Angel Wing Tattoos

Angel Wings

Angel wings are an extremely popular tattoo design. They can be worn anywhere on the body, including the shoulder blades and back. This style of tattoo can have a number of different meanings, including memorials, protection or just a desire to show off your more angelic side.

Types of Angel Wing Tattoos

Angel wing tattoos typically appear as back pieces, lower back tattoos and smaller designs that can be placed anywhere on the body. They may be colored or black and grey, and they can be inked in any tattoo style.

The type of wings you choose depends on the reason for your tattoo. It's a personal choice. In general, the bigger the wings, the bigger the statement.

  • Some people choose to have wings that cover the entire back.
  • Others choose smaller wings that adorn the shoulder blades or decorate just the center of the upper back.

Realistic Wings

Realistic angel wings

Many people who choose to get angel wings tattooed on their backs, opt for a very realistic style. This includes several attributes such as:

  • Large feathers
  • No obvious "join" or place of connection with the back
  • Long, vertical placement so the wings move down the back, rather than out to either side
  • "Soft" look to the feathers

Shoulder Wings

Shoulder wings

If a full back piece doesn't appeal, consider getting a pair of smaller, shoulder wings. These wings move from the shoulder blades out to either side of the back. The position of these wings is what gives them their "angel" attribute.

  • They can be realistic, with detailed feathers, or more abstract with bold, black lines to indicate wings, without actually displaying them.
  • People have chosen Celtic-influenced designs, tribal patterns, free-form flames and butterfly-style wings.
  • The wing shape can also be formed from multiple smaller shapes.
  • Color is another option. The same feathered wings could look solemn in black and grey, but wild and joyful in color.

Lower Back Designs

Heart of an Angel

Lower back tattoos are often abstract designs, but they can incorporate virtually any image. Angel wing tats can be adapted to make beautiful lower back designs.

  • If you choose a lower back tat, you'll want to make sure that the wings are incorporated into a design and not simply sprouting from the sides of your spine.
  • A central image such as a heart, a Celtic knot, a sunburst or a star can pull the design together.

Remember that wings positioned on the lower back can't stretch vertically the way they can from the shoulder blades. Keep this in mind as you design your wings and any image that will be centered between them. In many cases, this simply means rotating the design inward, but may also mean stylizing the connection of wings to body.

Protective Wings

Heart with wings

The wings don't have to sprout from your body; they can be symbolic, surrounding and protecting something else.

  • One popular design is the initials of a lost loved one, surrounded by protective wings. The wings can also represent the belief that the person who has died is now among the angels.
  • Other designs may include a heart surrounded by wings, or anything you hold dear and wish to be protected.

Chest Wings

Angel wings on chest

While the back is the most popular place to get a pair of angel wings on the body, it is far from the only place. One of the second most popular spots to sport a pair of wings is on the chest. These wings may be placed there for a variety of reasons including:

  • Prominence: It may be easier to show off a pair of wings on the chest than the upper back
  • Protection: The wings may be there to protect your heart
  • Influence: It can be easier to see a pair of angel wings on your front than on your back, particularly if you are looking in a mirror. Tattoo a pair of wings in this spot if you need a regular reminder of angelic influence or power in your life.

Keep in mind that when leaving the most natural place for a pair of angel wings - the back - that abstract designs can lose some of their power. It can be difficult to convey angel wings done in a wild style if they are not located in the usual place.

Other Angel Tat Locations

Angel wings on inner wrist

Angel wings can be incorporated into tattoos on arms, shoulders, calves or anywhere else on the body. Choose another area than the back if you want to be able to see your wings on a regular basis. Wings placed on the wrist or hand, for example, may serve as a reminder to you of an angelic presence in your life.

Behind the Angel's Wings

Biblical History

The early biblical angels weren't described as having wings. In fact, they resembled ordinary men, although they brought extraordinary messages. Over the years, however, artists have drawn and painted angels and other holy creatures with pure white, feathered wings, and present-day images of angels almost always include wings.

Popular Culture

Angel wings have found their way into novels, movies and comic books. The X-Men stories feature a winged young man who joins the band of heroes. Many other fictional and legendary characters, both good and evil, sport angel wings.

Angel Wing Meanings

Angel wings on lower abs

Not all tattoos have to be tough; sometimes the best tats are gentle in nature, such as a pair of angel wings. Angel wing tattoos can be worn anywhere on the body, both alone and accompanying another image. Consider getting a pair of angel wings for any of these reasons:

  • To reveal a capacity for reaching new heights
  • To show off an "angel and devil" attitude
  • As a memorial for someone when combined with a name or the image of a heart
  • To show your intention to take flight in life
  • A wish to do good to others in life
  • To reveal a belief in guardian angels
  • A wish to fly
  • A desire to do good
  • Personal expression
  • Celebration of beauty
  • Religious dedication

Spread Your Wings

If the idea of angel wings is exciting or intriguing to you, consider getting a pair as a tattoo. Angel wing tattoos can be a beautiful expression, no matter where on the body they are placed, or how they are rendered. Show off your angelic side by displaying your own set of wings.

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Angel Wing Tattoos