I've always thought that dove tattoos were some of the most creative and lovely tattoos out there.
What Do Dove Tattoos Represent?
- Universal peace and purity. These doves may be portrayed carrying an olive branch.
- Long-term love. Male and female doves mate for life. Mostly, they are drawn in pairs, although that can be hard to notice when there are a number of doves present.
- Christianity. The dove is also very symbolic in Christianity, being a symbol of both the Holy Spirit and sacrifice.
- Oracles. Other cultures long ago looked upon doves as messengers and omens, with some seeing them as messengers of the future.
- War. In ancient Japan, doves were seen as a warning of coming war.
For the most part, the dove is embraced as a symbol of peace, with an emphasis on gentleness and wanting to better the world. Let's take a look at some examples of dove tattoos.
On the Back
What I discovered when searching for dove tattoos was the vast majority were put on the back, though I don't know why. Almost everyone who got these (with some exceptions) were women.
Stenciled on Back
As for the tattoo above, I love the stenciled look and placement. I like dark lines— they stand out much better for me.
Here's an exception to the back rule for dove tattoos—it's on a man and on his arm. It's compelling in that it has the feel of a tribal tattoo and is mixed in with the one on his upper arm.
Some ankle tattoos lend themselves to being part of a woman's look as you can see in the image above. The inclusion of the heart with the dove works well and is very cute.
By contrast, here's another tattoo of a dove on the side with a completely different outcome and look. I would have preferred the bottom below the dove to be a little lighter for better effect, but it's still pretty nice.
Back of Neck
The placement of this one allows the woman to wear her hair up to show it off or to let it down to hide it when the occasion requires. A lot of people getting tattoos don't think of the social consequences of getting inked on certain parts of their bodies. They regret it later. This is an example of good placement.
Just Below the Neck
This one is right below the neck, which is another good location. If either of these women had the tattoo a little lower or a little higher, it would have been hard to do. But with the tattoo below the neck, a blouse or shirt could easily cover it up when the occasion demands. As for the tattoo itself, I like the olive branch in the mouth.
This is a unique dove tattoo. It seems to be saying that peace in most instances is failing, which is not a very happy thought. The design is nice and I like the dark and vivid colors accompanying it.
For some reason, I really like this simple dove tattoo on the back of the shoulder here. It's a nice place to put it, and again, it can be revealed and hidden, as shown.
This is an amazing tattoo. The wings are fluttering yet it's peacefully suspended in mid-air.
This is a terrific tattoo and represents a man and woman mating for life. Usually, as shown above, there are initials to portray the person you're expressing your love for. As mentioned above, doves mate for life, and this is a way of saying your love will last forever. Be sure when you put on the initials that you believe in the relationship so you don't have to change the tattoo later.
© 2011 Barnacle Bill