As tattoos grow in popularity and prominence, some designs rise above others as the most popular categories of designs, and one of those categories is flowers.
Almost everyone who has a nature or plant-themed design has some type of flower tattooed somewhere on their body; one of the most popular flowers to get tattoos of is the sunflower. Sunflowers are straightforward in their design, easy to understand and visualize, and tend to be flattering on a wide variety of skin tones and body types.
Sunflowers are a feature in the 50+ best tattoo ideas because they symbolize strength and joy; tall, hardy, and bright, they loom above the rest of the plants as if in possession of all the joyful secrets of the world. They portray a joyful energy, and carrying a reminder of that joyful energy with you wherever you go is sure to be a bright spot in even the dreariest of days.
1. Black and Grey Sunflower Tattoos
See some more butterfly tattoo designs here.
Bold lines and careful shading make or break a sunflower tattoo without any bright colors. Black and grey sunflower tattoos are striking against skin because they evoke a feeling of vintage charm and nostalgia, almost like a black and white film or a carefully staged studio photograph.
Unlike sunflower tattoos with a significant amount of color blended into the design, these black and grey options have a higher likelihood of complementing or even matching other tattoos that could be added to the area later.
Even if the gray and black tattoo is the only one someone gets or just the only tattoo on that area of the body, some people prefer as simple of a design as possible.
Not only are tattoos with fewer colors less expensive than tattoos that pop and sparkle in different shades of yellow or orange, the black and grey tattoos are easier to maintain and may require fewer touchups.
2. Delicate Sunflower Tattoos
Sometimes you might want a tattoo to be a lot smaller and more subtle than a big, gorgeous design across the leg or a sunflower in the middle of your bicep.
Delicate sunflower tattoos come in a range of styles, from that which imitates the watercolor technique of painting to tattoos that are still delicate but a little more blocky, such as a “sketched” or pixelated design.
Sharp, thin lines, careful shading, and a clear image make delicate sunflower tattoos a viable option for people who want to show off their love of sunflowers or simply have some pretty ink on their skin.
Delicate designs can easily be combined with other pieces as well, and the simpler the delicate sunflower tattoo the easier it is for it to blend with another piece or be duplicated for a pattern effect. Fine lines and a light touch make these smaller, more subtle tattoos timeless body art options.
3. Surrealist Sunflower Tattoos
Sometimes you might want your tattoos to be a little more “out there” and stand out from the crowd or simply the rest of your tattoos. There are varying degrees of “out there,” luckily, so you can fairly easily find what works for you.
Some unique or surrealistic sunflower tattoos are just close enough to realism to be recognized as sunflowers, while others are much more abstract and are recognizable as sunflowers due to context or even color placement.
Non-natural colors, sunflowers superimposed on top of or below other designs, or sunflowers that meld or flow into pieces of the body or other tattoos are some options for surrealist or dreamy sunflower designs.
Sunflowers based on the painting style of a surrealist painter are options as well, such as flowers that imitate a famous image or painting. Sunflowers with extra petals, fewer petals than they typically have, or cartoonish styles of sunflower tattoos may qualify as surreal or dreamy as well.
4. Geometric Sunflower Tattoos
Making images out of shapes or out of other images is an art form that translates extremely well to tattoos. The human canvas can be broken down into a series of interlocked geometric shapes; aligning a geometric sunflower tattoo with a fitting part of the body can make it seem as if it was always meant to be there.
Some geometric tattoos of sunflowers utilize different types or levels of lighting to make the shapes distinct. The sunflower itself may be shaped like any other, but the colors or shading make part of it seem to have sharper angles or even different levels of depth or thickness.
Other styles might have a sunflower behind, around, or on top of a geometric shape that contrasts with it, such as a pentagon or a triangle. Shapes “cut out” of a sunflower can have a striking effect, especially if the image is strategically designed around the geometric element.
5. Large Sunflower Tattoo
Sometimes when it comes to tattoos, bigger is better. The more eye-catching, accurate, beautiful, or even colorful a tattoo is can attract quite a bit of admiration from other sunflower fans.
When size is added into the mix and a sunflower covers, say, an entire forearm, painstaking dedication and patience are essential.
A high pain tolerance wouldn’t hurt, either, as beauty is pain and tattoos are no exception. Even so, any of the best large sunflower tattoos are well worth the pinching sensation for the gorgeous final result that will be unveiled.
Larger sunflower tattoos might be monotone with careful shading and strong lines, or they could be as bright and colorful as actual sunflowers. Sometimes decisions are made about tattoos that are later regretted, and a cover-up is determined to be much cheaper and less painful than laser tattoo removal.
Flowers are excellent choices for covering up unwanted designs, as they tend to be colorful and elaborate enough to distract the eye from any old ink that starts to peek through. Sunflowers, huge and easily recognizable, are a perfect option for covering up old, unwanted body art.
6. Ornamental Sunflower Tattoos
Sometimes you might want your body art to be a little more extravagant than simple designs or muted colors.
Maybe there is another image you or your tattoo artist can combine with the sunflower to enhance it, or maybe frame it with an image of gemstones. Basically, ornamental sunflower tattoos are just sunflower tattoos with an intricate addition, such as jewelry or gems.
Perhaps a sunflower might be combined with other flowers, an intricate lacey design, or even an animal or other image that complements the flower. If you’re not sure what kind of ornamental sunflower tattoo you want, your tattoo artist should be able to work with you to come up with a perfect, beautifully ornate design.
