Dove tattoos may not be as mainstream as the eagle, lion, dragon and other animal tattoos. However, the dove tattoos remain a popular choice among men and women. Have you ever wondered why? Well, this is because the dove is a very peaceful looking symbol and the positive messages it represents are very beautiful indeed.
If you are curious about dove tattoos, this article will provide you with some answers. Read on and discover the symbolisms that dove tattoos carry as well as the different beautiful designs you can choose from.
Representations of dove tattoos
The doves are basic representations of peace and love across all cultures. These two symbolisms alone make the doves great tattoo symbols. However, there are a lot more positive meanings associated with dove tattoos. Check out some of these meanings:
- Peace, harmony and success
In Christianity, the dove that is holding an olive branch has long been a representation of peace and harmony. The olive branch also represents victory such as a success in a relationship or other aspects of life.
- Enduring love
One unique and highly remarkable quality of the doves is that they mate just one partner for the whole duration of their life. Both the male and female doves take care of their young ones together. With these characteristics, the dove tattoo makes a good representation of a steadfast love, faithful partnership and enduring and lifelong devotion to someone.
- New beginning
In the bible, the dove represented the new beginning particularly in the story of the great flood. The dove tattoo is a representation of forgetting the past and starting over again.
The dove tattoo also makes a good symbolism for family. As mentioned above, the love of a dove for a mate is forever as well as its characteristic to take care of the young together. This makes the dove a symbol of one’s commitment of a lifelong love to a partner as well as to his or her children.
- Messenger of the good
The doves are also known to carry positive messages, usually messages from God. They are interpreted to carry messages of love, peace, victory as well as God’s will.
Further, the doves are associated with a lot of myths and ancient beliefs. In Greek mythology, for instance, Aphrodite, the goddess of love and fertility, rode a chariot that is carried by doves. In the Aztec myths, the dove represented the goddess of love and was also known to be the mother of all humanity.
Other than these meanings, the dove tattoo symbolizes the following:
- Free spirit
Meanings of different dove tattoo variations
What makes dove tattoos more meaningful is that each variation carries a different message. So before you choose a design to ink on your skin, you have to understand these symbolisms first:
- Flying dove
A tattoo of a flying dove represents hope, faith and openness. A flying dove carrying an olive branch, on the other hand, speaks of a new beginning or a continuation of life amidst adversities.
- White dove
The white dove tattoo symbolizes peace and innocence.
- Black dove
The black dove, on the other hand, speaks of death. However, this is not limited to the death of the body alone. A black dove can also speak of a death of an old life leading to a transformation to a better path.
- Number of doves
Tattooing one dove is associated with the ideals or beliefs of one’s self. Two doves, on the other hand, represent a couple, particularly a married couple.
- Dove with a sword
The Japanese culture associated doves with the God of War. Tattooing a dove with a sword is a representation of an end of war or an end of an adversity.
- Dove with an angel
The dove and the angel, when tattooed together, speak greatly of religious connotations. This represents faith, purity and spirituality. This also means that you are an advocate of peace and a bringer of peace. This is also ideal for those who want to communicate “world peace.”
- Dove and praying hands
The image of a dove and hands clasped in a prayer is a symbol of reverence and humility. In Christianity, this image is a reminder that God listens and cares. It represents a strong faith and a conviction in Christ. This design is also popularly used to remember a dead loved one.
- Ascending dove
The image of an ascending dove is a representation of a spirit that is going to heaven. This is often the image to remember a dead loved one. Also, the ascending dove is associated with the Holy Spirit.
- Dove and clouds
The dove flying with clouds on the background speaks of a person’s start of a quest towards his or her dreams. It means moving forward and reaching for dreams until it becomes a reality.
Though these things are common meanings associated with dove tattoo variations, you are still free to choose tattoo designs and give them a unique meaning. You can add other symbols to the dove tattoo and create something that is more personal and more appropriate to your personality and experiences.
Beautiful dove tattoo designs
You will never really run out of beautiful options when speaking of dove tattoo designs. Depending on how much skin you wish to devote for your dove tattoo, you can find dove tattoo designs that are perfect for your chosen body placement.
Here are some of the most beautiful dove tattoos both in meaning and in design:
- Dove carrying a key tattoo
This design is of a flying white dove that holds in its beak a chain with three metallic keys dangling from it. A background of clouds completes this design.
- On God’s hands tattoo
This is a portrayal of a dead loved one who is now in the loving hands of God. There is a flying dove that is about to land on God’s open hands. The hands are depicted as those with the wounds from the nails of crucifixion. You can complete this design with shining rays, date of death of the loved one as well as calligraphy of the words “on God’s hands.”
