Thinking about getting a tattoo on your ribs? You’re in luck, I’ve put together a collection of 40 rib tattoos for men featuring small designs to full body canvas ink.
No matter what big or small ideas you decide to go with, one thing is for certain: It’s going to be a grueling experience in the chair. Ribcage tattoos are one of the more painful parts of the male body to ink.
With a lack of padding and numerous bones poking around near the skin, the process literally requires some guts. You’ll feel a tickling sensation on the skin near your bones, but the real treat of this experience is when you hit bone. Make sure you work with an artist who isn’t heavy handed, because sharp prods into the bone are never fun.
Though, truth be told, the pain shouldn’t be too much a factor when you consider the admirable ink you’ll be left with. Don’t let it deter you from getting what you want done either. In fact, getting a good night’s sleep beforehand, staying hydrated and taking breaks can make your appointment much easier to get through.
Take a moment to look at these manly rib designs and ideas below, perhaps you’ll find some inspiration for adding artwork to your side.
Rib Tattoo Ideas
This is a large collection of tattoos in a religious theme in black and gray ink in a stunning influenced by Chicano style of tattooing, outlined in black fine lines, softly shaded but in high definition to bring out realistic characters depicted in this big, bold culturally influenced creation. The portrait of the beautiful woman with her hands clasped carrying a long black Rosary beads lovingly intertwined around her hands is the main subject of this art work. Her lovely face is turned upwards in supplication, gently cloaked by a veil, to reveal a contoured cheekbone and jawline along with the delicately done eyes to complete the ethereal look. The artist added more and details like an organized clutter of religious inspired items so as to come up with a cohesive composition.
This man side tattoo showcases the American traditional style in all its splendid saturated colors and bold lines of this powerful eagle which looks ready to clasp on to the side of this human canvas. The placement of the eagle is perfect, the artist thoughtfully considered musculature of the wearer so that composition of the eagle would actually fit his movements. Such that, when he rests his arm at his side, only the lower half will be visible, but when he starts to swinging his arm when he walks the other half will be seen. The eagle is a great companion to have on the skin, for its aesthetic beauty as well as its symbolic meaning. This bird is a worthy investment for a tattoo.
This man’s side tattoo is an incredible ink work of the Chinese mythological beast, Nian, a hideous beast believed to feast on human flesh on New Year’s Day. It fears the colour red, loud noises, and fire, red paper decorations were pasted on every door, lanterns were burned all night, and firecrackers were lit to frighten the beast away. There is not a drop of red in this creation, I’m not sure it’s a good sign. The workmanship is outstanding, there are details from top to bottom. Its face looks sinister enough to portray the beast role. The feet details with its long nails and plump toes look lethal as well. This beast drawing is shaded with highlights and contour to add depth for added dimension.
These Japanese symbols are beautifully inked on the side of the body. The strokes mimics that of am ink dipped brush gracefully using the body as its canvas. The black ink is deeply saturated creating a stunning contrast against the pale skin of the canvas. The symbol is roughly translated as “dream”. This is what the daily grind is all about, because you have a dream for yourself, and your love ones.
Forever, for the romantic guy who believes in this concept will be drawn to this side tattoo. The composition of this side black and gray tattoo is consistent to his shoulder and back tattoos. The artist smartly uses the negative space to reveal the shapes of the roses and the winged angel. It is softly shaded, lightly feathered with the needles so as not to produce harsh lines when the viewer transitions to the whole content of the side piece. The text of “forever” is the only portion which is deeply saturated in black ink to ensure that the eyes are drawn to it. It is the only focal point set against the negative space producing a sharp contrast, bringing it closer to the eyes.
This side tattoos of a cluster of pine trees, inked in rich black ink set against the skin as the background. The trees are arranged in a way that the imaginary trail is along the negative space, in an uneven hight for added dimension. The placement of the uneven height of the triangular edges of the trees, is smartly done by the artist aligned according to the natural slope of the muscle tone of the wearer. Longevity of the ink work will never be an issue because all of the details are highly saturated.
