135+ Sunflower Tattoo Designs: Carry a Symbol of Joyful Energy with You Everywhere You Go

As tattoos grow in popularity and prominence, some designs rise above others as the most popular categories of designs, and one of those categories is flowers.

Almost everyone who has a nature or plant-themed tattoo design has some type of flower inked somewhere on their body. One of the most popular flowers to get tattoos of is the sunflower. Sunflowers are straightforward in their design, easy to understand and visualize, and tend to be flattering on a wide variety of skin tones and body types.

Sunflowers symbolize strength and joy; tall, hardy, and bright, they loom above the rest of the plants as if in possession of all the joyful secrets of the world. They portray joyful energy, and carrying a reminder of that joyful energy with you wherever you go is sure to be a bright spot in even the dreariest of days.

1. Black and Gray Sunflower Tattoos

Bold lines and careful shading make or break a simple sunflower tattoo design without any bright colors. Black and gray sunflower tattoos are striking against the skin because they evoke a feeling of vintage charm and nostalgia, almost like a black and wʜɪᴛe film or a carefully staged studio photograph.

Unlike sunflower tattoos with a significant amount of color blended into the design, these black and gray options have a higher likelihood of complementing or even matching other tattoo ideas that could be added to the area later.

Even if the gray and black ink tattoo is the only one someone gets or just the only tattoo on that area of the body, some people prefer as simple of a design as possible.

Not only are black and gray tattoos less expensive than tattoos that pop and sparkle in different shades of yellow or orange, but these are also easier to maintain and may require fewer touchups.

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See some more butterfly tattoo designs here.

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  2. Delicate Sunflower Tattoos

Sometimes you might want a tattoo to be a lot smaller and more subtle than a big, gorgeous design across the leg or a sunflower in the middle of your bicep. A small sunflower would be perfect as an arm or ankle tattoo.

Delicate sunflower tattoos come in a range of styles, from one that imitates the watercolor technique of ᴘᴀɪɴting to those that are still delicate but a little more blocky, such as a “sketched” or pixelated design.

Sharp, thin lines, careful shading, and a clear image make delicate sunflower tattoos a viable option for people who want to show off their love of sunflowers or simply have some pretty ink on their skin.

Delicate designs can easily be combined with other tattoo art as well, and the simpler the delicate sunflower tattoo, the easier it is to blend it with another piece or duplicate it for a pattern effect. Fine lines and a light touch make these smaller, more subtle tattoos timeless body art options.

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3. Surrealist Sunflower Tattoos

Sometimes you might want your tattoos to be a little more “out there” and stand out from the crowd or simply the rest of your tattoos. There are varying degrees of “out there,” luckily, so you can fairly easily find what works for you.

Some unique or surrealistic sunflower tattoos are just close enough to realism to be recognized as sunflowers, while others are much more abstract and are recognizable as sunflowers due to context or even color placement.

Non-natural colors, sunflowers superimposed on top of or below other designs, or sunflowers that meld or flow into pieces of the body or other tattoos are some options for surrealist or dreamy sunflower tattoo art.

Sunflowers based on the ᴘᴀɪɴting style of a surrealist ᴘᴀɪɴter are options as well, such as flowers that imitate a famous image or ᴘᴀɪɴting. Sunflowers with extra petals, fewer petals than they typically have, or cartoonish styles of sunflower tattoos may qualify as surreal or dreamy as well.

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4. Geometric Sunflower Tattoos

Making images out of shapes or out of other images is an art form that translates extremely well to body art, including flower tattoos. The human canvas can be broken down into a series of interlocked geometric shapes; aligning a geometric sunflower tattoo design with a fitting part of the body can make it seem as if it was always meant to be there.

Some geometric tattoos of sunflowers utilize different types or levels of lighting to make the shapes distinct. The sunflower itself may be shaped like any other, but the colors or shading make part of it seem to have sharper angles or even different levels of depth or thickness.

Other styles might have a sunflower behind, around, or on top of a geometric shape that contrasts with it, such as a pentagon or a triangle. Shapes “cut out” of a sunflower can have a striking effect, especially if the image is strategically designed around the geometric element.

