Chinese dragon tattoo

38 Timeless Chinese Dragon Tattoo Designs To Take Inspiration From!

These days, stumbling upon tattoos in Asian countries like China is as normal as living and breathing. Since the act of body modifications is perceived as a symbol of confidence and self-acceptance, the impression of tattoos themselves, which were previously tainted, are now welcomed with open arms.

While quote tattoos, floral tattoos, traditional tattoos, and animal tattoos are five of the many notable designs that have won the hearts of many in the Asian country, the artwork of mythological creatures like Chinese dragons also has a great amount of control over the world of tattoos.

With a symbolism attached to religion, culture, folklore, and ancient Chinese history, a Chinese Dragon tattoo possesses the ability to cater to many tattoo enthusiasts. The formative years may be full of rich and insightful information, but the ways in which a Chinese tattoo can be incorporated into the body remain just as pleasant. Buckle up and stay until the end to discover anything and everything that we know regarding Chinese Dragon tattoos!

The Rich Backstory and Current Status Chinese Dragon Tattoos

History of Chinese dragon tattoo


Just like the history of Chinese Dragons, the existence of Chinese Dragon tattoos rewind all the way back to 1300 BCE. Just like the initial claims, a Chinese Dragon tattoo comprises the fusion of multiple living beings. The dragon is said to have the head shape of a camel, ears like a bull, and a hard-shelled belly like a clam. The reptile is also said to have the antlers of a stag, glossy scales like carp, lengthy feet like tigers, and the claws of an eagle.

According to books related to ancient Chinese culture, there are 4 species of Chinese dragons, all of which are very much eligible to be incorporated into a Chinese dragon tattoo. The big four figures are the Celestial Dragon (Tianlong), The Dragon of Hidden Treasures (Fuzanglong), The Dragon of The Underworld (Dilong), and the Spiritual Dragon (Shenlong).

While the original four remain popular figures in Chinese mythology and icons in the hearts of those that admire Chinese dragon tattoos, the line-up comprises 5 additional species of dragons in the modern era.

Chinese Dragon tattoos got their breakthrough shortly after their discovery in Chinese folklore, but set new records in the world of tattoos afterwards due to having so much variety within their visuals and symbolism.

Chinese dragon tattoo history


Although the stencil always comprises the intimidating presence of a Chinese dragon, certain variations also comprise the graphics of a large pearl inside their throat, which is allegedly associated with the sun and the moon.

According to many, the presence of a pearl inside their throat is also used to convey the dominance of Chinese dragons.

Due to multiple reasons and more, Chinese dragons are also seen as the most powerful being in Chinese Mythology. Many tattoo enthusiasts also ink themselves with the design as they believe in their spiritual presence. In the eyes of many, the aquatic beings not only have direct control over water bodies and aren’t just affiliated with rainstorms, floods, and tornadoes, but they’re also messengers of higher beings.

While Japanese dragon tattoos are known for being a key contributor to Stoicism, Chinese dragons are known for their shapeshifting abilities, intelligence, and versatility. Followers of that mantra also represent all those abilities with pride, and do so by incorporating the traits into a sublime art piece or a sizable tattoo.

Though many are terrified of experimenting with a Black Chinese dragon tattoo due to its habit of bringing forward unfortunate scenarios, the Azure Dragon (Green dragon) as well as the rest of the options in the box, are known for being a breath of fresh air!

The Fluidity Of A Chinese Dragon Tattoo’s Symbolism and Inner-meaning

Chinese dragon tattoo meaning 2


Unlike most tattoos out there, Chinese Dragon tattoos are just as good on the inside as they are on the outside. While the visuals speak for themselves, the multiple characteristics found in their symbolism are what make the tattoo a diamond in the rough.

Associated with luck, power, wisdom, bravery, and strength, Chinese dragon tattoos reek of positivity. On most occasions, the majestic creature is also known for being the perfect source to find your spirituality, and maintain a healthy relationship with God.

The flexibility of its symbolism doesn’t end there, however, as each Chinese Dragon conveys a different set of energies. While certain species are used to portray the beauty of life, others are known for lifting up the spirits of the tattoo wearers, preferably with tons of good news, financial gain, and a feeling of peace within their inner beings.

Most Popular And Trending Chinese Dragon Tattoo Ideas

Since the influence of a Chinese dragon tattoo has been prominent for as long as we can remember, there are tons of variations under the belt of this design that can be incorporated into a marvelous art piece.

And if you’d like to express your love for dragons and Chinese culture with one move, don’t forget to take notes from our list of Chinese dragon tattoos.

While the patterns might consist of similar components, each entry comprises unique characteristics that can enlighten your mind, and typically caters to a specific area on one’s body!

