Dove Tattoos, Designs, Pictures, and Ideas

tattoo designs

Dove tattoos can symbolize a number of things to a number of people; a dove may carry the traditional meaning of peace, the religious meaning of the Holy Spirit, or may carry messages of hope, innocence and purity.

Many people like to use the literal translation of this peaceful bird, while others prefer to use a more bold version. Realistic dove tattoos generally feature a black and white, or skin toned bird in flight, occasionally carrying an olive branch, or flower in its beak. They may be shown on their own, sketched inside an outdoor scene, or flying free from a pair of outstretched hands. The bolder equivalent will often have vivid colors, such as blue or even multicolored wings, and frequently feature brightly hued symbols like roses, flames or stars.

Dove tattoos can be placed in a unique setting. One idea would be a stained glass dove. You can create something that appears similar to a stained glass window, with a varying array of colors; in the center you could place Picasso’s “Dove of Peace.” You could also go for a more arresting version of this design, and have it appear to be bursting through a circular pane of glass, the glass being in shards of sunny colors. Many people also like to create dove tattoos that are akin to the 1950′s diving swallow. The swallow was said to be tattooed upon a sailor’s chest, so that if he should drown at sea, his soul would be carried to the heavens. If a dove replaces a swallow in this particular tattoo design, it could very well be a symbol of protection and a peaceful journey to the afterlife. This design may also feature recognizable 50′s symbols; it may be surrounded by nautical stars or carry a bright red bunch of cherries in its beak.

Dove tattoos may also carry eloquent messages of love. Given that this particular bird mates for life, it is not uncommon to see a design featuring two doves laying close together in a newly built nest. You can also feature a dove on each shoulder carrying a banner with dates and names. The names may be those of loved ones, and dates can range from marriage date, to the date of newly born children.

For most people, when seeing a dove it is hard to think of it as simply being another bird. The many signs this creature bears make it one of the most significant symbols in tattoo art.


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  1. Antoinette Gilbert Said,

    I believe the dove represents freedom & peace. Peace of mind and w/ God.

  2. Anne Said,

    I love that tattoos with doves,it’s so beautiful…it represents peace and innocence…I’d like to have one in memory of Michael Jackson…

  3. Jen Roby Said,

    I believe the dove represents the release of the soul from the body after someone has passed. i just lost my grandfather and i believe he is now finally after ten years with my grandmother in heaven watching over us. I am going to get two doves facing each other holding rosary beads together in their beeks. For me now my grandparents are together and this tattoo would mean a lot to me. I am getting it on my left shoulder blade and i want it to be pretty much black and white and shading. R.I.P. Pepere I will always keep you with me.

  4. Angela Said,

    I’m going to get a dove tattoo with a banner coming out of it’s beak that says “Only God Can Judge Me Now” on the back of my neck. I’ve recently been through a lot and learned who my real friends were the hard way. It’s going to show that no matter what people think of me or say about me doesn’t matter and the dove is going to show that I left that old person behind and I’m becoming a new person and that I’m at peace with everybody.

  5. Anaiya Said,

    I believe dove symbolizes many things such as love, faith, peace and loyalty…. those are the main ones i go by when seeing doves…. well as for me i want to get two doves on the side of my legs and it will be the male dove holding the female dove in his wings and above it will say forever and below towards the end of the male doves tale will have the date in which me and my husband got married……does anyone have any opinions on that does it sound tacky should i do something else or what?? i kind of need some help on this its a surprise for him….

  6. dave Said,

    number 15 she is hella fine

  7. Brittni H Said,

    For my next birthday I plan to get two doves,one on each shoulder, flying in opposite directions. I am not quite sure yet how I am going to but I plan to also incorporate my favorite quote which is “Do what you love, Love what you do.” I want to use this quote in my dove tattoo because to me the dove represents how with age i am growing and changing as a person and going through some sort of metamorphosis. For me the dove also represents change for the better which will capture in an artistic and symbolic way how I am branching out and flourishing as a person.

  8. kadie24 Said,

    I love the idea that anaia said my soon to b husbands wants the doves he wnts 1 and I’m having 1 just dunno 1 or 2 not quite sure! X

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