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5. Large Sunflower Tattoo

Sometimes when it comes to tattoos, bigger is better. The more eye-catching, accurate, beautiful, and colorful a tattoo is, the more sunflower fans it can attract.

When size is added into the mix and a sunflower design covers, say, an entire upper arm or forearm, ᴘᴀɪɴstaking dedication and patience are essential.

A high ᴘᴀɪɴ tolerance wouldn’t hurt, either, as beauty is ᴘᴀɪɴ and tattoos are no exception. Even so, any of the best large sunflower tattoos are well worth the pinching sensation for the gorgeous final result that will be unveiled.

Larger sunflower tattoos might be monotone with careful shading and strong lines, or they could be as bright and colorful as actual sunflowers. Sometimes decisions are made about tattoos that are later regretted, and a cover-up is determined to be much cheaper and less ᴘᴀɪɴful than laser tattoo removal.

Flower tattoos are excellent choices for covering up unwanted designs, as they tend to be colorful and elaborate enough to distract the eye from any old ink that starts to peek through. Sunflowers, huge and easily recognizable, are a perfect option for covering up old, unwanted body art.

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6. Ornamental Sunflower Tattoos

Sometimes you might want your body art to be a little more extravagant than simple designs or muted colors.

Maybe another image can enhance the sunflower when combined, or maybe your tattoo artist can frame the sunflower with an image of gemstones. Basically, ornamental sunflower tattoo designs are just sunflowers with intricate addition, such as jewelry or gems.

Symbols, such as mandalas or peace signs, are popular ornamental designs because of their high symbolic significance and clear, easily recognizable shapes.

Perhaps a sunflower might be combined with other flowers, an intricate lacey design, or even an animal or other image that complements the flower. If you’re not sure what kind of ornamental sunflower tattoo you want, your tattoo artist should be able to work with you to come up with a perfect, beautiful flower design.

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7. Realistic Sunflower Tattoo

Sometimes the best sunflower tattoo for someone is a realistic image, anywhere from watercolor style to the more intricate photorealistic design. A lot of people who get body art of flowers, plants, or animals prefer realism instead of a design based on the interpretation of the artist or in imitation of a ᴘᴀɪɴter’s style.

The beauty of body art and other forms of body modification is that they can be tweaked and adjusted to fit exactly what someone feels is right for them. Even realistic flower tattoos like those of sunflowers do not all have to look uniform (and since each artist has their own style, it is unlikely this would happen anyway, so the variety of design potential is as endless as the shapes and colors of actual sunflowers themselves. What qualifies as neutral or “realistic” colors and natural shapes define realistic sunflower tattoos.

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8. Sunflower Tattoos with Stems

Even though the gigantic yellow blossoms and tightly packed seeds are easily recognizable as sunflowers and can be very beautiful on their own, sometimes the whole flower adds an extra pop of color or striking design. The realism allows for more versatility if other tattoos are added after the sunflower; even if the stems are significantly ᴘᴀɪɴted and extend over a large area of skin, they are thin enough in relation to the blossoms that even with the sunflower’s distinct leaves, other plants or flowers can be carefully added in between.

Since sunflower tattoos make excellent cover-up jobs, a sunflower with a stem might be more effective at covering up a tattoo design with an extended part or along a long, thin part of the body. Stems include leaves, and so a sunflower tattoo with a stem could easily be designed to go up the upper arm or even an entire arm, or perhaps wrap around the wrist or ankle.

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9. Sunflower Tattoo With a Woman

A sunflower is a thing of beauty, and so is the feminine form, whether bodily or facially. When an image of a woman is combined with a sunflower, a striking piece of art that evokes happiness and surreal beauty is created, especially when the sunflower covers a body part such as the face.

Flowers as replacements for body parts is not a new artistic concept, but every artist is unique. So is their interpretation. Therefore, even if the same woman was tattooed onto several different people with the instructions to incorporate or add sunflowers, each piece of body art would be vastly different. Some of it can be admittedly risque, but ultimately the truth is that tattoos are art and sunflowers with women more than qualify.

