Shoulder tattoos are tattoos found on the shoulder area and include the outside collarbone, the shoulder blade and the humerus which is the upper arm bone area.
There is nothing more fitting than a shoulder sleeve tattoo or shoulder tattoo in place of a shirt sleeve. Many shoulder tattoos are also easily hidden and are discrete enough for work place environments because of the location of the tattoo.
Most shoulder tattoos are larger pieces that can extend into the chest, the back and the arm. Sleeve tattoos are a very popular tattoo style on the arm that extends and finishes on the shoulder as well. Common shoulder tattoos include lettering, patterns, flowers or roses, lions and cultural or tribal tattoos.
Shoulder Tattoos for Men
One of the most popular places including the upper arm for men’s tattoos is the shoulder. There are many guys with shoulder tattoos that have no other tattoos except on their shoulders. It is a great place for single designs or full on arm to shoulder sleeve tattoo. There are many different variations of the shoulder tattoo for men including the shoulder blade, inside shoulder, outside shoulder, front shoulder and the top shoulder or traps tattoo. Men’s tattoos in this area are commonly black and white or single colored and portraits and traditional tattoos tend to have the most color.
Top Shoulder or Trap Tattoo
Lettering has found its way horizontally across the top of many men’s shoulders forming names, words and dates. Bold text or calligraphy script style fonts work really well on top and can be crocked towards the front or back or directly in the middle of the top shoulders. Narrow and long designs work really well in this area just as well as text does. This because the top shoulder allows for almost a bridge or road like area to the neck.
Shoulder blade and Back Shoulder Tattoos
The shoulder blade can accommodate many different style tattoos and the design can either carry on over the shoulders or can end at the shoulders. Portrait style shoulder blade tattoos are the more popular choice for men in both black and white or color. Realism also works really well and designs that can create flow or follow the contours of the shoulder blade or back shoulder.
Tribal Shoulder Tattoos
The most popular of places for tribal tattoos is the shoulder and arm area. There are many different style tribal shoulder tattoos from Native American, Pacific, Samoan, Maori, classic tribal and African. Black and white works well with tribal shoulder tattoos but single color can be introduced to these tattoos as well. The shoulder provides a really visual point and its big surface area allows for grand and intricate designs. Tribal tattoos are used to identify different tribes, families or areas they came from.
Armor Shoulder Tattoos
A great idea for a tattoo on the shoulder. Often undertaking realism and three dimensional form, armor tattoos have captured the masculinity and strength of a man’s shoulder. Shading is used to create the armor in 3d form which can make the shoulder armour seem very real. There are many different types of armor styles for men from modern to medieval to knighthood. Tribal tattoos can also be incorporated into the design as an crest or part of the armors material. Popular armor tattoo material include leather, metal, guards, clasps, bolts and fish scale layered metal.
Shoulder Tattoos for Women
Women have mastered the art of elegant shoulder tattoos without sacrificing the design. Shoulder tattoos for girls should look balanced and flow with the contours of the shoulder. Smaller designs are generally chosen by women for the shoulder area but women can also opt for the bigger pieces flowing into the chest, arm or back area. While text, roses, quotes, henna and flowers dominate the most popular girls shoulder tattoos, there are many designs that work here for women just as well as men.
Top Shoulder Tattoos for Women
Tattoos in this area can extend from the neck down past the shoulder or can go over the top of the shoulder from the upper chest and back. Roman numerals and names or words are the most popular choice for women’s top shoulder tattoos as this type of tattoo provides a minimal but full look. Lettering tattoos generally do not take up as much volume so they don’t look unbalanced and overwhelming. Henna style patterns and roses are another great choice for the upper shoulder . Pick designs that provide you more horizontal like a rectangular shape or strip which can flow down your trapezoid.
Rose Shoulder Tattoo for Women
Such a fitting place for a rose, the rose shoulder tattoos are generally tattooed on the outside shoulder. Roses are great on the shoulder as you can choose when too show off or hide your tattoo under clothing when need be. It is possible to have multiple roses or mix up your roses with lace, henna, leaves, crests or many other designs into the rose design.
Shoulder Blade Tattoos for Women
These could almost be back tattoos for some people but the shoulder blade is a very popular type of shoulder tattoo. The shoulder blade area which is found on the upper back is a larger area for bigger designs other than the upper or outer shoulder. Almost all designs work on the shoulder blade from words to flowers to patterns. The shoulder blade is also great for its visual flexibility, that is when you want to show and not show off your tattoo. As the shoulder blade is relatively flat common tattoos are 2d designs, music notes, flowers, roses, birds, animals, wings and patterns.
Do Shoulder Tattoos Hurt?
Generally the shoulders get a bad rap for being painful areas for a tattoo but shoulder tattoos are not so much different in pain than most beginner areas such as the arm. The outside shoulder is the least painful of the shoulder area. Being tattooed on the trapezoid or top shoulder is a little more discomforting but not by much. The shoulder blade is the most painful of the shoulder areas to get a tattoo but even then the pain here is not that great you have to take breaks. Each person has different pain thresholds but the shoulder is one area you will get through easily enough.