Exploring What Does a Dove Symbolize in Tattoos – Significance and Meaning

If you’re someone interested in getting a tattoo, you’ve come across the dove symbol at least once. But have you ever wondered what does a dove symbolize in tattoos? Well, let’s find out.

First things first: doves have been present in both religious and secular symbolism for centuries. They are commonly associated with peace, love, and hope. Moreover, they also have a deep-rooted spiritual significance in Christianity, where they are seen as a representation of the Holy Spirit.

The dove symbol itself is both simple and elegant, making it a popular choice among tattoo enthusiasts. With its light and airy appearance, the dove tattoo can be personalized in many different ways, from a minimalistic outline to a fully detailed piece depicting different angles and positions. So, if you’re looking for a tattoo design that embodies not only peacefulness but also strength, a dove tattoo might just be the perfect choice for you.

Symbolism of Doves in Tattoo Art

The dove is a bird that has been revered for its beauty, grace, and peaceful nature for centuries. As a symbol, doves have been associated with a variety of meanings throughout history, including peace, love, and purity. In tattoo art, the dove is often used to represent these same concepts, along with other ideas such as freedom, hope, and new beginnings.

Meanings of Dove Tattoos

  • Peace: The dove is perhaps best known as a symbol of peace, and dove tattoos are often used to represent the desire for world peace or inner peace.
  • Love: Doves are also associated with love, particularly romantic love. A tattoo of two doves together can symbolize a strong, lasting love between two people.
  • Purity: Doves are commonly associated with purity, innocence, and virtue. A dove tattoo may be used to represent a desire for purity or to express the idea that the wearer is a pure or innocent person.

Designs and Styles of Dove Tattoos

Dove tattoos can range from small and simple to large and complex, depending on the preferences of the wearer. Some popular design elements for dove tattoos include:

  • Realistic or stylized doves: Some dove tattoos feature extremely realistic depictions of the bird, while others use more stylized or symbolic imagery.
  • Flowers and other natural elements: Dove tattoos are often paired with flowers or other natural elements such as leaves, branches, or vines. These elements can help to enhance the overall meaning of the tattoo.
  • Words or phrases: Many people choose to incorporate words or phrases into their dove tattoos, either as a standalone element or as part of a larger design.

Colors and Placement of Dove Tattoos

Dove tattoos can be rendered in a wide variety of colors, from realistic shades of white and gray to more vibrant hues such as blue, green, or purple. Some people choose to have their dove tattoos inked in black and gray, while others opt for a more colorful design.

Color: Meaning:
White: Purity, innocence, peace
Gray: Balance, harmony, neutrality
Black: Mystery, death, rebirth
Blue: Hope, loyalty, trust
Green: Growth, renewal, prosperity
Purple: Royalty, luxury, spirituality

As for placement, dove tattoos can be inked virtually anywhere on the body. Some popular locations for dove tattoos include the wrist, ankle, back, and chest.

History of Dove Tattoo Art

The dove has been a popular subject for tattoos for decades, and its origins can be traced back to ancient cultures such as the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians. In these cultures, the dove was often associated with gods and goddesses and was believed to represent love, peace, and purity.

As Christianity rose to prominence, the dove took on new meaning as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. According to the Bible, when Jesus was baptized, a dove descended from the sky, symbolizing the Holy Spirit coming down to earth. This image has been immortalized in Christian art and literature, and the dove has since become a common tattoo symbol for Christians.

  • In the 1960s, the dove gained renewed popularity as a symbol of peace and the anti-war movement. Many people got dove tattoos to express their opposition to the Vietnam War and their hope for a world without violence.
  • Today, dove tattoos continue to be popular for a variety of reasons. Some people get them as a symbol of love, purity, or spirituality, while others get them simply because they like the design.
  • Dove tattoos can be done in a variety of styles, from simple black ink designs to colorful and intricate pieces. They can be small and subtle or large and bold, depending on the wearer’s preference.

Many tattoo artists incorporate other elements into dove tattoos, such as flowers, hearts, or ribbons. These additions can give the tattoo a more personal meaning and make it unique to the wearer.

