31 Sharp Shoulder Tattoos for Men in 2023
Shoulders are the framework of the human body. They are often referred to as the body part that helps us stay strong. Having “the weight of the world on your shoulders,” is a phrase that emphasizes the importance of them. Shoulder tattoos are pieces that are imposing, as they are central to the frame of the human body. For men, shoulders are considered beacons of power. A shoulder tattoo can show great signs of manly strength.
But before you commit to a shoulder piece, let us guide you. We want to make sure that you are choosing the perfect piece of ink. Below you will find some of the manliest, most fitting shoulder tattoo ideas of 2023. You will surely find inspiration after viewing these images, and hopefully they will help you pick a shoulder tattoo that matches you.
Without further ado, let’s begin.
Shoulder Tattoos for Men: A Full Color Ying Yang Tattoo
This ground-breaking piece of work defies the norm. The artful design juxtaposes oriental designs and the simplicity of a Ying Yang. This tattoo’s design plays with composition, represented in dark and light energy that is characteristic of a Ying Yang. Oriental flowers and a rad Dragon come together to make this shoulder tattoo an outstanding piece. Korean artist PittaKKM is the genius behind this work.
Red Ink Wing Tattoo on a Man’s Shoulder
This red ink shoulder tattoo is imposing. Its design is simplistic, but its application is not. The style of this tattoo would fall between linework and woodcut, but what makes it stand out from the rest is the deep red ink. Korean-based artist, Minoskeem, executed this red ink Wing of Icarus tattoo.
Flowers and Spider Blackwork Shoulder Tattoo for Men
A bed of blackwork peonies support the captivating spider. The balance of this tattoo comes from the values in shading, the masterful composition, and the fantastic placement. As many others of Natalia’s pieces, this spider blackwork tattoo shows extreme attention to detail. Her signature style of blackwork mixed with etching shows through all her pieces.
Realistic Compass Tattoo on Shoulder
The subject-matter of this tattoo is a tool used in technical drawing. Compasses are utilized to draw perfect circles, but in this tattoo, the compass is delineating a square shape. The depth in meaning, and the complexity in design, make this a unique piece of art. This black and gray surrealist shoulder tattoo was done by Chinese artist, Zu.
Tree Shoulder Tattoo with Surrealism Style
Manly shoulders are framed by a surrealism piece of tattoo art. The tree twists and turns with his anatomy, and makes a statement on his shoulder. The author of this ink is none other than Mor Asraf. He is the ground-breaking artist from Tel Aviv that specializes in surrealism pieces of tattoo art. His works show artful execution and deserve major praise.
Gothic Crow Shoulder Tattoo for Men
The imposing crow looks like it came straight out of a horror movie. The darkness within this piece shows masterful application of shading, while leaving essential spaces of skin breaks. Only a few artists would be capable of executing such a complex piece of art right on the skin. Manly, dark and dramatic – the blackwork crow adorns his shoulder. Kubrick, the creator of this tattoo, has many other pieces like this in his portfolio.
Mixed Art Styles Grape and Cork Tattoo
This exceptional piece of art mixes elements of color realism and graphic linework. Composed with utmost care and attention, the tattoo of a grape rests atop a cork. The mixed art styles of this shoulder tattoo make it unique. This mixed-art characteristic is the signature style of Vincent Zattera, the Italian tattooist who created this piece.
Neon Color Jellyfish Tattoo on Shoulder
This jellyfish shoulder tattoo looks like it’s glowing. Swimming effortlessly through a dark body of water, the majestic jelly adorns the shoulder of this man. The neon colors, the perspective, and the textures demonstrated in this tattoo application are absolutely stunning. Deborah Genchi is the artist responsible for this fluorescent jellyfish tattoo.
Surrealism Peach Tattoo on Shoulder
Surrealistic art of a dripping peach, perched atop the shoulder of a man. This colorful peach tattoo communicates a strong message of sensuality and natural desire. Applied to the skin with utmost attention and care, this surrealism piece is an eye-catcher. Chinese tattooist, Demi Liu, is the one responsible for this outstanding piece of surrealism art.
