Amazing leg tattoos that are out of this world. 62 phenomenal leg tattoos, designs, and explanations. Enjoy!
For a large area with a low pain register the best place is the leg. The leg offers an incredibly versatile place for a tattoo. It is also easily covered, if that were a concern. Women tend to put tattoos on the ankle area or high up on the thigh. A lot of men opt for calf area tattoos, or full leg sleeves. Because the pain level is low, probably due to the fact that the leg is a meaty area, it has become quite the popular place for all sorts of designs. It is a great place for both bright, vibrant tattoos as well as black and white works.
62 Amazing Leg Tattoos:
62. Colorful Start
To start off, I offer up this lovely colorful water piece. Not only does it have the beautiful blue waves, but also a large lotus flower, a golden fish (possibly a koi,) and stars. It goes from the hip down the thigh and about halfway down the calf. It is a lovely, large piece.
61. Bright and Bold
Part of the amazing versatility of leg tattoos is the options. They can cover the entire leg, or just a part. This one here covers just a bit of the leg. It is done in beautiful yellows and oranges, with a complimentary blue hummingbird. I love how the colors blend so well together and the flowers are nice and bright. It is certainly a statement piece. Flowers are really common tattoos, and if you are interested in seeing some of the best, click here.
Flowers themselves are also versatile tattoos. Here are some more lovely, bright colored hibiscus flowers, but these are paired with some realistic looking skulls. This piece covers the top thigh area of the leg, giving more space to spread out this wonderful design. The skulls look almost realistic, and the water droplets are a nice touch.
You’ve probably seen the black armbands worn around the biceps of some people in mourning. The black band originally started out as a way to signify a deeply felt loss and show respect for the deceased. The dark bands as tattoos can mean the same thing. They can, of course, signify something else entirely. That’s the cool thing about tattoos, they can mean anything the wearer wants them too. The design is personal to them after all. I think these thick bands look pretty sweet as leg tattoos.
58. Light and Lacy
This nice piece here is very feminine and pretty. What better thing to have tattooed on the thigh than a lacy garter? I, for one, really love the idea. I think this is such a cute piece, and the light colors make it extra beautiful. It really does look as though it is made out of lace. This is one garter that will stay in place, and a good use of light colored and white inks. For more great white ink ideas, check this out.
57. Black Koi
Koi tattoos are popular and can be very intricate. With their curving lines and elegant angles, the koi gives a feeling of peace and gentleness. Koi fish are often used to symbolize good luck, but each colored koi has it’s own special meaning. Black koi, like those pictured here, often mean successfully overcoming a change or challenge to get to where they are now. This change is usually one of adversity, one that has been fought through. I love the image of these two koi swimming “upstream”. Perhaps the best part is the little bit of color in the wave ripples and leaves. Just enough to give it a little bit of life.
56. Mix and Match
When it comes to leg tattoos, there are no rules. Feel free to mix it up as much as you want. This person did just that. Incorporated in these two large pieces are a number of styles. Firstly, there are the flowers, roses done predominantly with the pointillist style of small dots. There is also a mandala, with it’s solid straight lines and concentric pattern. Lastly, the geometric pyramid pattern done in dots and voids. There are so many different textures and patters on these legs, one would think it would look cluttered, but it all comes together so very well.
55. Get Catty
Leg tattoos are great ways to be creative and bring out your inner feline. This one long train of leopard print is a pretty cool concept. It stretches from hip to ankle, shrinking in size and it travels downward. It is also unique in that it’s not done in the traditional black and gold leopard colors, but in vibrant reds and purples. This is certainly a different kind of piece and, while it’s not for everyone, I really find it intriguing.
54. Man Up
Nothing says manly quite like a toothy snake going through the eye hole of a skull before wrapping itself, jaws agape, around an anchor. Is this a butch piece or what? What is the most outstanding part of this tattoo is the wonderful coloring of the snakes scales. It is actually a very nicely done piece, even if it isn’t really my style. The details and colors are fantastically executed, even down to the bruise colored background, giving the other parts a little bit of depth. Its really got a lot going on, but it all goes on so well together.
