10 Dragon Tattoo Ideas

The dragon design is a staple of every tattoo parlor, and these 10 dragon tattoo ideas should help you find just the right dragon for your personal tattoo. In spite of their overall popularity, with some creativity and a bit of research, it's easy to find an original design idea that will make your dragon tattoo stand out from the crowd.

  1. Traditional Western dragons. The serpentine, fire-breathing dragon is common to many Western cultures. Think Smaug of The Hobbit, or dragons from movies like "Dragonslayer" or "Reign of Fire". This kind of dragon works well as a centerpiece to a large tattoo, or for a smaller tattoo wound up an arm or a leg.
  2. Chinese dragon. With their wide, almost fish-like faces, Chinese dragons have a very different look from dragons featured in Western mythology. Often large and colorful, a Chinese dragon tattoo will attract attention wherever you go.
  3. Japanese dragon. Japanese dragons tend to be slimmer and more serpentine than their Chinese counterparts. Consider a long Japanese dragon on the torso or calf. Japanese dragons also look great paired with kanji tattoos, but be sure to research those kanji tats to be sure they mean what you want them to mean.
  4. Black and white dragon. Though many dragon tats are quite colorful, a stark, black and white design can provide a striking contrast to other dragon tattoos. 
  5. Tribal dragon. Traditional tribal patterns used to make the shape of your dragon provides a unique and attention-getting design. Try a pre-made tribal dragon from online tattoo design sites or from your tattoo parlor, or ask your artist to design one.
  6. Celtic dragon. Dragons have been a staple of Celtic heraldry for centuries. The heraldic dragon common to England and Wales is a bit more formal and less sinuous than other dragons, but could still form the basis of a unique tattoo. Consider combining the Celtic style dragon with knot work or other Celtic motifs.
  7. Norse dragon. Norse mythology is also filled with dragons, including the famous winged beast from Beowulf. The Norse art style depicted on figureheads of ships and on decorative items such as wrist bracers has its own, distinctive look, also conducive to a unique tattoo.
  8. Water dragon. Water dragons are similar to sea serpents, but often have a more menacing look to distinguish them from your average Loch Ness denizen. A water dragon could provide a centerpiece to a tattoo in shades of blue and green.
  9. Elaborate dragon. Some dragon tattoos are quite large, using an entire arm, leg, back, chest, or even a combination to depict the dragon in its full majesty. If you're looking for a large, complex piece of body art, a dragon could be a great place to start.
  10. Small, simple dragon. On the other hand, a smaller dragon limited to a wrist or ankle might be more to your taste. Consider any one of the different cultural takes on the dragon mythos for your tattoo, or work with your tattoo artist to produce something truly unique.
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