Female Samurai Tattoo on Shoulder and Arm
This skillful piece of art utilizes the blackwork style of tattooing. Though it also borrows from etching applications and traditional imagery. Surrounded by a bed of flowers, the Samurai woman tattoo enhances the man’s shoulder. A gorgeous Geisha with a mask, masterfully done by the Taiwanese artist, Kubrick.
American Traditional Pirate Woman Tattoo
This is a gorgeous pirate girl tattoo done in a bold traditional style. An eye patch, a cigarette, and hoop earrings accessorize her likeness and give this piece a touch of personality. The pirate girl shoulder tattoo was done by Paris, a Korean-based artist whose works include many pieces just like this. Each of his tattoos have bold colors, traditional style, and neotrad touches of personality.
Spooky Horseshoe Crab Shoulder Tattoo
This tattoo of an eldritch beast decorates the shoulder of a man. It depicts a Paleozoic creature of ancient times, popularly known as a horseshoe crab. Only modified with spooky elements and bio-mech pieces to create an abomination of flesh and machine. A mystic piece of art, designed masterfully. Applied to the shoulder utilizing techniques of blackwork, this tattoo is truly one of a kind. The portfolio of 47volt, who is the artist behind this work, is full of gnarly creatures of darkness.
Snake Tattoo on Man’s Neck and Shoulder
Snake tattoos can embody healing and transformation. They are often tattooed on the skin to carry a permanent reminder of these values. Done in a beautiful blackwork style, this snake tattoo adorns the shoulder and neck of a man. The twists and turns give the piece an element of dynamic perspective that fits the body part perfectly. Executed at Panumart Tattoo in Thailand by our in-house artist, Aun.
Brushstroke Dragon Shoulder Tattoo for Men
Brushstroke tattoos imitate the “Sumi-e” calligraphy. This writing technique comes from Asian tradition, and it is executed by utilizing specific brushes. Sumi-e brush art is only done with black ink, and this tattoo imitates that style extremely well. A solid brushstroke draws a Dragon on the man’s shoulder. The author of this tattoo is called Jing James. He specializes in these brushstroke designs and Chinese calligraphy tattoos.
Hyper Realism Gladiator Tattoo on Shoulder
This tattoo depicts the likeness of a Spartan warrior. Inked with extreme attention to detail, this hyperrealism gladiator shoulder tattoo is an outstanding piece of art. Tattooer Eyal Weingerten, who executed this piece, specializes in 3D, hyperrealistic tattoos such as this one. His other works also include styles of mixed media, color realism and surrealism.
Realistic Hawk Tattoo on Shoulder
Hawks are symbols of protection and spiritualism. Some cultures also believe that hawks are protectors, and represent strength and freedom. This realistic depiction of a hawk extends from the shoulder to the chest. This hawk, just like all O.one’s pieces, shows his signature style of realistic black and gray.
Artistic Linework Shoulder Tattoo
An artistic epaulet shoulder tattoo made to resemble the tail of a peacock. These extremely intricate linework tattoos are designed by Anna Berger. This Lisbon-native artist is a true specialist when it comes to linework tattoos. Her crisp lines, interesting composition and complex execution, make all her pieces stunning and striking.
Manly Red and Black Shoulder Tattoo
This imposing tattoo looks like its ripping right through the skin. Dark jewelry tattoos can decorate the bodies of men and women alike. In the case of this piece, the artist took an artistic approach that fits the male shoulder perfectly. Dark calligraphy meets biomech – while the splashes of red ink make the blood moon stand out. 12.bbk, the artist who authored this piece, has designed and tattooed many outstanding designs like this.
Hanuman Sak Yant Shoulder Tattoo for Men
Oriental imagery is one of the most influential subject matters in the world of tattoos. Demon-like humanoids, mythical creatures and intricate designs are all elements of oriental tattooing. This piece, line many that are inspired by this style, is done with intricate linework. A manly shoulder tattoo that decorates his body. This custom design was done by our in-house tattooer, Aon.
Godly Bird Shoulder Tattoo
Garuda is a bird-like humanoid that is considered a demigod by Hindu and Buddhist cultures. Also known as the snake devourer, Garuda is the mount of Vishnu. This mythical bird represents courage and renewal. Garuda is depicted in the shoulder, tattooed with a mix of blackwork and neotrad. Spanish tattooer, Artur, has many other pieces that fall into this particular style.