53. Batman Tribute
A great way to cover that pesky blank leg is to put an entire leg sleeve piece of your favorite heroes and villains. What better subject than the Batman and all his comic book players? Batman and his arch-nemesis The Joker dominate the larger part of the thigh, followed thereafter by the likes of Two Face, Catwoman, the Riddler, the Penguin and Robin. Be honest, we all know why Robin is on the bottom. I wonder if Alfred made the cut.
52. Travelin’ Through
Some other great ideas for leg tattoos can also include large tribute pieces like this map. I think the idea is that the three names on the bottom are of people he would be lost without. Notice that there are three names, dates, and compasses. Perhaps each person is a compass, to guide him to where he is going? Maybe I’m being too philosophical and the dude just likes maps. Either way, this tattoo has a lot of tiny details worked into it and is a very beautiful piece all around.
51. Feeling Musical
Music is one of my favorite topics to write about. That and tattoos obviously. What could be better than to combine them? Nothing, that’s what. This piece is chock full of musical reference, not least of all with the large old school microphone as the centerpiece. The music notes, clefs, and sharps just add to this piece, making it more exciting. Then, of course, the stars. I love stars. Stars and music just seem to go hand in hand. The cool thing about this particular tattoo is the seemingly random arrangement of the pieces. It gives it a bit of flair, especially for a piece with no color. If you like music note tattoos as much as I do, or even if you don’t and just want to look at some cool ones, check here.
50. Pandora’s Box
There is so much going on in this colorful design that I really just don’t know where to start. The mushroom mouths are a bit creepy, but the guitar and strung out cassette tape are really cool. I admit to being at a loss with the voodoo doll, aliens, and freaky moon though. It does give one something to really look at and is hard to look away. Clearly these two pictures are before and after pieces and the added shading and coloring in it give it a really cool look.
49. Neatly Tied
Leg tattoos are great places to share a little feminine mystique. This dainty little ribbon tattoo is so simple but so beautiful. It alludes to a ballet slipper, wrapped up around the leg and tied off mid-calf. The muted colors and subtle shading used to make parts of it actually look like transparent ribbon is a really nice touch. All in all, this is a very well done piece.
In an interesting twist on the treble clef, this one is made to look as though it is formed out of wood. Seated on the twig clef are two lovely red birds. What makes this piece magnificent is the phenomenal use of the ink to create not only lifelike birds and realistic looking wood and leaves, but also a sense of depth and dimension that a lot of tattoo art is lacking. This is a truly beautiful, incredibly well done tattoo, both concept wise and in execution.
Everybody love autumn, when the leaves change color and the landscape takes on a magical look full of golden yellows and flashy reds. The crunch of fallen leaves under boots, the brisk winds, the slowing of everything in preparation of hibernation season. All of it is nothing short of magnificent. This tattoo gives us a taste of that. The leaves are amazingly detailed and look quite real, and the vine like swirling black lines give it a bit of movement, and act as a nice backdrop to the beautiful leaves.
46. Perfect Pachyderm
Utilizing the large area of the thigh is perfect for pieces like this incredibly detailed elephant tattoo. The tribal/Indian look of this creature is absolutely incredible. The designs on the elephant seriously intricate and there is so much going on here without being overpowering or crowded. You could almost say this tattoo is unforgettable.
45. Latin Spice
This piece is another with a lot going on. It looks like something out of an urban neighborhood, with a bit of Latino flair. This design is similar in style to those sometimes painted on cars, though the tables have turned here and the car is incorporated into the piece. There is also a rose made out of money, the number 23 full of bullets and the nickname Brownie. I can’t confess to understanding this entire piece, but it just goes to show the versatility of leg tattoos.
