Lion tattoos are a classic choice to represent strength, courage, and wisdom. The king of the jungle is a very popular theme for masculine tattoos, but there are some feminine and delicate lion tattoo designs on this list as well.
If you want to have this animal tattooed, but don’t want to get the cliché realistic lion tattoo, check some alternatives below.
1. Watercolor Lion Tattoo
I just love how the artist used hatches and whip shading to create movement and make this art piece flow through the arm.
The black paint texture on the edges is the perfect solution for representing the lion’s mane while dialoging with the watercolor face and the depth of his eyes, nose and mouth.
2. Feminine Lion Tattoo
This is a great way for the feminine public to represent courage and tenderness at the same time.
The artist used soft shading and round lines on the animal’s face to make this Lion tattoo look delicate without losing it `s presence. The flowers and the fine ornamental complete the composition with a feminine touch!
3. Lion and Cub Tattoo
I loved how the Lion’s expression and the Cub’s body language gave me a sense of playfulness.
The blackwork leaves on the edges used to represent the jungle are also amazingly well done.
4. Micro Realistic Lion Tattoo
Micro Realism is a trending tattoo style. Here’s an example of a micro realistic lion tattoo that refers to the classic lion tattoos without being too brutal.
This tattoo is only 6 cm long; imagine how precise the artist needs to be with a needle to accomplish this stunning result.
6. Colorful Lion and Crown Tattoo
That’s another example of an amazingly well-done micro realistic lion tattoo, but this time using colors.
I loved how the artist used the skin tone to represent the lights on the metallic and liquid texture of the crown.
The soft whip-shaded background also makes the crown and the lion’s head pop up when I look at it.
6. Lioness With a Hoodie Tattoo
This cute and cool design hits me on many levels.
I would like to buy one of these hoodies, and also chat with this lioness about pop culture and know what she has been listening to on Spotify.
7. Blackwork Lion Tattoo
Blackwork was originally defined as only black ink tattoo projects. But has become a name for a tattoo style that uses mostly linework and whip shading to define volume.
This is a really technically rich lion tattoo. The artist used different line thicknesses to separate the layers of the hair and give it movement.
8. Lion and Man Chest Tattoo
This tattoo represents strength and wisdom, as said by the artist.
The depth he achieves using saturated black shadows in contrast with light whip shading and skin tone is amazing.
9. Lion and Woman Tattoo
This lion tattoo uses only black ink to create a realistic texture to the lion’s face.
I loved how the artist used opposing expressions of anger and calm in the elements of the tattoo.
The background mixing itself with the foreground and contextualizing it is also something that stood out for me.
10. Sketch Lion Tattoo
The linework on this sketch lion tattoo is amazing.
The artist used finelines, boldlines, whip shading and hatches to make this minimalistic illustration, without losing the real life proportions of the animal.
11. Fineline Lioness Tattoo
I love how this composition fits perfectly on the arm. The geometry used to frame the lioness face is also really well designed.
The artist highlighted the eyes and the muzzle, leaving the rest of the tattoo without any shadows.
12. Old School Lion Tattoo
Though the lion tattoo is not a common pick for traditional designs, this artist used the old school aesthetic to develop a traditional lion tattoo.
I like the black saturated shadows and the line thickness contrast between the outlines and the interior of each part.
I would like to point out the clear space the artist left on each lock of hair to give it more glow and volume.
13. Rib Lion Tattoo
As a tattoo artist myself, I can tell you that the ribcage is one of the most difficult places to tattoo on, and this work looks perfect in spite of that.
The mix of realism and geometric elements resulted in a great lion tattoo on the client’s rib.
14. Lioness And Flower Tattoo
What called my attention on this tattoo is the texture and volume on the lioness face created using only lines.
It seems to be an easier alternative for shading the hair on the face, but it actually takes a lot of study and practice to develop a clear linework representing this texture.
15. Lion And Flowers Tattoo
This is another way to represent a realistic lion without being cliché and adding a feminine touch to it.
The artist used whip shading to make the lion look smooth, and added an illustrative floral work with bold lines and shadows to contrast with it.
16. Guardian Lion Tattoo
The Guardian Lion is a traditional figure in Chinese culture.
This project portrays the Guardian Lion statue with a geometric linework in the background and some realistic birds on top of it.
The technique used on this lion tattoo is superb!
17. Ornamental Lion Tattoo
This style is one of my personal favorites. I love to mix dotwork with symmetry and ornamental arrangements on my tattoos.
On this ornamental lion tattoo, the artist mixed these elements with an unique lion design on top of it.
18. Trash Polka Lion Tattoo
Trash polka is a style that always uses the black and red contrast and graphic design elements to create body art statements.
On this lion tattoo, the artist used paint brush strokes and a well-shaded lion image to develop the project.
Take a look at our “Trash Polka Tattoos: Everything You Need to Know (With 14 Examples)” article to learn more about this tattoo style,
19. Lion And Bird Tattoo
The stencil technique the artist used, just marking reference points for the tattoo to be made on top, is already impressive.
And the artist has also achieved a magnificent result mixing the pigeon, the lion face, the flower, and the black background.
This tattoo was also made using only black ink.
20. Lioness And Woman Tattoo
The shading techniques on this tattoo are outstanding.
I really liked how the artist used white ink to highlight the division on the lioness’ face and her eyes.
Also, the red stripe on the woman’s face and her green eye drive the attention to the center of the project instantly.
21. Realistic Lion Tattoo
You have probably already seen a realistic lion tattoo. This is one of the most common tattoo designs.
I chose this project because I liked how the artist paid attention to detail and focused on developing the texture of the lion’s facial hair.
22. Micro Realism Lioness Tattoo
This lioness tattoo, developed in micro realism, made me feel like she was coming to get me.
Notice how the low angle framing of the art does not have any linework, but delimitates 4 perfect straight lines.
23. Lion and Man Blackwork Tattoo
In addition to the great blackwork design for the lion and the man, one thing that really catches my eye is the linework used to frame this tattoo.
Some sketchy lines look like they were made in a freehand style, and other lines follow a geometric pattern and rhythm.
24. Geometric Lion Backpiece Tattoo
This backpiece lion tattoo mixes solid linework with a symmetric and stylized lion.
The artist used Metatron’s cube to bring the sacred geometry to the table and made a great work on the lion’s face.
25. Egyptian Lion Tattoo
This lion tattoo mixes the lion’s face with a human body and some Egyptian elements on top of it. I think the artist wanted to illustrate the Lion-Man sculpture on this.
What I most like about this design is the expression on the lion’s face, which is not the calm, observing expression that is commonly used.
26. Heavy Outline Lion Tattoo
This tattoo artist is one of our favorites, and it comes down to his unmistakable thick-line style. This playful little lion makes the list because it differs so much from the rest.