40 Amazing Owl Tattoo Ideas for Men & Women in 2023

A most-mysterious bird that stimulates our imaginations. A silent killer known for its wisdom. Laser-focused with incredible eyesight and nearly 360º of vision, the owl holds a special place in human cultural. Their unique look has been reproduced countless times by artists all over the world. And since they look just as good on skin as they do in nature, it comes as no surprise that owl tattoos are so popular!

But before you go and get your own owl tattoo, let us help guide you in choosing the perfect piece of ink. Below we’ll show you the most unique, most stylish, and best-looking owl tattoos 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.

Owl Tattoo Ideas 1

Realistic Owl Tattoo

Is this real or is this just a great tattoo? Obviously this is the work of a skilled artist taking ink to skin. It’s amazing how you can literally “feel” the texture of individual feathers, the rigid points of the ears. Shading, contrast and white ink are put to great use in producing this degree of detailing. There’s even light reflecting off the owl’s eye. And about the other eye…That’s A Whole Other Story

Owl Tattoo Ideas 2

Black and Gray Owl Tattoo With Color

This is such an interesting tattoo due to the mix of black and gray tones and the blood red color used. The shading within these red areas is truly amazing. Shading is then combined with reproduction of light to create the exquisite forest-like scene. Add blood red color to the eyes, highlight them with white ink and this tattoo is sure to grab your attention.

Owl Tattoo Ideas 3

Owl Tattoo in Surrealism Style

The parts of this design do exist; just not together. Images are combined in an irrational, unexpected way. This is Surrealism style; think Salvador Dali. The different images within this tattoo are realistically depicted with attention to proportions and reproduction of light. To achieve this realism the artist successfully uses black ink and tones of gray for shading and contrast. Realism? Yes although of an image we’re not likely to ever see.

Owl Tattoo Ideas 4

Old School Owl Tattoo With Ornamental Touches

Now this is original; an owl with Ornamental touches. The muted tones and delicate nature of the chains though do seem to work with the image of the owl. It’s interesting how the white ink then changes this mood as it delivers a bold in-your-face effect. Somehow it all works together.

Owl Tattoo Ideas 5

Mandala Style Owl Tattoo on Back of Calf

The Owl’s face is seamlessly added to this design. There are the characteristic fractalized, geometric patterns of Mandala style along with elements of Ornamental style. Together they combine to create an awesome tattoo that’s a perfect fit on the calf.

Owl Tattoo Ideas 6

Black and Gray Owl Tattoo on Arm

This is one mean looking little owl; but at least he likes roses. Thin black lines, shading and contrast are on beautiful display in this tattoo along with thoughtful use of negative or uninked space. Finish this all with white ink around the eyes and you get that intense glare and a great tattoo.

Owl Tattoo Ideas 7

Realistic Owl Tattoo

You can’t question the realism of this tattoo. There’s real attention and consideration to proportions, sources of light and anatomical detailing. A uniquely 3D image is the result. Artistically it’s interesting how the owl seamlessly blends with the clock while never getting lost in the design.

Owl Tattoo Ideas 8

American Traditional/Blackwork Owl Tattoo

American Traditional or Old School style is combined here with Blackwork style. It should be noted that simplicity of design, color palette and shading rule the day in Old School tattoos. Here the solid planes of black ink dramatically elevate that otherwise simple design and style. Guess this is Old School with a new twist.

Owl Tattoo Ideas 9

Large Black and Gray Owl Tattoo On Arm

Although interpretations of Owl and skull tattoos vary the theme is often associated with secret knowledge. The inclusion of the book in this tattoo seems to support that premise. Technically this tattoo demonstrates skilled shading especially with how the moon shines a light on the owl. Captivating

Owl Tattoo Ideas 10

New School Owl Tattoo

With these Fall colors this tattoo looks like a new take on Thanksgiving. Of course this is New School style inspired by pop art and graffiti. In comparison with Old School there’s more consideration for shading, depth and 3D imaging. That being said, New School isn’t afraid to break any of these rules.

Owl Tattoo Ideas 11

Black and Gray/Blackwork Owl Tattoo on Forearm

This is such a unique and interesting tattoo bet you won’t look away. Upping the ante here are the solid planes of black ink which are so artistically incorporated within the design. With white ink highlights, florals and other images framed for your viewing pleasure you get… One Great Tattoo. Props to Artist IG:@zeetatart

Owl Tattoo Ideas 12

Black and Gray Owl Tattoo with Mandala

This is really such a beautiful tattoo. It’s easy to be drawn in by the impressive shading which brings this design to life. The leaves have heavy dark inking with just enough negative space and white ink to make then 3D. In contrast the shading of the flowers is muted and understated. The Owl is totally life-like. Combine all this with a creative design incorporating a Mandala and you get one great tattoo.

