Raven
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Raven tattoo

The depiction of the raven is associated primarily with Gothic culture, and is perceived as the embodiment of dark forces and dark mystical stories.


Tutu and raven carry an incredibly multifaceted load of meaning, they can be interpreted from various positions. At the same time, such tattoos are often very expressive and have long gained popularity among fans of aesthetic body modification.

Raven tattoo
Raven tattoo
Raven tattoo

Raven tattoo: what does it mean?

According to researchers, the dark figure of the raven is one of the most ancient symbols found in different faiths and religious movements.


The ancient Celts regarded these birds as companions of the gods of war and death, and the Africans and Eskimos as faithful helpers of magicians, warlocks, and shamans. In Scandinavian mythology, ravens served as symbols of wisdom and memory, and for the Romans and ancient Greeks - at all forerunners of good change, faith and hope.

Popular today tattoo sketches with raven also give a variety of different, often contradictory interpretations. With the image of the black raven, widespread and in Slavic folklore, connect wisdom and depth of mind, longevity and influence, strength and ability to stand up for oneself. Modern raven tattoos not only perform in different styles, but also complement other images that have a more specific meaning in tattoo culture. Here are some examples:

  • Ravens surrounded by a pack - such a body image is indicative of leadership or the desire for power and volition;
  • Flying raven is an expression of the desire to be free, flexible in thinking, or ready to change in life;
  • Raven at the nest or surrounded by flowers can be evidence of commitment to family values, attachments to family;
  • A raven next to the book can be a sign of intellectuality, skepticism, interest in culture;



A raven hovering over a river is a tattoo that expresses a tendency towards contemplation, analytical reasoning, and striving for harmony.

Raven tattoo
Raven tattoo

Styles and colors

Most people think of ravens as black.


However, artists creating tattoo sketches today often use a small number of color details to make the drawing more expressive or give it a new meaning. One common technique is to depict a grim bird against the background of a crimson sunset or blue night sky. And if the raven’s tattoo is added many different shades, this sketch tends to the style of fantasy, creates a sense of fabulousness.

The most popular styles for raven tattoo sketches are:

  • Realism - with careful drawing of the smallest details;
  • Minimalism - in this case, the picture is more conventional, the bird’s silhouette is guessed;
  • Polka trash - the image is supplemented by letters, wolves, skulls and roses, is deliberately careless strokes and «blobs»;
  • Abstraction - an image that is formed on the basis of real details and hypertrophied images, blurred strokes;
  • Watercolor - thanks to the use of transparent, soft shades gives the central image more emotion and romance;
  • Sketch - more like a quick sketch, made in rough strokes, and the main focus is on the dynamics of the bird’s pose;
  • Steampunk- this style almost always depicts a raven in the image of a «Chum doctor», in a cylinder and mask;
  • Old-school - the most popular motif - raven with a rose, assumes a complete lack of gradient, clear contours and bright colors to represent additional details;
  • Linework - due to the technique of this design, which consists of many fine lines, the image is devoid of the usual gloom, remotely resembling an old engraving.
Raven tattoo
Raven tattoo
Raven tattoo

Where do you get a raven tattoo?

Traditionally, such tattoos were preferred by men, choosing a part of the body that allows you to demonstrate the entire composition.


As a rule, the choice of the place for tattoos is determined not only by personal tastes, but a number of other factors - lifestyle, type of activity, the need to observe a dress code, etc. For large-scale birds, spread wings, the upper back, chest will be more suitable. For a hand, you should choose sketches with a bird sitting on the branches of the tree. Images of a smaller place on calves and clavicles.

For a long time, raven tattoos were considered predominantly male, but today there are a huge number of sketches that can stunningly effectively shade the delicate skin of the girl. Ladies who want to get a raven tattoo can place this image on the hip, neck, or even wrist - if the pattern is compact enough.

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