When it comes to courtship, the peacock is a master. there are very few species in the animal kingdom that can rival its ability to make a woman swoon.
In a swift and vigorous movement, the peacock overwhelms a potential mate with a spectacular display of movement and color, an incredible sight to behold.
Reading: Tattoo peacock designs
This iconic dance has made the peacock a popular symbol of wealth, beauty, renewal and wholeness, and has become a very popular motif for tattoo lovers.
In this article, I have collected 45 of the most beautiful peacock tattoo designs.
Each artist is given due credit, so if you want to see more of their work or message them directly, their names and instagram accounts are all there.
Towards the end, I’ll also answer some frequently asked questions and talk about the various symbolism associated with peacocks, so keep reading!
peacock feather tattoos
The tail is one of the peacock’s most prized possessions. he uses it to attract potential mates and does so through an extremely striking display of movement and color. but the secret is in the feathers.
Peacock feathers are characterized by their blue-green pigment and striking gold rings. Its attractive design has been a great inspiration for many fashion designers, which is why many dancer costumes with a similar appearance are seen.
They have also found their way into tattoos as a popular motif especially for women. the size and shape often lend themselves well to parts of the body with long proportions, such as the forearm and calf.
by maira. (@the_mad_tatter_skg on instagram).
for the shiva tattoo. (@shiva_tattoostudio on instagram).
by emily malicia. (@emilymalice on instagram).
traditional peacock tattoos
if you want something with an old style, the traditional tattoo style is definitely what you need. the traditional style is characterized by bold black outlines (called power lines) and a limited color palette.
The color limitations are due to the fact that there wasn’t much color available when the style was invented. but this contributes to the vintage aesthetic for which it is so popular.
The peacock design theme definitely lends itself well to the traditional style. the power lines are great for accentuating the feathers and giving them a flowing vibe, while the gradient coloring style works well to illustrate the iridescence of the feathers.
by east_ink_tomiko. (@east_ink_tomiko on instagram).
by unknown artist
by marcel holtzum. (@holtz_79 on instagram).
by chelsea kotzur. (@chelseakotzurtattoo on instagram).
by ᏩᎪᏃᎾᎾ. (@gazoo_tt on instagram).
by malarkey tattoo. (@malarkeytattoo on instagram).
by damian morris. (@damosademorris on instagram).
by bruce paul. (@boostaboosta on instagram).
by anthony. (@toni_beat on instagram).
neo-traditional peacock tattoos
neo traditional is the next step up from traditional style. takes the traditional style ethic and takes it even further by incorporating the full range of colors available in the markets today.
The same power lines are found throughout the style, but there is much more room for artistic freedom. Below are some of the neo-traditional designs that incorporate a bit of realistic and ornamental styling.
by lisa. (@tattooliesje22 on instagram).
by lisa sussmann. (@lisa.sussmann on instagram).
by aaron anthony. (@aaronanthonytattoo on instagram).
watercolor peacock tattoos
if you want something more fluid than rigid, the watercolor style is definitely the right choice. By utilizing concepts unique to watercolor painting, you can unlock a different aesthetic for your peacock tattoo.
You can use concepts like bleed, splash, and swipe to really make your peacock tattoo shine. Below you will see various techniques used in unique ways.
Try to see what watercolor techniques you recognize and see if you can incorporate them into your tattoo.
by skeryone. (@skeryone_official on instagram).
by unknown artist
by lauren baker. (@lauren.bakerab on instagram).
by sheanna. (@sheannanatattoo on instagram).
by congtam_microblading. (@congtam_microblading on instagram).
by ersan coşkun. (@mavitattoo on instagram).
illustrative peacock tattoos
Illustrative tattoo style is basically a drawing on your skin. If you’re a fan of a particular drawing or painting, you can opt for an illustrative style to turn the artwork into a tattoo.
by grace. (@graacetattooer on instagram).
by hailee marie. (@tattoosbyhaileemarie on instagram).
by puja pooja. (@poojabid13 on instagram).
by Diana Eva. (@dianaevaink on instagram).
by kushal_bane. (@kushal_bane on instagram).
by jons. (@champijons on instagram).
by magssnake.tattoo. (@magssnake.tattoo on instagram).
by dot ink tattoos. (@thepointink on instagram).
by sanil. (@sanil_tattooz on instagram).
black and gray peacock tattoos
The black and gray style is similar to the illustrative style and sometimes overlaps.
