Gothic chest tattoos

Gothic chest tattoos DEFAULT

Top 71 Cool Chest Tattoo Ideas – [2021 Inspiration Guide]

The chest is certainly one of the most intimate regions of the body and most readily celebrated in terms of physique; housing the heart but also acting as a kind of barrier against the outside world.

It makes sense to want to etch something equally complex and eye-catching, and fortunately there is a treasure trove’s worth of awesome tattoos designed with the chest in mind.

From scripture calligraphy to 3D renderings of Superman’s emblem blazing beneath one’s shredded shirt of flesh, the tattoo wearer can be as traditional or unique as he wishes. Celtic scales and tribal patterns are a perfect choice for the man who views his chest as body armor, with additional crosses and animal symbols representing the powerful talismans of our ancestors.

Dramatic black and white Gorey-esque ravens swooping and diving their way down to the navel give a nod to our Gothic forefather Edgar Allan Poe, while Steampunk upper armor designs evoke a particularly cool futuristic allure.

Sometimes the design doesn’t have to be grand in scale; outlines of one’s home state inked above the heart make an equally significant impression.


1. American Traditional/Neo Traditional Chest Tattoos

Banner With Sailing Ship Guys Retro Old School Cool Chest Tattoos

Geometrical Flying Eagle Cool Guys Half Chest Tattoo

Mens Neo Traditional Chest Chains With All Seeing Eye Cool Tattoos

Horses In Picture Frame Mens Old School 3d Cool Chest Tattoos

Man With Cool Chest Old School Bald Eagle Tattoo

Wolf With Dagger And Rose Flowers Guys Cool Neo Traditional Chest Tattoos

Old School Traditional Bear With Arrows Guys Cool Full Chest Tattoo

Black Ink Outline Cool Eagle Snake Chest Tattoos For Men

These chest pieces reflect many of the standard images associated with the American Traditional style, such as an old-style ship, banners with specific mantras embedded, roses, eagles, swallows, and a centralized burst of colour. We see in our examples many pieces relying on the image of ships—a symbolic association with the many voyages an individual may take in life.

Many of these pieces went outside the boundaries of the classic American Traditional style by blending with new approaches to realism, simple black line work, and animals not often depicted in old school ink. There are a variety of emerging  hybrid techniques that expand on colour, content, and style.

2. Realism/Photorealism  Chest Tattoos

Cool Chest Guys Watercolor Tree Tattoo Ideas

Rail Car With Bridge Mens Cool Realistic Tattoo On Chest

Upper Chest Train Mens Realistic Chest Cool Tattoo Ideas

Cool Guys Chest Atomic Bomb Tattoos With 3d Design

Train With Barb Wire And Child Portrait Guys Amazingly Cool Chest Tattoo

Flowers With Female Portrait Cool Male Chest Tattoo

Gorilla With Empire State Building Mens Cool Chest Tattoos

Guys Cool Realistic 3d Hula Dancer Chest Tattoo

Mens Cool Chest Bear Claw Tattoos

Mermaid Mens Cool Chest Tattoo Designs

Viking Warrior With Flying Owl Mens Cool Chest Tattoo Designs

Arrows Mens Cool Upper Chest Tattoo Inspiration

Heart With Thorns Guys Cool Chest 3d Tattoo Designs

Exceptional modern images utilize colour and pop with surrealist visions, such as the depiction of an atomic bomb, a heart wrapped in barbed wire, or a mermaid lazing about on shore. Others appear to keep the story  personal, literally inking them close to the subject’s chest.

Massive, intricately shaded pieces show off train yards, movie scenes, and even the seductive depiction of a hula dancer. Examples such as these are often tattoos of people or situations important to the individual sporting the piece.

3. Greco-Roman Classical Chest Tattoos

Realistic 3d Cool Tattoo Of Angel On Mans Chest

Shaded Lion Male Cool Chest Tattoos

Realistic Greek God Guys Cool Chest Tattoo With Shaded Black And Grey Ink

Manly Guys Cool Angel With Church Window Shaded Chest Tattoo

Guy With Cool Lion And Warrior Chest Tattoo

Small Simple Guys Portrait Tattoo On Chest With Cool Design

This style of tattoo is a lot like having a painting on your body, and as a chest piece it demonstrates the same characteristics as art. Many of the chest pieces in this section have taken drawings from ancient art pieces Greek mythology and philosophy to act as a storytelling canvas. 

Smaller pieces bring minute realism such as a tiny face poking out through puzzled skin of a long gone philosopher to effectively show off the artist’s technical skill and sublime sense of tattoo placement.