44. Asian Flair
Why not have a little fun when it comes to your tattoo. This piece features what I believe to be Chinese, though it could just as easily be Japanese. Either way, it mixes the beautiful flow of the Asian lettering with splatters of bright colors in an abstract bit of background. The colors for some reason remind me of old Asian illustrations and may have some cultural significance.
This is amazing. That’s the only word I have to describe it. It looks as though the skin were made of paper and has been torn away to reveal a Cyrillic bit of text. It could be something out of a book, or maybe part of a song. It’s in Russian, which is such a beautiful looking language to begin with, but add the crumpled paper effect and it really makes something magnificent.
The mandala and the sun are two very popular choices for tattoos. This could be because of their significance, or simply because they have beautiful rounded designs that make for good tattoos. Here is a combination of the two. I like that is it placed on the upper bit of the calf just below the knee, it’s a big of a unique place for a single smallish tattoo on such a big area, like the leg.
41. Tree of Life
Large tattoos like this tree go so well as leg tattoos. This one is incredibly colorful, with a cool illustrated feel to it. All the elements incorporated are just fun to look at, even though the message “poison tree” is a serious one. I think the best part of this one is the unusual outline of it, with the blades of grass done in voids to border the piece.
40. Well Grounded
The ever popular anchor is paired here with equally popular roses. The popularity of these two pieces, however, does not take away from this tattoo in the least. The traditional look of the anchor and rope is stunning and the roses are in such high contrast to the metallic looking anchor that they really soften in up a lot. This is one awesome stand out piece, even though the subject matter is so simple. I don’t believe I’ve ever admired an anchor so much in my life.
39. A Thing of Legends
Legend states that koi fish can climb the falls of the Yellow River and become a dragon. For this reason they are usually associated with good luck and fortune. This piece shows a koi fish making that trek up the river. I love how it is done in mostly blacks and whites with colorful leaves and red markings on the fish itself. Just a little pop of color.
38. Watercolor Flowers
Here is a very vibrant, colorful piece. The watercolor really sets off the cherry blossom and lavender flowers. The beauty of the watercolor style ink is that its splatters and runs gives a unique flavor to it. I like the traded off complimentary colors on the legs and feet and the graduated coloring down the legs themselves. This really is a beautiful tattoo.
I have no idea what this style is called, but i really like it. Blocking, maybe? I love the lotus flower and the colors on the birds. There is pretty much nothing about this one I don’t like. If you happen to know what this style is called, please let me know. The lack of dark outlines and the mixing of the colors is such a joy to look at. The wood grain look of the birds tails is just awesome. I can’t say enough about how much I like this one. For more awesome bird tattoos in different styles, check out this link.
36. Light as a Feather
Feather tattoos, like these, are really starting to pick up steam. They make a really elegant addition to leg tattoos because of their incredible versatility. This one shows a multi-colored feather breaking off into little birds. It makes a beautiful tribute, with the addition of the colorful handwritten signature at the end. The colors on this piece are really cool in that they are so complimentary and bright, but not super vibrant and whimsical. They have almost a metallic look to them.
35. Abstract Flowers
What a unique take on the Calla Lilly! These two wonderful flowers grow from the back of the ankle clear up to the upper thigh area. The watercolor like inking is used in a very cool way here, to give the flowers a wonderfully abstract look. I bet that hurt like hell on the back of the knee, but the end result is really quite amazing.
34. Asian Infusion
This tiger and snake piece has a distinctly Asian feel to it. It is done in a traditional style, and the colors are just wild. While this may create more of a “cartoony” effect, I think it is simply magnificent. The separation of the individual colors on the snake and the mixing of hues on the tiger really ties the piece together in such a great way.
