34 Exquisite Deer Tattoo Ideas for Men & Women in 2023
In many cultures, the deer is often seen as a symbol of spiritual authority. It can also be seen as a symbol of rebirth or regeneration because throughout a deer’s life, its antlers fall off and grow back again. They’re gentle animals that have a magical presence, and spotting one in the wild is often quite a majestic moment. So, it’s no wonder they’re such a popular animal in the world of tattooing.
But before you go and get your own deer tattoo, let us help guide you in choosing the perfect piece of ink. Below we’ll show you the sweetest, most elegant, and most breathtaking deer tattoo ideas of 2023. You’ll surely be inspired with the perfect idea of which tattoo style to get, as well as where to get tattooed on your body.
With that said, let’s begin.
Avant Garde Realistic Deer Half-Sleeve Tattoo
As the title suggests, this is what one would consider an experimental or “avant garde” tattoo. There are many elements including watercolor, realism and abstract. If you look closely, you’ll notice that there is not only Black and Gray in the deer but hints of green which ties the entire piece together because it’s the same green as in the watercolor splashes. If you were wondering where its antlers are, this is a doe. I like the placement; it’s an easy area to show off your new tattoo although I would have rounded the bottom off rather than triangulated. The triangle shape seems a bit harsh for a soft portrait of a doe.
Black and Gray Floral Deer Thigh Tattoo
I love how soft and feminine this tattoo is. The lines are smooth, and the shading is consistent. What stands out the most is the contrast between the shading in the deer and the lack of shading in the flowers, which also forms a frame; what a gorgeous addition. The thigh was ideal for the composition of this tattoo as the shape and size suit the design.
Masculine Old School Deer Head Forearm Tattoo
I think the best part about Old School is the fact that it’s all made up of simple shapes, and yet they come together to create this badass tattoo. The line work is solid, but there are a few areas where the lines are inconsistent and wobbly. Old School tattoos usually use primary colors, and these tend to be bright, but the artist chose a muted color palette that contrasts against the bright circle in the background. If you enjoy this style, you’ll love the artist behind it, Isa Santana. Go take a look at her Instagram account @isasantanatattoo.
Colorful Neo Traditional Deer and Birds Thigh Tattoo
This deer reminds me of a ladybug, the big black eyes, black dots, and red fur, you can’t tell me you weren’t thinking it too. The red and dark turquoise blue round each other off. I like the soft lines and twirling branches; it gives the tattoo shape while also giving it a somewhat creepy feel. This is a remarkable tattoo. The artist clearly understands composition, placement, color packing, and line work, great job!
Fineline Matching Deer Ankle Tattoos
These matching ankle tattoos are too precious for words. The lines are even and smooth, and the ankle is the perfect positioning because it’s small, dainty, and fills the space nicely. I feel like there’s a meaning behind these tattoos, especially because they’re matching.
Graphic Black and Gray Deer Leg Tattoo
This is an epic Graphic tattoo; it almost looks like computer code, giving it a futuristic vibe. Imagine how difficult it must have been to do all of that tiny detail. The line work in this piece is fantastic and invariant, and the shading in both the deer and the man is incredibly smooth and consistent. This is a work in progress, so I can’t wait to see what the client adds to his sleeve next. For those looking for Black and Gray inspiration, go check out the artist’s IG page @xsonseven.
Feminine Dotwork Floral Deer Tattoo
This feminine deer tattoo is stunning; it may be a bit busy as it’s difficult to distinguish between the deer and the flowers, but I love the style the artist was going for. It’s unique and truly like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It’s always amazing to see artists producing artwork by adapting various techniques from mixed styles. The tattoo embodies the shape of the client’s calf, framing it nicely and creating structure. Nice!
Bold and Colorful Illustrative Deer Triceps Tattoo
The negative spaces in the background contrast with the thick solid black line work and bold dark colors of the deer. This is a very painting-like tattoo, and the shading and lines look like brush strokes, while the color palette of light, bright colors and dark neutral colors blend well together. The lighter palette makes the darker colors stand out. All-in-all this is a unique piece; the artist did a stellar job and the triceps is the perfect area for this design.
Deer Fighting a Snake Black and Gray Tattoo
Black and Gray, Fineline, and script pieces are all styles that can be difficult to perfect. I find that many artists struggle to create good tattoos that incorporate these styles, but this particular artist is different. This design is particularly striking as it’s a Black and Gray piece but with Geometric and Script elements that all merge into one amazing tattoo. The artist also did a really nice job adding the snake, as it creates a philosophical contrast between the gentleness of a deer and the danger of a snake. I wonder what the script means?
Asian-Inspired Deers in the Woods Tattoo
Asian-inspired tattoos seem to be on the rise at the moment, and for good reason, they’re super cool. I love how the artist uses lines to create this entire tattoo, apart from the obvious areas that are solid black. The branches in the background are contrary to the soft wispy lines that make up the deer. As an arm piece, I would usually feel differently about a tattoo wrapping around, but the way this design fits on the arm and wraps around suits the formation of the client’s form.
