Lions have been a symbol of bravery and physical power for centuries. The sheer force of a lion alone is striking, but what sets lions apart from the other animals of the savanna is their aloofness.
Lions are not just strong- they are royal. A lion denotes not just power, but a regal distance from lesser beings.
This royal authority in combination with power makes the lion the king of all animals. If you plan to get a lion tattoo, you have to commit to it and make it large. A sleeve is a good choice because it gives the tattoo artist enough space to create a detailed portrait, and it will also be highly visible.
A creature as majestic as a lion deserves a sleeve. You can build a savanna or jungle-themed backdrop that you can extend to include other figures or simply leave the lion on its own. It will be eye-catching either way.
Note that due to age and physical fitness your arm can vary in diameter and shape, so make sure you choose a qualified tattoo artist who can account for this when they work with you to design your tattoo.
1. Photo Realism Lion Sleeve Tattoos
Lions are bold, strong, and confident, and by extension, must exude a similar sensation of theme when being sported in ink. Photorealism is then the most ideal choice in style to get as close as possible to have a photograph of a lion on your skin.
The detail in many of these pieces is stunning, intense and definitely impressionable. Some pieces showcase a lion gazing off into the distance with a strong glimmer in its eye, where others show off the King of the jungle amidst an intimidating roar.
Perhaps the individuals with these pieces are seeking either a meditative message or one that is more active being the presence of the roar. Either way, these pieces are as close to the real thing as you are going to get.
For some people, the simple image of a lion is not enough to embody the message they wish to deliver through their body art. A portrait in itself is stunning, intimidating, sometimes with the use of bursting colour while others rely on the original style of portraiture and blend with shadow work.
Surrealism takes the concept of portraiture and transfers it into a magical dimension—a reality that seeks to elevate the lion out of its natural habitat on earth. Some of the pieces exude with a mystical shade of arctic blue, the shade standing out over black detailed line work. Others morph the lion into a more animated look, replacing the standard realism with Japanese style shapes and colors.
3. Lion Sleeve Tattoos Blended With Historical Figures
Lions are often used as a metaphor for a man’s triumph over nature, which can be taken both literally and metaphorically. Many pieces in this section showcase what appears like stone-carvings of historical figures and characters from Greek and Roman Times, as well as biblical accounts. One commonly referred to stand-offs between lion and man is that of Samson and the Lion, a biblical account of a man with superhuman strength who is able to take down a lion with his bare hands.
Again, this is a meditation upon the concept of masculinity, as well as the dedication of the human spirit. Style-wise, these pieces seem to leak into the theme of photorealism as they are intensely detailed and rely greatly upon the use of shading and the utilization of negative space.
4. Lion Tattoo Sleeves with King and Crown Imagery
Everyone knows that the lion is the King in the jungle. What these tattoos imply is the recognition of leadership, which in turn implies the pursuit of power. Royalty is associated with being at the top of the food chain, whether we are talking about animals or the food chain of humanity. The crowns in these pieces are majestic, dazzling, and are certainly meant to stand out and be noticed. The creature in these pieces not only feels proud of his position but is incredibly willing to fight for it—as seen in the images of the lion amidst a frightening growl.
5. Lion Sleeve Tattoos Blended with Other Animals
Some people love animals and respect their wild natures. The individuals in this section showcase a versatile range of creatures who may all interact in the same habitat as a lion, male or female. Cheetahs, eagles, jaguars, owls, and elephants are all displaying in styles ranging from surreal to photorealistic.
Many of these animals are predators, which links them together in big pieces on chests or arms. These animals could also represent different character traits of the individual sporting them, which is a recognition of the multiple portions that amalgamate into a single personality.
Lion Sleeve Tattoo FAQ
What does a lion tattoo symbolize?
A lion tattoo can have several interpretations and meanings for the person sporting it. First of all, a person could simply admire the animal itself—a male lion is the head of pride, while the females lead the hunt. These are two powerful roles with traits that person feels they want to embody within their own life or feel they already do.
Other characteristics that a lion tattoo may signify is that of strength, confidence, boldness, courage, and a general sense of masculinity for those who opt for the image of the male lion. The lion is also representative of the Leo on the zodiac calendar. So this could be another reason why a person would get a tattoo of a lion.
Looking for more King of the Jungle tattoo Inspiration? Click on the links below for more awesome galleries featuring the best in lion ink:
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