Western ideas from the past are quickly brought back to life by modern cowboy tattoos. These valiant throwbacks are paving the way for a style gold rush! Male fashion critics all across the world believe that the only option is for you to acquire a tattoo that proudly proclaims to the world, “It’s time to giddy up, partner!”
With a little help, anyone can pull off this magnificently manly accomplishment. There is much artistic freedom in this arena, but you must ensure that your implications fit your aims.
Because a lot of manly gear goes under the cowboy radar, you’ll be able to flaunt tough stuff like revolvers and stallions. No one will be able to contain your bravado, because you will be displaying a lifetime ally with the correct tattoos.
To make your decision easier, we’ve already compiled the best collection of examples this side of the Wild Wild West!
80+ Cowboy Tattoos Designs and Meanings
There are literally hundreds of designs that could be considered “western tattoos,” but here are a few of the most popular.
The cowboy tattoo is among the most well-known Western tattoos. In most examples of this type of artwork, we see a lone cowboy riding a horse through a barren desert. Cacti, tumbleweeds, and other desert plants are also frequently used in this style of decoration.
Cowboy boot tattoos are another trendy choice. This can be a representation of your freedom-loving, naturalistic personality. It might also serve as a visual reminder of your strength and willingness to get your hands dirty.
The Native American tattoo is another common western tattoo style. These patterns frequently incorporate Native American motifs and symbolism. Dream catchers, feathers, and arrows are frequently incorporated into these patterns.
A skull tattoo could be an excellent choice if you want to stand out from the crowd. Skull tattoos are on the rise in popularity, and there are a wide variety of styles to choose from. Skulls, skeletons, and other symbols associated with death are frequently used in tattoos of this type.
It can stand for your shadow side and serve as a sobering reminder of how fleeting life truly is. This can serve as a deterrent to those who would dare cross you.
Skeleton Cowboy Tattoo
You don’t have to limit yourself to obtaining a cowboy skull tattoo; there are a broad number of full skeleton cowboy tattoo designs available to choose from. These tattoos frequently represent someone who is not scared to forge their own path. Although the majority of these designs are in black and white, adding color to most western tattoos is a straightforward process. Colored or not, these cowboy designs can add an extra glare to your body.
Here, in this section, we brought you some design examples that will enslave your heart in a fabulous way-
There’s something devilish with this design. The way that skull is looking and opened up its mouth, it feels like it came straight from the depth of hell. And that’s why this piece is rich in symbolism as it depicts the rough way of the life of cowboys.
2. Desert Eagle
In and out, it’s a creative piece. The desert wind with cactus plants design depicts the tough environment in which the cowboys have to operate in. And the skull portrays the danger of being in such a rough landscape.
3. Cowboy Hat
It’s a bit unusual design for its unconventional color palettes. The coloring in this piece feels like brown leather which is convenient considering the leather cowboy hat. Apart from that, the design is quite eye catchy.
See You Space Cowboy Tattoo
Are you looking for distinctive tattoo designs for men? Then get a tattoo that blends Western and Eastern cultures. Cowboy Bebop is a 1990s anime series (with a live-action revival in 2021) with a storyline inspired by western cinema noir and science fiction. Cowboy Bebop tattoos are a good choice if you want a tattoo with a lot of colors. And the famous line from this series, “see you space cowboy” had made it to the hearts of millions of fans. Some of them wanted to ink it. Thus, the See you space cowboy tattoo…!
This section particularly focuses on the tribute design from the late 90s fiction.
4. The Swordfish
It’s a simple design that is wrapping this man’s forearm with an aesthetic flare. This simplistic design also portrays the legendary spaceship of the character Spike with minimal artistry.
5. Space Rose
The crimson red spaceship here is presented in a cinematic manner along with the text “See you space cowboy.” And to talk about its placement, it is creativity at its peak. The design is placed horizontally at the side of the forearm and it looks superbly cool!
With the mixture of retro, punk, and neon art style, this piece is bound to enslave anyone’s heart. It is presented with a shimmering view of the sunset and the legendary spaceship- Swordfish II.
Traditional Cowboy Tattoo
The beginnings of cowboy culture are commemorated through traditional tattoos worn by cowboys. This tattoo design features a very saturated color scheme and a two-dimensional artwork approach that makes less use of shading. You can get a typical cowboy tattoo on your shoulder, arm, chest, or leg; the size can vary, giving you the freedom to choose the location on your body that looks and feels the most natural with the design. Like other traditional tattoo designs the traditional cowboy tattoos are also very splashy in color which looks very appealing.