Overall, the dove tattoo is a timeless symbol that has been used for centuries to represent love, peace, and spirituality. It is a versatile design that can be customized to suit the wearer’s individual style and personality, making it a popular choice for tattoo enthusiasts around the world.

Meaning Symbolism
Love Often depicted with a heart, the dove can represent the love between two people or a person’s love for life or nature.
Peace The dove is a universal symbol of peace and is often used in anti-war protests and movements.
Freedom The dove can be seen as a symbol of freedom, particularly in reference to the release of doves at weddings or other special events.
Spirituality As a symbol of the Holy Spirit, the dove represents spirituality, purity, and divine inspiration.

No matter the meaning behind it, a dove tattoo is a beautiful and meaningful addition to any collection of body art.

Cultural significance of doves in tattoo art

Doves have been a popular subject in tattoo art for centuries and hold significant cultural and symbolic meaning. Here, we will explore the various cultural significance of doves in tattoo art.

Religious symbolism

  • In Christianity, doves symbolize the Holy Spirit and are often seen as a representation of purity, peace, and love.
  • In Judaism, doves symbolize peace and are associated with the story of Noah’s Ark, in which a dove returns with an olive branch, indicating the end of the flood.
  • In Islam, doves are seen as a symbol of purity and are associated with Prophet Muhammad and his message of peace.

Personal symbolism

Aside from religious symbolism, doves in tattoo art can also hold personal significance for an individual. Some possible meanings of a dove tattoo include:

  • Love and devotion to a partner or family member
  • A representation of peace and tranquility
  • A reminder of a loved one who has passed away

Artistic symbolism

Doves in tattoo art can also hold artistic significance, as they are often used for their visual appeal rather than any specific symbolism. Doves can be used as a decorative element in a design, or to add a sense of movement or flow to a tattoo. Additionally, doves can be depicted in a variety of styles, from realistic to abstract, allowing them to fit within a wide range of tattoo styles.

The meaning of different dove colors in tattoo art

The color of a dove used in tattoo art can also hold significance. Here are some possible meanings of different colored doves:

Dove color Possible meaning
White Purity, peace, innocence
Black Mystery, death
Grey Neutral, balance
Red Love, passion
Blue Trust, loyalty

Overall, doves in tattoo art hold significant cultural and symbolic meaning, and can be used to represent a wide range of personal or artistic intentions.

Different styles of dove tattoos

If you are considering getting a dove tattoo, you have a variety of styles to choose from. Each style has its own unique interpretation and meaning. Here are four of the most popular styles of dove tattoos:

  • Realistic dove tattoos: These tattoos are designed to look like real doves and are often done in shades of gray and black. They can be either simple or complex, but they are always striking and beautiful. If you want a dove tattoo that looks like it could fly right off your skin, a realistic tattoo is a great choice.
  • Watercolor dove tattoos: Watercolor tattoos are known for their vibrant, fluid colors that blend together to create a stunning work of art. When it comes to dove tattoos, a watercolor style can add a soft, feminine touch to an otherwise bold design. This style is perfect for those who want a tattoo that looks like a piece of contemporary art.
  • Minimalist dove tattoos: A minimalist dove tattoo is a simple, delicate design that often features a small dove in black ink. This style is ideal for those who prefer subtlety over flash. A minimalist dove tattoo can be placed anywhere on the body and is perfect for those who want a tattoo that is both meaningful and elegant.
  • Traditional dove tattoos: Traditional tattoos have been around for decades and are characterized by their bold, black outlines, and bright colors. When it comes to dove tattoos, a traditional design might include a dove with an olive branch in its beak or a dove with a banner featuring a meaningful word or phrase. This style is perfect for those who love classic tattoos and want a design that will age well over time.

Placement and Size of Dove Tattoos

Dove tattoos are a popular choice among tattoo enthusiasts due to their beautiful aesthetics and rich symbolism. The placement and size of dove tattoos may vary depending on the intended message, personal preference, and the practicality of the design. Here are some of the most common placements and sizes for dove tattoos.

