Top 101 Forest Tattoo Ideas – [2022 Inspiration Guide]
Forest tattoos unlock incredible natural wonders within the parlor, and guys of humble origins can exuberantly amp up their fashion with one of these exotic beauties. Here’s why they are so viscerally compelling:
For ink enthusiasts, no concept offers more customization than a dense collection of trees.
The horizon lends itself to a wide range of visceral variety. While you may be expecting a series of highly detailed bark and branches, this is actually only one of several avenues. In fact, silhouettes are shrewdly gaining prominence in modern times.
Endless creatures can be incorporated in their natural habitat, which makes forest tattoos even richer. Birds and insects shall add vibrant depth to your body art by making crafty cameos. Another way to enshrine uniqueness is by emphasizing particularly types of trees. Environmentalists will be able to note the exact species from a distance!
The time of day also plays a huge role in forest tattoos. Dawn and dusk enable extra expression by using the sun to add original shading values. The season may also be subtly indicated via changing leaves and weather patterns.
By taking time to navigate our inspirational archive of forest tattoos, you will certainly come across the most tantalizing trees imaginable.
1. Forest Tattoos Featuring Wolves
Instantly recognizable, the wolf is one of the most powerful symbols of the magic of the natural world and holds a number of meanings. Wolves are often considered symbols of solitary focus and determination (the classic lone wolf) but thanks to their social nature they can also represent deep friendship and connection, especially when used in matching tattoos.
They make for great tattoos thanks to their striking visage and the opportunity they provide to incorporate different elements like forest scenes, full moons and starry nights. The striking silhouette of a wolf howling at the moon continues to be a compelling image that perfectly captures the mystery these animals symbolize.
2. Forearm Forest Tattoos
People have been getting tattoos on their arms for centuries, and for good reason. The forearm is a particularly popular place to get a tattoo, and these forest inspired designs are great examples. The vertical lines of the forest are perfectly suited to the forearm thanks to the way they can draw the observer’s eye up and down the entire piece.
The forearm also provides the wearer the choice of whether to show off their ink or leave it hidden beneath long sleeves: a rather dramatic effect can be achieved when wearing long sleeves in a professional setting, only to roll the sleeves up at the bar and reveal beautiful and interesting tattoos.
3. Forest Deer Tattoos
Another powerful animal that calls the forest its home is the deer. One of the ultimate symbols of male virility, a stag with a full rack of antlers is an imposing figure and is prized by hunters for these impressive appendages. The violent competitions they engage in during the rut further solidify their significance as bold representations of masculinity.
Their ephemeral nature in the forest also plays into their symbolism: when out in the forest deer are silent, and if you happen to see one, it is often gone in the blink of an eye and without a sound. Whether in full color, black and gray, or simply a silhouette, these majestic animals are perfect companions in any forest inspired tattoo.
4. Upper Arm Forest Tattoos
The upper-arm has been a popular spot for tattoos for centuries. Once again, this placement, high on the arm, allows the wearer to dictate who gets to see their ink and who doesn’t, which is important, especially for those in professional settings.
The larger size in comparison to the forearm also means that bigger, more intricate designs can be applied to the upper arm, and the musculature of the biceps and triceps provide artists interesting natural lines to incorporate into their designs. These artists use a number of styles and a variety of techniques to create interesting pieces that demonstrate how forest tattoos can be successfully applied to the upper-arm.
5. Forest Tattoos Featuring Birds
Birds hold powerful significance, representing freedom, independence and good luck, however different birds often hold more specific symbolic meanings.
Owls, the nocturnal custodians of the forest, most commonly represent wisdom and the deep magic connected to the mystical nature of the forest at night. Eagles on the other hand personify the qualities of individuality, loyalty and strength; they are also fierce hunters that are often associated with the quintessential male pursuit of hunting game.Crows and ravens are most commonly associated with their mythical role as tricksters; intelligent and clever but without allegiance to any group or tribe.
All in all, birds are perfectly suited to incorporate in forest tattoos for the opportunity for artistic expression as well as intellectual interpretation that they provide.
6. Leg Forest Tattoos
Leg tattoos continue to gain popularity. Some choose to get tattoos on their legs because they are less visible in daily life, while others are just slowly covering their entire bodies with ink and the legs are next on the list. These designs demonstrate just how stunning forest inspired tattoos can look on the legs.
7. Forest Back Pieces
The back is a popular place for tattoos, namely because of its size. The back is the single largest canvas on the body and because of this it is most commonly used for large tattoos. Whether utilizing bold colors with an illustrative feel or hyper-realistic black and gray work, the back is the perfect place for large, one of a kind tattoo.