So, if you’re a fan of vibrantly colored designs then these design ideas will catch your eyes-
This one is a true American cowboy design with sapphire blue eyes, a cowboy hat, and a burning cigarette. the piece is very vibrant in color and looks appealing too.
8. Dead or Alive
It’s a very well-drawn piece indeed. The scarf around the neck and the hat looks very realistic which added some flare to its beauty. The skull head is seen to holding a small leaf on its mouth which shows a very common trend of cowboys.
9. The Devil
Another skull design but with a side view. There’s also a scarf and a hat on top. The skull has a cranky flavor to it and it looks moderately rough to match the masculinity. And, the design has a devilish side too.
Skull Cowboy Tattoo
Living on the edge is a part of the cowboy way of life. Cowboy skull tattoos may represent how near a cowboy might come to death when practicing a perilous lifestyle. On the other side, it can also represent how men choose to live or simply be fun items; these designs can be readily customized from comedy to more macabre. These designs are generally small in shape and size but heavy on the metaphorical side. If you often like to think deeply about life, these designs are just for you.
Below are some finest examples of skull cowboy tattoo, give them a visit-
10. Green Hornet
A glowing ghost with a burning cigarette. You will see very few body art designs like this one. The eyes in this piece are very uncommon and that is what makes this piece of ink stand out from the rest.
11. Arrow Head
It’s inked with cinematic noir. Also, it’s a well thought piece with an amazing artistic sense. The cigarette smoke feels like a rhythm flowing in the air. Plus, the hat and the scarf put that extra cowboy vibe into this seamlessly.
12. Witty Skull
At first glance, it looks like an old and witty skull. Other than that, the piece is quite pleasing with all that monochrome shading and that tall cowboy hat. Overall, it’s a good and well-thought design that will shine on any man’s hand.
Bleeding Cowboy Tattoo
Bleeding cowboy tattoos are not what they appear to be; rather, they are an ornate form of font that individuals use to tattoo quotations or lyrics on their flesh. This style of tattoo is particularly popular for country songs. The western cowboy tattoo can be upgraded by including the bleeding cowboy typeface beneath an image of a Stetson or a pair of fancy boots. It depicts the life struggles of a cowboy fabulously.
In this section, we gathered some intricate pieces to portray that philosophy vividly. Take a look-
13. Bandit Queen
This particular piece looks more like a pirate piece than a cowboy piece. Either way, it’s a fabulous one. And on the plus side, the inking method of this one added a bit Pin up tattoo design flavor to it. This feminine design will go beautifully on any woman’s thigh.
14. Glittering Tragedy
It’s a very realistic piece with an ambitious design. The dead white eyes are all tearful while there are massive drops of sparkling tears scattered throughout the piece. It looks a bit grotesque but aesthetically very pleasing.
15. The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
Remember the famous cowboy movie from Hollywood? Yes, you got it right! This is the artistic portrayal of the protagonist. The piece is all monochrome and sharply detailed. Whether you’re a fan of the movie or just Cowboy, this piece won’t disappoint you.
Dead Cowboy Tattoo
Tattoos of dead cowboys are sometimes used to symbolize how fleeting life can be. It serves as a constant reminder to whoever wears it that they should make the most of each day. These tattoos depict a decaying cowboy who is either puffing on a cigarette or pointing a gun at the viewer. If you believe in life with no regrets and want to portray it as a body art then there’s no better way than the Dead Cowboy Tattoo.
So, here are some inspirations for your next piece-
In and out, this piece is screaming Badass. With the red scarf, golden tooth, and slightly downward hat. this piece looks mysterious. And as for design, the shading is very subtle which looks very comfortable.
17. Fading Smoke
Fading smoke represents the fragility of life a cowboy’s life is always at the imminent risk of death. Apart from that, this piece also portrays a vibrant red scarf and a brown hat. Overall, this design on this man’s thigh has a certain appeal with a rich metaphorical background.
18. Golden Tooth
The classic portrayal of a cowboy with a golden tooth. While the golden tooth goes more with gangsters, this design made it more of a cowboy style. Also, there are a scarf and a hat as a finishing touch.
Praying Cowboy Tattoo
As a symbol of the importance of Christianity to the explorers and cowboys of the American West, the image of a cowboy praying in front of a cross while kneeling beside his horse has endured for decades. This is where the praying cowboy tattoo design got inspired from. As the cross is a very important symbol of Christianity, and the cowboys are quite fond of the notion, these body art ideas can leave a huge impact.
