100 Inspirational Raven and Crow Tattoo Ideas

This design, however, incorporates more aspects of nature and the natural decaying process, like mushrooms and bugs. It adds some more detail and shading, making the design look a bit more dynamic. Overall, there is inspiration out there for whatever your preference might be, whether you prefer clean lines or heavier detail in your tattoos.

21 Crow Tattoo Design Ideas to Inspire You!

Due to the storied history of birds in mythology, religion, spirituality, folklore, and art, they make for some popular and meaningful tattoo designs.

Of all the birds you could get tattooed, one that is particularly iconic and imbued with meaning is the crow.

From its striking coloration that’s so black it’s almost blue to its rich symbolism in popular culture, the crow makes for a great tattoo subject.

Of course, there is no shortage of different interpretations and styles you can draw from to design your own crow tattoo.

For some inspiration and information about crow tattoo design ideas, keep on reading!

A tattoo artist working on a crow tattoo design.

Itachi Crow Tattoo

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Fans of the Naruto franchise know how important the crow is to Uchiha Itachi’s story. Itachi is a long-time fan-favorite character, and the crow, his summoning animal, has come to symbolize his intelligence and cunning. No spoilers here, but Itachi’s crow is one of the heroes of the 4th Great Ninja War!

Featuring the very iconic silhouette of Itachi perched on the power line against the foggy full moon, this crow tattoo design is a great source of inspiration for manga and anime lovers!

A Nod to Itachi’s Crow Tattoo

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If you’d prefer a more subtle reference to the older Uchiha brother, this crow design that features Itachi’s Mangekyo Sharingan and the Infinite Tsukuyomi hints towards Naruto and the significance of Itachi’s crow without referencing it quite as obviously. If you know, you know.

Small Crow Tattoo

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Just because crows are jet-black in real life doesn’t mean all crow tattoo designs have to be! This small crow tattoo is delicate and simple but still has a discernable crow shape and outline without the blackout ink.

There’s a wispiness to this crow design, making it appear almost like smoke, adding to the mystical feel of the crow symbolism.

Blackwork Crow Tattoo

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On the flip side, this small crow tattoo is completely blacked out, making for a really cool contrast that stands out against the skin. Small tattoos can still have a big impact!

If you’re looking for a crow tattoo that stands out without breaking the bank or having you sit under the needle for too long, this design can be a great source of inspiration for you.

Traditional Crow Tattoo

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Known for its hard lines and saturated colors, this traditional take on a crow tattoo design features the crow perched on some iconic traditional-style flowers. The patterns and shading of the feathers are striking and typical of this tattoo style.

Traditional Crow With Death Imagery

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This traditional crow tattoo also features some classic aspects of the traditional tattoo style, such as the skull, hearts, blade, and heavy shading. In addition, this design draws upon some of the lore and mythos surrounding crows in popular culture by including the skull and a scythe, the chosen weapon of the Grim Reaper.

Black Crow Tattoo

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Balancing authentic coloration and intricate detail can be difficult in a crow tattoo idea. Because the most realistic depiction of the bird would be totally blacked out, finding ways to showcase details such as the feathers may be a challenge.

This black crow tattoo is a great source of inspiration for anyone looking for a realistic crow tattoo design, using careful shading to outline the feathers and give the tattoo dimension and detail while still keeping true to the actual bird.

Black Crow With Negative Space Detail

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Though less realistic, this other black crow tattoo still features a creative design with some feather detail, using negative space to differentiate between the feathers. Using the skin itself as the highlights of the tattoo design instead of a lighter color gives a really cool effect.

Old Crow Tattoo

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Old-school tattoo designs are rife with bold lines, heavy shading, and iconic shapes and images, and this crow tattoo design is no different. Framed by classic old-school style flowers, the crow has some grey shading, deviating from the typical blackwork crow tattoos.

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Crow Skull Tattoo

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Being scavenger animals so closely associated with death, it’s no surprise that skeletal crow tattoos are among the most popular crow tattoo designs. This design features a realistic, almost anatomical sketch of a crow skull over the wrist.

Crow Skull WIth Nature Elements

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This design, however, incorporates more aspects of nature and the natural decaying process, like mushrooms and bugs. It adds some more detail and shading, making the design look a bit more dynamic. Overall, there is inspiration out there for whatever your preference might be, whether you prefer clean lines or heavier detail in your tattoos.