- Dove with flowers tattoo
The design involves a flying white dove with accents of colorful flowers as well as a red heart surrounding it. The outline of the flying dove can also be accented with black shadows to give the bird more character.
- Heart-shaped dove wings tattoo
This is a unique dove tattoo design that reflects a flying dove with the wings formed in the shape of the bottom part of the heart. Clouds and rays of the sun are added on top of the wings to create the whole shape of the heart.
- Dove and cross tattoo
This is ideal for those who would want to use the dove to represent their faith. There is an image of a flying dove and a cross on the background or the foreground.
- Dove and sun tattoo
This is a very carefully thought of tattoo design where the flying dove appears to be covering the image of a bright sun.
- Watercolor dove tattoo
In this design, you go away from the usual white or black dove tattoo. The dove is made to appear mystical through the play in colors of blue, violet and pink.
- Dove with lock and key couple tattoo
This design is best for couples who want to portray their lifelong commitment to each other. One gets a dove carrying a lock while the other gets a dove carrying a key. This represents that the two persons are meant to function for each other and one will be useless without the other.
- Semi-geometric dove tattoo
This tattoo design has a lot of character, especially that this is a unique design. The body of the dove is made in geometric patterns while the wings are drawn like a regular image.
- Tribal dove tattoo
Finishing off the dove tattoo with tribal patterns make it a unique work of art. You can have this in pure black ink or you can add your choice of colors to the artwork. However, the black tribal dove tattoo is always the closest way towards achieving that tribal look and feel in your tattoo.
- Dove and peace sign tattoo
This tattoo design works best on the back of the neck. There is a big peace symbol that is carried by a smaller flying dove. You can add strings of a guitar and musical symbols to also highlight your love for music.
- Realistic white dove tattoo
The innocent beauty of a white dove is captured in this realistic tattoo design. To make the white dove pop, it is inked on top of a solid triangle button similar to a “play” button. You can even add splashes of pink or other colors in the design to make it more unique and personal.
- Beautiful lovebird tattoo
Here, two beautiful doves sit on top of a string of pink flowers. The two doves are colored beautifully in shades of pink, blue and black.
- Religious arm sleeve tattoo
This is a black and white sleeve tattoo ideal for men. The dove is represented with its wings and tail wide open and rays of light comes in the background. There are images of the stairway to heaven, clouds, scrolls and open hands as well.
Other than these, you will find an overwhelming number of options. The secret towards choosing the right design is knowing what message you want to portray and what design best fits your personality
Simple dove tattoo designs for the minimalists
If you would rather go simple, you can get an inspiration from the following tiny and minimalistic dove tattoo designs:
- Flying dove outline with olive branch
This is a very simple dove tattoo design that shows a flying dove that is done in black outline. The olive branch, on the other hand, is done in solid black ink. Some variations of this tattoo have the olive branch in green ink. You can have this tattoo perfectly on the wrist, the forearm, the shoulders, the ankle and even behind the ears.
- Flying dove tattoo silhouette
This one is another straightforward design that reflects the silhouette of a flying dove. You can have this in a very small tattoo, which is perfect on the wrist, hand and ankle.
- Pride dove tattoo
The pride dove tattoo is a simple outline of a flying dove that is colored with strips of red, yellow, blue and green. This represents the freedom and pride to choose your preferences as a person.
- White ink dove tattoo
This is a very subtle dove tattoo design where the outline of the dove is made in white ink. This makes the tattoo appear like a real white dove that looks like a white scar on the skin. You can have this anywhere on the body such as the wrist, hand or even on the side breast.
- Line of flying doves tattoo
Are you familiar with the very popular silhouette of a line of flying birds on the wrist, neck or other parts of the body? You can very well convert these birds into doves to make the tattoo symbolize peace and harmony besides its usual meaning of freedom and soaring high.
- Infinity dove tattoo
This is a very unique tattoo design where the other half loop of the infinity symbol is that of the shape of the dove emphasizing on its belly, beak and wings. The infinity dove tattoo is a great way to amplify the meaning of doves particularly when it comes to love.
- Small dove with heart tattoo
The design is similar to the flying dove holding a tree branch tattoo. This one, however, holds a read heart on its beak.
- Bird’s eye view dove tattoo
Most flying dove tattoos are captured in an eye-level perspective. To make flying dove tattoos more unique, you can capture the bird’s eye view of a flying dove that carries an olive branch on its beak.
These mentioned simple tattoo designs are indeed very small, some are around one to two inches in size alone. However, keep in mind that despite being tiny tattoos, their meanings are still as big and beautiful as their larger counterparts.