This is the ultimate investment to skin modification, choosing a Japanese themed tattoo. A commitment to the required number of hours for its execution and to the cost that a large piece entail. What is definitive of this style is the bold outlines and its content. Shading has somewhat evolved into the illustrative style wherein depth and dimension have been added. This huge ink work is a collection of Japanese mythical creatures such as the dragon wherein its mustache is trickling down to the rib, a head of a samurai warrior, a long nosed Tengu which is a demonic creature.
The magnificent eagle sprawled on the side on an abstract piece with a few geometrical shapes at the background is a few geometrical shapes for texture and added meaning on the content. This a modern approach on a subject which is tremendously popular among the traditional style enthusiasts. The eagle is deeply shaded in dark solid black but the artist left tiny bits of negative space in between to peek through for highlights. A haunting piece, it could even be religious or spiritual because the eagles are known to convey messages of the spirits.
When street art meets body art. The color is unbelievably festive, brilliant in rendering the bright orange and the cool blue so there can be a sense of balance and cohesiveness, and vibrant in saturation. This tattoo will definitely be permanent. It is multidimensional, using black for the outlines and the darker shade of orange for depth. This side tattoo, is definitely a visual success, and you’ll surely be the coolest guy if you show up by the beach, with your surfboard.
This piece is oozing with meaning and bold dark lines which are present among Chicano pieces. These man side tattoos inked in from the upper side of the rib down to the hip bone. It is a sizeable piece of tattoo talks about his spiritual journey, specifically zeroing in on blind faith. The illustration is heavily outlined in black then shaded on the insides with details so it’ll look realistic.
This is indeed an astonishing side tattoo venturing into photorealism which is a thriving trend among ink enthusiasts. This must have taken a long time to finish because of the detailed work that the artist did on this piece. From the dark clouds at the background down with the ray od light beaming from the sky which is the much-needed background for the shape of the flying angel, especially for his wings. His wings with all of its fringe-like details, physique with the muscle tone details from the chest down to his feet. All of that is absolutely breath-taking. Then, the artist added another angel who is more detailed than the other one.
A Polynesian inspired tribal tattoo in blank ink, solidly filled with black ink. This warrior human canvas must be truly brave to include the underside of the shoulder and the rib area. This tribal piece is executed with finesse. It looks clean, precise, segments are evenly spaced out, the contrast of the black and the negative space are distributed well throughout the whole tattoo. The tiki eye is featured in all three segments of the path lines for guidance and protection. The sharp edge of the spearhead in an overlapping diamond like pattern at the center, the turtle shell patten for long life, and then the curves symbolize, the unfurled fern leaf for new beginnings. This man side tribal tattoos are custom made, specifically designed for the client which reveals his story and his aspirations.
If this is a representation of air, then it’s the most elegant and the darkest piece of air. There are so many ways of interpreting this body art and could even be meant to cover certain imperfection on the skin. Whatever it may be, the wearer and the artist did a great job on its mystique and anonymity of its subject matter. However, the composition from the upper side of the rib gently and sensually caressing the side of the body drawn in dark fine outlines. Darkly shaded in some parts, smeared and shadowed in one direction. Definitely, one of a kind and drawn free hand on the canvas.
This side tattoo of an animal skull wearing the native American headdress done in an old school style. It is drawn in a very traditional way with its bold black outlines, shaded with vibrant color palette and some black ink work on the headdress. The gray shading on the feathers at the edge of the artwork gives it a border effect like it’s a transition to the end of the artwork.
This black and gray tattoo of a war scene is executed in light feathered strokes, in which some parts are faded out mimics that of a water color painting. It has a very light approach to otherwise such a bold and dangerous scene. This tattoo is a stark reminder of one of the harsh realities of life, that there is a war in certain parts of the globe, and that there are men who are in the frontlines fighting for us so the rest of us can sleep soundly at night.
This is one of those surrealism pieces wherein the meaning is highly subjective and really depends on how the audience perceive the art work. Like in this piece is black wolf morphing into her gorgeous human self, or the woman dreaming that she is transforming into a wolf. But then, that’s the beauty of surrealism. The content is from a different planet called dreamscape.