Gothic Crow Tattoo

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“Gothic” as an adjective can refer to a lot of different things – types of architecture, literature, art, and counterculture could all be described as gothic. Across the board, one feature that unites all things gothic is a sense of spooky surrealism.

This tattoo features a humanoid steampunk crow in a plague mask with a smaller, more true-to-life crow perched on its shoulder. Does it get more gothic than that?

Crow Perched on Skull Tattoo

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Maybe in homage to gothic literature of yore (think: Shakespeare and Poe), this crow tattoo design features the bird perched on top of a skull (Yorick’s?), eyeing you curiously. This tattoo is slightly more subtle than the steampunk crow in its gothic sentiments but successfully captures the spooky theme nevertheless.

Crow Silhouette Tattoo

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It might be challenging to imagine what a silhouette or shadow for an animal that’s already completely black might look like as a tattoo, considering crows already look like shadows. This crow tattoo design is an excellent example of that, foregoing any interior detail in favor of crisp outer lines and blackwork that give the crow a silhouette effect against the skin.

American Crow Tattoo

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Did you know that sailors away at sea used to get rose tattoos to honor the women they left behind? This particular crow tattoo is an interesting take on that tradition. Since crows can often symbolize death or the afterlife, adding the American traditional style rose renders an image of love for a woman who has passed on.

Crow Perched on Rose Tattoo

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Similarly, this crow tattoo design shows the crow perched on the rose, almost as if to protect it. Red and black look great paired together – something to inspire you for your next tattoo!

Celtic Crow Tattoo

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Like many other cultures, crows have a special spot in Celtic mythology and folklore, representing individuality and clairvoyance. This Celtic crow tattoo design honors that tradition by incorporating some Celtic knots across the wings.

The Celtic knots themselves are a beautiful detail and tattoo idea with many different meanings and interpretations since their first use during the Roman Empire. Typically, Celtic knots are endless or infinite, but this design features a few different endpoints, possibly as a nod to the crow as a symbol of death, severing the loop.

Crow Feathers Tattoo

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Feathers are a very popular tattoo design in general and are varied in style. But if you want to step up your feather tattoo, take some inspiration from this design that includes the bird from where the feathers came.

The process of a bird losing or shedding its feathers is called molting and often happens to make way for new growth. This seems especially apt for the crow, which in addition to being a harbinger of death, also often symbolizes change or transformation.

Crow Sleeve Tattoo

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Something special about crow tattoos, and bird tattoos in general, is how the position of the bird’s wings can impact the tattoo’s space and placement. Outstretching the crow’s wings can take a small, delicate design and turn it into a tattoo that spans the entire shoulder and wraps around the forearm like the one above.

Fine Line Crow Sleeve Tattoo

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This crow sleeve tattoo features a very detailed bird nestled amongst some delicate flowers. This take on the crow tattoo is different than many typical ideas. The color is muted, the style is more realistic, the shading is lighter, and the positioning is more peaceful. This is a nice contrast to other crow tattoo designs that often feature darker imagery and a heavy hand.

The wings on this crow (though beautifully drawn) remain tucked and don’t showcase the wingspan, but the design includes some gorgeous flora to take up space and build out the crow tattoo into a cohesive sleeve.

Crow Forearm Tattoo

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The forearm is one of the most popular places to get a tattoo, especially something as intricate and imaginative as this crow tattoo design. Your forearms are often on display, so it’s a great spot to showcase some beautiful tattoos!

This particular crow forearm tattoo features a hazy night sky and just a sliver of the moon, giving the whole piece a mystical, witchy feel. Crows have a special place in a lot of different mythologies and spiritualities, so this imagery ties those themes together nicely.

Crow Tattoo Ideas FAQ

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What does a crow tattoo mean?

The beauty of art, including tattoos, is that you can determine for yourself what the image might mean to you.

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Some common interpretations of crow symbolism include transformation and change, intelligence, spirituality, and the afterlife (you can read more about the meaning behind crow tattoos here).

However, combining imagery in your design can give a crow tattoo new life, such as the molting crow making way for transformation or the incorporation of a rose that could represent a loved one.

All in all, there is no set “meaning” for a crow tattoo. It’s an important animal in many different cultures throughout history, and the symbolism is not universal.

