Tattoo Inspiration for Every Soul

24 Bare-Boned Skull Tattoo Ideas To Celebrate The Afterlife

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A skull tattoo will forever be a statement piece.

A skull has always been a symbol of rebellion, however, there’s also a deeper meaning that tells the story of the afterlife, death, and rebirth. The complexity of death has always intrigued people, so it’s even more special as this idea frightens most people.

It’s important to find the right concept and design that you’re looking for. Otherwise, you’ll end up with an eternal regret. Instead, think thoroughly about your skull tattoo before you design to ink it permanently on your skin.

Black and gray skull tattoo

Source: @zebra_ink_

You can’t go wrong with a black and gray skull tattoo. This example looks like the skull is rising from the stem of a rose. The dark shadows in the eyes and nose really add a creepy feel, but there’s also a lot of texture that shows decomposition.

Source: @widebodyink

You can add whatever you want to your tattoo. For example, here you can see that the snake is taking apart the skull, the lower jaw is completely detached from the rest of the skull.

Source: @inkbymik

No one said that you can only put one skull on your tattoo design. Here we have multiple skulls that are stacked on one another. However, the gorgeous shadows create a wonderful transition between all the different elements.

Source: @thommesen_ink

This is half a skull, and there are so many gorgeous shadows that create a lot of depth to the design. The leaves around it bring the entire piece together.

Source: @mollyissketchy

This is a very creepy design. The light in the eyes makes you believe that the skull is still attached to a living body. However, the surrounding flowers create a contrast and add something more feminine and light to the mix.

Color skull tattoo

Source: @thenewnewschool

Adding color to your design will make your skull tattoo even more personal and unique. This skull is submerged in a bottle of poison, and the transition between shadows and colors is perfectly done.

Source: @colinwhitfieldtattoos

In this tattoo, you have a gorgeous transition, again. The transition between black and gray, and the shades of red, is amazing. However, the entire design is confined into a box, so you’re able to combine it with other tattoos.

Source: @dusi.2

This is a very unique design. You can play around with elements that seem to go well together. For example, the color actually looks like gold. There are so many little details in this tattoo that, the more you look, the more you’re able to see.

Source: @swan_tattooer

Considering that a skull tattoo is creepy in itself if you want to add a little more to it, then you may want to turn it into the body of a spider. The colors are amazingly saturated, but the fine lines of the web are even better.

Source: @gianlucaartico

There’s a lot going on here. We have another skull tattoo that’s turned into a spider, but there are so many colors that you can lose yourself in them.

Source: @t.barnett.tattooer

This is quite a common design choice. It’s semi-traditional, considering the yellowing flames around the skull. The skull is done with some weird shapes to show that you can genuinely do whatever you please. There are also dark shadows around the tattoo to create a better effect.

Animal skull tattoo

Source: @racheljfriel

When you’re thinking about a skull tattoo, you shouldn’t forget about the option of an animal skull. They represent rebirth, but also a deep connection to nature. This tattoo in particular looks very witchy, and the antlers are so dark that they create a gorgeous contrast to the rest of the tattoo.

Source: @phiawalla

There are not many shadows in this cat skull tattoo. Actually, this tattoo looks lighter than the others. Especially, considering the feminine flowers surrounding it. The thicker outlines are all around, but the face is done with fine lines.

Source: @phiawalla

To commemorate your love for nature through an animal skull, you could also add other things that are very common in the forest. My recommendation would be to add mushrooms, like the ones you can see in this design. The dark leaves look like they came from a completely other dimension.

Source: @alyssajadetattoo

This is a very simple animal skull tattoo, but it could also be used as a Zodiac tattoo if you’re an Aries. The skull itself only has a couple of light shadows and highlights, but the horns are the main star of the show. There are even little specs of light that are a wonderful detail.

Source: @chainsawdarling

These antlers are surrounded by thorns, and that in itself is a great addition to your animal skull tattoo. However, the best part about this is the play with light. It even looks like the horns are creating a shadow on the top of the skull.

Source: @penvmbra_tattoo

There’s a lot going on in this tattoo. The rope around the skull almost creates a story that binds the being to nature and life, which is presented by the different flowers surrounding it. The antlers and the eyes are very dark, and some of the leaves as well, but the main piece doesn’t have too many shadows.

Butterfly skull tattoo

Source: @bendunningtattoo

A skull within a butterfly tattoo or moth tattoo is more common than you may think. However, when you add your own little twist to it, it can become unique. This is quite a simple design, however, there’s so much detail that it’s a well-done design.

Source: @stevewalkertattoo

In this example, you can see some very dark shadows. If you’re a fan of these tattoos, then you already know that they age like fine wine. There’s some negative space around what is supposed to be the eyes of the skull, to create a better effect, and make the whole tattoo more readable.

Source: @tattooist_bae

Even though it seems to be quite an easy task to combine a skull and a butterfly into one image, you don’t have to stop there. There are so many options for you. You can add the phases of the moon, and some geometrical shapes, to make it look even more mystical.

Unique skull tattoo ideas

Source: @evil.chef

Maybe you’ve seen all the previously mentioned skull tattoos before, so you want something that not many people have thought about. So, how about a skull tattoo that’s actually a bouquet of skulls?

Source: @on.doo_tt

Look at the precision of this skull tattoo! The outlines are crisp and clean, the shadows are immaculate, and there are even some highlights that are perfectly placed. You can add whatever you please and still create the story that you originally wanted to tell.

Source: @matt_pettis_tattoo

You didn’t expect something this bizarre, did you? Well, an animal skull that turns into a rib cage genuinely is a unique design choice. Especially considering that it’s turned into a heart. The dark shadows and harsh outlines around the entire design create a depth that makes the rest of the tattoo pop out.

Source: @krissydiane_tattoos

If you’re into witchcraft, then you’ll definitely appreciate this design. It has all the good stuff! There’s a skull in the little potion bottle on top, but there’s another, bigger one, at the center. The composition is astounding, especially considering how much is going on. But the contrast between the shadows and lights is perfect.

Source: @taesin___

Your unique skull tattoo can also look like this. It’s not a full skeleton, it’s just a clown with a skull instead of a head. There’s a story that you can tell with this tattoo, especially when you look at the masks that he’s taken off his skull.

The texture in this tattoo is unseen. There’s so much detail in the pants, the shoes, the shirt, but when you look at the socks you can even see the texture of them. So, this tattoo is a gorgeous choice, if you want something bigger that’ll make a statement.