The reasoning behind this popular choice can be vast, but generally they always have an important story or meaning behind them, regardless of style or size.
Angel wings often represent freedom or protection, two dearly sought-after life aspects for most people. The symbolism of protection—particularly protection by angels, God, or another higher deity—can be both comforting and a testimony of personal beliefs.
Wings can also be a lovely reminder to those who are feeling alone that you aren’t alone after all. Someone is watching your back.
On the other side, folded angel wings are usually used to memorialize a loved one—a reminder they’re always with us and watching as we press through with our lives. Folding the wings signifies the angel is not in flight.
Commemorating loved ones through a tattoo may be something you want to do subtly, only you know why you chose it, or blatantly, letting the world know you lost an incredible person.
Sometimes it’s nice to have something discreet, like mini wings on the ankle instead of unfurling wings splashed across your entire back. The impact is definitely there for the large-scale choices, but it doesn’t float everyone’s boat, and small pieces that are just for you are just as important.
Having your own, personal reminder can contribute more to feeling like the tattoo is a lasting bond between you and your lost one.
Whether you go for bold or discreet, angel wings are a connection to another power. Be it the protection of angels, a closeness to heaven, a close one loved and lost, or the freedom to fly on your own without limits, they’re absolutely a timeless piece for women.
Explore these spiritual ideas for your perfect angel wings tattoo.
Sometimes beautiful ink can easily be achieved with an ultra-minimalist outline design. Here’s a stunning example that uses fine black ink lines to make an otherwise small and basic design a truly remarkable piece of body art. Note the wonderful matched wing style alongside the above heel location which works out great.
When it comes to angel wings, most women are opting to use their design as a memorial or tribute to a past loved one. Here’s a great example of how you can incorporate a wing into a simple letter. The letter, which could be any of your choosing, can be the first or last name of someone who you wish to forever remember. To keep that person close to your heart, consider getting your tattoo in the chest area such as this tattoo does.
While some women are opting to go with more modern, 3D and realistic angel wing designs, you can always go back to the basics and still achieve an awesome result. Here’s a fun forearm tribal tattoo that uses simple black ink lines to create an arched angel wing theme.
If you’re looking to go beyond the simple black ink outline style, then consider going with a traditional old-school design. A heavy emphasis on the shaded details will give your piece, no matter how small, a big punch of cool flair. You can also consider using white ink highlights and tiny dotwork details for even more character and depth to your piece. I love how this side of leg, single wing came out; not to mention, the awesome shaded feather details.
If you’re looking to go a bit more bold, then consider adding some serious realism to the feathers of your angel wing tattoo. Here’s a stunning girly design that features a 3D angle wing on the outer forearm of the body. Black and grey ink give the feathers plenty of depth while tiny touches of white ink really make this piece pop.
Imagine taking your shirt off and revealing this incredible set of wings on your back. It makes me think, “Just wow!” I mean, how beautiful is this double wing back tattoo? I love the darker theme which uses more a blackwork design to really make the wings pop against her light skin tone. Best of all, with all of the free space in the middle, should you ever wish to add more body art in the future, and you’ll have plenty of canvas to work with. This is a wonderful example of how you can go big without taking up your entire back.
Most women tend to opt for the popular black and white design for their wings, but you can go far more girly and feminine should you wish to. Here’s a stunning example of how to incorporate all sorts of fun colors such as pink, purple and blue into your feather design. Personally, I love how these wings start on the back shoulder blade and work their way over the shoulder cap and finally onto the middle of the arm. I’d like to image that when the arm is stretched outwards the wing design gives off a flying impression of sorts.
Check out this super cute tiny watercolor women’s forearm tattoo. A modern line design completes the outline of the wing, while a watercolor effect uses various shades of blue, navy and black to give this piece a more vibrant appearance. Note the tiny “F” letter just at the connection of the wing, which could easily be a very meaningful tribute to someone special. Beyond the above, take a look at the dotted and splashes of watercolor outside of the wing, which give this piece major artistic cool points.
I love this dripping paint watercolor themed woman’s angel wing tattoo. Placed on the rib cage side of the body, it allows for a lengthy piece of body art and gives the wing plenty of room to stretch out all of the individual feathers.
When it comes to going as realistic as possible with angel wing designs, it doesn’t get any closer than this. Check out the incredible 3D realistic style which gives each full back wing so much depth and detail. From a distance, one might easily assume her wings are the real deal.
This cool watercolor woman’s angel wing tattoo is located on the inside of her forearm. The colorful wing is long and graceful, extending from her wrist to the inside of her elbow. The colors are inked with a painted, watercolor effect. The wing is sky blue, purple, and pink. The colors flow outside the lines to paint a cloudy, sunset background.
This black and grey shaded women’s angel wing tattoo design is inked across the wearer’s shoulder blade, extending across her shoulder and down her upper arm. The details are meticulous and realistic. I love the attention given to each unique feather. The feathers capture so much light, and appear to be blowing in the breeze.
This woman’s angel wings tattoo design spans both of her shoulder blades, extending up her shoulders and down her upper arms. With her arms at her side, they assume a restful position, but with her arms raised, they would appear to be in flight. A poetic verse, in cursive, rests between the wings.
This female black and grey wing tattoo sleeve design idea is rich with contrasting images. On her upper arm, below her shoulder there is a woman’s face above a beautiful, crouching angel. Below the angel there’s a frightening clown child, clutching an oversized teddy bear. The style is very realistic.
This girl’s forearm angel wing tattoo is clean and precise. The use of negative space and shadow, in this black and grey piece, makes the design pop and adds a lot of dimension. The sweeping wing extends from the inside of the woman’s wrist to the outside of her arm above her elbow.