How much does a crow tattoo cost?

The cost of your tattoo has more to do with size, placement, shading, time dedicated to the tattoo, and the rate of the tattoo artists themselves than what the image actually is. The bigger and more detailed the design is, the longer it will take the tattoo artist to draw and tattoo, and thus, the more expensive the tattoo will be.

As you can see from the ideas we’ve shared, there is a wide range of sizes and different levels of detail possible for your crow tattoo.

The scale and detail, though, is ultimately up to you! There are plenty of gorgeous crow tattoos that are small and simple, as well as big, detailed tattoos that make up an entire sleeve. The cost will correlate closely to your preference for these factors.

Don’t forget, though – even if the tattoo is small, most tattoo shops have a minimum payment to account for the cost of materials and labor regardless of the time spent tattooing.

Do crow tattoos hurt?

Similar to the cost equation, the pain level of a tattoo is impacted more by the placement and intricacy of the tattoo than the image itself. If placed in a notoriously painful spot like on the ribs, sternum, throat, or foot, then the tattoo will most likely hurt, regardless of what the tattoo actually depicts.

Typically, the thicker and darker the line work, the more the tattooing process can hurt. So be prepared for that, especially considering most crow tattoo designs typically have a fair bit of dark shading and blackwork.

Feeling Inspired to Start Your Own Crow Tattoo Design?

Crow on a Perch SS 132261830

We hope these crow tattoo designs inspire you to get creative! Whatever your preference, you can mix styles, symbolism, coloring, and imagery to come up with a crow tattoo that is unique and true to you.

For more tattoo inspiration, check out our other Tattoo Idea posts.

100 Inspirational Raven and Crow Tattoo Ideas

abstract crow raven tattoo

Are you looking for an exciting and inspirational tattoo design? Then why not consider getting a raven tattoo – dramatic and symbolic!

colored crow raven tattoo on arm

If you’re ready to get inked, you may be looking for inspiration to find the perfect design for you. Why not consider getting a crow or a raven tattoo? Not only are crows and ravens stunningly beautiful, but they are also highly symbolic, with many references in mythology, literature, and culture.

There are also many ways that raven tattoos can be executed. From a flying raven tattoo that is perfect for a large back piece to a minimalist raven tattoo that is an ideal small adornment for a wrist or ankle, you’re sure to find raven tattoo ideas here to inspire and impress. Recommended Article: Check out our guide to elephant tattoos next!

What Does A Raven Tattoo Design Symbolize?

colored crow raven tattoo

Raven and crow tattoos can have many meanings, so it’s no surprise that they are so popular with all kinds of people. Ravens are especially prevalent in mythologies from all over the world, from Japan to Celtic cultures.

crow raven tattoo on arm

Due to their black plumage, carrion diet, and croaking call, it isn’t too surprising that the raven has often been associated with ill omens and loss, however, their symbolism is actually surprisingly complex. In myths, legends, and in literature, they often connect the spiritual and material worlds together, acting as a mediator between death and life. As far back as Greek mythology, ravens have been associated with the gods – in their case with the god of prophecy, Apollo. Said to be a bad luck omen, they were messengers for the god in the human world.

crow raven arm tattoo

The legend says that Apollo sent a white crow or raven to watch his lover and when the raven returned, reporting that she had been unfaithful, his feathers were scorched by Apollo’s fury, turning them black forever. Recommended: Don’t miss our guide to Viking tattoo ideas next. In Islamic culture, ravens were mentioned as the creatures who taught Cain the way to bury Abel, his dead brother. In The Qu’ran, Cain didn’t know what to do with his brother’s body after murdering him, but then he watched a raven burying its dead mate in the ground and copied his example. In Norse mythology, Odin, the king of the gods, was associated with ravens and had two of his own who would appear on his shoulders. They were named Muninn (memory) and Huginn (thought), serving as his ears and eyes and bringing him news from the world.

crow raven tattoo on arm

Ravens were often used in Viking culture, including on Ragnar Lothbrok’s banner which was embroidered with the image of a raven. The legend said that if the banner fluttered in the breeze, victory was assured. Anyone who has ever been to the Tower of London in England will know the legend that says the kingdom will fall if the last raven ever leaves the tower. Meanwhile, in Hinduism, crows are believed to be ancestors, and during the Sraddha festival, food is offered to them. A Hindu deity known as Shani is also often represented as riding a giant black crow or raven. Recommended: Check out our favorite sparrow tattoos in this article.

