Forearm tattoos are one of the most common tattoos are there is a good reason for this. The area is easily visible, allowing you to showcase your designs. The flat expanse of skin will allow you to choose from a variety of designs.
Here are some of our favorite forearm tattoos designs and where they should be placed.
60+ Forearm Tattoo Design Ideas
- Full sleeves stretch from the wrist to the top of the shoulder. Half sleeves start at the elbow and go to either the shoulder or the wrist. Half sleeves will wrap all the way around the arm, leaving no skin showing.
- Side forearm tattoo is ideal for a smaller design. It won’t wrap around your arm, warping the design. The inner side of the forearm is popular because it has a flat surface and will take heavy bold designs well.
- The outer forearm is one of the least painful places to get a tattoo forearm tattoo. It can easily be showcased or covered up, depending on if you want to roll your sleeve up or down. The outer arm allows for detailed designs and can take a lot of color.
- The inner arm is more suited to detailed designs and smaller delicate tattoos. The closer it gets to the elbow, the more it will hurt, although many find the inner forearm manageable in terms of pain.
When you are thinking about the placement of forearm tattoos, consider the musculature and curvature of your body. Consider how the image will look when they wrap. Either choose an image that can wrap or a long and elongated design.
Tribal Forearm Tattoo Designs
Tribal tattoos are inspired by real warriors, placed on the arm they could be seen by enemies. Tribal tattoos look amazing on the forearms, especially if you want to show off your strength. Many intricate tribal design options are available, although due to the limited size of the area. The forearm is ideal for the color density and design thickness of a tribal design.
Did you know:
Tribal tattoos can be offensive if they belong to a culture that isn’t yours. Always check the significance of a tribal tattoo before getting it inked.
Cross Forearm Tattoo
Cross tattoos are aesthetically pleasing as well as a fantastic way to show your devotion to religion or faith. It can be a significant symbol of love and sacrifice, as well as reminding us of life and death. It also symbolizes peace, liberation and rebirth.
Flower Forearm Tattoo
Flowers are a popular tattoo for the forearm. Each flower has a different meaning as well very pretty. Flowers can be inked in delicate fineline designs or in bold colored pieces, the choice is yours. Flowers tend to come with positive meanings like love and new beginnings.
Landscape Forearm Tattoo
Celebrate your favorite place on earth with a landscape forearm tattoo. The forearm is a flat plain that allows a good artist to create a detailed landscape. From mountain ranges to deserts and beaches, your choices are unlimited.
Forearm Name Tattoo
Celebrate your loved one by getting a named tattooed on your forearm. From nicknames to surnames, family names to children’s names, immortalize your loved one forever. You can choose from little italics to big bold fonts, just make sure you get the spelling right!
Did you know:
Many tattoo artists believe getting the name of a significant other half is unlucky. This is because many relationships break up after someone gets their partner’s name tattooed on them.
Rose Forearm Tattoo
A rose tattoo is a beautiful additional anyone on the body. A rose can be in solitary bloom or in a bunch, they can be simple or bold in a traditional design. Rose tattoos are popular on the forearm because they have beautiful shades and snaking vines, suit all styles of tattooing and can vary from subtle to half-sleeves.
Forearm Band Tattoo
The once popular tattoo has come back into fashion, making a comeback on the forearms of men around the world. The tribal band tattoo was used to distinguish a man’s role or rank in a group. They were also used to me moralize a loved one who has passed. Now, the band tattoo has evolved from a thick black line to a thin strip of design, dots, or geometric shapes.
Simple Forearm Tattoo
Don’t want something big tattooed on your forearm? Choose a simple and delicate forearm tattoo. They can be small and Fineline, using a thin needle to get a precise design. This is the ideal first tattoos or the perfect design if you are worried about employment but still want a forearm tattoo.
Watercolor Forearm Tattoo
Watercolor tattoos are one of the coolest tattoo trends. This art style can be added to many different designs. Add pastel colors to the backdrop of designs, bringing out the beauty of a piece by adding it or create an abstract tattoo with swirls of color.
