The most incredible elephant tattoo artwork you’ll see all year. These are genius and beautifully done. A secret treasure of elephant tattoos.
They are the largest mammals to walk the planet. They weigh thousands of pounds, and don’t actually care much for peanuts. They symbolize strength, remembrance and wisdom. However, in the not-so-distant past, elephants were hunted to near-extinction for their ivory, and continue to be threatened by poachers today (to learn more about African elephants and the threats they face, visit the World Wildlife Fund). Asian elephants are at an even greater risk for extinction, and are currently classified as endangered (learn more here).
50 Enviable Elephant Tattoos:
In spite of their depleting numbers, elephants are beloved the world over, and carry special meaning for a lot of people. Also, they’re ridiculously cute when they’re babies.
Here we have a list of 50 awesome elephant tattoos that range from cute to colossal. See if you can pick a favorite.
1. Sweet Baby
I want to pick this little guy up and put him in my pocket! He’s so cute! I love his cartoonish little body, and the watercolor splashes in the background.
2. Cuddly Baby
I came across several versions of this elephant tattoo, but this one is by far my favorite. Perfectly executed with sharp lines and great shading. This little cutie is just begging to be snuggled! Just look at those little pink cheeks! Adorbs!
3. Musical Baby
Someone’s channeling Schroeder from the Peanuts Gang with their little red piano! This elephant tattoo is adorable, and I like how it incorporates what is probably two loves – elephants and music. I love the giant head. He wouldn’t be able to stand!
4. Butterfly Baby Elephant Tattoo
This little fellow is very serious about that butterfly. I can’t tell if he’s snubbing the thing, or about to suck it up into his trunk. But he’s a cute little thing, so it doesn’t matter!
5. Another Butterfly Baby
A completely different take on the one above. This cute blue elephant seems surprised by his little winged friend. I like the addition of the butterfly’s trail through the air, and the colors are great.
6. Party Baby
I’m fairly certain that this elephant has a party popper full of confetti in his snoot. That’s why he’s celebrating. I love the simple line drawing in black, then the colorful swirls shooting out his trunk. I wonder what they’re supposed to be? How cute is that little tail, by the way?!
7. Matching Babies Elephant Tattoo
I saw a few different versions of this tattoo as well. I like that even though it’s the same design, they are customized with different colors as well as the tattoo artists style. I’m always a sucker for animals with too-big eyes, so this design really jumped out at me. They’re so cute! The one on the right is my favorite, though. I love the yellow and blue headdress.
8. Blowing Bubbles
Actually, I don’t know if this elephant is blowing bubble-shaped hearts out of his trunk, or if he’s trying to catch them while they fall from the sky. Either way, this elephant tattoo is totally adorable and a perfect little bit of ankle ink. Did you know that when the elephant’s trunk is pointing up, it means good luck?
9. Ankle Cutie
Another simply-inked ankle elephant tattoo, but this one is a bit more of a cartoon style. Very cute.
Love this! It has so much movement, with the tail to one side, and the trunk up in the air. I feel like any second now, this elephant tattoo is just going to start shrinking as it walks away. The style is really cool – it almost looks painted on. Very unique!
11. Graphic Geometry
Oooh! This tattoo is so cool! It’s a very stained-glass feel, just without the color. Love how all the geometric shapes fit together to create a familiar picture. It feels like something you’d see in a modern art museum.
12. Singin’ in the Rain
Looking at this tattoo for a third time, I realize it actually appears that this elephant is flying away like Mary Poppins with this umbrella. I wonder if that’s what it’s supposed to be? I hope so. I feel like if an elephant can fly around on an umbrella, anything is possible.
13. Little Loves
This elephant tattoo has stolen my heart!! This is another pretty common design, but I have never seen another one in color and outlined in white. It takes something that isn’t super unique and makes it really special. I just love that it’s in red ink instead of black, and that white outline, I tell ya, I am going crazy for it! I’m totally taking that idea and incorporating it into my next ink!
14. Two of Hearts
This elephant tattoo might have a common theme (using the trunks to form a heart), but it does it in a way that no one else has. First of all, the elephants themselves are so cute, and I like that they are each a different color. Second, I love the fact that it’s not just the trunks, but also the two palm trees forming the heart. What a creative idea! This is a great tattoo to commemorate a relationship, whether it be romantic or platonic.
15. Mama and Me
I don’t know why, but there’s just something about seeing baby animals with their mothers that makes me go all gooey. Could it be that it makes them seem more human? Maybe. But seriously – how adorable is this? The little guy holding on to Mom’s tail so he doesn’t get lost as they wander through the desert (I’m not sure if these are supposed to be African or Asian elephants, but based on a chart I’m referencing on the ol’ interwebs, I’m guessing African). This elephant tattoo is super cute, and I love the placement on the neck.
16. Watercolor Cover-up
I didn’t include the before photo that goes with this shot because I didn’t think it was terribly important to see the birthmark that this ink is covering. Mainly because it’s an insanely gorgeous piece of art that would be equally amazing even if it wasn’t covering anything up. This elephant tattoo has to be my favorite out of the bunch. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the silhouetted tree and elephant family with the beautiful watercolor background. If I had any affinity for elephants, I would totally get this exact tattoo.
17. Family Affair
Well isn’t this delightful! It’s like a super cute tattoo version of those annoying “my family” car stickers. Not annoying here at all, though. I love all the colors (and I’m sure I don’t need to mention how amazing the watercolor styling is), and the swirly, abstract outlines of each elephant. This tattoo is just to die.
18. Traditional Dumbo
How could I have a list about elephant tattoos without including some Dumbo??? A character beloved by millions since the Disney film was released in 1941, Dumbo is the ultimate underdog. It doesn’t hurt that he’s just so darn cute with those big, floppy ears! This tattoo represents a great, classic illustration of the flying elephant.
19. Sweet Scene
One of the movie’s heartbreaking scenes has been immortalized here as a portrait. Poor Dumbo! I love this tattoo, even if it’s sad. It’s very nice work, and a I love the way it’s been framed. In fact, the framing is reminiscent of the decor of the Dumbo ride at Disneyland.
20. Watercolor Dumbo
Seriously? Could this get any cuter? This tattoo is from the adorable scene where Dumbo is getting a bath, and he’s having so much fun! A perfect use of watercolor and an overall amazing elephant tattoo!
21. Disney Sleeve
Looks like someone has some more work to do! But they got their Dumbo finished, and it looks great! It’s as if he’s soaring across her arm. Very cute. This sleeve is going to be amazing when it’s finished!
22. Horton Hears a Who
Dumbo isn’t the only animated elephant out there! Who can forget Horton? Dr. Seuss had many great characters, but Horton, here, is definitely a favorite. This tattoo really captures the style and spirit of Seuss, with all the colors and those oh-so-Seussian fish. “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind!”
23. Large Tribal
We’re moving away from the cartoon-inspired elephant tattoos and into the tribal world. This large thigh piece is an excellent example of the style. The lines are so crisp! Very nicely done. I like that the tusks have been left unadorned – it makes them really stand out.
24. Henna Inspired
It’s my favorite pose again! This time with beautiful henna-like detailing on each elephant. These two are so pretty!
So, originally, I had downloaded a version of this tattoo that had been flipped. I could not for the life of me figure out what the symbol was supposed to be! I scoured the internet trying to find a symbol that looked even remotely like it. Then I came across this reversed version, and said “OOOOHHHH! It was backwards!” Yeah. Anyway, this is an “Om” symbol with an image of the Hindu diety, Ganesha (who is linked to the “om” symbol). “Om” represents the divisions of time, while Ganesha is believed to be a remover of obstacles.
26. Colorful Character
This elephant tattoo reminds me of those Chinese New Year dragon costumes. I love the rich colors and all the little details.
27. Red and Black Beauty
Well. This is cool. I’m pretty sure there is more going on here than I can figure out, what with the sun, moon and stars around that diamond in the background. But wow – I LOVE the black and red coloring! So many fine details! This is incredible work. Color me highly impressed.
28. Patchwork Pachyderm Elephant Tattoo
Originally, I did not know that this was an actual character. In fact, this is Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, a character created by British author David McKee in the late 60s. Apparently, Elmer was quite the practical joker, but it’s no joke that I find this elephant tattoo extremely charming.
29. Tribal Splash
I really think this tribal elephant is having a grand old time splashing in colorful puddles and spraying rainbow water into the air. He’s a bit mischievous, I think. I love the mix of tiny detail with the watercolor here. Very pretty.
30. Striking Watercolor
I’m calling this watercolor, but it really almost seems more like pastel chalk. I can’t get over the vividness of the green, and the way it contrasts with the deep blues and purples. The outline of the elephant is so simple, yet as a whole this feels really complex. Love it.
31. Rainbow Elephant
I don’t know how to even describe the coloring of this elephant tattoo. It doesn’t really strike me as watercolor, but the colors are so rich! I love how the reds and oranges blend across with the blues and greens on the trunk and face! The thick black outline gives it that something extra to make it really special. This is one amazing tattoo.
32. Happy Watercolor
Adorable! In the absolute best way possible, this looks like it was drawn by a child. Look at the toes – they’re so simply drawn. I love the sketch-like quality and how the lines overlap (it’s like this elephant isn’t perfect, and doesn’t want to be). Don’t even get me started on the watercolors. So pretty! This elephant tattoo just makes me smile 🙂
33. Watercolor Love
These two elephants are so sweet! I love how the mama is protecting the baby. Great placement, and we all know how much I love the look of watercolor.
34. Abstract Colors
The eye on this elephant tattoo makes me feel like it’s staring deep into my soul. He looks so wise. I love the abstract nature of the colors; it’s almost like a watercolor version of #11.
35. Graphic Sketch
Gah! I love this!! Not only is the idea adorable – an elephant floating around with the help of balloons! – but the style is amazing. I can’t even get over the addition of the red outline to the sketched elephant. It’s so unique and beautiful! Love it, love it, love it!
36. Cross Stitch Elephant
Yeah. Cross stitch. This tattoo is extremely impressive. It looks super cool from far away, and even more amazing close up. I can’t imagine the patience that went into this elephant tattoo. But I’m pretty sure it was worth it. Just awesome.
37. Floral Fauna
I’ve seen this same tattoo in just black, but man, the color sure makes it pop! I love that greenish background! The whole thing is just so pretty. And there’s that up-raised trunk for good luck!
38. Classic Circus Elephant
Didn’t we just talk about the fact that elephants don’t actually eat peanuts? Well, that’s okay, because this is a great tattoo. Somehow this elephant got promoted to ringleader, and a dapper one at that. Very nice work here, and I love all the vibrant colors.
39. Find the Elephant
This is the least elephanty of all the elephant tattoos, but it might be the coolest.
40. Pint-Sized Pal
I am just blown away by tiny tattoos that are still so full of detail, and this one is no exception! I mean, you can actually see texture! So impressive.
I don’t know if this is supposed to be a circus elephant or if he’s just adorned Eastern-style, but he seems happy. I really feel like the eyes are smiling, and that seems like quite a feat to accomplish with a tattoo.
42. Pachyderm Portraiture
Ah-mah-zing! This is so cool. I’m kind of speechless. The elephant looks so real! He’s just going to squeeze his way through that frame! This is a very well done piece of art, and I would love to know who the artist is. There is so much texture and dimension here, I can’t even believe it. Fantastic.
43. Massively Impressive
Whoa. This is amazing. What incredible placement for an elephant tattoo! I seriously want to reach out and pet this guy’s arm to see if it feels like an elephant.
44. Tromping Along
Time for a parade! This guy is just marching his way around whatever body part this is. I can’t tell. Is it a side? A leg? I don’t know. All I know is this elephant tattoo is just about the only one I’ve seen where the elephant is actually lifting up its leg. I like it.
There is a LOT going on here. So, I think it might be a Ganesha elephant, but then there’s a giant butterfly formed by the ears, but each wing has an eye in it, and what appears to maybe be grasshopper legs. I’m sure there is a story here, I just have no idea what it would be. Regardless, this is a pretty dang cool tattoo, with tons of detail. I like that the coloring is really subdued and subtle. It’s all very agreeable.
46. Safari Scene
“And here we have an African Bush Elephant, striding gracefully through the Serengeti.” I feel like I’m watching a nature documentary here. This…oh, excuse me, my neighbor is shouting obscenities at his TV, it distracted me for a moment. No, wait, it’s a video game. He’s really, really angry at his video game. Goodness. AAAAAnyway…what was I saying? Oh, yes, this is a very nice back tattoo, and I love that it’s depicting the elephant in it’s native environment. It makes me want to go on a safari.
47. Patterned and Pretty
This elephant seems to be shocked to find itself surrounded by colorful paisley. I, however, find it to be a nice contrast to the gray of the elephant. The colors here really are lovely – so bright and rich! There is so much minute detail in the patterns. Love it.
48. Pink Elephant
In case you weren’t aware, pink elephants are a euphemism for drug-induced hallucinations (see the pink elephant scene in “Dumbo” for a disturbing example). So hopefully, the owner of this tattoo just likes the color pink, and doesn’t have a terrible history of hallucinogenic drug use. It’s super cute though, isn’t it? The rose at the bottom gives it a bit of that classic tattoo look, and I imagine that the lily the elephant is holding has some kind of particular meaning. All in all, it’s cute and well done. I like it.
49. Dali Elephant
This tattoo needs some explanation. Salvador Dali was a surrealist artist from the mid-20th century. His artwork took everyday things and turned them on their heads. The elephant in the tattoo above was first seen in his painting “Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening.” He went on to paint similar elephants into later works. It’s kind of creepy, but if you’re really into Dali, I can see the appeal. I can’t stop looking at the legs – they’re giving me the heebie jeebies!
50. Grand Ganesha
We discussed Ganesha before, but this is a totally different representation than the fairly simple one in #25. This tattoo has some beautiful colors, and I especially love the eyes. This is the only elephant tattoo in this list that actually appears feminine. In fact, the face here is very human. There are a lot of Ganesha tattoos out there – I don’t know what made me choose this one to include here, but something about it just struck me. I liked it best.
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