8. Colorful Forest Tattoos
Tattoos are powerful visual expressions of personal tastes and attitudes, and as such they are unique to the individual. Some people like the subdued nature of black and gray work while others feel that vibrant colors are the only way to achieve a striking tattoo.
There are a number of different styles and approaches that make use of color ink, but the loose application of bright colors in a watercolor style is one that continues to gain popularity. Whether this approach or a more restrained use of color is preferred, these tattoos demonstrate just how excellent forest inspired designs applied in color ink can be.
9. Dotwork Forest Tattoos
Another approach to tattoo design that continues to gain followers uses a meticulous application of dots to produce the variation in tones that brings tattoos to life. From fully saturated black ink to negative space highlights and everything in between, these patient artists use this approach to create a piece that has different texture than if more traditional shading techniques were used. This illustrative style is perfectly suited to forest tattoos, as these excellent pieces demonstrate.
10. Forest Bear Tattoo Ideas
The physical embodiment of strength and power, the bear is an excellent addition to any forest inspired design. While these animals are most commonly associated with physical strength, in the traditions of Native Americans they hold much more profound significance.
The fact that they can stand on their hind legs made them symbols of wisdom and medicine in these cultures, while their hibernation practices associated them with the cyclical nature of the seasons and powerful symbols of harvest and bounty.
Whether applied with a photo-realistic black and gray approach or a more illustrative interpretation that incorporates forest landscapes into the body of the animal, the artistic and symbolic potential of these majestic animals makes them an excellent choice in forest tattoos.
11. Black and Gray Forest Tattoos
There is something inherently appealing about black and gray work. Color pieces can jump out at you, giving the impression of paint applied directly to the skin. However, black and gray work has a sense of elegance that color just can’t quite capture. The best of these pieces evoke film noir and black and white photography, however there is more to black and gray than photo-realism.
As these tattoos demonstrate there are a number of different approaches and styles that can effectively utilize a black and gray color scheme, from creative shading techniques that use fully saturated black ink to create silhouettes to stylized pieces that are reminiscent of lithographs. Black and gray can do it all.
12. Innovative Technical Forest Tattoos
Artists are constantly pushing the boundaries of their medium, and tattoo artists are no different. In fact, thanks to the growing number of artists that enter the field as well as the growing popularity of tattoos in general, this discipline is evolving much faster than other more traditional mediums. Because of this there are always new pieces that take common themes and tweak them in new and interesting ways.
Some of these pieces use tricks like forced perspective to create depth, giving the impression that you could climb into the tattoo; other designs take an illustrative approach that recalls 18th century picture books. These artists demonstrate what is possible with the forest as inspiration.
Forest Tattoo FAQs
What does a forest tattoos represent?
Modern man has come a long way from his nomadic hunter-gatherer origins: today over half of the world’s 7.8 billion live in urban environments. Statistics like this, and the exponential growth and pervasiveness of digital technologies in everyday life make it hard to believe that man has only recently transitioned away from a hunter gatherer lifestyle. The modern age of urbanization is merely a blink of the eye in relation to the entire history of the human species.
Perhaps this is why we are endlessly fascinated by the forest. Despite our separation from this existence, we continue to be intrigued by the forest and its mystery.
Beyond the bounty of food and game that the forest offers to those who retain some of our ancestral knowledge, the forest holds deeper significance. There is a power in nature, a harmony of all the different plants and animals playing their roles—as hunters and prey, providers and consumers— that the forest embodies. The forest represents the deep mystery of nature and a connection to the cycles of life that we seem so far removed from in our modern lives.
What does a wolf tattoo represent?
Of all the different animals that humans attribute mystical significance to, one of the most symbolically potent is the wolf. These powerful creatures, native to the forests and grasslands of North America, have been venerated by Native Americans for millennia, and for good reason.
The wolf is a powerful symbol of strength and fortitude, and wolves are also associated with a resolute determination and steely focus. Thanks to their mystical connection to the forest and the deep natural wisdom it holds, they embody trusting one’s natural instincts and listening to the heart.
Wolves are also deeply social animals and this is a key characteristic in the significance of these majestic animals. While the wolf is often used as a representation of sole determination, they are equally as powerful symbols of the importance of family, team work and tribal ties.
Did you enjoy these forest themed tattoos, but are looking for nature inspiration? Click on the links below for more awesome galleries: