Anchor tattoos are most often associated with sailors; the anchor being a symbol of both protection and a certain amount of accomplishment. However, anchor tattoos can also be a representation of a steadfast personality, or a symbol of a person trying to keep steady in a rocky situation.
Most anchor tattoos feature a variety of symbols, the anchor itself being the emblem that keeps everything else in place. People frequently use other maritime images such as swallows, compasses, ropes and wheels; banners featuring names, dates or quotes are also quite common. However, some people like to use more uncommon images, for instance, a snake or vines wrapped around the shank of the anchor, or flowers surrounding the band; a heart placed near the bottom, or along the palms; you can even place an ornate crown around the ring, or dangling jauntily from the stock.
Many people prefer their anchor tattoos to be simple. These designs are often shown by themselves; however, if they do show other items, they are usually small, and are only meant to enhance the main theme of the anchor. One of the most frequently used versions of this design shows the anchor in outline. These are usually done with a vague black line that fades in the middle, showing the details inside. Sometimes, though, this image is done in stark black lines, and only show the outline. Another idea is to use a filled-in version of the outline style, and create a thick, black anchor. For a bit of extra color, you could show a bright red rose growing between the arm and the shank.
When placed by themselves, it is fairly common to also see anchor tattoos that feature a good deal of detail. With this version, many people prefer to use a realistic metallic hue, as well as gold and copper colors. However, you may occasionally see watery blues or greens. One of the most common designs feature curlicues; either simple, or branching away from a main stem. Emblems such as family crests and flags can also be utilized for a larger amount of detail.
Some anchor tattoos are used in scenes. They can be shown in a realistic image; set below a billowy blue ocean, surrounded by seaweed and a sandy bottom. You could also create a harp out of the anchor and show a siren with long hair and a seductive look, singing and plucking at her harp while sitting upon a rock.
Although a very simple image, and even simpler in meaning, anchors can be used in such a large variety of ways that you will be certain to find a way to incorporate it into your own designs.