’s a standout artwork in the American traditional style, with the artist taking painstaking care to get the color right across all of the elements. The flowers are particularly crisp, with white ink highlights aiding flawless transition from red fill color to black line.
A unique dad tattoo that opts for weaponry over tools. This piece is a rare type that doesn’t suffer from being drawn free hand. The work is simple, yet effective shading, occasional white ink highlights and nice text placement make for a solid tattoo.
A quality new wave abstract take on the classic anchor tattoo. This piece is a big, bold half sleeve that utilizes traditional fundamentals enlivened by excellent use of bright blue color shade work and negative space to give it a unique cast. The only issue with this piece is the D cursive lettering – it has an awkward shape which makes the simple word almost too difficult to read.
Traditionally bear tattoos symbolize courage, strength, and protection, corresponding with most children’s view of their father. The artwork here is a classic American traditional tattoo – no fuss, quality detail presented with clear technical skill in line work and edging. The subject’s pale skin works in transitioning to the black fuzzy shade work from the scratch of the slightly darker lines to the point you have to check to make sure that it’s not white ink work.
This small tattoo is unique. It mixes the strength of the old school hammer with the feather placed atop it. Unusually, rather than opt for shading between the overlaid images the piece uses an interesting solid orange hue to create space then a black line border. The font usage for dad is old school, but just shy of traditional American style.
So, Dad is the bomb? This is an American traditional style dad tattoo that mixes an unusual image – the atom bomb – with numerous traditional elements. The most interesting part of the ink is in the combination of simple star lines and dot work to widen and balance the full image across the inner bicep.
This tattoo uses a realistic fishing lure to create an abstract seeming new wave tattoo. Nice! The degree of realism in the lure – check the detail of the silver hook and clasp – is almost flawless, while using bright, solid colors for the focal point (lure) and background (blue water) helps the overall artwork gel together as an image.
This is a nice chest piece dad tattoo in the traditional style. The mixture of elements such as flower, font, and anchor are reminiscent of true old school tattoos from the 1940s and 50s, or flash art you can find online. Smart use of black ink in the crisp line work and leaf coloring support help the tattoo’s clarity.
Another quality old school tattoo – it stands out by being solid in all aspects. The lines are clever, crisp, and clear, while the coloration is flawless. The artist’s choice of white ink highlights in both flags and poles show a strong understanding of artwork minutiae, while the almost electric blue shading is a nice touch.
This is a cool abstract take on portraiture tattooing. It’s a well drawn image that stands out because the artist opts to keep sketch book line elements – such as the chin circle, cheek, and nose lines – alive in the full tattoo through clever thin black lines.
Got to love a dad that doesn’t mind an ice cold Heineken, although having beer with ice in it is more than just passing strange. It’s a positive brand recommendation if you’re willing to etch it permanently on your skin. Technique wise the bottle is bang on, and contrasts well against the yellow and black old school banner + font. Still can;t get over the ice in the glass though.
Raise the Dad flag! This is a banging traditional tattoo. Historically, those sporting the tattoo of a three or four masted ship were signifying to others that they had sailed around the Cape of Good Hope, although this doesn’t really say one way or another. The artist has used slight deviations from the usual traditional color palette and it creates a beautifully piece of ink.
Look, I have no idea what is happening in this tattoo, but it’s bad ass. The hexagon shaping gives the imagery a real lift via pattern usage. The artist fills each six shaded shape with a variety of coolly drawn images in flat black ink.
Font choice is important. This otherwise excellent dad tattoo is negatively impacted by the choice of text. A more simple choice of lettering would have made it simpler to understand, and give those looking at the piece more reason to look at the entirety of the image.
Another Dad is the bomb special. This clever hand tattoo is an almost cartoon expression on flesh. The part of this artwork that helps the whole piece flourish is using the sky blue background interspersed with negative space elements, although the font is also well chosen and conjures images of the 1950s and 60s.
This is a cool tattoo, although the text is lost in translation. It’s a busy skin canvas which the artist has given a wicked cartoon sheen. Love the black line work throughout the piece, from the shirt’s folds through the teeth of the chainsaw, and the heart MOR tattoo inscribed on the manly man’s forearm.
Not sure having the central anchor swallowed by a flower is the right choice to make. However, this dad tattoo is bookended by two well executed black rose tattoos which contrast well against the sky blue, red, and black lines of the middle image.
Hahahaha, this is awesome! The artist has taken an American traditional style tattoo and added absurdist brilliance. The whole image features skillful precision in line work, color choice, and technical execution, but as much as you want to take it seriously the central image remains a dog wearing a football helmet. Love it!
Another freehand dad tattoo – this one is odd. There are great technical elements such as the orange sky signage or sewn ship look. But overall the tattoo lacks top class execution in line work, balance, and detail.
This is a wicked black and gray dad tattoo. The use of clear, crisp single needle line work contrasts well with the fuzzier shading elements. Both the cursive font spelling out Pops and the mountain patterning create a nice sense of scale for the entire artwork.
This dad dartboard is beautifully executed. It’s a subdued image that lets the artist’s tight, technical skill give it shine. There are no flaws in the work, from the nicely flowing cursive through the dartboard’s exceptional balance of gray shadow with negative space. The flourish of white ink highlights across the tattoo help to give a timeless, smooth look.
An almost minimalist fishing lure tattoo. The stark line work of the hooks and font is complemented by just enough color in the fullness of the fish. This dad tattoo seems like an almost genuine ‘Bobby Dazzler.’
Love the solid scarlet color in this traditional dad tattoo. It turns a straightforward piece into a bright, textured artwork, well supported by competent technical skill and the artist’s understanding of correct depth and scale.
This small tattoo is lovely. There’s nothing to it bar a record, apple, and old school font, but that’s all the artwork needs to make a positive impression. Simple is beautiful!
This is far from a remarkable dad + tool tattoo, but there’s a charming element to the simplicity of the adjoining stars which is noteworthy.
This is a top drawer tattoo. It’s inked in as if dad was transported mid race from his marathon and transferred directly onto the subject’s skin. The level of detail in the creased shorts and laces of Dad’s shorts are great examples of the artist’s commitment to detail.
The standout parts of this tattoo lie in the black line details the artist has placed in to instill variety in pattern and shading. The white billiard ball and cue stick are both a well drawn mix of shade and line, while the watch cap’s crosswork pattern is large and interesting enough to make it a focal point of the entire piece.
A bad ass American Eagle is cool, but making your Eagle tattoo a tribute to your dad is next level awesome. This traditional tattoo uses skillful color, theme, and space to make the ultimate upper arm sleeve, with the coolness of the bird complemented by the bad ass black and yellow streamers.