33. Mr. Buck and Mrs. Owl
This is a super hip mod design here. These leg tattoos are unique, original and meaningful. This is everything a tattoo needs to be. It has style and class. It seems to be a tribute to her parents, hence the “father knows best” and “mother knows best” accompanying the animals. The added fun of the glasses, gingham clothing and spiderwebs in the antlers give it an unexpected bit of whimsy. I would also like to point out the really cool pastel looking flower underneath the owl. That is really different and unique color work on that rose.
32. Tiny Tat
Not all leg tattoos need to be huge extravagant leg sleeves or have bright, incredible colors. Some just need to be simple to have a big impact. You see this guy here, he’s got this tiny little tattoo. This minuscule anchor on the back of his ankle. That’s all he needs to remind himself to stay grounded, keep your feet down and your head up, and to stay strong. Just a bit of line work can go a long way.
31. Flowing Lines
Then there is this stunning piece of line work. Holy crow, this is an awesome tattoo. All it really is is lines. Just a row of lines flowing, overlapping, curling and winding down the leg to create one really cool special effects tattoo. I really would like to see this one in motion. I wonder if it makes any difference at all. Who knew a bunch of lines could turn into something so awesome.
30. Our Father…
If you are one who wants to show off just a little bit of faith, here is a great rosary tattoo. It incorporates the red beads, the cross and what looks like a saint’s medallion. What I like most about this piece is that it is made to look like a real anklet. That gives it a pretty neat feel and makes it stand out against its two dimensional counterparts.
29. Undersea Wonderland
If you are really looking to make a statement, go bold and bright like these leg tattoos. This is a nautical and undersea wonderland. The colors are outrageously bright, almost to the point of neon. I would really love to see this under a black light. There is so much to look at, from sea creatures to mermaids, sculls, anchors, shipwrecks, treasure chests. This is really a sea lovers dream.
28. Skulls and bones
Who needs lacy stockings when you can create the effect with skull and bone tattoos? I love how the bones are made to represent the ties on the back of silk stockings. I also really dig the realistic looking skulls on the upper thigh area. The fact that there is a boy skull and a girl skull is also pretty cute.
27. Mans Best Friend Leg Tattoos
What a touching tribute to this dog. I love the vibrant orange background for starters. But the dog and ball are just freaking awesome. It is such a realistic representation of both. The artist even captured the look of joy and love on the dogs face. I don’t know how he managed to make the dogs fur look wet, but that is an amazing piece of art. This man must truly love his dog.
26. Purrfect Panther
If you are more of a cat person than a dog person, you can always go with something like this. This lightly etched, broken outline panther is just cool. The minimal design and the creation of the cat with seemingly random shapes placed at the right intervals is so stylish. The green cat eyes give it an eerie quality and the little bit of color is a nice inclusion.
25. Tiny Dancer
Dancing and ballet are two art forms that create a lot of passion because they require movement to convey feeling. To dance with that kind of style and grace is magnificent to behold. This is a fitting tattoo of a ballerina on point and it is such a wonderfully simple piece. It is absolutely flawless.
24. For the Love of Ink
Wow. Just wow. I love these awesome three dimensional pieces. This one is just staggering. The intricate small lines in the lace garter are a phenom to behold themselves. The addition of the lifelike looking tattoo gun, tucked delicately into that garter makes this whole thing so unbelievably awesome. The shadowing behind the gun and garter giving that three dimensional effect is just….wow.
When you need a little pick me up, just look at this simple sun on the top of your thigh. How can you have a bad day with that little bit of minimalist cheer? You can’t, it’s not even remotely possible. Sometimes the brightest of ideas are the simplest in design.
22. Spilled Ink
Another one of those splatter/watercolor tattoos. These things are so cool. This one depicts an ink bottle tipped over and spilling out its runny, drippy contents all down the leg. The different colors flow seamlessly into one another and it creates this magical effect. It doesn’t look at all sloppy or underdone and that’s part of its charm.