Did you know:
The downside of watercolor tattoos is that they can fade quicker than other styles.
Lion Forearm Tattoo
A lion tattoo conveys bravery and courage to those who wear it. The lion tattoo is favored by those overcoming or has overcome a challenge. Lions are also a symbol of masculinity, as they are strong and the king of their pride.
Did you know:
In the Bible, the lion represents Jesus, including his sacrifice and his resurrection.
Mandala Forearm Tattoo
The mandala is one of the most universal spiritual symbols of any religion. The mandala symbolizes the universe, consciousness, and the self. Mandalas are made from intricate patterns and details within a circle design. Every circle and shape have a different meaning depending on the religion or sect. A mandala is worn by spiritual people to represent their belief in the connection between all things.
Dragon Forearm Tattoo
Dragons are a highly popular forearm tattoo idea. They are found in myths and legends from cultures around the world. Dragons are renowned and admired for their wisdom, strength, and power. The curved shape means it can move around the forearm, wrapping itself around your arm. Dragon tattoos are popular in Chinese and Japanese culture, but they also suit realism and traditional designs.
Cartoon Forearm Tattoo
Go back to your childhood with a cartoon tattoo. Relive your favorite childhood cartoon or a new love with an inking of a character. Cartoon tattoos are bright and bold, fun and will stand out on your arm. Recreate the original cartoon style or recreate a cartoon character in another tattoo style.
Forearm Snake Tattoo
From vipers to cobras, pythons, boas and anacondas, there are countless snake tattoo designs to choose from. Each snake has their own colors, symbolism and cultural impact. From Medusa to the Bible, snakes are thought to be untrustworthy and benevolent. Snake designs can run down your forearm or wrap around the whole limb.
Negative Space Forearm Tattoo
A negative space tattoo is unique because the artist uses blank space, instead of ink, to create an image. These tattoo designs feature heavy color with big plains of un-inked skin, which creates an image in itself. This optical illusion is unique and really makes an impact.
Flame Forearm Tattoo
The flame has long been a symbol of substantial inspiration, destruction, and remembrance. Flames are popular on the forearm as they can wrap around the arm. Flames can also be added to the background of another design, giving it edge and an extra dimension.
Realistic Forearm Tattoo
When realism is done well it will be hard to differentiate between a photograph and the inking on your forearm. A good realism artist will create a life-like drawing using clever contouring techniques. This can be achieved in color and black and gray, although the latter is more commonly found. You can choose any design and image for a realism tattoo, just remember the way the arm naturally warps.
Quote Forearm Tattoo
Because the forearm is a long straight area, it’s become very popular to get a quote tattoo on it. From your favorite book quote, a personal motto or film quote, the sky is your limit. You can get the quote exclusively or add other images to it. Choose any font but just make sure your quote is spelled correctly.
Arrow Forearm Tattoo
Arrow tattoos have different meanings depending on the way they are positioned on the body. A single arrow represents protection against evil forces while a bundle or arrows symbolize strength in numbers. Double arrows represent adversity but if they form a cross, it symbolizes closeness when arrows point at each other indicate war. The long thin area of the forearm is ideal for arrow tattoo designs.
Biomech Forearm Tattoo
Biomechanical tattoos transform the human body into mechanical parts. The muscles and joints of the body are represented by pistons and gears, often appearing like the human skin has ripped open to reveal this machinery. Because the arm has lots of recognizable muscles and bones, making it one of the most popular locations for a biomech tattoo.
Geometric Forearm Tattoo
Geometric tattoos are one of the coolest and most modern inking designs. They are deceptively complex and a strong choice for any forearm. Spiritual and mathematical concepts can be hidden into geometric patterns or the geometric shapes can be used to create a bigger design.
Guide to Forearm Tattoos: More FAQ
How Long Will it Take for My Forearm Tattoo to Heal?
