Lotus flowers symbolize a number of different things, making them unique and extremely personal tattoos. In general, the flower is believed to represent rising above temptation and becoming a better person. In Hindu belief, lotus flowers are referred to as Padma and symbolize beauty and purity, as well as a spiritual awakening.
If you want a beautiful tattoo that symbolizes something important to you — whether love or enlightenment — a lotus flower is sure to be the perfect choice. So we went for the best inspirations with expert advice from tattoo artists Brittany Randell and Rachael Ainsworth. Keep scrolling for 40 stunning lotus flower designs to inspire your next tattoo.
Spine Lotus Flower Tattoo
Spine tattoos are a great idea for lotus flowers, as they allow you to add a lot of delicate detailing. "I love when lotus is centered/focused around our chakra locations such as the heart solar plexus or sacral area. Whether that be front or the back, the center of our torsos is a great placement to embody balance for the lotus," says Randell.
Red Lotus Flower Tattoo
According to Ainsworth, minimal, fine line lotus designs seem to be very popular, as well as small micro realism lotus designs. Getting a small lotus flower on your inner wrist makes it feel intimate while still being able to show it off. Red ink is a great alternative to basic black if you’re looking to make your tattoo pop.
Realistic Lotus Flower Tattoo
This lotus tattoo was done in a realistic style, aided by the gradual shading and close details (like the stamens in the middle). The black outlines stand in contrast to the shading, and the petals are drawn in a way that suggests movement.
Triangle and Lotus Flower Tattoo
If you want to make your lotus flower tattoo really feel personalized, add different elements to customize it. This one has a geometric background with vertical lines and circle detailing.
Dotted Lotus Flower Tattoo
This tattoo takes the basic lotus tattoo and adds a bit of simple flair to make it seem like a more intricate design. The flower is highlighted as the center of the ink, but the decoration makes it feel more designed. "If you decide to go for a symmetrical design, then I would advise picking a fairly symmetrical part of the body: forearm, tricep (above the elbow), back of ankle, sternum or chest," says Ainsworth.
Wrist Lotus Flower Tattoo
A wrist tattoo tends to be something meaningful and custom, so it’s the perfect spot if the lotus flower is special to you! Adding a personal touch with a phrase or a word you love.
Ankle Lotus Flower Tattoo
This tattoo is a minimal design, but the tapered and delicately rounded petals make it feel realistic. The simplicity of the outline makes it pop, and its placement above the ankle would stand out with pants.
Finger Lotus Flower Tattoo
Prefer a smaller reminder of a lotus flower? This finger tattoo is simple enough not to overwhelm the small space but bold enough to be interesting.
Stemmed Lotus Flower Tattoo
A lotus flower doesn’t have to stand alone! Utilize negative space in your design by adding a long and slender stem (and a small leaf, if you’d like) — the contrast will instantly make your tattoo feel dainty.
Egyptian Lotus Tattoo
The Egyptian lotus tattoo is based on the Sacred Blue Lotus of the Nile, which is referenced a lot in ancient Egyptian culture. Their petals are a little thinner and more pointed. "Not only are they such a beautiful flower, but they were also seen amongst ancient royalty, in art with deities such as Osiris, and even used in burials," Randell says. These lotus are also said to have some healing powers with certain illnesses such as anxiety, insomnia, etc.
Hindu Lotus Flower Tattoo
This lotus flower design mimics a Hindu design style with the dotted lines and the shape of the petals. This makes sense, considering the lotus flower is related to a number of gods in Hinduism, so it’s religiously significant.
Before getting a lotus flower tattoo, you can find out what a lotus design means in different cultures and religions to make sure it’s in keeping with your idea. Even if you’re getting a lotus design for purely aesthetic reasons, it’s still very important to research the design and make sure you’re happy with the style you’re going for.
Quote And Lotus Flower Tattoo
Personalize your lotus flower tattoo by incorporating a long phrase or quote that you love into the stem design of the flower. The muted color of the flower and the cursive font make this tattoo feel feminine.
Elemental Lotus Flower Tattoo
Align your lotus flower tattoo with the elements by getting their geometric symbols inked around the flora. By keeping the design basic and using the same line thickness for every part of the design, the tattoo feels minimal and chic.
Buddha And Lotus Flower Tattoo
The lotus flower isn’t just a beautiful thing to look at; in Buddhism, it holds significance as a symbol of purity and beauty. Connect the flower and the religion by getting a small Buddha tattooed right next to the flora.
Rib Lotus Flower Tattoo
Getting a tattoo on the side of your ribs allows you to get a nice and big design, like this lotus flower design. The teardrops give the illusion of jewels, while other elements like the leaves and geometric shapes give it more complexity.
Large Sternum Lotus Flower Tattoo
A sternum tattoo is a big commitment, so keep it simple by getting a large lotus flower with minimal detailing. Here, the dots around the outer line of the design and the dot detailing in the petals keep it interesting, while the multiple outlines create a good amount of negative space.
Dainty Lotus Flower Tattoo
A minimal lotus flower on your inner wrist feels dainty and intimate because of placement. The simple outline and extra dot detailing make a basic design feel chic. But when in doubt about the size, Randell says you can both go big or keep minimal. "It depends entirely on the person receiving the tattoo."
