If your spirit animal happens to be a wolf, then you’re in luck. Because these last few weeks I’ve been scouring the web for the best examples of wolf tattoos and I have to say, you’re going to be impressed. I’m always astonished by the lack of quality tattoo designs floating around out there. I mean, it’s a permanent piece of art that will be with you for the rest of your life, the least you can do is take some time to vet your artist and make sure you’re getting a quality design. This frustration is the main reason I started this site. Anyways, if a wolf tattoo is something you’re seriously considering, then this list is right where you need to be. Behold, high quality wolf tattoos that inspire.
A white wolf tattoo
This masterpiece by Victoria Do is one of those designs that leaves a lasting impression on anyone who sees it. It inspires awe. It evokes strong emotions of affection and appreciation. It’s oh-so-awesome.
Not only is this wolf one of the most stunning examples of realism on the list, its creative extras go far and beyond the typical decorative additions we see on similar designs. Zlata is one of the most talented purveyors of photorealism work in the industry.
A floral design
If you’re looking for something with a feminine vibe, then adding a few strategically placed flowers to a design usually gets the job done. The way the artist chose to incorporate a single hue of pink to the mix adds to its feminine appeal without being too colorful.
A sketched wolf tattoo
Forewarning: There’s a great deal of sketch style designs on this list. As you can see, sketchy lines and wolf tattoos simply go hand in hand. This piece has a ton of style and a strong abstract nature that’s just reigned in enough to make it distinguishable.
A complex arrangement
If I had to get a wolf tattoo tomorrow and could choose from any of the designs on this list, this would be it without a doubt. Balazs Bercsenyi is one of those artists that everyone wants to work with. I don’t exactly know what’s going on with this piece but it’s simply divine.
A rib cage design
I’ve always been at a loss for words when trying to describe Doctor Woo’s wonderful creations. I’m referring in particular to the circular details seen in the hindquarters of this wolf, which are a common site in Woo’s designs. Many artists try to replicate Brian’s work, but there can only be one Doctor Woo.
A winter wolf
When we think of wolves in the wild, we always tend to picture them in some sort of snowy landscape. And that’s probably because those snow covered mountains and trees really accentuate the white portion of fur which most wolves possess. The wolf is the obvious focal point of this piece but how about that little cabin?
A spirit wolf
Wolves and dreamcatchers go together like Frida Kahlo’s eyebrows. The wolf is one of the most popular and powerful spirit animals and they are commonly paired together in a variety of different mediums. This design has a tranquil vibe to it that Woo’s lightly-drawn style permits.
A pair of eyes
This is one of those designs that you may have seen before as it’s been floating around for quite some time now. I don’t usually like to repost designs but what collection of wolf tattoos wouldn’t be complete without this creative example.
A geometric design
As you’ll notice, many of the pieces on this list are similar in design and style. This is mainly due to the fact that the artists who are the most skilled in creating these particular types of designs simply love to do them. Again, I like to keep lists as diverse as possible but due to the quality of these designs, I don’t think you’ll mind.
Wolves are pack animals by nature, so it’s only fitting that many people decided to get more than one wolf in their design. These two simple, yet highly detailed wolves are beautiful examples of a no frills approach to design. A close inspection reveals a delightful texture.
Two clashing styles
This design concept is a popular one that’s been applied to almost every animal design imaginable. Aside from being a little easier to ink, than, say, an entire work of realism, the blending of the two different styles gives the viewer more to take in which makes things more interesting.
A blue-eyed wolf
Here we have a beautiful portrait of a wolf in its natural habitat. A winding road, snow-covered trees, and a full moon are all details that can be found in this design. The methodic pulse of grey and black ink give this piece a sense of harmony and flow.
A multi-pose design
Not quite sure which pose your wolf should occupy? Good news, you don’t have to settle for just one—as Korean tattooist BK has illustrated above. BK is one of my favorite artists when it comes to sketch style designs. He’s one of the few artists that work exclusively in the style.
A starry wolf
Done in a fantastic and highly stylized watercolor fashion, this wolf tattoo has a majestic and cosmic feel to it. It takes a creative mind to think up something like this, which is true with almost every watercolor design. Davide Famiglietti, you sir have talent.
A subtle watercolor design
Watercolor tattoos are everywhere these days. But the artist who created this masterpiece is in a class all by himself. He goes by the moniker Doy, and he’s one of those must-follow tattoo artists on Instagram that I stalk with no remorse.
An amazing forearm piece
I like to think there’s a special place in heaven reserved for those who create tattoo designs as beautiful as this. And whether or not you’re looking for a wolf tattoo of your own, you can’t help but appreciate a design of this caliber. As you can see here, wolves have a tendency to inspire the best out of artists who attempt them.
A galaxy wolf
If you’re familiar with Resul’s work, then you must have instantly recognized his style the second you laid eyes upon this piece. Resul loves to sample sections of his designs in a cosmic or galaxy themed style. What I love about his sections of space is the realistic vision he creates which perfectly captures the grandeur and mystery of the cosmos.