4. Steam Punk/Bio Mechanical Chest Tattoos

3d Gears Mens Cool Realistic Chest Tattoo

3d Mens Cool Roman Numeral Clock With Gears Tattoo On Chest

3d Realistic Battle Armor Plate Guys Cool Chest Tattoo Designs

Steampunk style tattoos add mechanical flair and technical innovation to the world of flesh art. A Utopian future mixed with  the industrial past conjures images of Gothic style clocks, metallic flowing cogs, and a fashion sense that consists of multiple straps and belt buckles.

Chest tattoo wise, these pieces can be complex and intensely detailed, applying techniques such as heavy shading, lettering, and precise lining. Even if you are going for a small chest tattoo, say covering the surface area of a pectoral muscle, you are still looking at longer sittings, a different pain threshold and perhaps even multiple sessions. 

5. Geometric Chest Tattoos

Guys Cool Chest Faces Abstract Tattoo Designs

Geometric Circles Guys Cool Chest Tattoos

Geometric Triangles Within Circle Guys Cool Chest Tattoo Ideas

Geometric Star With Cool Black Ink Outline Design Mens Chest Tattoo

Cool Retro Guys Old School Anchor With Ship Full Chest Tattoo Designs

3d Geometric Cubes Modern Mens Cool Chest And Half Sleeve Tattoo

Mens Geometric Optical Illusion Dotwork Cool Chest Tattoo Designs

Geometric style pieces appeal to the minimalist and consumers looking for body art that will not rely on conjecture.–It is easily definable without explanation. Geometric chest pieces take abstract art to the next level, relying on tremendously precise curves and line work to tell a multi-dimensional story.

Straightforward applications don’t mean that pieces are not complex though, quite the contrary.  Those looking to get a geometric piece done seek the comfort of accuracy, not the bursting zest of many of other styles demonstrated throughout this article.  

6. Japanese Traditional

Demon Mask With Snake Guys Cool Japanese Chest Tattoo Ideas

Japanese Traditional style chest pieces rely on several elements of the surreal, as well as strictly precise lines. They can sometimes look geometric due to the shading and often-selected background pattern complementing and strengthening the main scene. Some pieces will stick with a black outline, while others go for some outrageous use of vivid color to create a more garish display.

7.  Black and Gray Chest Tattoos

Cool 3d Mens Medusa Chest Tattoo Designs

Mens Cool Word Chest Tattoo With Ambition Script Design

Indian Feather Head With Skull Guys Cool Chest Tattoos

Mens Chest Boar Tattoo With Cool Old School Traditional Black Ink Design

Cool Mens Skull Angel Chest Tattoo Designs

Upper Chest Guys Cool Indian Feather Skull Head Tattoos

These chest tattoo examples show off a range of black and gray technical ink. Some offer flat black text, blackout color or thick line inspiration, whereas others opt to use more traditional gray scale shading and saturation to create effective skulls and Native American headdresses.

8. Gothic Chest Tattoos

Mens Cool Church Window With Wings Chest Tattoo

Skeleton Bones With Skull Guys Cool Arm And Chest Tattoos

Amazing Mens Cool Castle Old School Traditional Tattoo On Chest

Anchor With Map And Waves Cool Chest Tattoo Ideas For Gentlemen

Roman Numeral Clock With All Seeing Eye And Skull Guys Cool Watercolor Chest Tattoo

Skull In Knights Helmet Guys Cool Chest Tattoo

Wolf Skull Cool Watercolor Mens Small Upper Chest Tattoos

Unique Guys Cool Chest Tattoo Of Female Portrait

Gothic style is to tattoos as sharp teeth are to vampires; one just can’t exist without the others. Gothic style pieces have existed and thrived as art on flesh for decades, as the popular tropes f grow throughout elements of popular culture every day : castles, moonlight, skulls, gargoyles, skeleton, monsters of all kinds, etc.

This style is generally darker in theme and application, requiring a heavy amount of shading and thick black ink in order to establish the proper tone. Gothic can even blend with other styles to heighten previously unexplored dimensions, such as the American Traditional Gothic pieces shown in this section which utilize the classic use of shading, realism, and precise line work.   

9. Animal Chest Tattoos

Chest Mens Two Wolf Heads Tattoo

Wolves Howling At The Moon With Quote Guys Cool Chest Tattoo

Guys Cool Chest Tattoo Of Agressive Wolf With Shaded Black And Grey Design

Realistic Wolf Head With Viking Ship Guys Cool Chest Tattoo Inspiration

Male With Cool Bald Eagle Shaded Black And Grey Chest Tattoo

Man With Cool 3d Vulture Heart Chest Tattoo

Mens Watercolor Cool Full Chest Elephant Tattoo Designs

Snake Eating Tail Cool Chest Tattoos For Males

Animals are constant in all style of tattoos, and thus, transcend their own categorization. In this section – there are various styles of art applying  realism, as well as  blends of Gothic, tribal chest pieces, and even geometric styles.