Men’s Suminagashi Shoulder Tattoo
Suminagashi is a tattoo style that resembles the stroke of an ink brush. In many cases, they can also depict waves and ripples, as if they recreated the physics of water. These abstract designs follow the shape of the body, and create ornamental pieces of black ink. This shoulder piece of Suminagashi was done by Paris-based artist, Baegi.
Graphic Cicada Shoulder Tattoo
Street tattooing is a new style that recreates graffiti. This is achieved by utilizing bold colors, paint splatter elements and simplified designs. A tattoo like this is perfect to draw more attention to the shoulders. This graphic cicada was done in France by the nomad tattoo artist, Dynoz. He travels the world spreading his art through the world, creating unique pieces of street-style tattoos.
Snake and Flower Tattoo on Shoulder
Flowers and Snakes are a timeless combination. In tattooing, these elements are capable of adapting to any gender, and dress the body of men and women alike. Now, the application of the tattoo is what matters. When designing tattoos that will dress the shoulder of a man, a few things are taken into account. In this case, the blackwork approach gives this piece a sultry touch of manliness. This blackwork shoulder tattoo was masterfully done by “Gush like Kush,” an artist from Toronto.
Abstract Smoke Shoulder Tattoo for Men
Abstract tattoos that resemble smoke have been popular pieces. They flow well with the body, and they can decorate irregular body parts like the shoulders. This smokey piece of art was done by Sixten. The Korean-based artist plays with abstraction, creating pieces that are purely ornamental. His works include elements of suminagashi, cyber sigilism and black and gray realism.
Modern Tattoo on Front of Shoulder
An abstract sun is shining its light on an eagle. This tattoo is applied to the skin, using the shoulder as a focal point and playing with perspective. The combination of geometric and realistic elements form the signature style of Gabor Filyo. The German tattooer is someone who thinks outside the box and designs complex pieces of art.
Collage Art Shoulder Tattoo
This state-of-the-art style is called Collage Art. It denotes the combination of different art forms that come together to create a unique design. In this case, the shoulder tattoo depicts an abstract flower. Gunhyo Park, the mastermind behind this piece, would define his own style as “Collage Abstract Fine Art.”
Pine Tree Tattoo on Shoulder and Neck
Pine Trees symbolize longevity. They are depicted in forest scenes within the world of tattoos very often. However, this neck and shoulder tattoo has its own twist. This uncommon depiction of a pine tree is nice to see. Tattooist Ati, likes incorporating this twirly, springy shape into his designs. He focuses on illustration and executes his tattoos with soft shading and specks of white.
Wings Shoulder Tattoo for Men
The face of a blind angel, spreading his wings across a man’s arms and shoulders. This blackwork tattoo is an absolute piece of art. Hoon Unco’s pieces always have a gloomy element. His signature style is present through obscure designs, dark blackwork, and elements of realism… all applied masterfully.
Unicolor Blue Shoulder Tattoo
Folk art epaulet tattoos are great pieces to frame round joints like the knee and the shoulder. These intricate designs are created solely for ornamental purposes, and they employ principles of linework to enhance lineweight and composition. These mandala-like pieces are excellent alternatives for those men who wish to get an ornamental shoulder tattoo. Saki, the Korean artist who created this piece, is an expert tattooer. His works include many pieces that are done utilizing red and blue inks only.
Tree and Cats Tattoo on Shoulder
Tall and twisted, the illustrative tree wraps around the arm and shoulder of this man. Sprinkled with cats here and there, this tattoo is created to fit the body. Cheon Moon is the artist behind this piece of ink. Drawing inspiration from Old dynasty paintings, Cheon is able to create his signature style. His tattoos always depict oriental imagery, and they are done utilizing a unique approach to inking.
Large Blackwork Octopus Shoulder Tattoo
Some would say that Octopus are alien creatures. Their odd biology make them some of the most rare mollusks to ever grace this earth. This tattoo depicts the alien theory very well. A huge blackwork piece of an Octopus, designed with spikes and hardened structures along its body. Korean tattooer Uncogrim is an adept dark tattoo creator. His portfolio includes pieces that depict alien-like creatures, such as this one.