Shoulder tattoos for women are a great way to highlight shapes of the body. Their size and shape serve as a versatile canvas for tattoo artists working in any style.
With so many placement options for one body part, every shoulder tattoo takes on new meaning and movement.
Here’s a list of some of our favorites.
1. Double Shoulder Tattoo
These floral tattoos highlight the natural symmetry of the shoulders. While all body parts are symmetrical, the shoulders have a panoramic quality adding to any design that is placed on them.
2. Neck and Shoulders Tattoo
This shoulder tattoo has a tribal quality to it, that is unexpectedly mixed with mandalas.
One advantage of shoulder tattoos is their ability to turn into a larger backpiece.
3. Porcelain Blue Shoulder Tattoo
The use of blue ink is reminiscent of classical Chinese porcelain designs and makes this design especially unique.
It should be noted that shoulder tattoos can also become sleeves, allowing the details to spill onto the chest and back.
4. Delicate Bird and Sun Shoulder Tattoo
This tattoo is simple and modestly sized. The artist cleverly angled the tattoo to match the natural curve of the wearer’s collarbone.
5. Floral Snake Shoulder Tattoo
Snake imagery works great for shoulder tattoos because the movement of the snake looks natural folding over the shoulder. The flowers add a feminine element that allows room for soft confidence.
Our snake tattoo article might appeal to you if you’re crushing on this piece like we are.
6. Over the Shoulder Dragon Tattoo
Dragon tattoos are becoming more and more popular. This design slithers up the arm and over the shoulder, turning a beautiful design into a dynamic tattoo.
7. Honeycomb Shoulder Tattoo
The contrast between shading and line-work makes this design pop. The depth of the filled-in honeycombs looks so real you could touch it.
8. Floral Geometric Shoulder Tattoo
Simplicity works wonderfully on the shoulder. While it’s a great place for large designs, small images work well with the shoulder’s natural shape.
9. Lotus Shoulder Tattoo
Shoulder tattoos for women often sit on varying areas of the shoulders, one of which is the outside of the arm. This tattoo takes advantage of the arm’s verticality.
10. Flourished Shoulder Tattoo
This tattoo grows from the top of the shoulder in every direction. The pinwheel-esque design uses flourishes to turn a conventional floral design into something unique.
11. Double Shoulder Cap Tattoo
These shoulder-top flowers are reminiscent of a cap sleeve on an adorable shirt. We’re loving the balance, without being completely symmetrical.
12. Many Faced Shoulder Tattoo
This shoulder tattoo borders on an arm tattoo, showing the versatility of shoulder placement. The design relies on interconnected line-work to create a unique image.
13. Cherry Blossom Shoulder Tattoo
The shoulder is a great place for natural imagery. Designs are able to reach up and over, allowing images of natural growth to fit into the space perfectly.
14. Abstract Floral Shoulder Tattoo
Flowers are a popular topic of design for shoulder tattoos, especially for women. This tattoo stands out from the rest due to its use of negative space, allowing the work to take on an abstract feel.
15. Medusa Shoulder Tattoo
The shape of this design is perfect for its placement. In terms of shoulder placement, the outside of the arm is perfect for portraiture.
Slither over to our medusa tattoos article for more like this.
16. Lioness Shoulder Tattoo
The various planes of the shoulder offer different shapes for artists to work with. This design mimics the shape of the shoulder, allowing the tattoo to feel at home on the wearer’s upper back.
17. Butterfly Shoulder Tattoo
By adding a shadow under the image, the artist created a hyperrealistic butterfly rendering. The shape of the butterfly’s wings nestle into the wearer’s shoulder.
18. Frida Kahlo Shoulder Tattoo
The shoulder is a great place for small, symbolic tattoos. Using minimal imagery, the artist is able to convey the portrait of Frida Kahlo without having to fill in all the details.
19. Justice Is Blind Shoulder Tattoo
This tattoo works perfectly on the outside of the shoulder and upper arm.
20. Leaf Shoulder Tattoo
Not all shoulder tattoos need to be heavy handed. This leafy vine is a delicate addition to the wearer’s shoulder.
If this brings you joy, take a look at our plant tattoo list.
21. Tree Ring Shoulder Tattoo
The circular marks within the tree’s rings create dynamic movement as the design lays overtop the shoulder.
22. Mushroom Shoulder Tattoo
By angling the monstera leaves at the top of the design, the artist is able to create a natural frame for the rest of the image. We’ve got an excellent list of mushroom tattoos that you’ll love if this is up your alley.
23. Koi Fish Shoulder Tattoo
The front of the shoulder is a great location for circular designs, lending itself perfectly to this classic image of two koi fish swimming into each other.
24. Back Shoulder Tattoo For Women
The back of the shoulders is an excellent place to achieve symmetry in designs. The contrasting colors is a great touch to these images sitting side by side.
25. Realistic Shoulder Tattoo
This tattoo uses bold color and bright highlights to create a hyperrealistic scene that travels over the front of the shoulder.
26. Dark Shoulder Tattoo
This tattoo is unlike all other floral designs. The artist shatters our expectations of a tattoo by using bright orange as an outline and white in place of traditional black line-work within the image.
27. Rose Shoulder Tattoo With Mountains
This tattoo uses roses to frame its composition and make it fit perfectly on the outside of the shoulder.
28. Desert Dream Shoulder Tattoo
The shoulder is an excellent canvas for full scenes. Using flowers to frame a glimpse into the desert night, this tattoo artist combines style and imagery to create an entrancing scene.
29. Delicate Shoulder Tattoo
The armpit and natural movement of the arm are a factor to consider when getting a shoulder tattoo. This work weaves itself into the wearer’s body through its delicate line-work and shading.
30. Abstract Line Tattoo
The shoulder’s natural shape functions well with abstracted lines. By changing line weight, the artist creates visual interest within this tattoo.
31. Red Abstract Line Tattoo
This tattoo stands out from the rest through its exclusive use of red ink.
32. Simple Sun Tattoo
This sun tattoo relies on negative space to create an image. It’s a simple, yet impactful version of a shoulder tattoo.
33. Dandelion Shoulder Tattoo
This dandelion tattoo gives an impression of soft movement with the tufts (called pappis apparently) blowing delicately away in the wind.
34. Small Heart Shoulder Tattoo
Shoulders are the perfect large canvas for small, minimalist designs. This heart sits unassumingly on the back of the shoulder.
35. Stars and Planets Shoulder Tattoo
The shoulder naturally has a lot of space and dimensions to cover, making it a great location for space themed tattoos.
36. Swimming Fish Shoulder Tattoo
Koi fish and organic shapes are able to swim over the shoulder and down the arm, giving the artist freedom to play with their own style.
37. Jeweled Shoulder Tattoo
The teardrop shape of this tattoo is ideal for the top of the shoulder, allowing the beads within the design to cascade down as if following gravity.
38. Medusa Portrait Shoulder Tattoo
Shoulders are a fantastic place for portraits, especially those drawn from the side. This medusa portrait uses the sun and her snakes to occupy the side of the shoulder and top of the arm.
39. Patterned Snake Tattoo
Slithering from the back of the shoulder to the top of the chest, this tattoo stands out through its use of patterning rather than realistic shading.
40. Patchwork Shoulder Tattoo
Another way to fill your shoulder is by adding pieces one by one, in a patchwork style. Here text and imagery combine to form a mismatched, yet somehow perfectly created design.
We have a perfectly curated list of patchwork tattoos here for more inspiration.