Animals are often representation for many people and their specific experiences in life, whether strong or sensitive. Lions are generally associated with courage and strength, wolves with a sense of loyalty and wanderlust, and elephants with strength, power and commitment.  

10. Surrealism Chest Tattoos

Colorful Cool Outerspace Night Sky Male Chest Tattoo Designs

Outer Space With Moon And Forest Guys Cool Watercolor Chest Tattoo Ideas

Colorful Small Skull Guys Cool Chest Tattoo

Ship Sailing Through Storm Mens Cool Upper Chest Tattoo Ideas

Cool Creative Mens Chest 3d Blue Ink Tattoo

Surrealism tattoos -possess dreamlike qualities and often vibrant associated colours,. Scenes in this section show off ambient space shots and ventures at sea, enhanced by the surrealist shades of bruised purple, aquamarine, and bubblegum pink (good examples)!. Surrealist pieces have more originality t-than American Traditional, as the popularity of the theme has has flourished within the past 10-15 years.  

Chest Tattoo FAQs 

Do chest tattoos hurt? 

In general, yes, it is likely going to hurt–but the amount depends on several factors. Your level of pain tolerance, if you already have multiple tattoos, or if you have excessive fat and/or muscle on that specific area is important to consider.

It will also depend on the size and detail of your piece, so be specific with your tattoo artist while enquiring about placement. 


10 Dark Goth Tattoos

Dark tattoos will always have a certain allure to them. Take that a bit further into the gothic realm and you now have an even richer dark tattoo. The beautiful gothic aesthetic can create some true ink masterpieces. Because of the play of shadows and contrasts of the dark nature of gothic tattoos, drama and edginess are a given. Within almost every gothic tattoo is a story that can be interpreted by the viewer. Are you a fan of beautifully dark goth tattoos? Are you considering getting one yourself but not sure what you want? Check out these 10 Beautifully Dark Goth Tattoos for some ideas:

What story can you create just based on this lovely, dark, and haunting visual?

What’s more gothic than gothic architecture?

Cute little bats along this tattoo enthusiast’s neck are quite lovely.

This cameo and iron wrought inspired chest tattoo is absolutely stunning.

In a chandelier type of composition, this intricately dark tattoo has some beautiful line work.

This is a large back piece reminiscent of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven.”

A red ruby skull among black and gray realistic flowers is perfectly placed along this tattoo enthusiast’s chest. Absolutely eye-catching.

In more of a Japanese style, this skull is menacing and beautiful at the same time.

This creepy three-headed cat is surrounded by even creepier minions.

I bet you can come up with an amazing dark tale of this heroine.

10 Dark Goth Tattoos was last modified: November 30th, 2017 by Naomi V
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Top 51 Gothic Tattoo Ideas – [2021 Inspiration Guide]

The Gothic aesthetic has persisted for centuries, and for good reason.

Rich and mysterious and completely void of the shallow or insubstantial, gothic imagery calls to mind a time and dimension that honors a more macabre grace.

From Dracula’s castle to the pages of Edgar Allan Poe, the modern goth combines the old with the sophisticated to form an altogether unworldly impression.
Anatomical skulls, shadowy ravens & crows, and ancient symbols are just a few gothic signatures. The world of Tim Burton offers an extensive trove of inspiration, as well as the films of Bella Lugosi, while weeping angels, skeleton keys, and ghostly cameos also compliment the gothic tattoo enthusiast. Lyrics and imagery from ruling 80’s goth bands such as The Cure, Bauhus, and Depeche Mode lend an understated but undeniably cool undertone to an already enigmatic presence.

Gothic tattoos can be worn wherever the wearer prefers, and often appear as accessories themselves: a wrist cuff, portrait between the shoulder blades, and moonlit night over Sleepy Hollow all give off the eerie appearance of a second skin, a mist that follows the tattoo wearer wherever he goes.

The beauty of gothic tattoos is that, much like the color black (arguably the unofficial gothic color), they never really go out of style. On the contrary, gothic tattoos wear like a timeless and well-tailored ensemble. They are both reflective of the past and indicative of the future to come. Here is no old fashioned relic from the past; the gothic soul is light years ahead of the average man. Almost…vampiric.

1. Gothic Sleeve Tattoos 

Illustrate a full morbid scene with a Gothic sleeve tattoo. Since most Gothic tattoos use mostly black and gray ink, this is an especially great option for keeping costs low on a sleeve. Have some skulls cascade down your shoulder or using black filler draw a dark and sleepless night. If you don’t mind spending a lot of time in the chair, use the blackout technique to subtly bring other images to light. Or if you want to incorporate unblemished skin, think about a smoky effect to give the effect of a tattoo coming into being from the clouds. No matter what images you decide to go with, a Gothic sleeve will keep the spooky right at your fingertips.  

2. Bestial Gothic Tattoos 

Tap into nature’s terrifying side with a bestial Gothic tattoo. Some animals cannot help but inspire a shudder down your spine! Include a crow with an evil eye or a wolf baring his teeth.

These animals may not necessarily be evil, but they’re certainly not good either. Or you could think about amalgamating some animalistic features into your own being. Avian or bat wings look fantastic as a back piece that stretches out over the outer forearms.

You don’t want to use a lot of color, if any at all, in order to maintain the starkness of the piece, so depending on how long you want the piece to talk, think about using negative space to speedily bring your bestial Gothic tattoo to life. 

3. Skeletal Gothic Tattoos 

Strike a chill in people’s bones with a skeletal Gothic tattoo. Skeletons can’t help but be spooky so why not sprinkle some bones throughout your piece. Stack skulls atop one another or bring some back from the dead. Skulls are a great option for using negative space to illustrate the piece.

You can use just a few simple strokes to bring the skull to life or you can use the blackout technique with just a few spots of unblemished skin to reveal the visual. The piece can be as intricate or as simple as you want it to be, with the spooky vibe built right in.

Use dotwork to add shading and dimension or use the watercolor technique to drip down candle wax. Skeletal Gothic tattoos work great on any part of the body, but they lend themselves particularly well to the shape and curvature of the hands, knees, and shoulders. 

4. Fantastical Gothic Tattoos 

Take your piece to different dimensions of time and space with a fantastical Gothic tattoo. Find your inspiration in fantasy literature, film, or video games. Using the illustrative or the realistic style anything your imagination thinks of can come to life in your fantastical Gothic tattoo. Even a small mystical piece on the inside of your wrist can add just the splash of Gothic that you want.

Take a page from Satanic or Wiccan imagery or find your inspiration in pagan mythology. The demon goat head, also known as Baphomet, is an especially common image. A deity common in occult and mystical traditions, the ‘sabbatic goat’ is said to symbolize an equilibrium of opposites in its amalgamation of dualities. There is no longer a line that separates speculation from reality so let the image run wild! 

5. Horror Inspired Gothic Tattoos 

Inject a dose of the horrific with a horror inspired Gothic tattoo. Encapsulate a close encounter or invoke a double-take to Freddy Krueger-style being. The history of horror, inside and outside of film, is so fast that you’ll run out of room on your body if you decide to do them all.

Some of the best motifs in horror films include: clowns, Scream, Hellraiser, demons, vampires, and zombies. Anything that you wouldn’t want staring at you from the window late at night is fair game! Whether you want to illustrate a scene from your favorite horror film or bring to life a creature from your own nightmares, you’ll be sure to spook others with a horror inspired Gothic tattoo.  

6. Architectural Gothic Tattoos 

Pay homage to the original Gothic with an architectural Gothic tattoo. The Notre Dame cathedral in Paris is the most classic example of French Gothic architecture and its design works particularly well in the detailed linework style. Gothic architecture is known for its high ceilings and intricate stained glass designs, which also tend especially towards linework designs.

You can delineate either the outer construction with thick needles only, or include the details of the cathedral with thinner needles for added ornamentation. A gargoyle is also a great choice for architecturally Gothic tattoos, with its wide open mouth looking as if uttering a horrid cry. A grotesque is equally disconcerting, keeping a watchful eye from his dutiful post.  

7. Linework Gothic Tattoos 

Engrave yourself with a linework Gothic tattoo. Some of the most elegant examples of Gothic tattoos, lineworks have a simplicity to them despite their varying intricacy. This is also an especially great option if you want to incorporate any Gothic script in your tattoo. Whether you want a small piece on your forearm or your leg, or are thinking about an expansive chest piece, look through the work of some of the linework artists in your area.

No matter what image you’re considering, this is a great technique that adds a stylistic twist unique to its artist. Whether it’s a few thick lines or a number of thin details twists and turns, linework always brings the Gothic to life. 

Gothic Tattoo FAQs 

What is the symbolism of Gothic tattoos? 

Gothic tattoos refer to tattoos whose imagery corresponds with the macabre. Gothic tattoos tend to symbolize the darker and spookier aspects of life, and so designs will frequently be done in black ink and grayscale.  

Did you enjoy these examples of Gothic Tattoo but are looking for more macabre inspiration? Click on the links below for other excellent ink galleries:


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