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 who’s wisdom and encouragement shows us the true way.
From encouraging our wandering spirit with hobbies to practical truths about women with humorous stories to match. Time spent together sets the stage for sons to follow in their father footsteps by example.
It’s those little bits of wisdom we pick up along the way from our fathers that lead to a lifelong understanding of the world. Not to mention, unbreakable bond too.
Perhaps you are considering getting a tattoo in memory of your dad or own son. With so many memories that could be captured in ink, it can be difficult to come up a single idea. How in the world do you capture all the honest values and virtues, not to mention good times?
To help, I’ve put together a collection of the top 50 best father son tattoos for men. You’ll discover realistic scenes like personal talks of encouragement to time spent together with lines cast over the lakes. Not to mention, I’ve also included a few incredibly creative design ideas like tattoos of kids drawings and of course, traditional designs like a son’s hand print too.
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 vibrant colors. The best of these tattoos evoke memories of black and white film and old photographs resurrected from dusty boxes and forgotten drawers. It is this subdued nature that makes this approach perfect for powerful tributes to the love between a father and son.
These are excellent examples of the style and show what is possible with black and gray ink. Through the use of fully saturated black ink, smooth gray wash shading and negative space to create contrast, these artists are able to capture these emotional moments that highlight this deep 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 tattoo artists 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 great for father/son tattoos thanks to the emotionally charged nature of this content; the unmistakable silhouette of a father and son holding hands in front of a setting sun instantly conjures deep feelings of nostalgia and memories of time with dad.
3. Neo Traditional Father Son Tattoos
American traditional tattoos are known for their bold outlines and limited color palette, and while there are still some in the tattoo community that favor a pure approach to this style, many artists use American traditional as a launching pad to explore more stylized interpretations. While the concept of neo-traditional is notoriously hard to pin down, these tattoos are some great examples that demonstrate how talented artists can create new and exciting designs that use American traditional as a starting point.
This approach is perfectly suited for father son tattoos thanks to the opportunity to bend rules and create more personal and customized designs. These neo-traditional pieces use vibrant colors and a variety of different approaches to shading and line work to create one of a kind pieces commemorating father and son time spent together.
4. Simple Silhouette Father Son Tattoos
As with all things artistic, tattoos highlight the variety of tastes and sensibilities for different people. Some people like vibrant colors and intricate details 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 line work to perfectly recreate the unmistakable image of father and son, walking hand in hand. These designs go to show that sometimes simple tattoos are best.
5. Top Drawer Father Son Tattoos
To be top drawer is to be the best, the cream of the crop, and these 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. These are great tattoos that perfectly encapsulate the emotions of this powerful bond.
6. Kids Art Father Son Tattoos
While they are definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, a growing trend in father/son tattoos 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 that your son is your number one priority. Kids grow up fast, and 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 profound as between a father and son, hand tattoos are perfect. Tattoos on the feet are also interesting for their symbolism: many people place important images on their feet to represent the fact that these parts of their life serve as their anchor.
Click on the links below for more commemorative tattoo galleries: