Nature tattoos are all the rage and for men who gather their senses and think their best thoughts outdoors, a small nature tattoo might be just the right homage to mother nature.
Nature tattoos don’t have to be flowers.
There are many interesting, clean lines in nature, so a small nature tattoo can accent a man’s rugged features. Tree silhouettes, small outlines of local mountains, or even something representing a familiar body of water could all make excellent choices for smaller designs.
Nature is a powerful force, and a tattoo symbolizing and honoring nature can reflect that power. Choosing simple lines or a single dramatic design makes the tattoo impactful and hard to forget. And there are plenty of simple lines all through nature that can serve as inspiration.
Using the form of the trees local to where you are, or a mountain that sits in the background of your town is a great way to open up conversation about what part of the world you call home. Tattoos honoring bodies of water, or certain kinds of leaves can also help people understand where your passions lie.
The following pictures will show you that the choice to have a smaller nature tattoo means you have confidence and clarity in who you are and how the world will see you.
Small Nature Tattoo Ideas
A beautifully worked nature scene using various space and style techniques to give a great sense of scale. While only a small tattoo, the melding of perspectives keeps the art crisp and interesting. The fat flowing black lines used to delineate rivers and trees form an elegant, almost colorful counterpoint to the negative space mountains and heavily detailed dot work shading. It’s a tremendous piece of body art.
This tattoo manages to cram an amazing amount of detail and natural beauty into art the size of the bottom of a glass. The circle allows the artist to work within the barrier, filling it with a range of black and gray shade to form a killer set of peaks. Love the use of white ink highlights to add hints of line along water, and fluff out the shrubbery. The black bear sauntering through the bottom of the tattoo is exceptionally cool.
This new wave bear mixes vivid color and exceptionally crisp line work. It’s almost an American traditional tattoo in sensibility. Here, the mix of colors form natural scenery that pops off well within the bear’s black outlines. The white ink augmented waterfall and splashing water in front of granite is an effective tableau.
Choosing to leave out the rest of the circle’s circumference gives this nature tattoo a strange cast. With no skyline, sun, or even birds behind the mountain peaks there’s an unfinished quality to an otherwise excellently etched piece of art.
This mountain chalet tattoo looks totally killer. The artist has impressively worked within a soft, illusory circle, building each part of the ink with precise, well crafted technical aspects. The alternating flow within the dot work sky looks amazing, while the scruffy vertical pine trees contrast through pure blackness.
A funky gorge tattoo mixing black line outcropping with precisely etched dot work. The artist’s subtle ability to vary the dots from black down through lightening gray scale is masterful. The left hand slope’s dot work contrasts perfectly with the right, which melds more traditional shading application with coruscating black line.
There are no shortage of circular tattoos in these pages or on people’s skin. This valley and mountain scene is a top drawer example. Vivid colors create a beautiful vista transitioning into brilliant blue mountains. Having the sun peek out from behind them in the same summer glow as the lake gives the peaks a more wicked glow and clarifies shape and scale.
Love this abstract wolf made from a winter thicket of bold black line. It’s a simple premise but sensible and professionally worked, building the fur effect from the bottom up with thick undergrowth thinning out to dormant branches. The tattooist’s choice to have the wolf howl creates a fantastic border in which to work within.
This chest tattoo is almost a photograph quality printed logo, not bad ass body art. The fine, single needle black fill amongst the negative space forms an impeccable mountain range placed perfectly in the middle of the image. Intensely overlapping horizontal lined black water, dot worked lower slopes, and a blazing that sun mixing all the dots, lines and neg space work around it crisply. Each section inside the rectangular border applies technique with masterful control, sense of scale, and attention to detail.
Cool concept that moves away from the stereotypical circle border tattoo. The middle looks like someone removed a cross section but left a few crumbs of earth behind. The highlight of this ink is the line work patterning; mountain cracks like lightning, vaguely defined trees all pointing skyward, and tiny hollow stars crafted to appear twinkling by the hundred.
This is a wicked planetarium tattoo built small on skin. While you could see this tattoo as a fully tooled up back piece it instead chooses to be detailed in miniature with tremendous success. Every aspect of is well etched, from creating the above and below ground space around the pseudo diamond to the intricate, competing dots of sky and outer space.
An eye catching woodland take on the traditional arm band tattoo. It’s a raw, rustic, and well executed piece of primarily black line tattoo, with a bit of alt fill dots to add thickness and body to the pines. The key to this ink’s success lies not so much in the image itself, but in the spacing of pattern – trees, neg space, clouds – and smart placement on the forearm just below the elbow. A thicker or thinner tattoo tagged elsewhere on the arm wouldn’t quite have the same clean look.
Yet another circular tattoo, although this one opts for an abstract display of line work to depict a path through wooded forest. Small touches of negative space in the path and moon through the image’s centre allow the ‘weirder’ tree patterned fine line and sandy dots to flourish. The artist has done an excellent job avoiding confinement by using an illusory circle instead of a real one.
This frond leg tattoo looks epic. It’s almost real enough to reach out and pluck from the subject’s skin. The slight variations in forest green color backed by black ink tucked away behind add realism, and the placement is clever along an awkward spot. It’s the type of leg tattoo you could incorporate into a variety of other tattoo ideas.
Great representation of the outdoor life in minimalist style. The surfboard creates an interesting platform for the campground to work off. It’s a fine example of classic black line single needle technique throughout, with the board’s fin providing a nice counterpoint colored in black.
The link between geometry and nature is deployed cleverly in this small lower leg tattoo. The photo is slightly off center so doesn’t fully display the pattern, however each leaf is etched in fine detail then mirrored by a slightly larger version. Using small snatches of dot work at each leaf point and evenly spaced below provides an extra layer of balance to the art work and adds to the unique feel of this small piece.
This is a classy deer tattoo. The multi-patterned face of the animal is a deft usage of line work and symmetry, with canny black fill at eyes and mouth. The artist’s choice to use solid black in depicting the deer’s antlers is clever, balanced wisely by the black strip at the image’s bottom. The meshed circles of dot work and negative space form a creative fill pattern designed to help you focus on face and antlers.
Enjoy the crisp triangular border and flawless dot work shading providing depth to this rocky outcropping tattoo inked between shoulder and chest. The multifaceted rock face looks fresh and funky. The single small negative space moon stands out well against the perfect dot work fill pattern.
Wickedly creative and colorful campground etched within the unique acorn border. The vivid flow of complementary colors is reminiscent of American traditional tattooing if a little more bold in color palette. Like the small amounts of white ink used to create alt line and dots that finish off the detail.
The gray black border flicked with white flourishes give contrast to the colorful scene within this small camping tattoo. The vivid yet delicately applied colors are augmented by white inside as well – it helps shade and smooth out the picture. Jagged patterns created by the flat black trees allow for a stained glass effect of bright red and orange.
A nice rectangular mountain range of classic black and gray tattoo. If anything, this piece could be considered too small even for inner forearm placement. Displayed this way the arm looks like an empty postcard with a series of stamps across the middle. It would be interesting to see if this is stand alone piece or one incorporated into other ideas and images.
This is the tattoo equivalent of putting a ship together from matchsticks inside a glass bottle. It’s a technically excellent small arm tattoo that somehow manages to convey great detail into a small image. The balance and scale are spot on, demonstrated by an excellent negative space road cutting through friendly looking patches of hillside.
Another colorful campground tattoo this time set within the border of a maple leaf. Instead of utilizing white ink highlights the artist has cleverly splashed in yellow dots to maintain the leaf illusion and also suggest a meadow full of flowers. The fire is raging next to that tent though!
This lower leg band tattoo is spectacular in its simplicity. It’s just etched rocky canyons and clouds inked elegantly in black line and sparse shadow. Love how the artist has placed a single red orb (sun down or sun up?) along one ridge line providing an alternative focal point to the rest of the art.