Traditional Chinese Dragon Tattoo

Traditional Chinese dragon tattoo


A traditional Chinese dragon tattoo carries the rich history of Ancient Chinese culture and former emperors. The tattoo not only feels heavy due to its backstory, but is also an eye candy due to its vibrant tri-tone colour scheme.

While anyone with a fascination towards Chinese mythology can replicate this tattoo, know that the variation is limited in terms of placement. Since the artwork comprises various intricate details, the ideal area typically utilized for this design is the forearm.

However, if you’d like an area that is more reserved, you may even consider the potential of the thigh. Additionally, for a painless procedure, consider exploring the perks of getting a chest tattoo!

Chinese Dragon Back Tattoo

Chinese dragon tattoo back


When it comes to Chinese dragon tattoos, the most popular area typically relied on for the design is one’s back. Although the experience could be brutal if the area comprises fewer layers of fat, the final outcome will make you the recipient of a crystal clear Chinese dragon tattoo with an appealing colour palette.

The biggest challenge about this tattoo is the pain you have to endure. Get ready for a long journey as well, however, as the stencil of the tattoo and creation process tends to be time-consuming.

In terms of design, a Chinese dragon tattoo on the back offers multiple options, both minimal and visually-oriented. A black and white tattoo can be the perfect option for simple minds, while visually-oriented ones can be the design of a lifetime for those with a knack for good aesthetics.

Chinese Dragon Sleeve Tattoo

Chinese dragon tattoo sleeve

Another common option that wearers implement the tattoo of a Chinese dragon is the sleeve, which is typically favorable for those looking for a long-term investment.

In addition to being able to add multiple layers to a sleeve tattoo, users can also benefit from the artwork if it comprises tons of colours. Since the sleeve is narrow but lengthy, adding a large tattoo shouldn’t be an issue, either.

Although the Chinese dragon will look crystal clear as a sleeve tattoo, creating the stencil might take a while. Therefore, be sure to take a friend or two to make the procedure bearable.

Chinese Dragon Forearm Tattoo

Chinese dragon tattoo forearm 1


Chinese dragon tattoo forearm 2

If the artwork you envision comprises no boundaries, and the image lacks anything but size, your preferred Chinese dragon should be tattooed on the forearm!

Obtaining a Chinese dragon tattoo on the forearm is probably the best way to showcase the love you have for the creature and its history. The forearm won’t just display the photo to everyone, but will also reward you with a painless procedure.

That’s not all that it offers, however, as you can easily add more components around and alongside your forearm tattoo of a Chinese dragon without an issue!

Red Chinese Dragon Tattoo

Red Chinese dragon tattoo 1


Red Chinese dragon tattoo 2


When Chinese dragons were first discovered, the first of the many species came in a shade of red. And to bring back the power of the original creature, a red Chinese Dragon tattoo can be your best bet to make!

The body of this Chines dragon tattoo contains a deep and rich tone of red, which is associated with power, courage, and leadership. The original artwork also features a shade of green and yellow around the hard shell of the Chinese dragon.

On certain cases, preferably in larger areas, a red Chinese Dragon tattoo is only created with a red coloured ink, which can be a good idea for those that are minimalists.

Small Chinese Dragon Tattoo

Small Chinese dragon tattoo 1


Small Chinese dragon tattoo 2


The artwork of a Chinese dragon is usually large, but can also be trimmed and cropped down to a manageable size by tattooing experts. And if you, too, would like to keep it light with your Chinese dragon tattoo, consider taking notes from the visuals of this small Chinese dragon tattoo.

A small Chinese dragon tattoo, despite being small, can be more difficult to create in contrast to a regular Chinese dragon tattoo. The stencil can also be a little time-consuming.

For best results, try placing this tattoo on areas like the chest, shoulder blade, or inner bicep, as implementing them on compact regions can be painful.

Chinese water dragon tattoo

Chinese water dragon tattoo 1


Chinese water dragon tattoo 2


One of the most popular Chinese dragons is the Water Chinese dragon, containing shades of blue and teal. Since Chinese dragons are regularly dubbed as aquatic creatures with direct control over rainstorms, hail, and tornadoes, obtaining a Chinese water dragon tattoo can be for you if you have the qualities of an aquaphile.

The best part of this tattoo is its placement area, which is subjective. While you can ask for a small sketch for your wrist or compact body part, you can also go ahead and create a large stencil for your back, forearm, and chest.

Chinese Zodiac Dragon Tattoo

Chinese zodiac dragon tattoo


To no surprise, Chinese dragons also play a huge role in the Chinese Zodiac, acting as the leader during Chinese New Year. Just like its initial symbolism, the Chinese dragon involved in the Chinese Zodiac conveys energy that is associated with power, strength, peace, water, and wisdom.