The black and gray style is characterized by heavy use of gray ink, which is basically black ink diluted with distilled water to create a faded look for lighter shades.
This is a good style to adopt if you are not interested in coloring your tattoos. black and gray ink, when used well together, can be more than enough.
however, it requires mastery over shading.
by crystal leaching. (@leach_tattoos on instagram).
for the skull tattoo. (@skullturetattoo on instagram).
by schiffmacherveldhoentattooing. (@schiffmacherveldhoentattooing on instagram).
by isa. (@ashandwood on instagram).
by love. (@amohectic on instagram).
peacock tattoos on the back
The back is the largest tattoo canvas in existence. you can use all the space for a large-scale tattoo and not have to compromise on detail.
It’s hard for many layout themes to make full use of the back, as there’s so much to fill. but the peacock design theme is perfect.
Because peacock tails are often exaggerated in many artworks, peacock tattoo designs are often larger and more complex.
By using ornate and floral elements as children, you can quickly fill your entire back with a seamless peacock design theme.
by emac tattoos. (@emactattoos_ on instagram).
by faun. (@faune_tattoo on instagram).
peacock tattoos on the thigh
Possibly the most popular location for peacock tattoos is on the thigh.
since peacock designs generally emphasize the tail (often exaggerating the size for aesthetic reasons), there must be enough space.
the reason why the thigh attracts other people more than the back is because the thigh has more visibility.
While the rear undeniably provides more room for a larger, more detailed design, the thigh is much more visible.
And for a tattoo theme as colorful and intricate as the peacock, you’ll definitely want to show it off.
by john. (@john_tattoo_zeewolde on instagram).
by stone the raven tattoo. (@stonethecrowtattoo on instagram).
by kis brigi. (@kisbrigi on instagram).
by marlowe vincent. (@marlowelovescandy on instagram).
by sophie moon base. (@sophiemoonbasetattoo on instagram).
by ghost town tattoo studio. (@ghosttown912 on instagram).
by jagoda matuła. (@jagoda_matula on instagram).
what does the peacock symbolize?
many people adore the peacock for its mesmerizing display of movement and color. but what many of them don’t know is that peacocks are also powerful symbols of various ideas.
In this section, we will help you better understand your peacock tattoo. we have listed the key symbolism associated with peacocks and why those symbolism occurred.
royalties & wealth
a close-up of a peacock and its feathers being flared out during its mating display (source)
When Alexander the Great, in his conquest, saw a peacock for the first time, the Greeks quickly added the bird to their pantheon of deities.
In various images from the Hellenistic period, peacocks are seen pulling the chariot of the Greek goddess Hera. The Greeks saw the peacock’s blue feathers and golden rings as the sky and stars, of which Hera was the goddess.
the Greek goddess Hera with her peacocks (source)
This association elevated the peacock as a symbol of the elite: blue bloods, unattainable like the sky and the stars.
and the association was adequate. the peacock behaved like a blue blood. fits perfectly with the elite. he wore a crown on his head and his royal mantle trailed close behind.
But its majestic appearance and proud demeanor are not the only reasons the peacock is a symbol of royalty and wealth. it was also largely associated with the elite, as it was a favorite delicacy among the tables of the wealthy.
It was roasted until golden and crispy and served with the skin and feathers attached. It was a feast for both the eyes and the mouth. truly delicious.
But as you can imagine, peacock meat was (and still is) incredibly expensive. so only the rich could get their hands on it.
You would also see houses of wealthy people adorned with frescoes and mosaics of peacocks. its vibrant plumage and majestic appearance made it an object of social currency.
Since then, the peacock has become a symbol of royalty and wealth.
beauty & attraction
a peacock looks into the distance (source)
The peacock mating ritual is one of the most dazzling in the animal kingdom.