  • Wrist: A small dove tattoo on the wrist symbolizes freedom and peace. It is a popular choice for people who want a discreet and elegant tattoo that they can easily hide or showcase.
  • Chest: A medium-sized dove tattoo on the chest represents spirituality, love, and hope. It is a great placement for those who want their tattoo to be visible to others and serve as a reminder of their inner values and beliefs.
  • Back: A large dove tattoo on the back can be a stunning piece of art that represents harmony, freedom, and strength. This placement provides ample canvas for intricate designs and allows the tattoo to be easily covered or shown off depending on the occasion.

The size of dove tattoos can also convey different meanings and emotions. For instance:

  • A small dove tattoo represents simplicity, purity, and minimalism. It is a great choice for people who want a subtle yet meaningful tattoo.
  • A medium-sized dove tattoo represents balance, serenity, and wisdom. It is a versatile size that can accommodate detailed designs and provide a significant statement.
  • A large dove tattoo represents grandeur, power, and magnificence. It is a bold size that can cover larger areas of the body and stand out as an impressive work of art.

If you are considering getting a dove tattoo, take some time to think about the placement and size that best reflects your personality and values. Consult with a professional tattoo artist to ensure that the design fits your vision and looks great on your skin.

Placement Size Meaning
Wrist Small Freedom and peace
Chest Medium Spirituality, love, and hope
Back Large Harmony, freedom, and strength

Overall, the placement and size of your dove tattoo can enhance its significance and beauty. With careful consideration and professional guidance, you can create a meaningful and timeless piece of art that tells your story and enriches your life.

Color Meanings in Dove Tattoos

Dove tattoos continue to become a popular choice for people wanting to get inked. They are often a symbol of peace, love, and purity. It’s no wonder that dove tattoos are so beloved today by both men and women, with their designs bringing in a wide range of colors. So let’s delve into each color’s significance in dove tattoos.

  • White: A white dove in tattoo art symbolizes pure, spiritual, and holy elements. The color white evokes purity, peace, and divinity with its likeness to angels and spirituality.
  • Black: Black dove tattoos have different meanings depending on the context, but they are typically considered to represent death and mourning. They are also a representation of strength and power.
  • Blue: Dove tattoos in blue signify devotion, loyalty, and friendship. This color symbolizes the strength of bonds and unity.
  • Green: Green is a color of renewal and nature. Doves in this color are appreciated for their message of new beginnings and growth. They symbolize a fresh start and rebirth.
  • Red: Doves in red are often seen in love-themed tattoos. They are a representation of passion, romantic love and in some instances, heartbreak.
  • Yellow: Yellow dove tattoos signify intellectual pursuits and mental agility. This is because it represents the intellect and wisdom.

Dove Tattoo Color Combinations

The combinations of these colors can also have their own meanings in dove tattoos.

White and Blue: A dove tattoo with these colors represents peace and stability, making it an ideal design for harmony and calmness.
White and Pink: This combination creates a tattoo design that represents unconditional love and grace.
White and Black: A symbol of remembrance, a tattoo with these colors is ideal for honoring loved ones who have passed on.

No matter which color you prefer, a dove tattoo can hold a lot of meaning and significance to those who wear it. Choose the color that speaks to you and reflects your personality or values.

Popular designs featuring doves in tattoo art

As one of the most recognizable symbols of peace and love, the dove is a popular subject of tattoo art. Often depicted in flight or holding an olive branch, the dove is a versatile design that can convey a range of emotions and meanings.

Symbolism of the number 7 in dove tattoos

In many cultures, the number seven is considered lucky or divine. In Christianity, it is associated with completion and perfection, as God rested on the seventh day after creating the world. This symbolism is often incorporated into dove tattoos, where seven doves can represent perfection, peace, and harmony.

  • Seven doves in a circle can represent unity and wholeness.
  • Seven doves flying upward can symbolize spiritual growth and enlightenment.
  • Seven doves holding an olive branch can convey the idea of a new beginning or the resolution of a conflict.

If you’re looking for a unique and meaningful dove tattoo, consider incorporating the number seven into your design.

Other popular dove tattoo designs

Aside from the number seven, there are many other popular designs that feature doves in tattoo art:

  • A single flying dove can represent freedom and independence.
  • A dove with a key in its beak can symbolize unlocking new opportunities or secrets.
  • A dove with a heart can convey the idea of love and romance.
  • A dove with a ribbon can represent hope and support for a cause.

Whether you choose a traditional or a creative dove tattoo design, it’s important to find a reputable tattoo artist who can bring your vision to life.

Aesthetic considerations for dove tattoos

Dove tattoos are often done in black ink, but they can also incorporate color for added visual interest:

Color Meaning
White Purity, peace, innocence
Gray Balance, neutrality, wisdom
Black Mystery, power, elegance
Blue Calmness, confidence, serenity

Consider the placement of your dove tattoo as well. Doves are often tattooed on the wrist, shoulder, or chest, but they can also be incorporated into larger pieces that cover the back or entire arm.

With careful thought and planning, a dove tattoo can be a beautiful and meaningful addition to your body art.

Tattoo artists known for creating stunning dove tattoos

If you’re considering getting a dove tattoo, you’ll want to work with a talented artist who can create a design that perfectly captures the symbolism of this beautiful bird. Here are a few tattoo artists who are known for their stunning dove tattoos:

  • Dr. Woo: This Los Angeles-based artist is famous for his incredibly detailed and delicately shaded tattoos. His dove tattoos are often highly intricate, with unique design elements that draw the eye.
  • Alexis Vaatete: Based in Hawaii, Alexis Vaatete is known for her unique and playful tattoo designs. Her dove tattoos often have a whimsical and feminine feel, decorated with flowers, stars, and other delicate motifs.
  • Niki Norberg: Swedish tattoo artist Niki Norberg is famous for his hyper-realistic black-and-gray tattoos, which often feature incredibly detailed animal portraits. His dove tattoos are no exception, and are incredibly lifelike and beautiful.

The symbolism of the dove in tattoos

When it comes to tattoo symbolism, the dove is a popular and powerful image. This beautiful bird is often associated with peace, love, and hope, as well as with spiritual themes like purity and innocence.

One reason why the dove is such a powerful symbol is its biblical significance. In the Bible, the dove is associated with important moments like the story of Noah’s Ark, where the dove represents God’s promise of a new beginning. In the New Testament, the dove is also mentioned in relation to Jesus’ baptism, where it symbolizes the presence of the Holy Spirit.

The number 8 in dove tattoos

Another interesting element to consider when getting a dove tattoo is the number 8. In numerology, the number 8 is often seen as a symbol of infinity, as it represents a never-ending cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.

Symbolism of the number 8 in dove tattoos: Examples of dove tattoos featuring the number 8:
The infinite nature of love, peace, and hope. An ornate, infinity-symbol-inspired dove tattoo on the wrist.
The cyclical nature of life, death, and rebirth. A dove tattoo with eight feathers, each one representing a different stage in the cycle of life.

If you’re drawn to the symbolism of the dove and are considering a tattoo, incorporating the number 8 into your design could add an extra layer of meaning and depth.

Celebrities with dove tattoos

Dove tattoos have become increasingly popular over the years, and many celebrities have joined the trend. Here are some famous faces that sport dove tattoos:

  • Rihanna: The Barbadian singer has a dove tattoo on her ankle, which she got in memory of her late grandmother.
  • Ariana Grande: The pop star has a small dove tattooed on the back of her neck, which she got with her mother and grandmother.
  • Justin Bieber: The Canadian singer has a dove tattoo on his stomach, which he got in honor of his grandfather, who used to take him to bird shows.

Dove tattoos can hold a lot of personal meaning for people, including these celebrities.

But it’s not just musicians who are showing off their dove tattoos. Actors, athletes, and even politicians have joined in on the trend as well.