This realistic 3D blue angel wings tattoo for women spans the wearer’s shoulder blades. The wings are colored with ethereal blue tones. There is a delicate shadow behind the wings that adds a lot of depth. Each little feather is detailed, and the piece has a very soft texture.
This subtle women’s sketched angel wings tattoo rests behind the wearer’s shoulder. The black and grey design is embellished with curving, sketchy lines and graceful shading. The wings together form an understated heart shape. I like the symbolism of the angel on her shoulder.
This bold and feminine angel wing tattoo idea is unfurled along this woman’s ribs. The black ink work is saturated, but there’s enough space in the piece to be airy. Every feather is unique and detailed. The wing looks fluttered in a strong breeze.
This tiny, dainty angel wing tattoo is inked on the wearer’s ankle. Clean, simple lines give the impression of layers of feathers on the delicate wing. This little tattoo can serve as a subtle, and personal reminder of angels and protection, or a departed loved one.
The small wings in this sweet black and grey tattoo are simple but detailed. Straight lines, and a dotted circle add more dimension and symbolism to the piece. Below the wings, a word is inked in loose, sketchy cursive writing.
This beautifully saturated angel wing tattoo is highly visible to the wearer, beling inked on the inside of her wrist. The black and grey tattoo has solid black shading, with perfect, detailed highlights where the skin is visible. The feathers have both a soft and sharp texture.
This beautiful, asymmetrical angel wing tattoo is inked onto one of this woman’s shoulder blades, and extends down her lower back. The black and grey tattoo is dark and saturated, with a subtle shadow that adds depth and dimension.
This simple, black and grey tattoo uses only a few lines and thoughtful shading to represent an angel’s wing. The design is inked on the wearer’s ankle, and it’s small and subtle. The tattoo is tasteful and very pretty.
This sweet, sweeping angel wing tattoo is located below this woman’s collarbone near her shoulder. Each feather is detailed and unique, and the shading is minimal, leaving lots of space and an airy feeling. The tattoo is small and dainty, and really lovely.
This creative interpretation of an angel wing tattoo is inked onto this woman’s forearm. Curving lines and dots adorn a suspended wing. The feathers on the tip of the wing are pointed and sharp, while the other feathers are soft and rounded, much like the lines that embellish the design.
This tiny set of wings in flight hover over the wearer’s elbow. It’s amazing how much detail the artist was able to capture in such a small design. Bright white highlights contrast the dark, saturated line work, and make this piece pop.
The little angel wing tattoo design idea behind this woman’s ear is just adorable! Each feather is distinct, and the negative space at the tip of each feather contrasts the dark lines and shading. The tattoo could be easily hidden if she were to put her hair down.
This fully extended angel wing in flight is inked on the side of this woman’s ankle. The tattoo is black and grey, with lots of small details and subtle shading. The placement of this design is reminiscent of Hermes’ winged sandals, forged especially for the messenger god.
This simple tattoo was drawn with only a few lines, but the concept is perfectly clear. A pair of angel wings, below a hovering halo, float above this woman’s elbow. Thin lines give the impression of soft feathers, and the uncomplicated grace of the design is very aesthetic.
This sweeping, black and grey angel wing tattoo extends from the inside of the wearer’s elbow to the back of her shoulder. Each feather is neat and clean, with shading at the base fading to visible skin towards the tip.
This ornate female angel wing tattoo covers this woman’s shoulder blades and extends down her lower back. The line work is curvy and pretty with very minimal shading and abundant negative space. A pair of dream catchers dangle between the wings.
This woman’s angel tattoo is haunting and gorgeous! The style looks more like an oil painting than your average tattoo. The angel is seated, withdrawn, with her knees pulled up to her chest. She looks away, and her hair covers her face. The pallet is morose. The piece is full of light and depth.
These little angel wings were recently inked across this woman’s shoulder blades. They are dark and saturated, and really stand out against her skin. The wings are spread as though in flight, and the artist managed to capture some dynamic movement.
This woman’s girly angel wings tattoo design cascades down her back from her shoulders to her hips. The artist put so much detail into every single feather, making for a unique design. The lines are dark and saturated, but there is still a lot of light in the wings.
This pair of angel wings is tattooed on this woman’s back, from her shoulder blades to her hips, wrapping around her ribcage. The wings are dark, and very bold, and have a slightly haunting feeling to them.
This woman’s angel, or maybe raven, wings tattoo is positioned on the back of her neck, and extends behind both her ears. The feathers are black, but reflect lots of light, showing intricate details. I love the texture the artist was able to achieve in each feather.
These fluffy little angel wings are placed right in the center of this woman’s back between her shoulder blades. The shading is very dark, contrasting the white highlights on the tips of each feather. The tattoo appears to have been very recently inked.
This woman’s angel wing tattoo cascades down her back from her shoulder blades to the center of her lower back. The line work in each individual feather is intricate and realistic. The ink is deeply saturated, and a believable shadow behind the wings adds dimension.
It’s so graceful how this angel wing tattoo wraps around the wearer’s upper arm. The shadows and texture in each feather stands out. The curve of the wing flows perfectly with the shape of this woman’s body, from her shoulder to her elbow.
This stylized line work tattoo for women is a creative interpretation of angel wings. The wings extend from the base of the woman’s neck, to the center of her lower back. Each feather is embellished with a swirling design, and geometric shapes and knot work adorns the tops of the wings.
These fun, matching angel wing tattoos adorn the backs of this woman’s lower calves. The black and grey wings curve upwards, in front of a swirling, blue and purple background. The soft, dynamic wings look suspended in flight.
These refined, symmetrical, matching angel wing tattoos are inked on the back of this woman’s lower calves. The black and grey wings are fully extended in flight. The words, “Daddy’s” and “Princess,” are written in elegant cursive below each wing, above her ankles.