7. Realistic Sunflower Tattoo
Sometimes the best sunflower tattoo for someone is a realistic tattoo, anywhere from watercolor style to the more intricate photorealistic design. A lot of people who get body art of flowers, plants, or animals prefer the tattoos to look like what they are instead of being left open to the interpretation of the artist or in imitation of a painter’s style. The beauty of body art and other forms of body modification is that they can be tweaked and adjusted to fit exactly what someone feels is right for them. Even realistic flower tattoos like those of sunflowers do not all have to look uniform (and since each artist has their own style, it is unlikely this would happen anyway, so the variety of design potential is as endless as the shapes and colors of actual sunflowers themselves. What qualifies as neutral or “realistic” colors and natural shapes define realistic sunflower tattoos.
8. Sunflower Tattoos with Stems
Even though the gigantic yellow blossoms and tightly packed seeds are easily recognizable as sunflowers and can be very beautiful on their own, sometimes the whole flower adds an extra pop of color or striking design. The realism allows for more versatility if other tattoos are added after the sunflower; even if the stems are significantly painted and extend over a large area of skin, they are thin enough in relation to the blossoms that even with the sunflower’s distinct leaves other plants or flowers can be carefully added in between. Since sunflower tattoos make excellent cover-up jobs, a sunflower tattoo with a stem might be more effective at covering up a design with an extended part or along a long, thin part of the body. Stems include leaves, and so a sunflower tattoo with a stem could easily be designed to go up an entire arm, or perhaps wrap around the ankle.
9. Sunflower Tattoo With a Woman
A sunflower is a thing of beauty and so is the feminine form, whether bodily or facially. When an image of a woman and an image of a sunflower are combined they create a striking piece of art that evokes happiness and a surreal sort of beauty, especially when the sunflower is replacing or covering a body part such as the face. Flowers as replacements for body parts is not a new artistic concept, but every artist and their interpretation is unique. Therefore, even if the same woman was tattooed onto several different people with the instructions to incorporate or add sunflowers, each piece of body art would be vastly different. Some of it can be admittedly risque, but ultimately the truth is that tattoos are art and sunflowers with women more than qualify.
10. Sunflower Tattoo with a Skull
Contrast is exciting. Sunflower tattoos with a skull combine something beautiful and colorful with something typically associated with darkness, death, and alternative culture. The result is an image that may appear to be a normal sunflower at first glance but is ultimately proven to be an edgy, less conservative design. People who might be drawn to this sort of tattoo may not even think of having a sunflower design at first, but once they or you see the gorgeous examples minds are sure to change. It can be difficult to accurately portray the crevasses and cracks of the human skull on paper, so when the canvas is human skin the stakes are even higher. It can also be difficult when skulls and sunflowers are layered on top of one another, as part of each may be on the same color spectrum and so be hard to differentiate between once the initial brightness of the ink fades away.
11. Tattoo of a Sunflower Within a Bouquet
Sometimes the best thing to frame and enhance a flower is another flower. sunflower tattoos that are part of a bouquet carry with them a classic beauty that is flattering to every skin color, style, and even body type. As the plant kingdom is incredibly vast and not only flowers are beautiful, there are heaps of possibilities. Leaves, grains, or even vegetables for a cornucopia effect are all viable options and when done by a highly skilled tattoo artist can be just as gorgeous as any full-color back piece with hyperrealistic shading. Another appealing aspect about sunflower bouquet tattoos is that that they bring forth feelings of relaxation and peace, such as on a warm summer evening with the sun setting and the temperature dropping just enough to be perfectly comfortable. When a design like this is finally worked out and finished, the end result is sure to elicit praise and excitement from all who see it.
12. Tiny Sunflower Tattoos
Not everyone wants a huge, arm-covering design that elicits oohs and aahs from people who see it. Sometimes a tiny tattoo that isn’t always completely visible is the more appealing option.
Perhaps someone who gets a tiny sunflower tattoo wants to get something meaningful but subtle, or maybe it is even their first tattoo and they are worried about pain or sitting still for an extended time.
Even simpler and quicker are tiny minimalist sunflower tattoos; these typically involve simple lines and minimal color, if they contain any color other than black and gray. Part of the beauty of sunflowers is that even if they are portrayed in the smallest, simplest iteration the shape and design of the flower, stem, and leaves are so distinctly unique that most people can easily recognize it.
Being discreet, adorable, and quick to get done make tiny sunflower tattoos a surefire hit with many tattoo enthusiasts.
13. Traditional Sunflower Tattoo
Sometimes classics are classics because they truly are timelessly appealing. This applies to many things including but not limited to cars, music, and tattoos.
While it can be a thin line to walk when trying to find a design that is appealing but not cliche, sunflowers are commonplace enough they have come full circle.
Instead of being so common it’s unoriginal, a traditional sunflower tattoo is timelessly lovely and unlikely to lose its appeal as trends change. While it is true that the brighter a tattoo is colored the easier it is for it to fade, traditional sunflower tattoos have the unique ability to still look good or even improve in appearance over time.
The traditional design evokes Americana, a simpler sort of life than most people are currently able to live; faded ink adds to this aesthetic. Still, if touchups are needed a traditional sunflower is straightforward enough to be a simple job.
Sunflowers and images of sunflowers are wildly popular for many reasons. Sunflowers tend to be tougher than other flowers and can grow so tall they seem to form a silent jungle within their stalks. On clothing and skin as tattoos, sunflowers are much like red or coral lipstick in that they are universally flattering.
It can be overwhelming to face all the options for sunflower tattoos and try to make a decision. But really, if none of the ones you see feel right do not feel obligated or pressured to choose one.
Some tattoo artists will help you pick out the right design for you, and others may have the time and skill to create a custom-designed piece or work with you to create or modify something.
Don’t be afraid to have only a vague idea of what you want, but don’t be surprised if most artists prefer you have a solid plan in place before they work on you. Research the designs that interest you and enjoy your new body art!