15 Beautifully Ornate Tattoo Designs

When it comes to tattoos, style, size, and content preferences vary just as much as the people who love them. For some, simplicity is king, while for others, extremely ornate tattoo designs are the only way to go. Lucky for ink lovers who cherish details, there are a wide variety of beautiful styles well suited to flourishes, embellishments, and intricate lines. As geometric and stippling tattoos have seemed to increase in popularity in recent years, there's been an even greater influx in ornate, sometimes very large scale designs.

Personally, highly intricate tattoos thrill me. Any design that utilizes classic rendering techniques such as stippling, hatching, crosshatching, or even integrating basic geometry throughout a more complicated design heralds an homage to human and artistic evolution, in my opinion. Not to mention, these tattoos are incredibly visually alluring. However, what really strikes me is the impeccable quality of line weight that certain tattoo artists are able to achieve when creating both large and small scale ornate designs. Such consistency is hugely admirable, and certainly gives even the surest proponent of simple tattoo design reason to pause and consider a more elaborate piece.

Personal opinions aside, there are so many inspiring ornate designs out there that they deserve a showcase. Whether you're longing for fresh ink with exquisite line work or you just like to admire tattoos that resonate on a level of fine art, here is a collection of ornate tattoo designs for your viewing pleasure.

1. Inking With The Colors Of The Wind

Reminiscent to me of the wind in Disney's Pocahontas, there's something both powerful and whimsical about this beautifully detailed piece that incorporates delicate hatching and crosshatching. Plus, the movement of the design is absolutely perfect.

2. Subtle Movement, Delicate Beauty

The intricacies of this pieces are so fine that they might not strike you at first, but if you take the time to observe all of the stippled shading, you're bound to be impressed.

3. Floral Geometry

A little bit of sacred geometry, a little bit of floral flourish, and a whole lot of ornate line work.

4. Catching Dreams And Mandalas

I simply adore this piece. It would be nearly impossible to discuss ornate designs without mentioning mandalas, which this tattoo has a plethora of.

5. Not Your Standard Skull

Skulls are a pretty common theme when it comes to ink, so when it comes to creating something individual, line work, detail, and ancillary artwork really make a big difference. This tattoo stands out the more you delve into the detail of each section.

6. Lovely Lunar Tattoo

Although the piece is small and the basic shape of the design is straightforward, the embellishment here is pretty extraordinary.

7. Geometric Mandala

Looking at tattoos this ornate and beautiful makes me wonder why we're not born with artwork on our bodies. Sigh.

8. A Floral Masterpiece

While floral tattoos might not be everyone's cup of tea, you have to admit that there's something gorgeous about the ornate symmetry featured in this piece. There's a depth of shading occurring at each level that really moves your eye nicely through the line work.

9. Organic Meets Geometric

This is one of those great examples that speaks boldly for itself. Compare the intricacy displayed in the butterfly wings alone with the simple line work and shading of the tattoo just to the right. That's a world of difference, and it's truly beautiful.

10. Colorful Canvas

Not only is the line work in this piece pretty ornate, but the presence of the color really amplifies each detailed section.

11. Star Wars, Anyone?

Usually, R2D2 is not who comes to mind when someone mentions the word ornate. However, in this case an exception should most certainly be made.

12. Perfectly Petite

Whoever said ornate tattoos had to be large clearly missed this petite piece. Look at these beautiful lines and pristine embellishments!

13. Fine Framework

Sometimes the frame is as lovely as the art.

14. Lovely Lace

There aren't many things more ornate than lace, but combined with roses, butterflies, and flourishes — talk about detail!

15. Fun Filigree

A sweeping combination of filigree and mandalas makes this piece classically inspired and beautifully ornate.

As you can see, when you find the right tattoo artist for your style, going with an ornate design is clearly a worthwhile and wonderfully rewarding choice.

Images: punttim/Unsplash