Nature, especially mountains, has been a source of inspiration for numerous artists for hundreds of years. The symbol of a mountain, as this constant, immovable, yet everchanging and almost spiritual place, has remained even nowadays. People will be forever inspired by the massive peaks and heights, nature, and the habitat of wildlife.
That is why mountains have not only remains a source of inspiration for different types of art but have become an almost mainstream symbol used in body art.
Mountain tattoos have become extremely popular in the past few years, as people have started to move away from the hectic city life in search of peace and harmony in nature. And, for those who are not able to leave modern life, a mountain tattoo can serve as a reminder that life can be peaceful and harmonious wherever you live, so long you carry nature and the mountains close by.
And, what better way to keep something close by than a tattoo?
Therefore, in the following paragraphs, we’ll take a look at some mountain symbolism and recommend some exceptional tattoo design ideas. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Mountain Symbolism and Inspiration
Throughout history, mountains have been seen as a divine inspiration and a focus of spiritual elevation for every human being. Ancient peoples thought of mountains as a place where gods live. Take as an example Mount Olympus in Greece; this mountain is notable in Greek mythology as the home of Greek gods and a sanctuary of Zeus, who was the king of gods.
Nowadays, even though more distanced from the mythological interpretations, mountains still hold this ‘source of divine inspiration’ status. Maybe they’re not seen as homes of gods, but mountains are seen as a place where humanity surpasses ordinary life and moves upwards, to the heights and the sky.
Some of the meaning and symbolism of mountains includes;
- The symbolism of the nearness of God
- Human ability to surpass the ordinary life and achieve ‘heights’ and success
- The human ability to achieve inner elevation (by climbing the mountain)
- The space between the material and spiritual world
- Space where one transcends the physical, earth life
- The human ability to elevate and improve spiritually and mentally
- The human ability to overcome obstacles and progress through life
- One’s love for nature, adventure, hiking, and climbing
Mountain Tattoos and Design Ideas
Mountain Nature Scenery Tattoo
This is the kind of tattoo nature, adventure, and hiking lovers get. It is the perfect depiction of the beauty of wildlife and the nature scenery at the foot of the mountain. A landscape tattoo is a perfect way to pay respect to the wilderness and its beauty.
A mountain landscape tattoo looks best in flat and smooth areas of the body. We recommend the forearm, upper back, chest, and thigh area. These tattoos are often colored, but can also be done in a traditional black and grey style. The tattoos generally appear more like a landscape painting than a tattoo, which is great for the art lovers out there as well.
Mount Fuji (Wave) Tattoo
As we mentioned before, mountains have been traditionally and historically a source of artistic inspiration for hundreds of years. One such mountain is Mount Fuji, a famous Japanese mountain, located southwest of Tokyo. The mountain is considered one of Japan’s Three Holy Mountains and has served as an artistic and spiritual inspiration for artists and poets for hundreds of years.
One such artist was Katsushika Kokusai, a Japanese ukiyo-e artist whose personal inspiration and artistic obsession was the very Mount Fuji. One of the most famous depictions of Mount Fuji is Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa, a print that belongs to the series known as Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji.
To this day, Hokusai’s work is serving as an inspiration to art and nature lovers around the world. His depiction of Mount Fuji has made this mountain globally recognizable, and therefore, made it a popular design choice for many art and tattoo lovers.
Also Read: Japanese Tattoos: History, Meanings, Symbolism & Designs
Simple Mountain Outline Tattoo
Mountain tattoos don’t have to feature complicated and intricate designs. The symbolism and meaning can be translated through simple linework as well. That is why mountain outline designs are becoming increasingly popular in the tattoo world.
These tattoos feature a few lines serving as the basic shape of the mountain. There can also be accompanying elements, like trees, birds, the sky, but the central element is the mountain. These tattoos sometimes feature a bit of shading and dotting just to make the design more elevated and dimensional.
