Lotus flowers symbolize a number of different things, making them unique and highly 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, purity, and spiritual awakening.
Meet the Expert
- Brittany Randell is a professional tattoo artist based in Toronto.
- Rachael Ainsworth is a professional tattoo artist based in Berlin.
If you want a beautiful tattoo that symbolizes something important to you—whether love or enlightenment—a lotus flower is sure to be a perfect choice. So we went for the best inspirations with expert advice from tattoo artists Brittany Randell and Rachael Ainsworth. Keep scrolling for 31 stunning lotus flower designs to inspire your next tattoo.
Spine Lotus Flower
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.
Orange Lotus Flower
According to Ainsworth, minimal, fine line lotus designs seem to be very popular, as well as small micro-realism lotus designs. But hyper-saturated, over-the-top lotus flowers are stunning in their own right. Orange or red ink is a great alternative to basic black if you’re looking to make your tattoo pop.
Realistic Lotus Flower
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
If you want to make your lotus flower tattoo feel personalized, add different elements to customize it. This one has a geometric background with vertical lines and circle detailing.
Bold-Lined Lotus Flower
This takes the basic lotus flower tattoo idea 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.
Ankle Lotus Flower
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
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
A lotus flower doesn’t have to float on its own. Utilize negative space in your design by adding a long, slender stem (and a small leaf, if you’d like)—the contrast will instantly make your tattoo feel dainty.
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. Lotus flowers are also said to have some healing powers for certain conditions such as anxiety and insomnia.
Hindu Lotus Flower
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 several Hindu gods, 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.
Elemental Lotus Flower
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
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.
Thin-Lined Lotus Flower
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 make this ink feel realistic.
Dotted Lotus Flower
Add some detail to an otherwise simple lotus flower tattoo with simple 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
Love the idea of tattoos but want something a little less permanent? This lotus flower tattoo was inked directly onto the fingernail. It’s an almost painless process and grows out with your nail.
3D Lotus Flower
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
"The tricep (above the elbow) is a popular placement but not just for lotus designs, [for] 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
Instead of a simple flower, why not incorporate the lotus flower into an armband of sorts? This design uses the entire width of the forearm, making it seem like part of the body. The mirroring of the lotus flower makes it feel balanced as well.
Shaded Lotus Flower
Add color to a lotus flower tattoo with a shaded effect. This design uses just one color (black) , but the lighter hues and simple outlining make it appear almost three-dimension.
Multi-Shade Lotus Flower
Instead of adding 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. Or ask your artist to use various shades, for a watercolor effect. "Watercolor 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.
Blackwork Lotus Flower
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 larger overall design.
Colorful Lotus Flower
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, dark, 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
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
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.
Geometric Lotus Flower
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.
Multi-Style Lotus Flower
Add some angles to your lotus flower by going with a design that blends whimsy with traditional mandala design. Although the petals are inked in their classic shape with a watercolor effect, the lines over the top create the basic shapes of the design.
Delicate Lotus Flower
Using very delicate outlines, this lotus flower tattoo appears delicate, as if touching the ink would crumple the design. The thick petals contrast against the thin stem.
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
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
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," says Ainsworth. "There is no reason to copy another artist’s work or somebody’s personal design."
Cleavage Lotus Flower
The curly line decorations and dots give an artsy vibe to this chest lotus flower tattoo. Although it's a small design, its vertical details make it noticeable.