Soft Negative Space Dotwork Deer Head Tattoo
I think the jewels on the antlers of this deer are gorgeous and give this an almost Christmas-inspired look while also breaking away from the Black and Gray. The Dotwork is done so subtly but what stands out for me is the focal point formed by the negative space creating the deer’s head. Placement-wise, the ribs are a good choice, although I can imagine this must have been quite a painful spot.
Fineline Flowers and Deer Tattoo on Woman’s Thigh
The silky pepper shading and pretty flowers adorning this doe are an absolute work of art. I like the contrast between the darkness of the flowers and the light shading of the doe. There’s nothing I would change about this tattoo; the thigh is a good placement, as this design flows perfectly with the size and shape of the client’s leg.
Chinese Traditional-Inspired Deer Thigh Tattoo
How amazingly cool is this Chinese Traditional thigh tattoo? This stunning deer tattoo has roots in traditional Chinese artwork that you normally find on porcelain china. The blue is a satisfying shift from the usual black ink. I love how wide the design is, ideal for a thigh tattoo. Xiao Lun is a tattoo artist based in Los Angeles and specializes in this style of tattoo; take a look at some of her other work on her IG page!
Micro Blackwork Melting Sun on Deer Skull Tattoo
Can you believe that this artist has the skill to create the illusion of melting gold out of different shades of yellow and brown? And how impressive is that drip? The golden hues contrast flawlessly with the black skull, and the slight highlights in the gold and skull are absolutely magnificent.
Unique Double Exposure Geometric-Inspired Deer Tattoo
The double exposure in this piece is incredible and something you don’t see often. It’s quite a busy tattoo but not necessarily messy, and the detail in each element is remarkable. I wonder if there is meaning behind this tattoo? Overall this is a distinctive piece that both artist and the client can be proud of.
Custom Black and Gray Deer Statue and Script Arm Tattoo
What’s not to love about this tattoo? The shading gives it a sculpted appearance while the snakes twirling around the antlers almost look like they’re a part of them. I love how the artist created a 3D effect with the shading and how soft the line work is. There are many elements, but the thing that’s really outstanding is how the sword is broken into shards that you can put back together with your eyes. Such an amazing tattoo, double thumbs up to the artist!
Illustrative Feminine Half Leg-Sleeve Deer Tattoo
This design is definitely made for the back of the leg and is such a pretty feminine tattoo. It’s nice that the new piece matches the style of the tattoos on the opposite leg and how it fits so snugly between the existing pieces. The soft whip shading contrasts nicely against the bold outlines. Nox is a tattoo artist from Liverpool; if you’re ever in the area, go say hello, and maybe get something cool done by her.
Fineline Doe in Blossoms Forearm Tattoo
The falling petals and leaves on and around the doe’s head make it appear like it’s peering out of the flowers. Using negative space to create the blossoms adds to the gentleness of this piece. The highlight in the nose and eye adds a wet look; the artist has shown great tattooing skill, as realism is not a simple style to tattoo.
Amazing Asian-Inspired Blackwork Custom Deer Thigh Tattoo
This artist from San Fransisco is an artistic genius when it comes to this style of tattooing. If you take a peek at his Instagram page, you’ll see that he has a fondness for adding red to his designs. The long legs of this tiger deer are both creepy (in a good way) and mystical and suit the overall mythical style the artist is going for. I love the variation in line weights and the soft gradient whip shading. This is such an extraordinary tattoo; it was undoubtedly made to be a thigh piece because it’s flawlessly placed.
Micro Color Realism Bambi Tattoo on Woman’s Chest
I love micro tattoos, and this one is definitely a cute addition to this lady’s chest. If Bambi is your favorite Disney film, then here’s the perfect inspiration for your next piece. The way this deer is jumping is too precious for words, and I love that the colors are true to real life.
Magical Third Eye Deer Head Tattoo
Is it a witch or does it simply have a spell cast on it? Either way, this is one kickass deer! The amethyst decorating its antlers and head creates a beautiful deviation from the dark shading and complements the purple in the eyes. This is most certainly a wise deer, it has a third eye, after all. I like that this design was tattooed on the calf because it’s a big piece that needs a large space, unfortunately, the ears wrap around the sides, but that doesn’t make this tattoo any less awesome than it is.
Whimsical Floral Framed Deer Tattoo on the Calf
I love how this tattoo embodies a frame made up of leaves and twigs. The mist gives this design a whimsical sensation, and I reckon that’s what the artist was aiming for. It’s clear that the deer is the focal point. The Dotwork shading definitely softens the tattoo and constructs a gorgeous contrast between the dark shading of the deer and the subtle shading of the background. The calf is the perfect shape for this tattoo, outstanding job!
