Sunflowers are a popular choice for tattoo designs, and for good reason. Aside from just being generally pretty to look at, sunflowers hold a lot of different meanings. Along with their attachment to nature, their uplifting appearance makes them a symbol of happiness and light. More specifically, Chinese culture considers the sunflower a sign of good luck and longevity. In general, though, sunflowers can represent anything from joy and warmth to faithfulness and fertility.
The best thing about sunflower tattoos, though, is that they can mean whatever you want ... or even nothing at all. If you find yourself drawn to the bright flower as a design, here are 28 sunflower tattoos to spark your imagination.
The beauty of sunflowers is that they’re bursting with color. Mimic that trait in your tattoo by opting for vivid, vibrant hues and medium lines.
On the other hand, sunflowers are often seen as a part of fall, so they also look good in more muted tones. Go for a deep green or brown stem to keep with the color palette.
Van Gogh Tattoo
Sunflower tattoos don’t always have to be of the real-life flower. Take inspiration from art, like with this rendition of Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” painting.
Despite the vibrant colors that are typical in sunflowers, you don’t have to depict the hues in your tattoo. For a more minimal look, opt for just the outline instead.
Sunflowers make for great thigh tattoos because you can design them to twist and grow within a large space. This placement is also a great opportunity to add other flowers and make a bouquet.
Sunflowers are known for their size—they seem to keep growing and growing and growing! Consider placing the design on your calf and extending the stem to give off the same look as a tall sunflower.
Sunflowers give tattoo artists a lot of room to play around, in terms of both literal area and adding creative details. This design uses different textures to create a sense of whimsy.
One of the great things about sunflowers is that they’re almost naturally symmetrical, so you can cut them in half in your design and they’ll still look great. Add details like an arrow or a word to really customize it.
Sunflowers also make for beautiful fineline tattoos, and you can up the daintiness by opting for colored outlines rather than black. Add a word or a phrase to personalize it, or keep it as just the floral.
Inner Ankle Tattoo
The inner ankle is a great placement idea for a sunflower tattoo because it mimics the movement of the body. You can also extend the stem to represent as tall of a flower as you want.
For a more realistic sunflower tattoo, ditch the black outline for darker hues of your pigment instead. Lavender sprigs are another great idea, as the pastel color nicely compliments the yellow.
While sunflowers are known for being tall, you don’t have to get them tattooed with the stem. To really emphasize the beauty of the flower, stick to a design of just the petals.
Sunflowers make great designs for placement somewhere where it would wrap around, like on your outer arm. Just as they look great from any angle, they manage to look great when a bit warped as well.
If you want to get a sunflower tattoo done in a heavy style, like blackwork, consider using some white ink to add dimension and lightness. Otherwise, your design may end up feeling heavy and overwhelmed.
One great thing about a sunflower: even when you break its appearance down to the basics, you can tell it’s a sunflower. This design uses that logic to create a minimal but beautiful design.
Along the ribcage and right under the chest is a great placement idea for a sunflower tattoo. Because you’re mimicking the movement of the body by curving the flower, it makes the design feel like it’s moving.
Because of the almost over-exaggerated features of a sunflower, the flower still manages to look good in the most basic of designs. In this tattoo, the big petals offset the heavy shading, keeping it from feeling overwhelmed.
Multiple Styles Tattoo
Sunflowers look great in any tattoo style—or even multiple styles at once. This tattoo uses a whimsical element (the vase) to balance the dark detailing in the flowers.
Inner Arm Tattoo
Sunflowers look really good when placed on the inner upper arm. This area allows you to stretch the flower as tall as you want and play with different thicknesses and spacing.
Take your idea of a simple sunflower tattoo even further by using only thin, dark lines and minimal shading. To add movement regardless of the simplicity, have the stems criss-cross.
Sunflowers can be shrunk down into even the smallest of designs to fit into any area of your body you want. Incorporating small bits of white can help offset the cramped feel of the details as well.
Sunflowers always seem to steal the show even when they’re just a detail in the design. Beware: Even when you try to make it less bold, the sunflower will still shine.
Toy with the thickness of your outlines to give your sunflower tattoo a playful look. Incorporating simple line detailing can help bolster the vibe as well.
For a truly minimal sunflower tattoo, opt for a single-line design that seems to be ever-connecting. Add some dot detailing in the middle for a bit more of a sign it’s not just any flower—it’s a sunflower.
Despite sunflowers being a sign of growth and life, a wilting flower can look just as beautiful. Placing it somewhere hidden, like on the ribs, fortifies its “dark” vibe and makes it even more unique.
Because a sunflower still looks good in segments, they make a great addition to a spaced-out armband. Offset the designs with a thick line to really emphasize the negative space.
White Detail Tattoo
Adding white detailing to a tattoo adds a bit of dimension, as if light is always shining on it. It also helps space out the black ink to keep the tattoo feeling dainty, regardless of its size.
If you want to go for a simple tattoo but don’t want it to feel stuffy, use interesting coloring techniques to lighten it up. By using faded out colors and ombre, the design feels fun and whimsical.