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In Memory Of Family And Friends: 87+ Beautiful Female Guardian Angel Tattoo Design Ideas (2020)

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Traditionally, an angel symbolizes protection. An angel tattoo describes a guardian who is literally a messenger from God. An angel’s wings allow them to travel to and from heaven to help in your time of need.

Angel wings tattoos are also often linked to the passing of family and loved ones, with those lost transitioning into a protective guardian angel to watch over the wearer.

Wings tattoo can be commonly associated with both birds and angels. Tattoo depictions of these often look very much alike, with a specific portion of the tattoo design differentiating if it is one or the other.

The angel wing tattoo style can be purely a depiction of religious faith, however, symbolism that features an angel’s wings takes on new meaning with the idea of protection and guidance.

Incorporating an angel or other religious symbology into your wings tattoo is a good method of adding further meaning to your body art. Utilizing crosses, halos, and different application style depictions such as black ink or feathers create contrasts within designs, so you’re able to communicate your idea effectively.

For most of us, an angel wings tattoo design associates itself with the notion that everyone has a guardian angel watching over them, serving as a reminder that we can provide ourselves with judgement from a perceived positive outside influence.

Read on for angel wing tattoos inspiration that could help you with your first piece of body art or be the basis of your next tattoo.

1. Full Guardian Angel Design Approaches

back-lace-angel-wing-tattoo-leigh_higginson_tattoos
Source: @leigh_higginson_tattoos via Instagram
color-angel-wing-tattpp-artofwarroy
Source: @artofwarroy via Instagram
knight-angel-wings-tattoo-deedw66
Source: @deedw66 via Instagram
realism-black-grey-angel-wing-tattoo-hermes_tattooart
Source: @hermes_tattooart via Instagram
back-angel-wing-tattoo-pollo_tattoo
Source: @pollo_tattoo via Instagram

Utilizing full angels in your wing tattoo design is a bold choice, requiring some research. One of your first choices is what type of angel you want and whether they’re classical, cherub, cartoon, or human realistic. You can also go old-school and depict your angel as a woman in a stone figure.

A warrior angel’s weapon adds another option, with intimidating wings, swords and, all the power of a heavenly messenger. These winged angel examples are a mixture of tattoo styles and body positions but are etched cleanly in black and grayscale shading that mixes great attention to detail with shaping the body and angelic wing to strong effect.

2. Chest Angel Wing Tats

chest-angel-wing-tattoo-chris_koutsis
Source: @chris_koutsis via Instagram
chest-angel-wing-tattoo-jostyletattoo2003
Source: @jostyletattoo2003 via Instagram
chest-cross-banner-inked-angel-wings-tattoo-garza_sani
Source: @garza_sani via Instagram
chest-crown-diamond-angel-wing-tattoo-christina_lopez88
Source: @christina_lopez88 via Instagram
dedication-leukemia-ribbon-angel-wing-tattoo-doodle_ling
Source: @doodle_ling via Instagram
inked-black-grey-angel-wing-tattoo-champztattoo
Source: @champztattoo via Instagram
realistic-compass-black-grey-art-angel-wing-tattoo-tschillerr
Source: @tschillerr via Instagram
sketch-cross-black-angel-wing-tattoo-missjaxxs_and_rockabellatattoo
Source: @missjaxxs_and_rockabellatattoo via Instagram
walk-by-faith-angel-wing-tattoo-originalbighead
Source: @originalbighead via Instagram

Man’s desire for wings likely goes a long way back, as does the association of winged angels as protectors. Angel wing chest tattoos give massive scope to explore this elemental side of things, whether from a religious perspective or art. Mythology, crowns, crosses, bright beams, and roses are popular symbolic imagery that ties in perfectly with angel wings.

I like how these chest tattoos play with the feather tattoo style and function, often tying the design element to the central focal point such as an edgy, bolder cross and slashing of feather versus detailed opulent crown that’s colored in with care, for example.

