Female Heads & Portraits in Tattoo Designs

The seemingly-recent trend of female heads in tattoo designs, whether in a stand-alone tattoo or a sleeve, continues! Having a character in a tattoo design allows for the inclusion of elements (cultural, political, religious, etc) that may be difficult to tie together otherwise. Fashion and accessories allow for customization and endless combinations, helping to keep the tattoo design unique.

INKED AT VINTAGE TATTOO - Buenos Aires, Argentina. (via fyeahtattoos)

INKED AT VINTAGE TATTOO – Buenos Aires, Argentina. (via fyeahtattoos)

The rosary draped over this girl’s hands helps give depth to this tattoo. The colors are subdued and dark, echoing the blankness in her eyes, framed by her simple brown hair and red makeup. I find her wolf-headdress interesting because it doesn’t necessarily look dead, the eyes still have life in them.

Tattoo by Kurt Fagerland at Memorial Tattoo in Atlanta, GA

Tattoo by Kurt Fagerland at Memorial Tattoo in Atlanta, GA

This tattoo and the one above it feature characters that also have tattoos; I don’t know why this fascinates me, but it does! This old-school/sailor jerry style has really attracted me lately, with simplistic bright colors, exaggerated eyes and thick line work. The stormy seas behind her and orange in the sky lead me to believe that she’s part of a bigger piece, and that perhaps the piece isn’t done yet. You could easily continue on below the flower at her bust.

Amie Lee Sanders from Sacred Rose Tattoo in Mango Hill, Qld (via fyeahtattoos)

Amie Lee Sanders from Sacred Rose Tattoo in Mango Hill, Qld (via fyeahtattoos)

Purple is another one of my favorite colors, and the orange in the tiger’s head along with the gold earrings and eyes really makes it pop here. The combination of jewelry and fur make this gypsy really eye-catching.

valerie vargas (via decoratedskin.tumblr.com)

valerie vargas (via decoratedskin.tumblr.com)

I like how soft this girl’s lips are; rather than outline them in black, they’re softly shaded with pink giving a more realistic style to them. The shading here is very well done too, giving a lot of depth to her frame. Her wispy hair tangled in roses provides a beautiful crown and draws attention to her sultry eyes. The birds are a nice way to frame the bottom of this tattoo and again suggest that there’s more to it than what’s in this photo.

SARAH SCHOR (via ticopolotatuado.tumblr.com)

SARAH SCHOR (via ticopolotatuado.tumblr.com)

Her necklace is a snake! She looks unconcerned though in her stark makeup and beautifully constructed headdress. I really like the styling of the feathers, more geometric than conventional. One could easily add more nature to frame this girl, whether a simple rolling field of grass or a collection of brightly-colored flowers.

A word of caution on symbolism in tattoos: do your research! For the longest time I wanted a heart with barbed wire and flames for a tattoo, but upon further investigation learned that there were some strong christian meanings behind that symbol, and I didn’t want those displayed permanently on my body. If in doubt, talk to your tattoo artist about it.

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