30 Delightful Dolphin Tattoo Ideas for Men & Women in 2023
Dolphins are one of the best spirit animals! They’re clever, caring, playful, and fierce! They’re mammals, like us. And they can live out the dream of living under the sea! And did I mention how god darn cute they are?! All these reasons and more are why dolphin tattoos are so popular!
But before you go and get your own dolphin tattoo, let us help guide you in choosing the perfect piece of ink. Below we’ll show you the boldest, most beautiful and most captivating dolphin tattoo ideas of 2023. You’ll surely be inspired with the perfect idea of which tattoo style to get, as well as where to get tattooed on your body.
With that said, let’s begin.
Watercolor Dolphin on Woman’s Upper Back
Short and Sweet or as in this case Small and Sweet. This Dolphin comes alive using just a thin black line, minimal detailing and of course a beautiful blue color. Splashes of blue ink are then enough to create an ocean. With a splattering of twinkling stars, what could be better.
Pair of Black and Gray Dolphin Tattoos with Whip Shading
One look at this tattoo and you realize it’s a showcase for skilled shading. With lines that are so steady, the shading elevates this design to another level. It’s subtle, muted and so sophisticated. Whip Shading, a specialized technique, is also employed to create an the stippled effect seen here. Props to Artist IG:@avenda64 from Colombia
Black and Gray Dolphin Tattoo with Whip Shading
Dolphins are so much fun and this one seems happy swimming right here. The arched body of the Dolphin creates a sense of movement while the horizontal grid of the shading adds to this feeling too. The shading seen here has a unique stippled effect adding texture to the design. Referred to as Whip Shading, it’s a specialized technique best done in the hands of a skilled artist.
Large Realistic Color Dolphin Tattoo on Forearm
The color palette used in this tattoo is interesting. It combines pastels on the upper portion along with a deeply saturated orange on the lower portion. Yellow is then skillfully added to create the light seen reflecting off the water. And suggestive of the vastness of the ocean, black ink is added to the mix.
Watercolor Dolphin Tattoo below Collarbone
Like a sexy invitation to come closer, the lines of the collarbone are oh so sexy. So of course they deserve to be highlighted. This pretty Dolphin tattoo gracefully follows the curves here extending right onto the shoulder. The beautiful Watercolors are applied in both a precise manner as well as with little regards to staying within the lines.
Custom Color Tattoo with Two Dolphins
There’s a pink Dolphin that lives in the Amazon but no blue or red ones. Of course in a tattoo, especially a custom one, you get to have whatever color Dolphin you want. These two appear to be diving into a body of water which is so creatively depicted as a royal blue rectangle. The large area of negative or uninked space around it definitely makes it a standout.
Realistic Watercolor Dolphin Tattoo on Woman’s Thigh
It literally looks like an artist picked up a brush to paint this design. The shading of the Dolphin in tones of gray is offset by the pretty Watercolors. These pastels are applied as if delicately dabbed on. Together they create a home for this Dolphin.
Minimal Linework Dolphin Tattoo behind Woman’s Ear
This Dolphin is definitely cute and definitely Insta-ready. With just a few thin black lines a story of a Dolphin swimming about is created. There’s no need for color, shading or contrast. Only thing needed; Your Camera
Minimal Single Line Dolphin Tattoos
A Single Line tattoo is just as its name implies…a single line. And with just this one, continuous thin line a story is told. You can sense the Dolphin jumping over the waves on a beautiful day. No need for shading, contrast or additional imaging.
Linework Dolphin Tattoo on Abdomen
Ok we know this is a Linework tattoo. Thin black lines alone are used to create the Dolphin, woman and surrounding stars. But then there’s Text added; not sure what this all means. What do you think?
Black and Gray Dolphin Tattoo on Arm
The playfulness of Dolphins is conveyed in this tattoo using only black ink. It’s then watered down to produce the varying tones of gray used for contrast. With subtle shading a 3D image is created where you can even sense the Dolphin jumping through the hoop. And of course it’s a heart-shaped hoop; complete with bubbling drops of water.
Minimal Cartoon Style Dolphin Tattoo
Cartoon style tattoos are usually colorful with defined lines and consideration for proportions. This tattoo is composed of three distinct images but together they invoke memories of the beach; perhaps a favorite vacation. True to Minimal style the negative or uninked space connects these three images making it unnecessary for any additional details.
Realistic Minimal Dolphin Tattoo on Woman’s Shoulder
A single image of a Dolphin can capture a moment; no need for any additional detailing. This is Minimal style. The arc of the Dolphin’s body together with the surrounding negative or uninked space creates a sense of movement. You can sense the Dolphin jumping above the waves. In addition to the black and gray tones here, white ink is used to make this tattoo pop.