3. Angel’s Wings, Crosses and Halos

ankle-memorial-foot-cross-angel-wing-tattoo-lizzybonestattoo
Source: @lizzybonestattoo via Instagram
arm-black-bird-angel-wing-tattoo-siobhangallagher_art
Source: @siobhangallagher_art via Instagram
arm-halo-angel-wing-tattoo-angelesinkedu
Source: @angelesinkedu via Instagram
art-work-angel-wing-tattoo-follyy_tattooer_pafumi
Source: @follyy_tattooer_pafumi via Instagram
black-grey-back-sketch-angel-wing-tattoo-dinijs_ink
Source: @dinijs_ink via Instagram
coverup-rose-black-grey-angel-wing-tattoo-gregozenteno
Source: @gregozenteno via Instagram
ellbow-halo-angel-wing-tattoo-portobellotattoo
Source: @portobellotattoo via Instagram
love-angel-wing-tattoo-alina.tattooartist
Source: @alina.tattooartist via Instagram
nice-angel-wing-tattoo-adelinezubiolo
Source: @adelinezubiolo via Instagram

In these types of designs, most often the angel wings tattoo is used to depict and commemorate the loss of a loved one. Halos are used to symbolize that someone has passed away and now act as a protector or heavenly guardian to the memorial tattoo wearer.

The cross can also be used in this fashion, but mostly they are used in conjunction with the angel wings to create a tattoo reminder of the power and support that faith can bring.

These angel wing tattoos work well as both commemorative tattoo art and as a symbolic reference to Christianity, reflections on faith, and protection to the wearer. Some are big wing, highly detailed pieces of art, while others feature a small angel wing meant to remind and nothing more.

4. Forearm Winged Creatures

bali-art-angel-wing-tattoo-dewa_astika
Source: @dewa_astika via Instagram
black-white-inked-angel-wing-tattoo-xsmd1312x
Source: @xsmd1312x via Instagram
black-work-feather-angel-wing-tattoo-forshadowedhope
Source: @forshadowedhope via Instagram
breaking-tradition-dad-family-angel-wing-tattoo-pjosgood
Source: @pjosgood via Instagram
deaf-dog-angel-wing-tattoo-barrytheneedle
Source: @barrytheneedle via Instagram
ink-angel-wing-tattoo-dueztattoos
Source: @dueztattoos via Instagram
inmemory-angel-wing-tattoo-twostabs
Source: @twostabs via Instagram
quote-writing-motivation-angel-wing-tattoo-leedsinkandbeauty
Source: @leedsinkandbeauty via Instagram
silver-angel-wing-tattoo-brianvufanclub
Source: @brianvufanclub via Instagram

Forearm angel winged creatures can be deployed in numerous ways. They are bound to garner lots of attention – meaning lots of people check out your ink on a regular basis.

These forearm depictions are interesting in that they mix both single wing and paired angel wing tattoos, and can be indistinguishable from a bird wing. Fine detail and shading, linework, and white ink highlights can often make or break one of these tattoos, so make sure to get the placement right!

5. Full Back Big Wing Tattoos

angel-wing-tattoo-silvielini
Source: @silvielini via Instagram
back-piece-angel-wing-tattoo-blackspidertattoo
Source: @blackspidertattoo via Instagram
bali-intenze-angel-wing-tattoo-madagamblezz
Source: @madagamblezz via Instagram
black-angel-wing-tattoo-edwin_alexander_art
Source: @edwin_alexander_art via Instagram
coverup-black-gray-angel-wing-tattoo-boriana.markova.tattooart
Source: @boriana.markova.tattooart via Instagram
fresh-heal-angel-wing-tattoo-okteash
Source: @okteash via Instagram
inked-back-angel-wings-tattoo-tattooed_retro_angel
Source: @tattooed_retro_angel via Instagram
limitless-angel-wing-tattoo-babyllon974
Source: @babyllon974 via Instagram
myback-huskypaws-angel-wings-tattoo-eastvanphotos
Source: @eastvanphotos via Instagram

When a tattoo artist gets the chance to create a full back set of angel wings tattoo, most times they bring every piece of technical skill and style they have to bear on the imagery.

These examples are gorgeous to behold, sure attention-grabbers that make a real statement for each wearer. These are also the wing tattoos that most closely resemble the angel’s wings from a realistic and popular culture standpoint.

Full back angel wing tattoos can be interpreted in many ways. Sometimes they are looking to make a religious statement, in either the positive or negative. Often, black wings, or a burned or broken wing bring to mind the image of a fallen angel or troubled guardian.