Mountain outline tattoos can be placed anywhere on the body, and they’ll still look excellent. This design is also perfect for those who have a tighter budget for their tattoo since the outline designs cost significantly less due to simpler design, black & grey coloring, and smaller tattoo size.
Geometric Mountain Tattoo
For those looking for a more alternative mountain tattoo design, we recommend the geometric tattoo style. Such tattoos feature a lot of line work, use of negative space, shading, dotting, and interesting patterns. The lines are straight, bold, and intentional. That is why these tattoos are done by tattoo experts and professionals.
Also Read: 20 Best Geometry Tattoo Artists Around the World
Geometric mountain tattoos are focused on shapes and patterns in nature, rather than spiritual symbolism and meaning. This doesn’t mean they’re devoid of such symbolism. However, the focus is shifted, and such design a more fitting for people who are generally very detail-oriented.
Smokey Shading Mountain Tattoo
Mountains rising from the mist and fog of autumn mornings is a rare and special scenery to witness. Such scenery is for a lot of people completely breathtaking. Many have tried to translate it into spectacular designs, but the mist and fog are generally hard to capture in an image.
Nevertheless, the shading method used in tattooing is perfect for creating the effect of mist and fog. Smokey shading is meticulously done by tattoo experts, who create pieces of art on the skin. So, if you’re looking to get such a mountain tattoo, always make sure to go to the best tattooist in the city.
Mountain Moon Tattoo
Some of the most popular mountain tattoo designs involve elements like the night sky or the moon. Such a design translates a mysterious atmosphere and showcases the wonderful nighttime landscape scenery. Such tattoos can be of any tattoo style; the main two styles, however, seem to be the more natural mountain/nature depiction and geometric mountain design.
Either way, the moon, and the mountain together do create powerful imagery and energy for any nature/adventure lover. Witnessing the moon over the mountain in the middle of the night might be one of the most incredible and serene moments one can experience.
The moonlight emphasizes the beauty of the mountain even more, which is why the moon as a tattoo element is so popular and sometimes even necessary to elevate the design.
Where Should You Place Your Mountain Tattoo?
The key to a good tattoo isn’t just the design; it is also the placement on the body. Some tattoo styles look better in certain body areas, so it is important to visualize the tattoo on the body as you work on the design. Here are some recommendations on where you should place your mountain tattoo;
Our favorite area for tattoos is the forearm; the area is smooth, straight, and can act like a canvas, which is perfect for smaller landscape tattoos. The forearm is excellent for geometric tattoos, but any other tattoo style will work as well. However, you will need to adjust the size for the tattoo to remain crisp and clean.
We’ve noticed that a lot of people tend to use the roundness of the wrist to create mountain chain tattoos. This is an excellent and very creative idea that a lot of people can pull off. If you’re feeling adventurous with your new tattoo, try out the wrist area (but do consider the tattoo policy at the place where you work, because this tattoo will be visible).
The bicep area
This area is perfect for both, big and small tattoos. There is enough space to do a whole mountain landscape design or to go with a simple mountain outline. Whatever you choose, you can be sure it will look good. Your mountain tattoo will be easy to cover, but also easy to be remarked upon, depending on what you wear.
The upper back/shoulder area
Another area that can serve as a canvas is the upper back/shoulder area. The region is straight and smooth, so it is the perfect placement for any tattoo design. Therefore, if you want a more intricate mountain design, that includes heavy linework, detailing, or even coloring, we recommend you do the tattoo in this region. However, this area can serve as a good spot for a cute little mountain outline tattoo as well.
The side rib area
Even though this tattoo would be rather painful, we recommend it because the mountain tattoos look incredible on the ribs. It seems that the ribcage area has such incredible anatomy that makes the mountains almost come to life. Regardless of the tattoo style, we surely recommend you consider this area for a mountain tattoo.
Read More: 65 Amazing Women’s Side (Rib) Tattoo Design Ideas (2023 Updated)