Owl Tattoo Ideas 13

Black and Gray Owl Tattoo With Geometric Touches

The black lines and shading here are so beautiful but take a second look and you realize there’s so much more. The Geometric flourishes are unexpected and add interest as do the areas of heavy opaque black ink. White ink is then used to highlight the eyes of the owl. Look again and you’ll see a portrait of a man whose features appear chiseled in stone. With a triangular frame around him bringing his face into focus, it’s hard to look away. Big props to Artist IG:@renatovision from Sao Paulo, Brazil

Owl Tattoo Ideas 14

Realistic Owl Tattoo With Color

This is a beautiful tattoo. The realistic rendering of the owl is achieved via attention to proportions and reproduction of light sources. The use of thin black lines, shading and negative or uninked space is critical to this success. And then there’s the beautiful golden globe with its muted shadow. With similar tones highlighting the Owl’s eye and the lava-like flow, this tattoo is…Brilliant

Owl Tattoo Ideas 15

Black and Gray Owl Tattoo on Man’s Arm

With heavy shading, thin black lines and use of contrasting gray tones this owl has a somewhat menacing look. The curve of the feathers, the pointed edges of the talons, the staff all come together to create this feeling. Add a Crescent moon within a muted outline of a full moon and this picture gets even scarier.

Owl Tattoo Ideas 16

Large Realistic Black and Gray Owl Tattoo

Talk about a realistic-looking owl; this tattoo wins the prize. The level of detailing achieved is awesome. In doing so the artist must pay close attention to proportions and sources of light. Fine lines and shading in a variety of tones are used in this regard. Of course the artist must also take into consideration the client’s skin tone. With flowing bands of negative space, florals and even a butterfly, this tattoo has it all.

Owl Tattoo Ideas 17

Realistic Black and Gray Owl Tattoo

Here’s another Realistic Black and Gray Owl tattoo by Artist IG:@glenn.tattoo. Again real skill is on display . Here white ink takes center stage serving to highlight the exquisite detailing seen throughout the design. Well Done

Owl Tattoo Ideas 18

New School Owl Tattoo

There’s an irreverent, graffiti-like quality to this tattoo. This is New School style with its vibrant colors, bold black outlines and experimental design. Is the owl’s face actually a flower? All together this ups the interest and artistry of this tattoo. Awesome work by Artist IG:@worldofneotrad

Owl Tattoo Ideas 19

Black and Gray Owl Tattoo on Upper Arm

Look at this tattoo and you immediately notice the shading. It’s achieved using only black ink that’s then watered down to create varying tones of gray. It’s subtle; it’s sophisticated; it’s beautiful. Great Job

Owl Tattoo Ideas 20

New School Owl Tattoo on Thigh

Precise color application and uniform black outlines come together to create a sharp, clear-cut tattoo. Although the colors are vibrant they’re actually part of a simple color palette true to New School style. Upping the artistry of this design is the large yellow sphere that not only highlights the owl but perfectly mirrors the lines of the hip. Perfect Marriage Of Design And Location

Owl Tattoo Ideas 21

Very Large Owl Tattoo on Man’s Chest

You want to create a focal point on your chest. Well this tattoo’s for you. The eyes, large and centered, are piercing as if they’re staring you down. The design, big and bold, even incorporates the nipples. This Owl tattoo isn’t for the timid but of course there’s always the option of…A Shirt

Owl Tattoo Ideas 22

Linework Owl Tattoo on Forearm

Beautiful uniform lines form the body of this owl and essentially the overall design. There’s only scant shading employed. With its 2D rendering and heart shaped face, this Owl is totally Insta-ready. Camera Please

Owl Tattoo Ideas 23

Linework Owl Tattoo

Thin black lines and minimal shading are the hallmark of this tattoo. Heavy black ink is then sparingly used to highlight a few areas, especially the Owl’s face. Of course there’s also the Crescent moon which adds drama to the design. The red ink is a nice unexpected touch. What it all means? Guess this tattoo is a good conversation starter.

Owl Tattoo Ideas 24

Tribal Style Owl Tattoo on Man’s Calf

Indigenous societies are known to have commemorated special events and tribal status with body inkings. Today simple patterns, geometric shapes and planes of heavy black ink are characteristic of Tribal style tattoos. Although not necessarily symbolic, these tattoos still retain a timeless quality to them.

Owl Tattoo Ideas 25

Black and Gray Owl Tattoo With Geometric Touches

Geometric touches always seem to add interest to a design. This tattoo is no exception. Looking like two sides of a split screen, there’s even a dividing vertical line. The images on both sides of this divide though appear related as if part of the same story. Very Cool

Owl Tattoo Ideas 26

Black and Gray Owl Tattoo With Skull on Man’s Arm

The angular lines and ink tones used here are suggestive of a wood carving. You can even imagine the wood being hollowed out to create the skull. Heavy black ink is then used for depth and drama on the feathers, the Owl’s eyes and of course in those empty eye sockets. Perfectly displayed on the arm this tattoo is a…Standout

Owl Tattoo Ideas 27

Custom Owl Tattoo on Woman’s Arm

There’s real creativity on display in this custom design. Only the face of the owl appears realistic. The remainder of the owl’s body is detailed using segments of thin parallel lines and what appears to be large leaf. Tying this design together are the gently flowing branches which complement the otherwise angularity of this tattoo.