6. Innovative

art-work-angel-wing-tattoo-mp.bl
Source: @mp.bl via Instagram
blackgraye-angel-wing-tattoo-gh_tattooer
Source: @gh_tattooer via Instagram
black-grey-angel-wing-tattoo-miarttattoo
Source: @miarttattoo via Instagram
coverup-angel-wing-tattoo-by_day_23_tattoo
Source: @by_day_23_tattoo via Instagram
forearm-angel-wing-tattoo-scarffinkorporated
Source: @scarffinkorporated via Instagram
girly-ink-angel-wing-tattoo-lotus_ink_by_loui
Source: @lotus_ink_by_loui via Instagram
ink-angel-wings-tattoo-mr.jones.tattoo
Source: @mr.jones.tattoo via Instagram
ink-angel-wing-tattoo-inkcitytattoo
Source: @inkcitytattoo via Instagram
inked-leg-angel-wing-tattoo-arcticfox696
Source: @arcticfox696 via Instagram
realistic-angel-wing-tattoo-joh_inkredible_tattoo
Source: @joh_inkredible_tattoo via Instagram

The size, shape, and design style can be an important factor in crafting a unique angel wings tattoo. Large feathers create a very distinctive look, while a huge tattoo comprised of many tiny feathers creates what looks – from a distance, at least – almost saturated.

Both can be rendered stunningly, but make sure to sketch out several possibilities – also when planning think: do I want one wing or two? If you’re unsure, run your idea past a tattoo artist or utilize a temporary tattoo idea first to make sure you’re going in the right direction.

These innovative angel wing designs not only work on feathers but also other design elements, or incorporate different images for symbolism, such as the protective sword, script, or the wing, heartbeat and halo for a lost loved one such as a newborn daughter.

7. Linework Small Wing Tattoo

black-grey-ink-angel-wing-tattoo-miarttattoo
Source: @miarttattoo via Instagram
fine-line-angel-wing-tattoo-gatamagattattoo
Source: @gatamagattattoo via Instagram
geometric-angel-wing-tattoo-kdlostcontrol
Source: @kdlostcontrol via Instagram
simple-inked-angel-wing-tattoo-jxtattoos
Source: @jxtattoos via Instagram
small-minimalism-angel-wing-tattoo-blanihorvath
Source: @blanihorvath via Instagram
tiny-devil-wing-minimal-tattoo-lavidaesmuykorta
Source: @lavidaesmuykorta via Instagram
wrist-small-angel-wing-tattoo-cravemyvibess
Source: @cravemyvibess via Instagram
wrist-uncharted-angel-wing-tattoo-magikbox_tattoos
Source: @magikbox_tattoos via Instagram

Choosing a linework angel wing tattoo or tiny set of wings is a matter of personal preference. It’s a good way of honoring a loved one with a memorial tattoo.

You can keep a small linework piece design hidden away or placed simply, or focus on the line detail to work against negative space or the contour of the muscle or bone beneath.

8. New Wave & Watercolor Angelic Wing

back-spine-blue-moon-angel-wing-tattoo-chels_hair27
Source: @chels_hair27 via Instagram
black-grey-angel-wing-tattoo-body_decor_tattoo
Source: @body_decor_tattoo via Instagram
colored-coverup-angel-wing-tattoo-tattooblue805
Source: @tattooblue805 via Instagram
colorful-angel-wing-tattoo-herczkut
Source: @herczkut via Instagram
inked-angel-wing-tattoo-shannierose
Source: @shannierose via Instagram
memory-jewel-tribute-angel-wing-tattoo-tarren_malham_artist
Source: @tarren_malham_artist via Instagram
riverside-color-angel-wing-tattoo-genorockss
Source: @genorockss via Instagram
watercolor-always-keep-the-faith-angel-wing-tattoo-anettink_tiber_anett_tetovalo
Source: @anettink_tiber_anett_tetovalo via Instagram
watercolor-arm-blue-ocean-angel-wing-tattoo-tyncavanb
Source: @tyncavanb via Instagram
watercolor-matching-angel-wing-tattoo-coooorrreeeeyyy
Source: @coooorrreeeeyyy via Instagram

For much of this gallery, example designs are drawn up using elements of traditional black and gray, but these angel wing tattoos are created much differently. They use bright colors or innovative themes to take the meaning of each piece in an interesting direction.

I love how the bright color palettes and new wave thinking gives vibrancy to each wing design. They show a disregard for convention and an exuberance despite still maintaining the seriousness of memorial or protective aura.