Celebrity Tattoo Placement Tattoo Meaning
Demi Lovato Wrist Spiritual journey and growth
Taylor Swift Back of neck Freedom and peace
LeBron James Back Representation of his “chosen 1” mentality

These celebrities have all found personal significance in their dove tattoos, and they serve as a reminder of their own journeys and values.

Techniques used to create realistic dove tattoos

Getting a realistic dove tattoo requires a skilled tattoo artist who has a good understanding of the dove’s anatomy and features. Here are ten techniques that professional tattoo artists use to create realistic dove tattoos:

  • Reference images: Tattoo artists use images of real doves, artwork, and photographs as references to get the details right.
  • Layering colors: Tattoo artists use multiple layers of light colors to create the feathers’ soft and natural look.
  • Shading: Artists use shading techniques such as pointillism, cross-hatching, and stippling to create depth and dimension in the dove’s body and wings.
  • Contrasting colors: Using contrasting colors, such as black and white together, can create a striking impact that makes the dove stand out on the skin.
  • Smooth transitions: By blending colors and shading smoothly, tattoo artists can create a more realistic and natural-looking dove.
  • Accurate placement: Tattoo artists place dove tattoos in areas where the shape of the dove’s body compliments the body part, and the feather pattern fits best.
  • Texture: Adding texture to the feathers and body of the dove makes it look more realistic. Tattoo artists use techniques such as stippling, line work, and shading to add depth and texture to the tattoo.
  • Correct proportions: Tattoo artists know where to put the dove’s wings, tail, and head to get the right proportions and make the dove look more realistic.
  • Posture: Getting the right posture is essential to create a realistic dove tattoo. The tattoo artist will have to pay attention to the angles and shapes in the bird’s body to make the posture look realistic.
  • Customization: Tattoo artists can customize each dove tattoo by adding personal elements such as flowers, hearts, and words.


If you’re planning to get a dove tattoo, make sure to choose a professional tattoo artist who has experience in creating realistic tattoos. The above techniques should be handy for both the artist and the client. You can also do your research beforehand and bring in reference images to ensure that the dove tattoo you end up with is exactly what you envisioned.

FAQs about What Does a Dove Symbolize in Tattoos

1. What does a dove symbolize in tattoos?
A dove is a symbol of peace, love, and purity in tattoos. It is often used to represent freedom, hope, and faithfulness. It is also associated with the Holy Spirit in Christianity.

2. What colors are used in dove tattoos?
Dove tattoos are commonly depicted in either white or gray. However, some people also incorporate other colors such as blue, pink, or lavender, as they can add a deeper meaning or represent a specific sentiment.

3. Can a dove tattoo be customized?
Yes, dove tattoos can be customized to reflect the wearer’s personal style and preferences. Different design elements such as flowers, ribbons, and birds can be added to enhance the overall appearance of the tattoo.

4. Are dove tattoos only meant for women?
No, dove tattoos are not only meant for women. They can be a meaningful choice for both men and women, depending on the design and placement of the tattoo.

5. What parts of the body are best for dove tattoos?
Dove tattoos can be placed anywhere on the body, depending on the size and design of the tattoo. Some popular areas include the wrist, forearm, upper arm, back, and chest.

6. What is the significance of a dove holding an olive branch in tattoos?
A dove holding an olive branch in tattoos represents the biblical story of Noah’s Ark. In the story, the dove brought back an olive leaf as a sign that the flood was receding and that land was near.

7. What is the cultural significance of dove tattoos?
Dove tattoos are meaningful in different cultures. In Christianity, it is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, while in Greek mythology, it is associated with Aphrodite. In Native American culture, doves represent love and devotion, while in Japanese culture, they represent new beginnings.

Closing Thoughts

Thank you for reading about the symbolism behind dove tattoos. Whether you are looking to get a tattoo or simply curious about their meanings, dove tattoos represent hope, peace, and purity. They are a popular choice among men and women alike, and can be customized to reflect your unique style and personality. Don’t forget to visit us again for more interesting articles on tattoos and other related topics.