Although not terribly common, elephant tattoos have a certain novel beauty and charm that makes them special. They also have a good deal of symbolism to back them up; wisdom, nobility, and of course, strength are some most obvious characteristic; however, elephants are also seen to be a charm for luck and good fortune.
Elephant tattoos can be either very realistic, or very cartoon-ish. The latter seems to be the preferred style. These generally exaggerate features such as the trunk, ears and tusks. They usually sport long eyelashes and an innocent appearance, and are generally seen in unusual situations; for example, being led on a leash, or laying in the lap of a pin up model, fairy or possibly even the wearer himself. The more realistic versions show the elephant in great detail, often showing every line in its thick skin. They are most frequently shown in their natural habitat; sometimes standing placidly in a field or playfully splashing water, while at other times, they are shown charging, or fighting with each other.
Some of the more aesthetically fascinating styles for elephant tattoos feature Indian designs. In India, and throughout Asia, elephants are held in very high regard; one example of this is the god Ganesh, who is shown frequently in art and architecture. For this style, you could show the portrait-style elephant with elaborately painted face and trunk, beautiful silks over its back, and exquisite jewels over its stout legs. You could also create a more artistic depiction, and show something similar in appearance to rough, fading paint in reds, oranges, yellows and pale blues. This elephant may have a very rounded outline, and feature similar trappings to the portrait elephant. You could also create something akin to a tile work elephant. These can be done in milder tones, with a great amount of detail in the background; however, the image of the elephant will likely remain largely the same.
Some elephant tattoos feature only the outline of this creature. These may show the whole body, or it may show a more aggressive version, with just the head swinging wildly up into the air. For this style, you could also include smaller details into the frame of the elephant; for example, you could show clockwork pieces within the elephant; you could show small flowers, gems or even the skeletal frame along the side of its body.
Although elephant tattoos are one of the lesser used designs, you can be sure that it certainly is not for lack of charm, style or symbolic meaning.