Owl Tattoo Ideas 28

Black and Gray Owl Tattoo With Geometric Touches

The Geometric lines in this design focus your eye pulling you in. With open wings the Owl appears to be flying from this spot up across the chest onto the arm. There’s a sense of flight created by lines that look like they were drawn with crayon; looking just like Poetry In Motion

Owl Tattoo Ideas 29

Linework Owl Tattoo on Woman’s Arm

Using thin black lines and almost no shading, this Owl has an avant-garde appearance. The florals and foliage then serve as both contrast and perch for this little guy. Although this is an intricate design there’s a delicate feel to it created by the muted tones and large areas of negative or uninked space surrounding it.

Owl Tattoo Ideas 30

Artsy Black and Gray Owl Tattoo on Side of Calf

This is such a sophisticated design; one that showcases great inking skills. Thin black lines and negative or uninked space provide the detailing seen on the Owl’s face. Of course you can’t help but notice the beautiful stippled shading. It’s created using the specialized technique known as Whip shading. Upping the artistry of this tattoo is the incorporation of multiple geometric shapes. Props to Artist IG:@laemergentecol from Bogota, Colombia

Owl Tattoo Ideas 31

Old School and Blackwork Owl Tattoo

The simple shading and simple color palette of Old School style are replaced with Blackwork in this tattoo. The feathers have a stylized fan-like appearance and the outlines are sharp. Old School’s bold style though is still on display. It’s so bold in fact that this Owl seems to be saying…Look But Don’t Touch

Owl Tattoo Ideas 32

Realistic Owl Tattoo on Man’s Forearm

If you’re a fan of Harry Potter you can always keep that memory close with this tattoo. Of course there’s whimsy in this design but the owl itself is realistic looking. Detailing is created using impressive shading and precise application of black ink. Guess this tattoo says Hogwarts Forever

Owl Tattoo Ideas 33

Black and Gray Owl Tattoo Covering Entire Back

There’s great inking in this tattoo from the uniform black lines to the shading and contrast. What this tattoo means? Perhaps only this guy knows and that’s the basis for a great conversation.

Owl Tattoo Ideas 34

Realistic Owl Tattoo on Arm

The inking in this tattoo is awesome. There’s attention to detail, to shading and contrast, to light. There’s even light seen glimmering off the eyes. The artist successfully uses black and gray bands and shadows to frame and elevate the importance of this work.
Beautiful

Owl Tattoo Ideas 35

Black and Gray Owl Tattoo on Man’s Neck

This isn’t the prettiest of designs but I don’t think that’s what this dude was going for. The tattoo itself highlights skilled inking as displayed by its thin black lines and shading. The shape and heavy opaque inking of the eyes serve to create a menacing look but one that’s certainly interesting. Anyone interested in inking the neck should know that it’s considered to be among the most painful areas to tattoo.

Owl Tattoo Ideas 36

Black and Gray Owl Tattoo with Whip Shading

The tones and shading in this tattoo are beautiful. The stippled effect seen is created using the specialized technique known as Whip shading. Equally impressive is the design itself. With feathers seeming to wrap around the forearm there’s both a fluidity and beauty here.

Owl Tattoo Ideas 37

Large Black and Gray Owl Tattoo

The shading in this tattoo is muted and subtle. Offset by adjacent areas of negative or uninked space, a sense of nighttime is suggested. The moon further enhances this feel and serves to highlight the overall design.

Owl Tattoo Ideas 38

Cute Minimal Owl Tattoo With Red Ink

Like it says, this is “Cuteness Overload”. With minimal shading and detailing this little guy is brought to life. Of course the red ink helps achieve this and ups the cuteness factor. So cute in fact that even the little cat is a friend.

Owl Tattoo Ideas 39

Large Black and Gray Owl Tattoo With Skulls

One look at this tattoo, and this body, and you have to say WOW! The design and the inking are fantastic (of course anything would look good on this guy). The uniformity of the lines, the shading, the negative or uninked space, all come together to create a tattoo that’s truly…Masterful

Owl Tattoo Ideas 40

Black and Gray Owl Tattoo on Woman’s Arm

Negative or uninked space is used to great effect in this tattoo. Look at the owl and you realized that a considerable amount of the detailing seen is created by using uninked areas. Around the eyes white ink is then added to highlight them even further. Nestled within pretty florals, this Owl looks… Right At Home