21. Little Mermaid Leg Tattoos
This is a neatly done abstract piece of a faceless mermaid sitting atop a flower, or possibly a mandala. It’s got kind of a cubist feel to it, combined with the watered down colors that flow with no regard whatsoever to boundaries. The stand out bit for me in this tattoo is that of the multiple mixed colors of the skin. What a gorgeous effect caused by mixing different fleshy tones together.
20. Planetary Mayhem Leg Tattoos
This is a wild take on the planet Jupiter. The waved look of it is strange and a bit mystifying, but it’s still really cool. While stars, suns and moons are popular among the inked, planets rarely make the cut. It’s nice to see this one portrayed, but I’m curious as to why it is displayed in a ripple. Maybe it has some science fiction reference that simply went over my head. Either way, this is a way cool “out of this world” (nyuck nyuck) tattoo.
19. Bio-Mechanical Leg Tattoos
Leg tattoos are great places to feature the bio-mechanical look because there is so much space to work with and the leg is a place where we could actually imagine robotics underneath. Maybe that’s just me. Whats super cool about this one is the colors. Bio-mechanical tattoos come in all sorts of designs and color schemes, but this one is a stand out piece for the amazing looking metallic parts. Also, the bit of implied robotics still buried under the skin at the ankle joint is a really nice touch! For more bio-mechanical genius, geek out on these.
Each phase of the lunar cycle has it’s own significance, but the changing of the moon could signify any number of things. I like to think this tattoo depicts the idea that a person can constantly change, but still remain the same, despite how they appear on the outside. Eventually it all comes back around full circle and they see you are still the same you.
17. Geometry At It’s Finest
Leg tattoos can carry all sorts of meaning and design. The ability to use such a large area of canvas, combined with the contours of the skin really opens up a world of ingenious design. Here is a really cool geometric style tattoo, with an incorporated mandala on the foot. This is a complex black and white piece, but it has depth, texture and movement that makes it super intriguing.
16. Mix and Match Leg Tattoos
How about a little hodge-podge mix and match tattooing? These little elements all come together to form an inked patchwork look. They each have a bit of a traditional look to them, but the elements come from all different sources. Most noticeable are the vibrantly colored flowers and butterflies. There is also an angel of sorts, half hidden on the front of the shin there. The two that seem to be a little out of place are the broken wishbone with the number 13 under it and the Harry Potter wand with the spell “Ridiculous” on a banner. Even though they don’t seem like they would fit with the other pieces, they actually do mesh quite well together.
Trees are naturally good ideas for leg tattoos. This is because they can be “rooted” at the ankle, near the foot. Then, they can “grow” upwards along the line of the leg and flourish in any way you like. It gives an idea of growth and being one with nature. The pretty little pink flowers on this one are a nice touch, especially since they seem to be falling and gathering at the base of the tree, giving it a nice colorful start.
14. Lace and Paisley
A good way to show off your feminine side with your ink is by getting a massive piece of girly elements. This tattoo has all that and then some. It may not be bright and colorful, or include flowers and butterflies, but there is no denying the girlish touch of this one. The scrolling lace and paisley rolling down the leg is pretty, but still kind of bad ass.
13. For the Love of Music
Music lovers everywhere take heed. This is how a phenomenal music inspired tattoo is done. Not only does it have a fantastic, meaningful phrase worked in (I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not,) but it also has some cool rock elements. This paneled design is something you don’t get much outside of comic tattoos, so this one, void of color, is a really unique take on that idea. The silhouette of the rock star near the knee is also a really good bit of work. All in all, this is just a crazy good tattoo.
This tattoo has all the amazing elements of a classic, traditional throwback piece. It’s got the traditional “Sailor Jerry” style and many of the most popular tattoo images. There are butterflies, hearts, a key, and some nautical imagery. It all comes together so well to form a kind of homage to traditional tattooing.
