Sea turtles — like their land dwelling brethren — have long been seen as an emblem for wisdom and self preservation. In some cultures they are a symbol of long life, while in others they have been lovingly nicknamed ‘the navigator,’ and are a sign of being able to find your way in the ‘murky waters’ of life. Of course, the symbolism may not be the only reason a person would find themselves attracted to sea turtle tattoos. These reptiles are also aesthetically fascinating, and can be morphed into unique and beautiful designs.
Many sea turtle tattoos feature this creature in a simple manner. They are generally rather small, and show a realistic picture of one of the seven living species. In this version, they may occasionally be shown swimming in a gush of water, or floating above an ocean floor. An interesting twist would be to show the the green sea turtle surrounded by coral and rocks, all in varying shades of blue, so as to give the appearance of being lit under deep, dark waters.
Sea turtle tattoos often show intricate details on the shell. These designs may show the sea turtle as a whole, or the shell by itself. For example, one may create an oval over a large area of the body that has small, whorling tiles in shades of green, brown or even yellow. They may also feature bolder colors, gems, or metallic shades. You can also create a mosaic design that shows other symbols, such as stars or the sun, or the open blossom of a flower. To continue with a more nautical theme, you could also etch the image of a compass rose into the back of your sea turtle.
Some people prefer sea turtle tattoos that feature a larger variety of images, or an unusual depiction. Hawaiian and tribal turtles are two great examples of the former. These two styles are very similar in the fact that they are both usually done in black, show an almost realistic outline of the turtle, and both have intricate patterns cut into the otherwise monotone image. Rather than showing bare skin, you could add splashes of color into the cut out portions, or create an array of orchids and tillandsia plants in the center of its back.
Sea turtles spend the majority of their lives under water, and only surface for a quick burst of air. This image appeals to many people, as it tends to represent not only a certain amount of safety, but mystery as well.