Healing for forearm tattoos can vary. For a small forearm tattoo, you should expect around two weeks’ healing time. To minimize the healing process, make sure to look after the area. Wait a while before showering and do not expose it to dirty water.
Don’t pick at any scabs that form and avoid itching them, since these are essential to healing. They allow adequate blood flow and aeration for the area, preventing scars from forming.
Did you know:
If you spend a lot of time in the sun, the ink in your tattoo will fade much faster. Always use sunscreen on your tattoos to prevent fading.
Do Forearm Tattoos Hurt?
Forearm tattoos are popular because they typically don’t hurt as much as other areas of the body. This because the forearm is fleshy without too many sensitive areas of bone or nerve endings. If you’re worried about a painful experience, a forearm tattoo is a great place to start. Like any tattoo, there is still a certain level of pain required.
The wrist area is more painful than the forearm tattoo. The needle hitting the tendons in your forearm will be uncomfortable, but it does depend on your pain tolerance.
Did you know:
Many tattoo artists recommend getting your first tattoo on your forearm, because it’s one of the least painful locations.
Which is Better Inner or Outer Forearm?
The forearm is divided into two parts. The outer and inner forearm. The outer forearm runs from the back of the hand to the elbow. The inner forearm extended from just above the palm to the elbow’s crook.
The outer arm is less painful to tattoo as there are fewer nerve endings. The inner forearms is a site of three major nerves, which are responsible for controlling the arm. An inner forearm tattoo will certainly be more tender to ink.
Which Celebrities Have Forearm Tattoos?
Forearm tattoos are one of the most common tattoos. A lot of celebrities have this tattoo. From small designs to larger bold pieces, they love to ink their lower arm.
Noah Cyrus has a butterfly tattoo on her left forearm as well as the sentence RIDE OR CRY. Her extensive forearm tattoo collection also includes scripture and geometric shapes. Lisa Bonet has a medusa tattoo on her left forearm. Olivia Wilde has a galaxy design tattoo on her right forearm.
Jessica Alba added three new tattoos to her ink collection. The astrology themed forearm tattoo features the star signs of her three children.
Joe Jonas has a portrait of a woman on his forearm who is rumored to be his wife, Sophie Turner. Halsey has a selection of tattoos, including a butterfly on her right arm which appeared on artwork for her album.
Riverdale actress Lili Reinhart inked a beautiful rose on her forearm from artist Dr. Woo in June 2017 which symbolized love. She also has an arrow tattoo to represent overcoming her struggles. Lucy Hale got an ‘I love you’ tattoo on her right forearm in tribute to her late grandmother, in her grandmother’s own handwriting.
Angelina Jolie has a Buddhist swirls tattoo on her left forearm, a symbol that Buddhists believe it brings good luck and protection from evil. She also has the Roman numerals XIII and a V MCMXL inked.
Should I Get a Black and Gray or Color Forearm Tattoo?
Forearm tattoos are a great place to get a color tattoo. The area is flat and can take color well. The only issue some people have with colorful forearm tattoos is that it makes them more noticeable, this could affect their careers and become an issue in their workplace. Color tattoos make an impact and are detrimental in certain tattoo styles.
A black and gray tattoo is more traditional and easier to hide. They can have more depth and will stay looking better for longer. Quicker to execute and often more cost effective, black and gray tattoos are rich in contrast.
Can I Turn My Forearm Tattoo into a Sleeve?
Something you should consider when getting a forearm tattoo is if you will want a full or half sleeve later on. A forearm tattoo is a good starting point for trying to work out if you like the look or could handle the pain.
Be mindful of the design and location when getting a forearm tattoo, it should be something that could be later be incorporated into a bigger design. Of course, if you want a tattoo that is comprised of multiple smaller tattoo designs, it doesn’t matter. It only matters if you later want a big piece or to keep your limb in one tattoo theme.
Did you know:
Tattooist will recommend two weeks between tattoos, this will allow your body to heal. If you want to get a sleeve or half sleeve in different sittings, your artist will space out your bookings appropriately.