This man side tattoo of this brave and courageous guardian angel executed in black and gray ink, finely outlined and shaded which mimics that of a sketch. The Archangel Raguel, the angel of fairness, harmony and justice. He provides strength for those who are working against injustice.
This is a gorgeous illustration of a lovely woman adorned wearing a native American headdress in a traditional American style of tattooing with its bold lines and vibrant colors. The head piece is a symbol of honor, courage and status symbol. The dreamcatcher to ensure that this lovely lady sleeps peacefully.
A minimalist design on the eagle, gracefully spread out on the side of the eagle. Smartly placed on the side to naturally follow the muscle tone of the wearer. It looks like a silhouette from afar. The negative space in between the shaded spots help create the illusion. The eagle is regarded as one of the most powerful spirit guides, and considered divine because it can soar higher than any other bird and could travel to the divine side. It also brings the message of renewed life because it is associated with the east winds – the direction of spring, dawn and rebirth.
This man side tattoo displays a full rigged ship being rescued by giant octopus. It is a large piece of illustration, simple and unshaded. Should the owner decide later on to update his tattoo and allow the artist to add more components to this piece, it’ll be incredible.
An excerpt from your favorite prayer, poetry, song, or personalized words from you meant to inspire, as a dedication to a love one, or a certain advocacy you intend to campaign on, is entirely up to you. Just ensure that the spelling has been checked, and should it be from a different language, ensure that the translation is accurate.
The ones who carry a pelican tattoo carries a spirit guide that teaches self-sacrifice. Getting a pelican tattoo is a statement that one yearns to be charitable and less competitive. It may not be a popular choice among the birds for tattoos, yet this elegant creature can be executed with bold beautiful colors with the numerous details that can be added into its composition, your tattoo will definitely look great.
The sparrow in black ink its claws perfectly perched on the hip of the owner of this dark tattoo. This symbolic creature is often misunderstood as bad omen because it is often associated with death whether in literary or in the big screen. However, this creature is considered sacred in native American culture as it is one of the smart and brave.
A Japanese theme for this gentleman donning a quarter body suit. This piece is absolutely striking, detailed in every angle, every nook and cranny is packed with details. On his side, flowers are the main feature, specifically peonies. In ancient Japanese tradition, these lovely flowers tattoos symbolize wealth, good fortune and prosperity. A symbol of beauty and strength because of its versatility, also depicts that getting great rewards is only possible by taking great risks.
Rib Tattoo FAQs
Do rib tattoos look good on guys?
It definitely does! The gallery right above has proven just that. There are several gorgeous concepts to explore from the minimalist designs to the simple texts, to the religious themes, or perhaps go traditional and be all American patriotic on your theme. You also have an option to be a warrior and go full on tribal, or take on the full vibrant colors of the Japanese mythical creatures and beasts. Or just be you and choose something you feel strongly about whether an advocacy or a passion that you have been pursuing. Your tattoo is your expression and art. Getting it done on the side of your body and on spot that is painful than most, make it look good and make it worth it.
There are numerous styles to choose from which will fit the contour of your rib.
The traditional style, also called old school or American traditional is famous for its bold lines, striking and vibrant colors of the primary wheel color chart, and well-loved designs like roses and skulls, anchors, eagles and snakes, and gorgeous gypsy woman. Realism or realistic style is another option. This emerging style exhibits finesse in rendering, refined lines and getting traction in terms of demand and popularity. This style can produce jaw-dropping portraits and photo-realistic art work. Another trending style is water color. It’s extremely popular among the new breed tattoo enthusiasts, who are constantly looking for new styles. It mimics the brush strokes and the texture of water color on paper canvas, and recreate it using ink on skin as the canvas. Go tribal! The oldest, reliable and timeless style in black ink donning indigenous symbols and patterns that is inherently theirs, whether Polynesian – Samoan or Maori or Celtic cross and knots, Mayan and Aztec, Iban’s floral inspired motifs, or modern. New school style became popular ’80s and early ’90s and resurrected tattooing as an art with the reimaging of tattooing as something stylish and fashionable. If you are an anime fan, this style is perfect for you and your side tattoo.
The level of skill of tattoo artists nowadays are mind-blowing such that, there is absolutely no excuse for getting a bad ink.