So, we gathered up some exemplary design ideas for you here-
Cowboy cross tattoos might signify the wearer’s Christian religion or a deceased loved one. This distinctive piece also portrays the religious faith. Plus, it’s vibrantly colorful and eye-catchy. This tattoo will look best on the chest or back.
This is a classical silhouette design with a cross, a horse, and obviously the cowboy. It represents- no matter how ruthless one may be, at the end of the day the person should answer to god. So, it’s a great tattoo for those who hold on to the Christian faith.
In Hebrew, Jehovah means god. This tattoo indicates the philosophy that only and only before God a man should bow his head. The design on the left is an artistic masterpiece as it’s biblically portraying a pair of hands holding a cross. On the other hand, the design on the right, is a classic example of a praying cowboy tattoo design.
Horse Riding A Cowboy Tattoo
Horses are the primary mode of transportation for cowboys as they move about their ranches and between communities (especially in old western stories). These rough animals are the best friends a cowboy can think of. They are energetic, playful, and superbly strong. Thus, they make a good companion of any cowboy. If you’re seeking a tattoo that accurately reflects cowboy culture, look no further than a cowboy’s proficiency on horseback, which is a skill shared by the vast majority of cowboys.
Here are some unique ideas-
22. Wild West
The piece is all about taming a horse. In this piece, the cowboy is seen to be bravely trying the wild horse. It’s a minimal design which followed the line art style. It’s a small and beautiful piece that is looking good.
23. The Bard
Many cowboys were great singers who liked to write and play their own songs. This particular design wholeheartedly depicts that passion for music. And, as for the inking method, it’s minimal and mesmerizing!
In this piece, the badass cowboy is gunslinger-ing his opponent courageously. The piece is very expressive and detailed like a scene from a cowboy movie. If you want to show-off some badassery then this is the perfect piece for you.
Lost Cowboy Tattoo
A person who views themselves as an outsider in their own community may want to get a lost cowboy tattoo. On the other hand, he might see himself as a lone ranger. This tattoo design might depict a cowboy taking a leisurely ride through the desert on his horse, or it can show the cowboy relaxing alone away from other people. So, here are some tattoo design ideas for lone wolves out there-
25. Skull & Cigarette
The character’s clothes and the burning cigarette imitate the attire of a cowboy and look very rugged.
Mexican Cowboy Tattoo
Asphalt Cowboy Tattoo
Ghost Rider Cowboy Tattoo
Spiderman Cowboy Tattoo
Urban Cowboy Tattoo
Western Cowboy Tattoo
Wyoming Cowboy Tattoo
Zombie Cowboy Tattoo
Rebel Cowboy Tattoo
Vintage Cowboy Tattoo
Cartoon Cowboy Tattoo
Minimalist Cowboy Tattoo
Sailor Jerry Cowboy Tattoo
A New School Horse Riding A Cowboy Tattoo
Alien Cowboy Tattoo
Astronaut Cowboy Tattoo
Bugs Bunny Cowboy Tattoo
Cat Cowboy Tattoo
Demon Cowboy Tattoo
Evil Cowboy Tattoo
Gunslinger Cowboy Tattoo
Whether they’re working on a ranch or in a rodeo, cowboys are known for their tenacity and grit. They are adept equestrians, cattle herders, and lassoers. As a stereotype, cowboys are thought to be daredevils who relish the thrill of the chase and who face danger with unflinching determination. If you want to show your patriotic spirit or appreciation for cowboy culture, any of the above-mentioned design ideas would be perfect.
You just need to pick one of your liking and get it done by a professional. And you will be shining with a rugged glare in no time.
Frequently Asked Question
1. What does a cowboy tattoo mean?
The symbolism of a cowboy tattoo might vary greatly depending on the individual man who chooses to have one. It may be done as a way to remember a deceased loved one, or it may stand for the want to be independent. Cowboy tattoos can even be seen as a symbol of outlaws by certain guys, and they can signify boldness and grit in these men.
2. Did cowboys have tattoos?
Tattoos have long been a part of Western culture. After all, they were and continue to be used to identify cattle and horses. Cowboys with tattoos may appear to be an oxymoron, but it should come as no surprise. Cowboys enjoy art, as evidenced by the popularity of western art shows. Cowboys enjoy ornamentation; saddles with tooling, bits, and spurs with silver inlay are commonplace. Cowboys aren’t afraid of pain; whether they compete in rodeos or work on a ranch, pain is a part of their daily lives. Cowboys with tattoos isn’t such a stretch.