Top 47 Flaming Skull Tattoo Ideas [2020 Inspiration Guide]
The skull carries countless symbolic meanings and associations, from macabre reminders of our mortality to membership in secret, subterranean societies.
For thousands of years humans have feared, admired, and utilized the human skull in both art and worship.
Few things send a more defiant message than the famed flaming skull, made prominent in the 20th century as a way to signify one’s fearlessness in the face of death and at the prospect of their own demise. Traditionally depicted in tattoo art as an anatomical skull embellished by flames, from there the many themes and styles vary according to personal taste. Many prefer their flaming skull Hell’s Angels-style, with an unmistakably metal aesthetic, while others opt for a more Gothic or ritualistic motif.
Worn boldly on the bicep, calf, or shoulder, a flaming skull tattoo is not for the faint of heart. This belongs to the man who is not held hostage by his mortality, but walks the line between comfort and danger with a devilish grin and cool disdain. While some may be shocked by his rebellious disregard, he knows better: it’s the only way to feel fully alive.
1. The best of the best: flaming skull tattoos
The flaming skull tattoos above represent the best depictions of this style, and are very much a new school interpretation. They balance the brilliance of color and technique – a tremendous range of different flame effects built on contrasting colors with black ink – with sublime, accurate anatomical delivery of the bones themselves. These pieces of body art also challenge the skull tattoo stereotype by incorporating intricate shadowy smoke, vivid flame palettes and almost x-ray clarity, with spot on saturation and fine needle to create wildly successful 3D images and killer customized color.
2. Neo traditional flaming skull tattoos
Look, I’m an old school guy. I’ll always treat an American traditional skull, anchor, or dagger with maximum respect, as tried and true tatts part of the cultural fabric of ink. However, with the rate traditional flash and pick ‘n’ stick tattoos are being transformed by amazing conceptual, artistic, and mechanical innovations to become neo traditional art means my tastes are changing. The best of the old school is present in neo – flat color fill, brilliantly crisp line work and tremendous clarity – but the visibility volume is cranked up to eleven by vibrant color choices, larger sized pieces placed differently on skin, and the incorporation of more variety in shade effects.
3. Black ink flaming skulls
Black ink etched right skillfully will always rock. These skulls show off why technical black execution is so important to the finished effect. Without the clarity in line, short, sharp hatches and brief snatches of fuzzy shading, these pieces would lack the clean, clear look they demonstrate with style.
4. American traditional flaming skull ink
These skull tattoos exemplify how the lines between tradition and development are beginning to blur and evolve. Old school vs. new school is travelling towards an entire new strain of tattoo art built on the foundations of ink gone by with innovative exploration. The American traditional skulls above maintains original tenets – a limited color palette, smaller placement, beautifully delivered line work, and only occasional shading. However there’s enough flare and additional usage of background color suggesting a nod to new wave ink styles.
5. Bright flame, realist skull tattoos
If you’re looking for realistic flames to incorporate into your body art, any of the above examples would suffice with premier style. They run the gamut from Backdraft like infernos to stylized depictions of less raging licks of flame. These different combination of blaze aspects mesh with technically innovative and anatomically sure skulls to make arresting tattoos.
6. Black and gray flaming skull ink
In these old school black and gray flaming skull tattoos top quality artists flex their inking muscles with nuance when compared against the visual flair and verve of more colorful pieces. They are extremely subtle in using a variety of gray scale shade effects, fade outs, white ink and negative space techniques to accentuate the intricacy of bone structure, and contrast against each blazing accent.
The other key element is ink placement – the best works above are able to put the focus on the skull then build around it with shape and contrast – and natural contour and angle. The hand tattoos in particular show off the low key technical applications separating top quality work from the merely very good.
7. Colorful flaming skull ink
There’s some wicked examples of funky color tattoos in these flaming skull tattoos. While ostensibly there’s a wide variety of concepts, the key to success for each one is clear – make sure you etch a quality skull as the bedrock of your image. Everything else flows from there. An incendiary religious figure, burning building, or even the use of the skull as border shape needs the skull to be effective, whether it’s meant to complement or act in opposition.
8. Japanese inspired flaming skull tattoos
Skulls operate in the same sphere as the dragon, koi fish, or samurai as important motif in the Japanese tattoo style. They have a long, lurid history as a key part of the Japanese spirit world, theater, and even connotations surrounding the Yakuza criminal underworld. The Irezumi tattoos act as almost a way point between old and new schools, utilizing their trademark wave, smoke, and cloud shading, and offsetting negative space aspects to weave between old school shapes and the vibrancy of new school colors.
Flaming Skull tattoo FAQs
What does a flaming skull tattoo mean?
There’s an amazing array of links between skulls and traditional tattoos, although most often a skull symbolizes mortality. The versatility in its various meanings goes hand in hand with the skull’s all around bad ass effect and it’s position as a leading choice of body art.
The flaming skull is most often representative of danger. It’s a popular motif for thrill seekers, those who work in hazardous occupations, and even those anti establishment agitators on the edge of society.
Need more inspiration for your skull tattoo. Click on the links to our galleries below: