I love tattoos and have been writing about the topic for several years.
Wolf tattoos have a unique place in body art because the wolf itself means many things to a disparate number of people. It can be a pest and threat to the owners of livestock while having spiritual meaning to tribal societies, where some believe it has a powerful spirit connected to it.
One thing I realized about wolf tattoos is that those inking them don't seem to have a solid concept of what they can do with them, so while there are some interesting and well-done wolf tattoos, there isn't an awful lot of variety and creativity. Even so, I was able to find a few that looked pretty good, and you can see them here.
What I would like to see more of with this tattoo is a full body in attack or hunting mode. There's a little of that in some of the designs, but nowhere near what it could be. Wolves are one of the most ferocious killing machines in the wild, and not taking that into account for a tattoo can lose some of the drama and power that a tattoo image could capture. At the same time, some do convey the teeth of the wolves correctly, and those are strong images.
Wolf Howling at the Moon Tattoo
By far the most popular tattoo design for a wolf theme is of one howling at the moon. While it must be part of the wolf tattoo genre, I would go another way if I was going to have a wolf inked on me.
But that's obviously personal taste, so it's not right or wrong in that sense. For me, I would have it hovering over something it just killed to eat, or something similar to that, rather than simply standing and howling with a moon in the background.
Another thing I would like is some of that blood-red moonglow or cloud line in the background; I think that would really add to the overall effect of the image. Having said that, this one below is a pretty well-designed wolf, and the misty clouds encompassing the yellow moon look pretty convincing.
Wolf Paw Tattoo
This tattoo with a wolf looking through a paw from behind is too cool. I love the yellow, foreboding eyes, and the death that is obviously behind them.
The strength of a tattoo like this is the attraction of it being a good conversation starter. One look at it and someone is sure to comment one way or the other about it. Since that's part of the reason for getting tattoos, it is a success in that regard, and a pretty good ink wolf design as well.
Wolf Skull Tattoo
This wolf-skull tattoo is very unique, and the only one of its kind I could find. It's kind of like Ghost Rider on four legs. It has a very sinister look, and the detail and lines are very well done. For what it is, it displays very well.
It's a little too intense for my taste, but a very impressive design nonetheless. The ripped flesh in the jaw area is particularly disturbing and noticeable.
Vicious, Snarling Wolf Head Tattoo
I like the teeth of this wolf, but unfortunately, the head bears little resemblance to any type of real wolf. Yet the spirit behind it is right, and maybe that's what the artist was trying to portray. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
What looks good is the white and black lines of the fur as it pulls back from the nose and mouth area of the wolf. With a little adjustment, this tattoo design could be used for a number of animals that are known to bare their teeth.
Wolf Tattoo Tearing Out of Skin
Now, this is a pretty cool wolf tattoo. Not only does the head breaking through the skin look good, but the paw below also shredding the skin is really cool. You can almost miss it by looking at the larger part of the picture.
This type of tattoo is known by some as "ripping the flesh" tattoos, something the wolf can definitely be identified with.
But wolf alien? That's a new one!
Tribal Wolf Tattoo
There aren't a lot of them to be found, but the tribal wolf tattoo below is one used occasionally by tattoo enthusiasts. This one wasn't anything special, but it's a decent example of how the themes were incorporated together.
The tribal designs were actually done much better than the head of the wolf. It appears a number of tattoo artists have difficulty getting this design to look real.
In my opinion, a tattoo artist who masters the wolf would be guaranteed a lot of work, as there just aren't a lot of good ones out there.
Tattoo of Wolf Running on Arm
Now, this is the type of wolf tattoo I was really looking for. You get the sheer power and killer instinct of the beast, and you can see how it would feel to be hunted or attacked by it.
I like how the tattoo artist put it together on the arm, as the placement works well. The detail of the wolf is fantastic, using shadow very effectively to generate an amazing work of art.
Full-Back Werewolf Tattoo
This amazing full-back werewolf tattoo is truly compelling and well-done. The detail literally sticks out, as you can feel the change from man to wolf or wolf to man, and the bulging veins give the appearance of being very powerful.
Another thing that really impressed me was the color of the tattoo, which flowed and worked together in a very skillful work of art. It is truly a great werewolf tattoo if that's what you're looking for.
A Mixed Bag of Design and Quality
As you can see, there are varying degrees of quality in these wolf tattoos, but you can also see that when they're done right, they can turn out really well.
There's a lot of potentially good tattoo material in a wolf, and the design for them can be expanded and improved in a lot of ways, as those that are done well here show.
© 2009 MakinBacon
shaenito on April 16, 2013:
I got tha wolf lookin thru tha paw tattoo easter wknd i love it
bignic on January 05, 2012:
That back tattoo is sick! Amazing
mate285 on December 22, 2011:
I respect your views so with all due respect I think the wolf howling at the moon over something dead is a little overboard. The wolf is majestic and mysterious and ghost like people look at mine as I am an honorable loyal person that can be very family oriented or I can stand alone. Just saying a tattoo means different things to different people.
Kendra liko on June 03, 2011:
Yeah wolf tattoos are awesome i have 2 wolf tattoos because i love wolves. I have one that is a blue wolf sitting infrout of a dream catcher and the other is a wolf with angel wings.
diven burnate on April 13, 2011:
oh n use my email there n get back to me, it school related kould save the lives of many
diven burnate on April 13, 2011:
diven burnate on April 13, 2011:
do any of these have copyright?????
BI LE on March 28, 2011:
I want the running wolfarm tatto u got more pictures from it ?
Tattoofan on July 15, 2010:
Some great tattoos about the wolf here.
andey on July 15, 2010:
these tattoos r da bomb!!!!
they look awsome n kool!!!!
Kiara on June 22, 2010:
These are really cool...is there any way I could get the wolf looking through a wolf paw tattoo's uncolored stencil? (http://s4.hubimg.com/u/1381519_f520.jpg) I'm thinking about getting that tattoo, but I think it would be easier for the artist to draw it if I had the stencil as well as the colored version.
I'd realllly appreciate it :)
N4C™ฬ๏Ļךּ๓คภ on August 02, 2009:
i especially lyked the last one...
WeddingConsultant from DC Metro Area on July 13, 2009:
Wow, I'm loving all the photos you put up of wolf tattoes! It really compliments the hub.
Another hub on wolves that you might want to check out is here:
Have you heard about the 3 wolf moon shirt? Kinda funny
Kari Poulsen from Ohio on July 11, 2009:
Thanks for the views. My fav is the paw print. Seems like they are trying to hold the wild inside and losing the battle!