Petals Lotus Flower Tattoo
A lotus flower tattoo doesn’t have to look exactly like a normal lotus flower. Here, the artist takes some creative liberty with the design, using the basic shapes of the petals, but keeping the lines disconnected and adding shading.
Thin-Lined Lotus Flower Tattoo
Lotus flower tattoos can be full of detail, like this design. Although the outlines are thin and light—as if they were drawn with a pencil—the differing opaqueness and petal detailing makes this ink feel realistic.
Dotted Arch Lotus Flower Tattoo
Add some detail to an otherwise simple lotus flower tattoo with an arch of dots above the design. It adds a bit of interest to simple lines and makes for ink that feels more minimal than basic.
Fingernail Lotus Flower Tattoo
Love the idea of tattoos but want something a little less permanent? This little lotus flower tattoo was inked directly onto the fingernail. It’s an almost painless process and grows out with your nail!
3D Lotus Flower Tattoo
Give your lotus flower tattoo a realistic look with thin line detailing on the petals and the addition of stamen in the center of the design. The contrasting darkness of different areas also gives the illusion of light on the 2D ink.
Back Of The Arm Lotus Flower Tattoo
The tricep (above the elbow) is definitely a popular placement but not just for lotus designs, small tattoos in general," says Ainsworth. A lotus flower tattoo on the back of the arm is meant to be seen outwardly by the world, rather than by the person getting the ink, emphasizing its importance to everyone. The overlapping lines and dots add elements of design.
Armband Lotus Flower Tattoo
Instead of a simple flower, why not incorporate the lotus flower into an armband of sorts? This design utilizes the full width of the forearm, making it seem like part of the body. The mirroring of the lotus flower makes it feel balanced as well.
Watercolor Lotus Flower Tattoo
Add color to a lotus flower tattoo with a watercolor effect. This design uses a number of colors, but the light hues and simple black outlining keep it from looking overwhelmed. "Watercolour is a difficult technique which you should only trust someone to do if they have lots of experience in this style. Generally, color can take a long time and therefore could be more expensive than other designs with no shading, color, or details," says Ainsworth.
Multi-Shade Lotus Flower Tattoo
If you’d rather add a singular color, opt to get outlines done in a darker shade of the hue, rather than black. This makes it feel more artistic, as does the additional shading on the petals and below the flower.
Blackwork Lotus Flower Tattoo
Want a blackwork lotus flower, but don’t want it to look simple? This ink adds inner lines, light shading, and varying thickness of outlines to give whimsical detail to the design.
Colorful Lotus Flower Tattoo
Just because a tattoo is colored in doesn’t mean it can’t have dimension! By using different shades of the same hue, the flower gains a realistic sense of light and dark, shape, and shape. "If you decide to go for a more organic design that looks more like a real lotus, then your artist should be able to make it flow and sit well on almost any placement you choose," says Ainsworth.
Cartoonish Lotus Flower Tattoo
A small tattoo with a bold black outline and lighter color tends to pop because of its bold appearance. The gradient from dark to light blue gives it a cartoonish but fun effect.
Whimsical Back Lotus Flower Tattoo
Add a bit of whimsy to a back lotus flower tattoo with swirling details and thick dot shading. The flower feels more cartoony than realistic, and the location makes it intimate.
Heavy Blackwork Lotus Flower Tattoo
If you’re a fan of blackwork, this lotus flower design is the perfect example of how to implement it without overwhelming the delicate flower. By shading with lines of varying darkness and creating areas of heavy black, the flower gains a bold appearance.
Geometric Lotus Flower Tattoo
This lotus flower design takes the flora and breaks it down to its simplest shapes. By creating the flower out of a number of petal-shaped elements that show their intersection, a geometric element is added to the minimal design.
Overlapping Lotus Flower Tattoo
Keep your ink simple by using a simple outline design that overlaps to feel more drawn than realistic. The dot shading, dot detailing, and slightly curved petals make it feel like something more than a basic outline, though.
Large Lotus Flower Tattoo
A simple lotus flower tattoo doesn’t have to be small and dainty. This design spreads the petals out and was inked quite large, playing with the contrast against the skin.
Multi-Style Lotus Flower Tattoo
Add some angles to your lotus flower by going with a geometric design. Although the petals are inked in their classic shape with a watercolor effect, the lines over top create the basic shapes of the design.
Delicate Lotus Flower Tattoo
By using very thin outlines, this lotus flower tattoo appears delicate, as if touching the ink would crumple the design. The thick petals contrast against the thin stem, emphasizing the femininity of the tattoo as well.
Mulberry Lotus Tattoo
Mulberry is a deep magenta-pink and a nice way to get creative over black and red tattoos. This color also matches the vibrant and positive lotus flower symbolism.
Abstract Lotus Flower Tattoo
Just because the design is of a lotus flower doesn’t mean it has to look realistic! This ink takes the general shape of the flora and translates it into abstract squiggles. The slight white detailing makes it pop and defines the sketch-like vibe of the tattoo.
Chest Lotus Flower Tattoo
The overlapped petals and the variety of thicker and finer lines make this a unique lotus flower design. "There are an unlimited amount of lotus tattoo variations which can be created. There is no reason to copy another artist’s work or somebody’s personal design," says Ainsworth.
Chest Lotus Flower Tattoo 2
The curly line decorations and the dots give a feminine vibe to this chest lotus flower tattoo. Although it's a tiny design, its vertical details make it noticeable.