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crow raven tattoo on back

In the mythologies of the indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest, the raven is not only the world’s creator but is also a trickster god. The story goes that the Great Spirit kept everything that would make up the world in cedar boxes. He gave those boxes to the animals who then opened them up to bring the world into being. The seagull was given the box containing all of the world’s light, but he refused to open it up. The raven was asked to persuade the seagull to release the light from the box but, no matter what he tried, it didn’t work. So, the raven became frustrated and pushed a thorn into the seagull’s foot. In pain, the seagull dropped the box and the stars, moon and sun came out and began the first day. Recommended: If you’re a fan of the games this Kingdom Hearts tattoo collection will blow your mind!

crow raven back tattoo

In literature and popular culture, the raven and crow have also made an appearance. Most people are aware of the poem “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe, in which the raven is a supernatural messenger and from which the famous line is derived “quoth the raven, nevermore”. Many people will also be aware of the 1994 movie The Crow, a superhero movie starring Brandon Lee based on a comic book about a rock musician named Eric Draven who is brought back from the dead to avenge his fiancee’s rape and murder. The movie is especially famous for the fact that Lee was wounded accidentally on set and later died as a result, and it has a powerful cult following who are keen to get crow tattoos as a commemorative touch., Native American mythology etc.

Why Get A Crow Or Raven Tattoo?

crow raven chest tattoo

If you’re wondering whether to get a simple crow tattoo or a realistic raven tattoo, you’ll need to know the meaning of a crow tattoo to answer the questions of others.

crow raven hand tattoo

Although there are many negative symbols associated with crows and ravens, in fact these birds also represent many positive attributes. They symbolize wisdom and intelligence as well as magic, protection, secrets, future, inner-self, prophecy, thought and light and shadow. A tribal crow tattoo or raven arm tattoo can mean whatever you want it to mean. Perhaps you simply want to show your love of birds, or your fascination with legends and myths? Or perhaps you’re a fan of The Crow movie and want to testify to your passions? Maybe you’re looking for a tattoo that is dramatic and bold, speaking volumes about your personality? Whatever the reason for wanting a traditional raven tattoo, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting the right design for you.

Raven Tattoo Ideas

crow raven tattoo on leg

There are countless different ways to depict ravens or crows in tattoo format. One of the best things about these birds is that they can be scaled up or down to suit your design. You can opt for a small design for a raven hand tattoo or something much larger for a crow tattoo sleeve. You can opt for a simple black line drawn design or a beautiful watercolor raven tattoo that brings a more feminine touch to the design. Crows and ravens can be depicted perching, which looks especially good in a raven shoulder tattoo or crow shoulder tattoo. Alternatively, they can be shown in flight, which is especially aesthetically pleasing on a crow back tattoo.

crow raven leg tattoo

Tattoo designs that incorporate crows and ravens are often portrayed alongside other symbols. A crow hand tattoo may, for example, have runes surrounding it to emphasize a Norse theme. Or a raven forearm tattoo may be portrayed alongside blood, skulls or weaponry. Or a crow neck tattoo could take on a tribal art style, linking into Celtic ideas of magic and war.

How To Care For Your Raven or Crow Tattoo

crow raven neck tattoo

Once you’ve had your beautiful new tattoo inked on your body you’ll need to know how to take good care of it, not only so its beauty can be preserved in the long-term but also so that you can avoid a painful infection. When you return home after getting you tattoo, you’ll have a bandage covering the area. Leave the bandage in place for 24 hours then remove the bandage and wash the area thoroughly with antimicrobial soap and water. Never use very hot water as this can fade the color. Don’t re-apply a bandage but take care to wash your tattoo at least twice each day with soap and water before applying an antibacterial cream.

crow raven rib tattoo

Don’t expose your skin to strong sunlight or go swimming for a couple of weeks – this will help to avoid infection and will also ensure that your body art doesn’t fade. Recommended: Check out our guide to anubis tattoos next! You may notice that scabs start to form. This is normal, but don’t pick them off or scratch them as it could cause infection and could also damage the final appearance of your tattoo.