Ocean Tattoos, Designs, Pictures, and Ideas

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You might have a love of water, you might be a water sign; you might feel that your emotions mimic the waves; you may feel that the ocean is a symbol of unending possibilities, mystery, excitement and inexhaustible power. Whatever your reasons, ocean tattoos can be rife with not only meaning and symbolism, but an aesthetic beauty matched by few others.

Many people prefer ocean tattoos that feature ocean life, people or fantasy figures. These scenes often depict fish swimming peacefully through the water, sharks and octopuses battling other sea life below the water, or dolphins bursting just above the surface. Sailors being enchanted by sirens, and mermaids preening against a wave blown rock are also favored pictures for this style. Some people like ocean tattoos that are realistic in appearance. In addition to the realistic fantasy images, you can also create a lifelike depiction of either above, or below the water. Above, you can feature heavy waves hitting the rocks, or a tranquil, breezy beach with a colorful sunset reflecting off of the water. Below the surface you could show rocks, coral and seaweed alongside a plethora of fish and crustacean.

Ocean tattoos can also depict one of the myriad of myths that follow the water theme. For instance, you could show Poseidon ruling over the murky depths of the sea; you could also show Oceanus pouring water from a large jug onto a newly formed Earth. For a large and heavily detailed piece, you could use the Indian myth of Amrita Manthan. In this depiction you could show all of the gods and demons stirring a massive ocean that is filled with rich and colorful objects, including the sun and moon; a mountain rising from below the surface and so on.

Some people like to use ocean tattoos as armbands. These pieces can be simple and show realistic, freehand or even woodblock-style waves. They occasionally show other items of a maritime slant, such as a nautical star or compass rose placed in the center of the bicep; a mermaid swimming, or a ship sailing around the arm; or a North Star. One idea would be to sample from the image of Aquarius and have a strong man or woman on the shoulder pouring water down or around the arm, thus forming an ocean around the bicep.

Although ocean tattoos can mean many things to many people, the malleability of a water design makes it easy to create an endless amount of designs to suit your particular style.

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