A beautiful back piece
This design is another one that’s been floating around the web for a while. But just because it isn’t brand spanking new doesn’t make it any less of a pleasure to view. It’s one of those designs that you never get sick of. An instant classic if you will. And its top lighted nature adds a dramatic effect to the mix.
The thigh is a great place to get a tattoo. And this design is so well suited for this location that I wouldn’t be surprised if you told me she was born with it. The wolf itself is of course done to perfection but what really stands out are the almost paisley-like patterns around the perimeter of the design that fade into the background.
A masterful blend
Shading and blending is something we usually take for granted when it comes to tattoos. But what most people don’t know is that these two seemingly mundane skills are anything but easy. It takes a lot of practice and determination before you’re able to create designs like the one above.
A back mural
Wolf tattoos come in all different shapes and sizes. But much to my surprise, while gathering material for this list I noticed that there wasn’t very many tiny wolf tattoos to be found, which is definitely not the norm. Instead, medium to large size designs were the most common.
A delicate forearm design
This lightly-drawn wolf tattoo will get you get nods of appreciation wherever you go. Oozing sophistication and elegance, the decision to take a more subtle design approach paid off big time in this case.
A half sleeve
Sleeves of this nature were a surprisingly common sight during my quest to find the 60 best wolf tattoos in existence. Majestic river valleys, snow-covered mountain tops, and just about every other type of natural landscape you can imagine were common backdrops for wolves occupying various noble poses.
A fearsome wolf
Fredao Oliveira’s style is wildly popular among men. Now I’m not saying that women don’t enjoy his work, they do, but the majority of the likes and comments his work receives are from men. I know, what an odd thing to observe but I just happened to stumble upon it and I thought it was interesting. I’ve actually found that men tend to appreciate the sketched style of design more than women in general.
An orangish red overlay
Arguably more owl than wolf, this design still represents an undeniably cool concept that I felt was too fascinating not to include. However, I can’t help to think how cool the wolf would be all by itself, or perhaps set over a different wolf design instead of an owl.
A beautiful black and grey ink design
Trudy’s wolves are some of my favorites on the list. And as you can gather from the number of her designs on the list (there were many more I didn’t include), she clearly enjoys drawing wolves as well. The contrast she’s able to achieve while still showcasing the soft nature of the wolf’s fur is wonderful.
A cosmic watercolor design
No list of animal tattoos would be complete without at least a few of Adrian’s cosmic watercolor designs. If bright and beautiful is your thing, then I recommend checking out Adrian’s other work as each and every one of his designs is full of vibrant color and fantastic style.
A planetary design
The whole spiritual/cosmos vibe thing is strongly represented in world’s collective body of wolf tattoo designs. The fact that the wolf is wildly considered to be one of the most spiritual animals obviously has something to do with this trend.
A sketchy wolf
I know, this design is eerily similar to the one by Inez Janiak that was featured earlier on the list, but I couldn’t resist the urge to include it as well. The sketch style of design is well-suited for wolf tattoos which I think is proven by the design above.
A forearm piece
From the mountain peaks to the tree line to the wolf itself, this piece was carefully staged in a way that you wouldn’t think would work, yet it does and on so many different levels. Again, this is one of my favorite designs on the list. How many times have I said this now?
A split design
Eva Krbdk is known for her famous circular landscape designs, but her creativity when it comes to designing non-landscape designs is something that should be applauded as well. In my opinion, this design has the perfect amount of decorative extras without making the design feel too cluttered.
A sketchy watercolor wolf
When it comes to modern tattoo treads, there are four main movements that have really shaped the landscape over the past few decades. These include the watercolor, micro (slim needle), sketch, and realism styles of design. The slim needle movement coincides with works of realism and sketch style designs are often filled using the watercolor technique. This design is a beautiful example of the latter..
A double exposure design
What really stands out about this design is the transition between the wolf and the landscape portion of the design. It’s so…clean. Mark Ostein is another artist I only had the pleasure of recently discovering but I have a feeling he will quickly become one of my go-to artists.
A sketched mashup
I love this design. But I can’t help but imagine how cool of a sleeve this particular mashup style would make. Sketch style sleeves are something of a rarity, come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever even seen one and I look at tattoo designs for hours everyday.
A lot of texture
When it comes to texture, this design definitely isn’t lacking. The heavy blackwork on the shoulder allows for bold black lines to define the wolf while still keeping a somewhat soft and texturized feeling intact.
A segmented design
This design is split into four similar sections which feature abstract elements as well as other subtly hidden designs. Mountains and trees can be made out if you let the creative side of your brain take over. Behold, a beautiful abstract design with enough detail to captivate even the most anxious of viewers.
A triangular design
This is a creative work of abstract art that just happens to feature a wolf. Geometric in nature, circles, triangles, and a four-sided polygon are in stark contrast with the realistic wolf that occupies the main triangle.
A chest piece
If you’re getting tired of all the sketch style designs then too bad. Just kidding, but this is one of the last designs on the list and and believe me when I said you’re getting off easy as there was about a million sketch style wolf tattoos that I thought were good enough to make this list.