The most popular design of this entry is anything but colourful, but comprises a concentrated neutral shade of black and white. However, those seeking an alternative option can drape the structure with a shade of dark red and golden.

Simple Chinese Dragon Tattoo

Simple Chinese dragon tattoo


If you’re an introvert, a toned-down variation of the Chinese dragon tattoo can pair well with your persona. And if you’re open to taking suggestions, try getting a glimpse of this simple Chinese dragon tattoo.

While the groundwork of this tattoo can be a deal-breaker for many as it lacks colours, this variation is probably the perfect option for keeping it subtle. The colours used in this are very minimal, only containing shades of black. However, the concentration of its neutral hue is probably the selling point of this tattoo.

Chinese Dragon Tattoo On Thigh

Chinese dragon tattoo on thigh 1


Chinese dragon tattoo on thigh 2


A Chinese dragon can easily be your favorite part of Ancient Chinese history. But if you do want to honor the rich culture with a tattoo, make things easy for yourself by replicating an image of a Chinese dragon into a thigh tattoo.

Since the thigh contains layers of fat on the surface, creating tattoos feels enjoyable rather than uncomfortable. The area is also pretty spacious and resilient against the blows from a needle, making the thigh adaptable to any variation regardless of its colour combination.

Chinese Dragon Leg Tattoo

Chinese dragon tattoo leg


Chinese tattoos are rather complex to create with perfection, as they contain tons of components that are difficult to replicate. However, if you do want to go forward with your decision anyway, consider playing it safe by obtaining it as a leg tattoo.

Since the legs contain hard bones, we can’t guarantee that you’ll feel entirely comfortable when the needle makes contact with your skin. However, since it has tons of area to work with, a large graphic can be created without any flaws.

Chinese Dragon Fine-line Tattoo

Chinese dragon fine line tattoo


If thin borders and colourless inks enlighten your mind more, a Chinese dragon fine-line tattoo should be your perfect match. In addition to being easy to obtain, this tattoo will also protect you from tons of injuries, as it is typically implemented with a fine-line needle.

A common issue about this tattoo lies within the image, which seems empty in contrast to most options. However, that issue can easily be tackled by adding emblems that have affiliations with Chinese mythology, culture, or ancient Chinese history.

Chinese Dragon Floral Tattoo

Chinese dragon floral tattoo


According to Ancient Chinese History, Chinese dragons were always harmless, unless the Black Chinese Dragon was in the mix.

In fact, when the Golden Chinese Dragon exploded after consuming a portion of the Sun, its body exploded and left behind wonderful creatures of nature like trees, flowers, and waterbodies.

While this can be a great story to pass on to your friends and kids, the same narrative can be perfect for the backstory of your Chinese Dragon tattoo. In addition to including floral patterns and flower tattoos around your Chinese dragon, you can also add any tattoo that symbolizes beauty, like the butterfly tattoo.

Chinese Dragon Tattoo On Ribs

Chinese dragon tattoo on ribs


Most Chinese dragon tattoos can be the embodiment of beauty. However, if you do want options that will heighten the tattoo’s existing feminine energy, a variation that you can try out is the Chinese dragon rib tattoo.

The ribs are extremely delicate, and tend to showcase any design in a delicate and fruitful way. Do make sure to apply numbing cream and ice, however, as a Chinese dragon tattoo on the side of the rib can be uncomfortable and extremely painful.

Matching Chinese Dragon Tattoo

Matching Chinese dragon tattoo

If you’re not just looking for a tattoo for yourself but also looking for an ideal design that you can get with your friend or significant other, a great variation that you can take notes from or replicate is this matching Chinese dragon tattoo.

Comprising shades of green, yellow, red, and orange, this tattoo can be easy on the eyes. The artwork mostly looks on the forearm, but it can also be expanded into a back tattoo.

Abstract Chinese Dragon Tattoo

Abstract Chinese dragon tattoo

While the Chinese dragon tattoo is mostly prominent for being colourful and having visuals that the mind can comprehend, you can also obtain a variant open to interpretation by turning it into an abstract artwork.

Abstract Chinese dragon tattoos can have the same effect on one’s eyes since they comprise the same components as regular Chinese dragon tattoos. However, they also have a range of high-spirited colour schemes to highlight the abstract side of this option.

Blue Chinese Dragon Tattoo

Blue Chinese dragon tattoo

Chinese dragon tattoos are associated with beauty and serenity, an aspect that the colour blue also has affiliations with. And while not all shades of blue will look visually pleasing on a Chinese dragon, finding an ideal one and draping a Chinese dragon in it can call for a unique variation.

Since this design comprises no guidelines, the artwork can be incorporated into any kind of tattoo. However, to ensure ideal results, try picking a placement area that resonates with your interests.