9. Simple

black-grey-fine-inked-angel-wing-tattoo-krystenartattoo
Source: @krystenartattoo via Instagram
black-grey-inked-angel-wing-tattoo-ninitattoo_mariborink
Source: @ninitattoo_mariborink via Instagram
epic-black-grey-angel-wing-tattoo-epictattoostx
Source: @epictattoostx via Instagram
Source: @tejashua(artist) via Instagram
grandma-infinity-angel-wing-tattoo-mackenziestattoo
Source: @mackenziestattoo via Instagram
inmemory-guardian-angel-wings-tattoo-cabiriatattoo
Source: @cabiriatattoo via Instagram
lettering-small-angel-wing-tattoo-justfrustratedtattoos
Source: @justfrustratedtattoos via Instagram
memorial-infinity-angel-wing-tattoo-regorink_
Source: @regorink_ via Instagram
petta-angel-wing-tattoo-ritamarie98
Source: @ritamarie98 via Instagram
self-love-angel-wing-tattoo-kira.scura
Source: @kira.scura via Instagram

These simple angel wing tribute tattoos are for the passing of family members and loved ones (such as the family dog).

Those that have died are now protectors for the tattoo wearer.

10. Single Wing

amazing-artwork-inked-angel-wing-tattoo-buenosdiazfive
Source: @buenosdiazfive via Instagram
Source: @obie_tattoo_arte via Instagram
black-grey-inked-realism-angel-wing-tattoo-nedelincvetanov
Source: @nedelincvetanov via Instagram
empire-angel-wing-tattpp-jtattsolvera
Source: @jtattsolvera via Instagram
heart-angel-wing-tattoo-breckmarquette
Source: @breckmarquette via Instagram
ink-angel-wing-tattoo-kaos_kev_inwood
Source: @kaos_kev_inwood via Instagram
inked-angel-wing-tattoo-jurehocevartattoo
Source: @jurehocevartattoo via Instagram
worm-angel-wing-tattoo-brickhouse_tattoos
Source: @brickhouse_tattoos via Instagram

Fully paired angel wings are a big commitment to both time and space. A single angel wing is a great alternative, saving space for other body art while still allowing full expression. It can also stay solo if you need to save more funds for a second wing.

Fine line and black and gray or limited low saturation colour schemes are popular choices. These angel wing examples show off excellent variety in wing shape and texture while being placed in areas that are sensible for the single wing style, such as the shoulder or along the upper or lower arm.

11. Small Angel Tattoo

angel-wing-tattoo-wrap-around-soccer-ball-malobita
Source: @malobita via Instagram
creative-inked-cute-angel-wing-tattoo-nicoambros.ink
Source: @nicoambros.ink via Instagram
fineline-small-angel-wings-tattoo-silvie_finelinetattoo
Source: @silvie_finelinetattoo via Instagram
leg-cute-angel-wings-tattoo-tattooideasdaily
Source: @tattooideasdaily via Instagram
little-tribute-angel-wings-tattoo-gordie.bell
Source: @gordie.bell via Instagram
realistic-memorial-lettering-micro-angel-wing-tattoo-alfred_tatts
Source: @alfred_tatts via Instagram

Choosing a small angel wing tattoo or tiny wings is a matter of personal preference. It’s a good way of honoring a loved one with a memorial tattoo, or if you prefer to keep a small tattoo design hidden away or placed simply on the shoulder blade of the inside upper arm.

Some sizes and shapes work better on certain body parts and areas than others. When you go to a small angel tattoo, it can really open a variety of style options. These examples show off the use of white ink highlights or delicate placement.

Angel Wings Tattoo FAQs

What do angel wings tattoos mean? 

Traditionally, angel tattoos symbolize protection. Winged angels are guardians who are literally messengers from God to humans, their wings allowing them to travel to and from heaven.

Angel wings are also often linked to the passing of family and loved ones, with those lost transitioning into a protective guardian spirit, or even angels of God as well.

Fallen angels reflect the path Lucifer took when he was dumped from Heaven and cast down into Hell. Fallen angel tattoos most often describe references to pain, suffering, and sadness.

What do wing tattoos mean?

Outside of religion and protection, wings have made their way into ancient tales from practically all cultures over the globe. Man’s desire for wings goes back to the dawn of time – enviously watching birds soaring through the sky.

Wings can also represent flying away from something. They can be used to depict a difficult childhood, dead-end hometown, or a different version of yourself that you’ve left in the rear view.

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