For men, elbow tattoos are known to enable an unusually impressive state of creativity. This location is one of the more difficult spots to get inked, but the flawless results are worth it every time.
Extreme tattoo lovers can show off their passion for ink by getting some professional work done on their elbows. The region is destined for spherical objects, so look into planets, spiderwebs, eyeballs and etcetera.
Those with elbow tattoos typically have a high tolerance for pain, and their ability to endure is often tied to spiritualism. As such, these tattoos often mesh well with metaphysical imagery. Some of the most prevalent body art in recent years involves mandalas. Many elbow tattoos for men also consist of Yin and Yang symbols; however, these aren’t the only complementary presentations available.
When guys get elbow tattoos, their goal is often to coordinate one side with the other. While there is nothing wrong with asymmetry, it has been proven that the brain considers symmetrical objects to be much more aesthetically pleasing. With this in mind, it’s wise to have the left side match the right in a clever mirroring fashion. To see what we’re talking about, jump into this gallery of masculine elbow tats!
Elbow Tattoo Ideas
This abstract bear incorporates a lot of work and cool design elements into the tattoo, however it’s not the most skilful piece and the ink isn’t top quality either. Like the bear ‘s nose, it would be very cool to see how movement affects the shapes and visage of the angry beast.
This unfinished geometric tattoo will be epic when completed. The interplay between red and black forms a quality contrast, while the pattern works well forming along the awkward elbow placement. Dot work and solid black creates a cool 3D look for one part, while the other goes with negative space to make patterns amongst the red.
The original eye tattoo on the elbow point hasn’t held, which can happens on ink done in other difficult areas such as the hands and feet as well. The new work will likely finish with an upgrade to this eye tattoo. The pattern is not bad, while the dot work works against some diamond shape negative space.
An awesome abstract take on the traditional elbow spider web tattoo. The subject has added a bad ass arachnid over the top – there’s plenty of people who’d freak out over this 8 legged friendly. The artist has kept it deliberately dark in line with the web, but has used white highlights on the chitinous shell to get it looking more malevolent (and smooth)
This is a gray, finely detailed variation of the Eye of Providence tattoo. It’s been well inked initially but struggled to keep clarity and line distinction as it has aged. If doing individual elbow designs it helps to work with fatter lined, less intense pieces of detail.
This elbow works well within the tribal design space by working outward from the point of bone and making a larger artwork. The lack of shading here is important – the black and negative space work in direct opposition to each other, which would also show up when the joint moves.
A cool rose elbow tattoo that falls short of being great. The use of a wider gauge needle or premier ink may have helped retain brightness in the powder blue fill, while the black outline could be deployed more clearly by use of a sharpie style thickness. The gray highlights have gotten lost and faded a bit. This rose tattoo could be reinvigorated with a touch up and slightly more effective 3rd highlight color.
This looks brilliant, although you hope the tattoo keeps this level of clarity and detail in the rose pattern as it ages. It’s fantastic at using color and shade contrast to make the piece pop, both from the elbow rose and within the rest of the design. Opting to fill the rose with red on red is an innovative technique.
This is a nicely drawn neo traditional elbow piece. Again there’s an element of the Eye of Providence in the center eye. It’s built on simple colors mixed with clear, fatter black detail to show out. This artwork gets great color contrast from utilizing white ink rather than negative space in the fill.
This compass tattoo does well, avoiding the face being on the part of skin that moves with the joint. It’s a clean, fresh traditional use of black and gray fine needle tattoo.
Like the idea of using bright color against the black in this elbow body art. But again, the skill/technique in deployment has let the piece down. The two tone purple making up the vortex would work better if it was thicker, bolder, and better delineated – the tattoo looks like it needed touching up almost straight after completion.
Elbow Tattoo FAQs
Is the elbow painful to tattoo?
Elbow tattoos can be painful given there’s not much flesh around the joint but plenty of nerve bundles wandering through, plus a few additional pokey bits that can be uncomfortable.
If you’re looking to get both elbows done it’s helpful to get them both done in a sitting – it could take 6-8 hours total depending on the designs employed.
Also, listen to your tattooist’s advice. They’ve seen plenty of different clients in the chair and can make a difficult sitting more comfortable. If you have questions about pricing, pain and aftercare speak to your artist and studio for their advice prior to sitting down in the chair, especially if you’re inexperienced.
How long does an elbow tattoo take to heal?
From personal experience it takes at least 2-3 days for swelling and pain to subside after elbow work, so make sure that you’ve got some padding close by if you’re regularly bending elbows, carrying bags, or continuing travel after this kind of tattoo.
The rest of the heal is pretty simple. Make sure to use good aftercare guidelines in the healing process and the piece will equalize, peel, and settle down over 7-10 days. After the line work/secondary heal is usually the time to check for color drop outs and areas that may need a touch up.