Fierce, wild and camouflaged in the sun and the shadows, the tiger is said to symbolize ferocity, passion and strength. In most Asian countries, the tiger is thought to be the “King of Beasts,” and is seen as a symbol of power. Tiger tattoos often show an illustrated version of these meanings.
Many tiger tattoos are done in a realistic fashion; they often look as though they have been drawn whilst watching the animal live and in its natural habitat. Other designs, though, appear in a woodblock mode. These tigers are highly stylized; their shapes are long and fluidic. They may also appear in several different stances; on the prowl, lounging in the sun, and they may even occasionally be shown in a more languid manner, such as sitting under a tree while licking a large paw clean.
Tiger tattoos can depict the beast in nature. Not only can you create a portrait of a tiger in the wild, you can utilize the unique markings to combine it into its setting. One idea is to borrow from the flowing woodblock style and show the lines of the tiger as branches from a dark, or even burnt tree. You may also show the tiger melding in with the darkness of the night sky or brightness of a hot sun.
You can also choose from one of the many Asian symbols for your tiger tattoos. In Chinese astrology, the tiger is the third sign of the zodiac and can be seen in many different designs. You can pluck yours directly from the art seen during Chinese New Year. This tiger is often shown with a wild expression, large eyes in a round head, with a gaping, pointed tooth mouth. This design can be done in a variety of bold colors, but is seen most often in bright reds. Another example would be to use one of the many Hindu gods astride an exceptionally large tiger. Many people also like to use the tiger in position next to a dragon in the yin yang symbol. Both symbols of power, they tend to show the strength of both heaven and earth.
Your tiger tattoos may be a symbol of your own passion, or simply a sign of respect for this highly revered creature. Either way, you will find that this bold design will make a strong statement of who you are.