Feminine Color Doe and Cherry Blossoms Thigh Tattoo
Here’s a captivating feminine design that clearly has significant meaning to the client, as it seems to be covering up old scars. I adore how long and lavish the doe’s eyelashes are and how they add to the femininity of this tattoo, especially with the cherry blossoms, which symbolize the onset of Spring and the idea of renewal. A fitting meaning for this tattoo. I love how smooth and consistent the line work is and the softened color scheme.
Custom Mystical Deer Flash Tattoo
This sweet-looking mystical deer looks like it also incorporates elements from a peacock and a giraffe. I think it’s amazing that an artist can come up with ideas like this and did an even greater job at tattooing it. The bold outlines help your eyes see where the focal point is while contrasting against the thin lines in the leaves. No shading? No problem, this tattoo doesn’t need any with all those lines. There’s nowhere this tattoo could have looked any better than on the triceps, I’m loving the placement; the artist should be proud!
Subtle Shaded Bambi In Thorns Tattoo on Woman’s Thigh
The line work of this tattoo is almost done to perfection; I love how consistent the lines are and the way the artist used different line weights to emphasize various tendons in the legs and the fur. There is a lack of shading in the thorn crown; I’m not sure if the artist meant to do that to contrast against the shading in the deer or if this piece is still to be completed. Overall, this is a lovely thigh tattoo; the shading is soft and feminine, and I really like how the artist used negative spacing to create the spots on the deer.
Amazing Colorful Neo Traditional Deer Tattoo
There’s something extremely powerful about this tattoo; it might be the stance of the deer or maybe the use of bold autumn colors. Whatever it is, there is no doubt that this is a phenomenal tattoo. It’s big, bold and bright and curves to the shape of the client’s body. Like any Neo Traditional tattoo, the line thickness varies. I really like how the leaves on the deer’s head look like a crown. The artist created an amazing piece of artwork, the color blending and packing are outstanding. What a fantastic tattoo!
Masculine Blackwork Deer Head Calf Tattoo
For those looking for a masculine Blackwork deer, here it is! The way the eyes have been packed with white creates the illusion that the deer is possessed or under some sort of spell, which is really cool. It adds a mystical feel to this already dark tattoo. The wreath-like leaves frame this piece and bring the entire piece together, which really suits the calf. I like the open spaces between all the black shading,;it helps you distinguish the finer details such as the fur.
Adorable Fineline Fawn Tattoo on Woman’s Forearm
Fawns are the most adorable baby animals; look at those big eyes and ears! The fine lines in this tattoo are impeccable and work with soft shading. Although the piece is a lot smoother and more subtle than the original work, it somehow creates a perfect contrast between the two. I hope that this tattoo doesn’t fade too much while healing, as the shading is quite light. For more tattoos like this one, check out @roda.tattooer.
Old School Solid Black Deer Head Ankle Tattoo
This is a great take on a traditional American tattoo. The Blackwork is smooth and packed without fault, but what I’m really liking is how thick the lines are, making this a true Old School piece. It looks like the original work the client has is also American Trad, I adore traditional sleeves. The forearm is such a nice flat area to get tattooed, an amazing piece by a great artist.
Cute Custom Minimalistic Deer Forearm Tattoo
I’m not the biggest fan of minimalistic tattoos because I enjoy seeing techniques such as color packing and shading, but the greatest part of a minimalist piece is the line work. Unfortunately, you can’t hide mistakes with a tattoo like this because the quality of it depends on how good your line work is. As you can see here, the artist clearly knows what she’s doing. The lines and solid black are packed well without any inconsistencies. Nice work!
Beautiful Deer Adorned by Flowers Leg Tattoo
This deer tattoo is beautiful and elegant; it’s also very feminine, and the subtle whip shading looks lovely on the client’s skin. The darker shading in the flowers makes the deer stand out, making it the focal point. I love that the flowers frame this tattoo and the entire piece fits nicely on the side of the calf.
Micro Color Realistic Bambi Forearm Tattoo
Another lovely micro realistic Bambi, the sweet look on its face is enough reason to be inspired to get something similar. The shadow was a nice addition to give this tattoo a 3D appearance. Good choice of placement, artist Abii is proficient in this style, so why not give her IG some love, @abii_tattoo.
Geometric-Inspired Deer and Forest Forearm Tattoo
This tattoo is well done and neat. What’s cool is how the deer reminds me of a mountain above the misty forest. The lines are fine and blend well with the design, and the Dotwork is consistent. Circles are also quite a difficult shape to perfect, but the artist clearly knows what he’s doing. The forearm is one of my favorite spots for a tattoo, and this design is a perfect style and shape for it.
Black and Gray Neo Traditional Deer Tattoo on the Shin
Tattoos, especially Black and Gray designs, can sometimes be difficult to tattoo on darker skin if you don’t know what you’re doing. Lucky for this client, their artist knew how to work with the ink to create a beautiful tattoo that’s eye-catching. I love the highlights in the eyes and the little adornments in the antlers and jewel. The shin was the best spot for this tattoo, and surprisingly not as painful as people expect it to be.