Custom Tattoo of Two Dolphins
What better way to highlight these two beautiful Dolphins than with the panel of blue behind them. Although this backdrop is small in size, the use of white ink here creates a sense of vastness; much like the ocean itself. The fact that both Dolphins extend beyond the borders of this rectangular backdrop further enhances this feeling of open seas. Big props to Artist IG:@jooa_tattoo. It’s not surprising that this artist is from Seoul, Korea the home for great tattoos
Watercolor Style Dolphin Tattoo
The sense of water is created in this tattoo with the use of pretty tones of blue for the Dolphin. No problem that there’s no water. The few accessory inkings in red and blue are all that’s needed.
Realistic Watercolor Dolphin Tattoo
The Watercolors here provide beautiful contrast to the black and gray shading of the Dolphin. Appearing like a swirl of water, the wave is accented by varying tones of blue, negative space and even bubbles.
Minimal Cartoon Style Dolphin Tattoo on Stomach
Who wouldn’t love this cute little tattoo? After all it has a Dolphin and a puppy enjoying the waves together. With accents of blue and red; obviously all’s good in the world today.
Black and Gray Dolphin Tattoo on Forearm
This is such a sophisticated tattoo with awesome shading and contrast. Without delineated lines you can sense the Dolphin diving into the water. This is further enhanced by the linear lines of the design and the way the waves mirror the fins of the Dolphin. Big props to Artist IG:@0.5na
Minimal Dolphin Tattoo with Bits of Color
The beautifully simple outline of the Dolphin is enhanced with accessory bits of Watercolors. With a dab here and there on the flowers and the slightest shading on the Dolphin, you want to keep looking at this tattoo. And that’s just the point…It’s Perfect
Pair of Minimal Fineline Dolphin Tattoos over Biceps
A few simple lines, negative space and the result: two Dolphins obviously interacting with one another. Minimal style involves deconstructing a story into its simplest components. Nothing More Needed
Trio of Minimal Style Dolphins on Upper Arm
There’s no color, no water but you know this trio is swimming together. This is Minimal style where the negative or uninked space is as important as the inked areas. The varying orientation of the Dolphins adds to the sense of movement. With their heavy dark shading, these Dolphins are sure to attract attention.
Watercolor Dolphin Tattoo with Sword
Myth has it that among ancient peoples the Dolphin was so admired that it would be depicted on the swords of royalty. Here they’re both presented in the beautiful blue tones of the sea. The Watercolors are precisely applied with little splashes outside the lines. Although no water is depicted, it’s easy to sense that this Dolphin is swimming in one big beautiful ocean.
Black and Gray Dolphin Tattoo on Woman’s Upper Arm
Look at this tattoo and it instantly feels like the Dolphin is diving in/through the waves. The timelessness of the scene is enhanced by the black and gray swirls of water and bubbles presented as a figure 8. This shape is of course synonymous with Infinity making this tattoo timeless.
Pretty Watercolor Dolphin Tattoo on Woman’s Arm
A playful Dolphin and blue flowers are a perfect fit. Beyond the pretty colors, it’s interesting how the flowers are sparingly placed over the body of the Dolphin and how they form its outline. This is where…Less Is More
Minimal Cartoon Dolphin Tattoo with Pups
Most likely we have someone here who loves his pups and of course Dolphins. They’re all so loveable it’s easy to imagine these three in a big hug. With minimal shading or detailing we get a real sense of each of them. All wrapped up together beneath the twinkling stars, we just want to give them a hug too.
Cool Custom Dolphin Tattoo
This is a beautiful custom Dolphin tattoo. Inked in Blackwork style, it’s a showcase for steady lines, creative shading and perfectly placed planes of heavy black ink. The bold horizontal black line on the bottom is then the platform connecting them all together. Big props to Artist IG:@ianreynold from San Francisco, CA
Minimal Fineline Dolphin Tattoo with Hint of Color
This tattoo is so Insta-ready. The thicker black line is a nice contrast to the thin lines of the Dolphin. With stars, the faintest bit of color and even white ink – all that can be said is…Camera Please
Watercolor Dolphin Tattoo
Dolphins, water and a heart; they all go together and in this tattoo do so perfectly. The pastel pinks and blues combine to create a home for everyone here and a picture for forever viewing.
Custom Linework Dolphin Tattoo on Shoulder
Here’s another custom Dolphin tattoo by Artist IG:@ianreynold from San Francisco, CA. The thin black lines nicely contrast with the heavier lines used. There’s both a boldness to the design but also a delicate feel; somewhat like the Dolphin and the sea themselves.
Pretty Watercolor Tattoo of Dolphins over Biceps
The color palette here is so delicate that the addition of the black ink is unexpected. Yet it works to add interest to the design. The white ink then creates a sense of depth into which the Dolphins appear to be diving. The result: another beautiful Watercolor tattoo
Black and Gray Dolphin Tattoo with Arrow
This is such a beautiful tattoo both technically and artistically. You immediately notice the steady lines, muted tones and sophisticated shading. Then you can’t help but admire the design itself. The vertical line of the arrow is offset and counterbalanced by the Dolphin, dotted circular ring and the Crescent moon. Big props to Artist IG:@tattooist_giho_ from Seoul, Korea the home of some of the best tattoo artists in the world