Cool depiction of mountains punctuated by a kick ass waterfall seemingly dropping to nowhere at the front of the art. The effect of tall pines reflected on water helps this effect stand out further, and completely negates need for any barriers enclosing. The vertical symmetry is an underrated aspect of this tattoo, if you could fold it in half it would match up almost seamlessly.
The wholly unique outline in this colorful tattoo is reminiscent of a honey jar or candy stash. Placing a small city within the otherwise placid hillside vista utilizes a more unique approach the trope and allows a slightly different fill color (flat gray ink) to help contrast. Using negative space for the giant sun and lake are sound technical decisions, as are internal white lines buttressing black line flow for clearer effects.
Love this campfire gas lantern right down to the flame inside! It’s an innovative shaped border complementing the starlit nature scene within. The artist has successfully opted for a well defined lantern – the alternate black/negative space handles and scratchy shaded base are well etched and add realism to the work, well supported by a nice forest green internal base color.
This coin sized rock outcropping looks like a tattoo from the Pyramids of Giza necropolis. The desert effect is simply done by mixing horizontal hashes with a peppering of dot work fill. Being such small sized body art necessitates the use of a clean, thick, black line border to close off the art.
Brilliant adoption of white ink flourishes create useful contrast to essentially a classical heavy black gray diamond. It separates the border simply, and also provides a sensible sky back drop in line with the simplicity of hills, trees, and lines in the rest of the tattoo. Its far from spectacular, but a professional crafted quality tattoo in some ways is just as noteworthy.
The border is more quadrilateral in shape than symmetrical diamond but it works from a scale perspective. This dot work and black line tattoo works by fitting mountains and skyline into the fatter, upper part of the shape. Elongating the lower half enables contrast and the opportunity to give trees and path the length they need to flow within the rest of the art work.
There’s a lot going on in this effective neo traditional straight razor tattoo. Traditionally, straight razors are a shout out to the old school ethos of the tattooed lifestyle. This one opts to go hard in color by implementing an effective mountain vista rather than wood grain or sleek metal handle. As cool as this part is, the artist’s use of memorialized date, glue gray fill color and sharp white/black line work upgrades the body art from good to truly outstanding. Love the placement on the scalp above the left ear too for individuality.
A fantastically peaceful landscape tattoo. Love how the emptiness (not a person, bird, or critter anywhere) makes the ink more attractive by allowing the stillness to wash through the tattoo’s technical aspects, such as empty bench, still water and brooding mountains. It’s a well executed piece of body art designed to soothe and relax.
This roaring bear tattoo offers a beautiful mix of realism and abstract black line work. The Zorro type shadow around eyes, complemented by the pattern surrounding gives the tattoo a unique creative style. Love how the artist has opted for quality dot work alt fill in places without trying to overuse the technique. And the big fellow’s black nose looks wet enough to sniff out food from a mile away.
Enjoyable minimalist mountain peak tattoo offering contrast between black mountain front on and tricky line to create scale and shape. It’s a crisp, clever small tattoo – like how the right edge opts for black hashes and a simple asterisk as finishing line for variety.
It’s not often you find a mini dinosaur in a fish bowl tattooed on a dude’s thigh. This is a killer piece of body art. The artist provides large doses of technical expertise by matching up various intense dot work patterns with cool plant shapes (the waving reed in particular looks brilliant) etched with either wavy/spiky lines or short hashes. The originality of the outer border to look like heavily thickened glass is chef’s kiss.
This foot tattoo has held up well despite being tagged onto an awkward area. Make sure with tattoos of this type you talk to your artist about the potential need for touch ups before finalising pre-tattoo business. Some artists may charge to re-fill had to hold places like feet, hands, elbows, and ankles, while others keep it inclusive in the art works original pricing.
Skull images are some of the most popular, bad ass bits of tattoo creativity available. This tattoo shapes plant flowers and stems into an almost Calavera (Mexican sugar skull) style piece of art. It’s cool, technically well etched, and eye catching work.