The phenomenon is called lek mating (or lekking) and is performed by many species, from insects such as ghost moths and fruit flies to mammals such as fallow deer and bats.
During the breeding season, peacocks gather on a wide expanse of land with the prospect of mating. and the way they do it is incredibly interesting.
The males let out a shrill cry to attract the attention of the females. they turn around, shake their fluffy white tail feathers, whip, and finally dazzle the female!
It’s fascinating. Suddenly, her eyes are overwhelmed by the sight of iridescent gold rings on a brilliant blue background.
But it’s worth noting how incredibly refined a bird’s color vision is. they see much more vividly than we do.
In addition to being able to see RGB light (the only light humans can see), birds can also see ultraviolet light. This superior color vision not only allows them to better see food and hunt prey… it also opens up a whole new world that only animals with special eyes can see.
And birds have evolved with this in mind. birds that seem plain to us may actually have vibrant, multi-colored feathers…we just can’t see them.
the colorful plumage of birds, invisible to the human eye (source)
but think how beautiful peacocks already are (even with our lower rgb vision). what is merely bright and flashy to us… is probably mesmerizingly hypnotic to them.
But sometimes peacocks fall short. if they ever fail to attract visiting females, they will have to wait until the next season. by then, they will have shed their feathers for a newer, more beautiful batch.
but it is because of these fascinating displays that peacocks have become symbols of beauty and attraction throughout the world.
renewal & resurrection
the feathers of a peacock (source)
The peacock is also a strong symbol of renewal and resurrection.
It is known to shed its feathers every year. when he does this, the feathers grow back much more beautiful than before.
And since the females are so picky about the peacock they mate with, this helps the peacocks attract mates when the next mating season rolls around.
In a way, the peacock renews itself and rises in a stronger form… similar to the phoenix, a mythical bird with a cyclical nature, known to self-immolate and rise from its ashes.
a Japanese representation of the mythical phoenix that closely resembles the peacock (source)
but the resemblance is not a coincidence. the phoenix, in many of its depictions, is directly inspired by the peacock, everything from its iridescent feather to its long neck and tendency to “renew itself”.
In fact, many peacocks were unjustly killed in the search for a “real” phoenix. some people actually believed in the myths and thought that eating phoenix meat would make them immortal. the peacock was the most unfortunate victim of this ridiculousness.
but these reasons ultimately contributed to the peacock being recognized as a symbol of renewal and resurrection.
a leucistic peacock, characterized by its white plumage (source)
When a peacock is inactive, it appears quite unassuming. Its bright blue neck and bright green tail draw attention, but it doesn’t look very flashy.
But when mating season rolls around, the peacock finally has an incentive to flaunt its hidden beauty.
while trying to impress a potential mate, the peacock raises its tail and flutters its feathers. With a quick and powerful shaking motion, it flings out its long-dormant multicolored tail and dazzles the peacock.
This act of tail fanning is seen by many as an act of showing their true colors, a symbol of integrity.
This also ties in well with its association with the mythical phoenix, a bird that represented kindness, peace, and integrity.
frequently asked questions about the peacock tattoo
Why should I get a peacock tattoo?
Peacock tattoos add a lot of aesthetic value. the colors and flowing nature of the feathers are great if you like ornate designs.
If you like mandalas and art nouveau, you’ll love peacock tattoos. instead of a simple ornate design, you’ll have a constant companion with you wherever you go.
It is also a symbol of royalty, beauty, renewal and integrity. So if you’re someone with a fresh outlook on life and a great appreciation for beauty, you’ll love getting a peacock tattoo.
where should i put my peacock tattoo?
By far the most popular location for peacock tattoos is the thigh. It provides enough space to fully display the peacock’s tail while still having enough visibility. check out cardi b’s peacock tattoo on her thigh.
Other popular places for peacock tattoos are the upper arm and back. Like the thigh, the upper arm provides enough room but more visibility. the rear, on the other hand, offers plenty of room for less visibility.