A blue watercolor wolf
As popular as sketched designs are on men, watercolor designs are on women. So it only makes sense that if you’re considering getting a wolf tattoo and are of the female gender that you give a beautiful watercolor design like this some serious thought.
A black and grey geometric design
If you’re starting to notice a trend then let me assure you that you are not alone. It appears that wolves all by themselves aren’t quite interesting enough in the minds of most tattooists to work as stand alone designs. Geometric shapes and all sorts of decorative extras are an overwhelmingly common sight.
A tricep tat
Thanks to their domesticated descendants, many of our minds have been conditioned to look upon wolves with familiarity and comfort due to the roles domesticated dogs play in our daily lives. This is of course why I see my dog in almost every wolf tattoo I view.
A watercolor wolf head
Here we have another one of Doy’s wonderful works of watercolor brilliance. Some designs attempt to mimic water, Doy’s designs are water. Many of the watercolor techniques I see make it a point to include the visual characteristics of water such as their individual droplets. Doy’s technique mimics that of real watercolor paintings which do not contain actual drops of water.
Small decorative accents
This design features your ever-present background elements but in a way that doesn’t distract from the focal point of the design. I have to admit, as annoying as all the background noise can initially appear, most designs are better for it.
A timeless wolf tattoo
As you can see, the wolf in this design is more of a footnote than a focal point. However, the sheer awesomeness of this design (especially the wolf) was too much for me to ignore. I mean seriously, how stunning and clear is that wolf?
Another segmented design
I’m always impressed when I see large thigh pieces. In my opinion, the thigh is one of the most beautiful places a woman can get a tattoo and the sheer amount of space that it provides allows for some pretty incredible design opportunities.
Coins, mail order commemorative husky plates, whatever these are they do a great job of inspiring creativity as you look to create a unique design of your own. How are these matching designs not cooler than any of the other traditional type designs on the list?
A hand design
It’s not every person that has a design like this in them. As in, in takes a certain kind of individual to even entertain the idea of getting a large wolf tattoo on the top of their hand. But surprisingly enough, there are countless examples of top-of-the-hand wolf tattoos out there just like this.
A set of colored eyes
The concept of creating a wolf tattoo in black and grey ink with the only color being in the eyes is a relatively common one. But just because it’s common doesn’t mean that this particular type of design is anything but spectacular. Upon closer inspection, this may just be a husky. Oops.
A sketched forearm piece
Here we have another combination of both the sketch and the watercolor styles of design. The small infusion of brown ink throughout the design matches the eye color and creates a wonderful harmonious effect.
A colorful watercolor work
For any woman looking for a fun and feminine design, a colorful watercolor creation like the one above would definitely get the job done. The white wolf set amongst the vibrant watercolor hues offers up a beautiful contrast while providing a smooth and polished look.
A brilliant chest piece
When it comes to sheer size, it doesn’t get much larger than this white-eyed wolf. Frank Carrilho is an uber talented tattooist who was born in Brazil but works out of Portugal when he’s not travel working. His sketchy black and grey ink designs often feature large animals such as this wolf with a serpent’s tongue.
This is what happens when you can’t settle on a particular style of design. I’m kidding of course but this is a great example of how a single design done in two different styles can actually be more beautiful than one done with a single comprehensive theme.
Sketched brushed strokes
I often come across designs of an animal with another type of animal skull below them. I’m not sure what the significance of these types of designs are—if any—but they do seem to be popular. And don’t worry, this is the last sketch style design on the list.
A black backdrop
Fun fact: The earliest known drawings of wolves were found in southern Europe and are a whopping 20,000 years old. In addition to that wonderful fact, there are more wolf tattoos in existence than real wolves living freely in the wild today. Okay, so I made that last little part up but after spending a significant portion of my life looking at wolf tattoos I certainly wouldn’t doubt it.
A night wolf
There’s nothing more beautiful and perhaps more terrifying than the howl of a wolf at night. The silhouette of a wolf howling against a full moon is one of those images that’s been burned into our brains since childhood. Oh a wolf, why isn’t it howling and where’s the full moon?
A wolf and compass
This design was a late substitution for a duplicate design I had mistakenly included on the list. I often swap in better designs when I find them before a list is complete. There’s nothing I hate more than stumbling upon an amazing design right after I finish an article.
If you’re here then there’s no doubt you have at least a small obsession with wolves. And by the looks of this design, I’m sure that if you asked this individual what her favorite animal was it wouldn’t be a porcupine.
A morphing thigh piece
To anyone who claims that tattoos are not art (there are some people), I would politely tell them to take a look at this design. If they still didn’t get it, I would politely tell them to go do something unmentionable with themselves. John Monteiro is a recent discovery of mine and I can’t even explain how good his work is.
A bicep piece
Here’s a gorgeous design from John Monteiro that’s actually one of the less detail-packed designs in his portfolio. This is another one of those designs that features a wolf in a less-than-central role yet still still qualifies as a wolf tattoo in my eyes.