11. A Sailors Life
This pair of leg tattoos is an interesting mirror in a way. The left leg depicts a nautical dream world, with a beautiful ship at full sail, the wind at it’s back. There is a nice vibrant rose under the ship with an anchor rope leading down, carrying a beautiful mermaid. The right leg however, is more of a nightmare, the other side to that coin. The ship has been ravaged, the sails split, the sky cloudy and stormy. The rose has lost all its vibrancy and the anchor rope holds a horrid looking backwards mermaid with the head and fins of a fish and the legs of a woman. It is definitely like a fun house reflection of the left leg.
10. Mirror Mirror
In a complete opposite take on from the last image, this pair of leg tattoos depicts an almost perfect mirror image. The designs themselves are almost exact, while the placement is incredibly similar, following the lines of the shin and foot. They are also on the front of the leg, right on the shin bone, which I can tell you from experience is a mighty painful place to put some ink. They overall finished work is amazing though and I love this concept.
9. Catch Me a Dream
The ever popular dream catcher is done here on the ball of the hip, cascading down the thigh in a really beautiful pattern. The feathers have a realistic subdued color and the intricate design of the dream catchers weaving is so very well done. Even the tiny blue beads suspended near the feathers give it a nice touch of detail. Dream catcher tattoos are not my personal favorite, but for those of you who are thinking about getting one, check out these.
A good way to utilize the space on leg tattoos is to elongate a loved and time honored design. This tattoo is done with lightly outlined flowers, very little fill in color and long, flowing vines. It trails from the mid calf all the way down to the foot in a twisting design accented with little dots and colorful leaves.
7. Freak Show
This image calls to mind the freak shows of olden days where the “Tattooed Man” was a thing people paid good money to gawk at. The tattoos here are, again, very traditional in style and have a cool sort of appeal to them. I love the creepy looking suns on the knees. I do have to admit, however, that the freaky little faces on the feet give me the willies.
Bright beautiful colors mixed with the deep, dark, mysterious raven make up this tattoo. The elements of this one are tightly packed, all crowding onto the thigh. It doesn’t give the feeling of being too crowded though, because the color is used in the perfect placing and the shading on the bird gives plenty of lighter areas to give the eyes a break.
Maori style is derived from tribes of New Zealand. Its curling patterns and geometric fillings give it a clean look that is also compelling. It flows wonderfully but is not usually as dark and heavy as many other tribal designs. This one even has a couple of flowers worked in, which is a refreshing touch to typical Maori fare. If you want to learn more about Maori tattoo, there’s a link for that.
4. This is Halloween
Here is another delicious raven tattoo. Or, perhaps, raven-o-lantern? It almost seems as though some poor soul is stuck inside that bird of bad omen. This multiple layers of detail in this thing really give it a cool effect. This is a pretty rad idea and image.
Samoan tattoo is a tribal form of tattoo from Hawaii. Unlike Maori tattoo, this style is often formed by straight lines and patterns, with little to no curvature. It also involves sections of dark black areas completely filled in. If Samoan happens to be more your style that Maori, you can check out more designs and history of Samoan tattoos right here. I feel it is worth mentioning that the generic word “tribal” does not even begin to describe all the different forms and design elements of these tattoos, nor does it tell you anything about the history or culture of the many tribes being grouped under the heading “tribal.” I highly suggest doing research on these things before going in for a “tribal.”
2. Trash Polka
This style is apparently called Trash Polka. I have no idea why, but I can assure you that I really like it. The profile of the woman surrounded by the dark scribbled looking border is a new look that you probably haven’t seen often. This is, all in all, a really well done piece.
A girl really can’t go wrong with a great pair of fishnets and skull garters. Am I right? I’m probably wrong, but here they are, cute little ribbons and all. For some unfathomable reason, the stocking stop at the knee and then a nautical theme takes over, but I kind of really dig on the transition. I love the colors of the nautical pieces, even if they are a bit faded, and the stockings have a sexy sort of appeal to them. Maybe a gal can’t go wrong.