The nice thing about the back is that you have a lot more freedom to customize and add elements to your liking. the peacock also happens to be a great design for a traditional Japanese rendition.
If you’re interested in a peacock feather tattoo, the best locations to get one are on the forearm and calf.
Peacock feather tattoos generally look best in medium size. too small can diminish the ability to detail, while too large can look awkward and strangely scary rather than elegant and stylish.
And because peacock feather tattoos are longer than they are wide, the forearm and calf fit nicely into the shape of the design, regardless of orientation.
Ultimately it depends on the size and shape of your overall design which dictates where you should place it.
will it hurt?
- size & design complexity
- pain tolerance
- location of tattoo
- pain tolerance
- get enough sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep before getting your tattoo, you will hamper your body’s natural healing process. (important!)
- stay sober. if you drink before getting a tattoo, be prepared for some pain. alcohol is classified as an anticoagulant. when your blood is diluted, it is more prone to bleeding and bruising. (important!)
- stay hydrated. drink enough water before getting the tattoo. It will help your skin stay supple throughout the session. It will also help your tattoo heal faster after the session.
- hydrate. Hydrating your skin doesn’t just mean drinking lots of water. You should also take the liberty of applying moisturizer to keep your skin nice and hydrated from the outside.
- take breaks. There will be times in your tattoo session where the pain will be too much to handle. this is normal. when this happens, feel free to ask your artist for a short break.
- tattoo location
- phoenix tattoos
- jellyfish tattoos
- moth tattoos
- rose tattoos
- tree of life tattoos
- yggdrasil tattoos
- watercolor tattoos
- forearm tattoos
- chest tattoos
The intensity of the pain varies a lot from person to person. what might hurt you might not hurt someone else at all.
so before you get tattooed, review the following points and ask your mom (and yourself) about her experience with pain.
size & design complexity
When it comes to peacock tattoos, there is a lot of variation. most of them are incredibly detailed. so if you have an extremely low pain tolerance, you’re better off getting a minimalist version, or nothing at all.
To summarize, larger and more complex tattoos take longer to complete. and if your pain tolerance is very low, you will have some trouble dealing with pain.
many designs are very vibrant. Peacock tattoos generally look best when done in color (although you can opt to go without color if the outline is light enough). this demands a lot of focus (and therefore time) from your artist. Even the smallest designs, like peacock feathers, require a great deal of detail and precision.
But this is not to say that simple peacock designs don’t exist or can’t be made. of course they can. Peacock tattoos generally look best when detailed.
The details are what makes the peacock tattoo theme so great. In real life, you’re overwhelmed with a mesmerizing iridescent pattern, and the best way to translate that into a tattoo is color and detail.
In the end, it all comes down to preference. Some people get peacock tattoos simply for the meaning. and if that’s what you’re after, you’ll be fine without an overdone design.
The important thing is that you are prepared for the pain. If you want to mitigate the intensity of the pain, we have prepared a couple of practical tips below.
Some people have a naturally low tolerance for pain. this could be caused by a skin condition, thin skin, or recent emotional trauma. Pain tolerance varies from person to person, so it’s a good idea to find out how well you’re doing before you make an appointment.
But if you’ve already committed to getting a tattoo, here are some practical ways to ease the pain:
Another factor that affects the intensity of pain you will experience is where you will place your tattoo.
The great thing about these places isn’t just that they’re great for aesthetics, but they’re also packed with fat and muscle. this means that you will have a thick protective layer against the impact of the tattoo needle. much less pain than in bonier areas like the wrist, ankles, and ribs.
But if you’re interested in a comprehensive discussion of which parts of the body hurt the most when getting tattooed, check out this healthline article on tattoo pain.
According to research, a person’s pain tolerance is directly affected by their experience with tattoos. This means that if you’ve had tattoos in the past, you’ll likely feel less pain.
Peacocks are more than just a pretty bunch of feathers. they are symbols of royalty and wealth, beauty and attraction, renewal and resurrection, and wholeness.
Did you enjoy these x tattoo designs or are you looking for more inspiration? Check out the links below to see more designs from talented artists.