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.

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 1

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.

IG: tattooist_namoo

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 2

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

IG: avenda64

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 3

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.

IG: kaluzhina_viktoria

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 4

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.

IG: tattoome_stacy

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 5

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.

IG: jackemichaelsen.tattoo

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 6

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.

IG: youngchickentattoo

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 7

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.

IG: guseul_tattoo

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 8

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

IG: won_tattooer

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 9

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.

IG: howdy_tattoo

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 10

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?

IG: alexbergertattoo

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 11

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.

IG: tattooist_jaeo

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 12

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.

IG: tattooist_dal

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 13

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.

IG: zuoc.ink

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 14

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

IG: jooa_tattoo

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 15

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.

IG: eden_tattoo_

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 16

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.

IG: tattoo.haneul

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 17

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.

IG: bongkee_

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 18

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

IG: 0.5na

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 19

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

IG: heim__tattoo

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 20

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

IG: melissa.uluc.tattoo

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 21

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.

IG: tattooist_kimria

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 22

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.

IG: eunyutattoo

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 23

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.

IG: start.your.line

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 24

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

IG: fluffy_tattoo

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 25

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.

IG: minari_tattoo

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 26

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

IG: ianreynold

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 27

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

IG: heim__tattoo

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 28

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.

IG: default_blue_tt

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 29

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.

IG: ianreynold

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 30

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

IG: tattooist_mul

Dolphin Tattoo Ideas 31

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

IG: tattooist_giho_