Top 50 Mind-Blowing Father Son Tattoos [2022 Inspiration Guide]
It’s been said that a father is neither an anchor, which holds us back, nor a sail, which takes us to our distant destination. Rather, a father is a guiding light whose wisdom and encouragement show us the true way.
From encouraging our wandering spirit with hobbies to sharing practical truths about women with humorous stories to match, the time spent together sets the stage for sons to follow in their father footsteps by example.
Those little bits of wisdom we pick up along the way from our fathers lead to a lifelong understanding of the world and, not to mention, an unbreakable bond with our dad.
They could also inspire a father son tattoo design or two if you’re considering getting inked in memory of your dad or own son. Perhaps both father and son could even get matching tattoos to cement their relationship.
But with so many memories that could be captured in ink, it can be difficult to come up with a single idea for meaningful body art. Besides tattoo quotes, how in the world do you capture all the honest values and virtues, not to mention the good times spent by a parent with his child?
To help, I’ve put together a collection of the top 50 best father son tattoos for men. You’ll discover realistic scenes of bonding like personal talks of encouragement to time spent together with lines cast over the lakes.
I’ve also included a few incredibly creative design ideas like tattoos of kids’ drawings and, of course, traditional designs like a son’s handprint or footprint.
1. Traditional Black and Gray Father Son Tattoos
There is a classic sensibility about traditional black and gray tattoos that is almost impossible to achieve with a tattoo design with vibrant colors.
The best of these tattoos evoke memories of black and white film and old photographs resurrected from dusty boxes and forgotten drawers. This subdued nature makes this approach perfect for powerful tributes to the love and strong bond between a father and son.
These are excellent tattoo ideas with the black and gray style. These show what is possible with just black and gray ink. Through the use of fully saturated black ink, smooth gray wash shading, and negative space to create contrast, a tattoo artist can capture emotional moments that highlight the deep father son connection.
2. Father Son Silhouette Tattoos
Whether using a vibrant color palette or sticking with a more subdued, black and gray approach, silhouettes are a powerful tool that a tattoo artist can use.
These shadowy images are created by objects and persons being backlit by a powerful light source, producing an outline without any details. The effect created can be very dramatic.
This technique is a great idea for father son tattoos, thanks to the emotionally charged nature of this design. For example, the unmistakable silhouette of a father and son holding hands in front of the setting sun or moon instantly conjures deep feelings of nostalgia and memories of time spent with your dad.
3. Neo Traditional Father Son Tattoos
American Traditional tattoos are known for their bold outlines and limited color palette. While there are still some in the tattoo community who favor a pure approach to this style, many artists use American Traditional as a launching pad to explore more stylized interpretations. Tattoo ideas that honor fathers and sons are no exception.
The concept of neo-traditional design is notoriously hard to pin down, but these father son tattoo ideas are some great examples that demonstrate how talented artists can create new and exciting body art that uses American Traditional as a starting point.
This approach is perfectly suited for father son tattoo designs, thanks to the opportunity to bend the rules and create more personal and customized ink. These neo-traditional pieces use vibrant colors and a variety of different approaches to shading and linework to create one of a kind pieces commemorating time well spent by a father son duo.
4. Simple Silhouette Father Son Tattoos
As with all things artistic, tattoos highlight the variety of tastes and sensibilities of different people. Some people like vibrant colors and intricate details or symbols to capture their style, while others prefer a more simplified approach. The first batch of silhouette tattoos fell in the former category.
These simpler designs demonstrate just how powerful silhouettes can be. Eschewing the details and multifaceted compositions of the other silhouette work, these pieces use fully saturated black ink and limited linework to perfectly recreate the unmistakable image of a father and son, walking hand in hand.
These designs show that sometimes simple tattoos are best in depicting that special bond between a parent and child.
5. Top Drawer Father Son Tattoos
To be top drawer is to be the best, the cream of the crop, and these adorable father son tattoos are just that. These black and gray pieces use a variety of approaches to create excellent tattoos. Some of the artists use these pieces as an opportunity to flex their portrait muscles, using black and gray ink to create photo-realistic pieces that rival actual photographs.
Other artists create interesting compositions that improve the appeal of the tattoos. Two of these tattoos use a forest as a backdrop and utilize a variation in black and gray tones to create depth in the piece that is both technically impressive and visually charming.
Some fathers express their love for their child by getting inked with their name or image, just like Dennis Graham did when he got a massive portrait tattoo of his son, famous rapper Drake.
Another rapper, Lil Wayne, has a tattoo in memory of his stepfather, his only father figure.
These are great tattoos that perfectly encapsulate the emotions of the special bond between a parent and his child.
6. Kids Art Father Son Tattoos
While they are definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, a growing trend in father son tattoo ideas is for childhood drawings to be utilized as designs. For some people, there is no design, no matter how technically detailed or expertly applied, that could demonstrate their love for their son more than a picture that he actually drew.
From text like “I love you Daddy,” to the rudimentary dinosaurs that so many of us drew as children, these tattoos are an extreme way to demonstrate to the world how much you love your son and show that your son is your number one priority. Kids grow up fast and, in this increasingly complex world, this is a permanent way to remember the good old days when life was a bit simpler.
7. Hands and Feet Father Son Tattoos
For most people, the hands are some of the last parts of the body to get tattooed, and this is because they are almost always in view.
However, when commemorating a relationship as precious and profound as between a father and son, hand tattoos are perfect. Tattoos on the feet are also interesting symbols of the people or things that keep a person grounded. Many people place important images on their feet to represent the fact that these parts of their life serve as their anchor.
An image of a set of tiny footprints to mark the birth of a child and show love for the little one is also a popular tattoo idea. So is an image of a father’s huge hand holding a tiny hand, which speaks volumes about the huge impact of physical contact on a child’s growth and development.
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