I love tattoos and have been writing about the topic for several years.
Leaf tattoo designs were far more interesting than I thought they would be, especially as the majority of them were inspired by the fall season, which resulted in most of them including vibrant orange, red, and/or yellow colors.
Most Popular Leaf: Maple
The most represented tree leaf in tattoos is likely the maple leaf, which of course has all those beautiful colors, points, and veins, making it an ideal subject for tattoo artists to tackle. It's also the most familiar tree leaf among most people as well, generating more interest in that particular design.
There are other leaves preferred over maple leaves, though, as we'll look at below. Any type of leaf tattoo may include nice colors to stand out for everyone who sees it to enjoy.
Being someone that spent a lot of time outdoors when growing up, these leaf tattoos are especially appealing to me, and they gave me all sorts of ideas for designs and details that would be very compelling to try.
The Wide Variety of Leaf Designs
Even though some leaves were inked on alone, there were others that included other creative elements to enhance and complement them. Some of those include the leaves being on branches, the tribal look, and additional material to give them a different appearance and feel.
Let's take a look at them now to see what you think.
- Traditional Fall Maple Leaf
- Leaf Tattoo Blowing in the Wind
- Tribal Maple Leaf
- Maple Leaf With Ripped Flesh
- Maple Leaf With Thorns
- Fall Leaf Tattoo on Foot
- Branches and Leaf Tattoo
- Pear Leaf
- Tinkerbell Floating on a Leaf
1. Traditional Fall Maple Leaf
These two maple leaf tattoos have the obvious traditional look of a fall leaf as they change color.
Both tattoos look great, but the bottom one is my favorite because it appears to have been taken out of the page of a book after having been pressed for months. The appearance is very real looking, and the veins extremely convincing.
The top maple leaf isn't as detailed, and the artist obviously wanted to present more of an interpretation, splashing color more than attempting to make it realistic. Both work very well.
2. Leaf Tattoo Blowing in the Wind
I like it when a tattoo design has some added difficulty which improves the art, and isn't simply gratuitous. That's how this tattoo was done, showing the maple leaf blowing in the wind as we have seen so many times on an autumn day.
What impresses me most about this tattoo isn't the leaf, which is average looking, but the way the wind is portrayed, which is very hard to do.
The wind flowing through the center of the leaf is particularly impressive, as it's hard to make it appear transparent and moving while retaining the image of the leaf.
3. Tribal Maple Leaf
You can just about take any subject matter for a tattoo and transform it into a tribal tattoo, and that's what has been done with this one below.
Because this is a smaller tattoo placed on the back of the lower part of the leg, it would have been hard to make the intricate designs associated with tribal tattoos, as you can see.
This is a really well done tattoo representing the tribal interpretation of the popular maple leaf.
4. Maple Leaf With Ripped Flesh
Admittedly this ripped flesh maple leaf tattoo surprised me because it's not something I would have at all thought of within the genre.
Normally you think of something evil or ominous about to break through from under the skin, not a fall maple leaf. I mean, what's causing the ripped flesh?
Okay. Okay. It's only a tattoo design. While it doesn't make much sense, it is creative and interesting.
5. Maple Leaf With Thorns
When you look at this maple leaf, it appears to have fluttered down and landed in the middle of some thorns. It's very realistic, and has some of the best leaf veins I've ever seen. The excellent shadowing gives a 3-D look to the veins, contour the leaf for all to enjoy.
6. Fall Leaf Tattoo on Foot
It was frustrating to see this leaf tattoo design because I've seen that leaf many times in the fall, but can't remember what the name of the tree is it grows on. If you know, write it in the comment section.
The shape and fall colors of this leaf stand out nicely, capturing very accurately the shape of the leaf as well.
Having the shadow effect is pretty cool, but I think it would have looked better without it because the leaf was done so well, while the shadow not so much.
7. Branches and Leaf Tattoo
My response to this tattoo, when I first looked at it, was mixed, because the leaf was done very well, as was the branches.
The problem for me was the leaf almost seems to look out of place, and I would have rather have seen more of those great tree branches. He probably took that into account, the reason it is on the inside of the arm and not the outside.
8. Pear Leaf
Oddly, I found myself chuckling when viewing this tattoo because I started to think of who wakes up in the morning and says "I want to have a pear leaf tattoo inked on me."
Obviously someone does, and it is a good one. If you've ever seen a pear leaf, you would know this is a pretty accurate portrayal and design, giving it a nice look, even though the actual flower isn't that impressive when falling from the tree.
9. Tinkerbell Floating on a Leaf
Being a great fan of Disney's Tinkerbell, it was really fun to come across this great tattoo design of her floating on the water in a leaf, apparently in deep thought, or tired from the activities of the day.
The hand dipped in the water as the leaf sits there or glides along looks magnificent, as does the hair hanging down suggesting wanting to hide her face and keep her thoughts to herself.
A Gallery of Great Tattoo Ideas
Loving the fall season and the many colorful, falling leaves that accompany it, it was stimulating to see all these leaf tattoo designs in this gallery.
My favorite, although it wasn't highlighting the leaf, was of course Tinkerbell, but all of them looked fantastic, although I'm still scratching my head over the rippled flesh leaf one.
No matter, that doesn't take away from some great leaf tattoo designs that are sure to generate some interesting ideas for those looking for something different in a tattoo.
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on February 09, 2016:
I don't have a tattoo, but if I ever get one it will definitely be related to nature. I love the photos in this article, especially the first two. I think the leaves are beautiful as art as well as tattoos!