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10. Sunflower Tattoo with a Skull

Contrast is exciting. Sunflower tattoos with a skull combine something beautiful and colorful with something typically associated with darkness, ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ, and alternative culture. The result is an image that may appear to be a normal sunflower at first glance but is ultimately proven to be an edgy, less conservative design. People who might be drawn to this sort of tattoo may not even think of having a sunflower design at first, but once they or you see the gorgeous examples, minds are sure to change.

It can be difficult to accurately portray the crevasses and cracks of the human skull on paper, so when the canvas is human skin, the stakes are even higher. It can also be difficult when skulls and sunflowers are layered on top of one another, as part of each may be on the same color spectrum and will be hard to differentiate once the initial brightness of the ink fades away.

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11. Tattoo of a Sunflower Within a Bouquet

Sometimes the best thing to frame and enhance a flower is another flower. Sunflower tattoos that are part of a bouquet carry with them a classic beauty that is flattering to every skin color, style, and even body type. As the plant kingdom is incredibly vast, and not only are flowers beautiful, there are heaps of possibilities. Leaves, grains, or even vegetables for a cornucopia effect are all viable options, and when done by a highly skilled tattoo artist, they can be just as gorgeous as any full-color back piece with hyperrealistic shading.

Another appealing aspect of sunflower bouquet tattoos is that they bring forth feelings of relaxation and peace, such as on a warm summer evening with the sun setting and the temperature dropping just enough to be perfectly comfortable. When a design like this is finally worked out and finished, the end result is sure to elicit praise and excitement from all who see it.

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12. Tiny Sunflower Tattoos

Not everyone wants a huge, arm-covering design that elicits oohs and aahs from people who see it. Sometimes small tattoos that aren’t always completely visible present the more appealing option.

Perhaps someone who gets a tiny sunflower tattoo wants to get something meaningful but subtle, or maybe it is even their first tattoo and they are worried about ᴘᴀɪɴ or sitting still for an extended time.

Even simpler and quicker are tiny minimalist sunflower tattoos; these typically involve simple lines and minimal color if they contain any color other than black and gray. Part of the beauty of sunflowers is that even if they are portrayed in the smallest, simplest iteration the shape and design of the flower, stem, and leaves are so distinctly unique that most people can easily recognize them.

Being discreet, adorable, and quick to get done make tiny sunflower tattoos a surefire ʜɪᴛ with many tattoo enthusiasts.

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13. Traditional Sunflower Tattoo

Sometimes classics are classics because they truly are timelessly appealing. This applies to many things, including but not limited to cars, music, and tattoos.

While it can be a thin line to walk when trying to find a design that is appealing but not cliche, sunflowers are commonplace enough they have come full circle.

Instead of being so common it’s unoriginal, a traditional sunflower tattoo is timelessly lovely and unlikely to lose its appeal as trends change. While it is true that the brighter a tattoo is colored, the easier it is for it to fade, traditional sunflower tattoos have the unique ability to still look good or even improve in appearance over time.

The traditional design evokes Americana, a simpler sort of life than most people are currently able to live; faded ink adds to this aesthetic. Still, if touchups are needed, a traditional sunflower is straightforward enough to be a simple job.

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Sunflowers and images of sunflowers are wildly popular for many reasons. Sunflowers tend to be tougher than other flowers and can grow so tall they seem to form a silent jungle within their stalks. On clothing and skin as tattoos, sunflowers are much like red or coral lipstick in that they are universally flattering.

It can be overwhelming to face all the options for sunflower tattoos and try to make a decision. But really, if none of the ones you see feel right, do not feel obligated or pressured to choose one.

Some tattoo artists will help you pick out the right design for you, and others may have the time and skill to create a custom-designed piece or work with you to create or modify something.

Don’t be afraid to have only a vague idea of what you want, but don’t be sᴜʀᴘʀɪsᴇᴅ if most artists prefer you have a solid plan in place before they work on you. Research the designs that interest you and enjoy your new body art!

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