Chinese Dragon Head Tattoo

Chinese dragon head tattoo


While the structure of a Chinese dragon comprises a series of body parts from other creatures, the aquatic legend is usually glorified for its head and facial features.

Despite looking intimidating, a Chinese dragon has a head that can sweep anyone off their feet. While a coloured variant can be great for paying homage to classical Chinese artwork, a neutral-colored design can be a good investment for bringing in realism.

Purple Chinese Dragon Tattoo

Purple Chinese dragon tattoo


Since Chinese culture is prominent for being full of rich stories regarding Chinese dragons, obtaining a purple Chinese dragon tattoo can be a good way to stand out, as the colour is associated with royalty and luxury.

The visuals can look just as exceptional, as most shades of purple can highlight the distinct features of a Chinese dragon accurately. With some complementary hues and dark borders, a purple Chinese dragon tattoo will surely become the entry to beat!

Sternum Chinese Dragon Tattoo

Sternum Chinese dragon tattoo


Enduring pain is inevitable when getting a Chinese dragon tattoo. However, if your placement preferences pair well with delicate areas, consider obtaining the Chinese dragon tattoo as a sternum tattoo.

A concerning aspect of this tattoo is the pain level, since the sternum area is known for being susceptible to damage. But, if you start your day off with some numbing cream and rely on an experienced tattoo artist, the procedure of your sternum Chinese dragon tattoo might just become a little more favorable!

Warrior and Chinese dragon tattoo

Warrior and Chinese dragon tattoo


Tribal Chinese dragon tattoo

Tribal Chinese dragon tattoo


Chinese dragon tattoo on hand

Chinese dragon tattoo on hand


Yin Yang Chinese dragon tattoo

Yin Yang Chinese dragon tattoo


Chinese dragon tattoo on chest

Chinese dragon tattoo on chest


Cute Chinese dragon tattoo

Cute Chinese dragon tattoo


Geometric Chinese dragon tattoo

Geometric Chinese dragon tattoo


Chinese dragon tattoo on neck

Chinese dragon tattoo on neck


Chinese dragon tattoo on foot

Chinese dragon tattoo on foot


Green Chinese dragon tattoo

Green Chinese dragon tattoo


A Chinese Dragon tattoo can be a timeless piece once it fits in comfortably with your personality and its jarring colour scheme transitions to a faded hue. And while the sessions can be challenging, to say the least, consider checking out the clip placed below to have a preview of what your own Chinese dragon tattoo could look like!

Frequently Asked Question

Obtaining a Chinese Dragon tattoo could surely be a great idea if you’re seeking for peace of mind or simply a fan of ancient Chinese history and its portrayal of the Chinese dragon.

And although having a fruitful session when getting this tattoo is something we can’t guarantee, what we can stand behind is the power of the following questionnaire, which can relieve all the existing doubts you have regarding Chinese Dragon tattoos!

Q: How much time does it take to get a Chinese Dragon tattoo?

A: The duration of the artwork depends on your requirements. For instance, if your Chinese dragon tattoo comes in the form of a minimalist or colurless tattoo, the time frame required to replicate the visuals could be relatively convenient. However, if the tattoo you have contains intricate details, vibrant colours, and dark borders, the design might take a couple of sessions to mirror to the fullest.

Q: Which body part is suitable for Chinese dragon tattoos?

A: A Chinese dragon tattoo is extremely flexible in terms of dimensions, so it shouldn’t have an issue working with compact body parts. To play it safe though, consider incorporating your Chinese dragon tattoo into the forearm, chest, thigh, or bicep.

Q: How expensive is a Chinese dragon tattoo?

A: Containing tons of elements that could be challenging to create, a Chinese dragon tattoo can leave a dent in your savings. Obtaining the tattoo is usually pretty expensive as certain areas need tons of attention, but it costs more when the stencil contains a lot of colours, borders, and supporting micro tattoos.

Final Verdict

A Chinese Dragon tattoo can easily be the perfect tattoo to begin your journey with and a timeless piece to add to your existing collection of body modifications. Since the creature is extremely fluid and adaptable when its symbolism is taken into account, the ways in which one can wear a Chinese dragon tattoo remain endless to this day.

Regardless of whether you’re hoping to come close to your religious beliefs or simply happen to be a believer in good fortune, there’s no doubt that you’ll find at least one suitable variation of a Chinese Dragon tattoo that caters to that interest of yours. While the Black Dragon tattoo is a no-no for the amount of bad luck it brings, the rest of them convey meanings full of positivity.

Additionally, before getting a Chinese Dragon tattoo, you should always consider the size of the image, and the area of placement. Be sure to ask a supportive companion to accompany you if the variation is large, as the creation process can be lengthy and painful. However, since the final results of this tattoo are almost always successful, a Chinese Dragon tattoo will forever remain a legend in the world of tattoos!

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