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140 Wild and Wonderful Bear Tattoo Ideas

by Sherri Owens

If you're looking for bear tattoo ideas, there is an endless selection of designs to consider. This is a popular option after all!

I have created quite a few bear tattoo designs and styles over the years. As such, I can show you what a wide array there is to choose from.

From realistic bears to bear paws and symbolism, here are all the ideas you should consider!

What Does a Bear Tattoo Symbolize?

There is no set meaning for bear tattoos. It can represent power, strength, bravery, protection, a sense of wildness, an association with nature, and more.

This is why many people see the bear as their spirit animal.

Of course, you're also free to attach your own meaning to the bear tattoo you get.

Bear Tattoo Ideas

Here are some of the bear tattoo designs you can consider getting:

Minimalistic Bear Tattoos

Minimalistic bear tattoos are popular and rightfully so - the clean lines may be simple but they are incredibly beautiful.

It doesn't get any simpler than this tattoo. If you're looking for something fuss-free and quick, this one is for you. Even though this bear tattoo design is basic, there is no denying that it's still cute!

Simple Polar Bear Face Tattoo

Image by @kellis95 via Pinterest

If you want to include a little more detail into your minimalistic bear tattoo, here are some options. Note the combination of two different artistic concepts.

On the one hand, the clean lines mark these tattoos as being minimalist. Despite this, the flowing lines give off a primal vibe - one that you would very much associate with a bear:

Fineline Bear Tattoo

Image by @cmadigan_art via Instagram

Thick Outline Bear Tattoo

Image by @bdrew125 via Pinterest

Simple and Tiny Bear Tattoo

Image by @jeiamaie via Pinterest

One line bear design

Image by @reddit.com via Pinterest

Perfect Lineart Bear Tattoo

Image by @wtattoogallery via Pinterest

These bear tattoo design ideas prove that minimalistic doesn't have to be simple. By incorporating a few nature elements into the tattoos, these can be taken to another level:

Polar Bear With Wintery Hawthorn Branches

Image by @reddit.com via Pinterest

Bear Tattoo with Nature Elements

Image by @UniqueTattooss via Pinterest

Brown Bear Tattoos

Here is an interesting fact - brown bears and grizzly bears belong to the same species! Grizzlies are considered a subspecies as they are smaller due to having a different diet and geographical location.

Brown bears are known for being strong and ferocious. They are also considered wild and untamable.

Although there is no real difference between the brown and grizzly bear, grizzlies are considered to be a lot more dangerous. Therefore, you may want to include these elements in a grizzly bear tattoo - for instance, a ferocious, roaring bear.

Here are some brown bear and grizzly bear tattoo designs to check out!

This is a stunning and realistic depiction of a bear. There is also something very thought-provoking about this artwork due to the soulful eyes. It is a great way to show that bears have a gentle side too:

Stunning and Realistic Bear Tattoo

Image by @gdesignsportfolio.com via Pinterest

Brown bears are always seen as being one with nature. As such, artwork depicting the bear in its natural habitat makes sense. Look at how lovely these brown and grizzly bear tattoos are:

A Bear in the Wilderness displayed in Black and Grey Realism

Image by @certifiedcustomstattoo via Pinterest

Grizzly Bear tattoo

Image by @YankeejeepOC via Pinterest

Black and Grey Realistic Bear Tattoo

Image by @tattoodo via Pinterest

Bear tattoo on man forearm

Image by @findinkdesign via Pinterest

Staring Brown Bear Tattoo On Hands

Image by @Tattooirovka2020 via Pinterest

Of course, when you think of bears, you think of wild, roaring beasts. This is why these roaring bear tattoo designs may appeal to you:

Wild Roaring bear tattoo

Image by @joshhurrelltattoos via Instagram

Colorful Roaring Bear Tattoo Design

Image by @tattoosbymikec via Instagram

Gnarly nature style tattoo

Image by @dlouisetattoo via Instagram

Realistic color bear tattoo

Image by @tattoodo via Pinterest

Black Stunning Roaring Bear Tattoo

Image by @maksimkruglov75 via Pinterest

Wild and Angry Bear Art

Image by @Lokyamtattoo via Pinterest

Black Bear Tattoos

In comparison to brown bears, black bears are considered docile, almost friendly. This is why you will often see black bear tattoo designs with widely different concepts.

Take a look at this one for instance. Black bears are known for their love of food, often foraging through human camps in search of something to eat. It is only natural to have a tattoo where the bear is featured with its favorite foods:

Hungry Bear With Fruits Tattoo

Image by @tattoostylist via Pinterest

As they are gentler creatures, you will often find these tattoos surrounded by more delicate imagery as well:

Black Bear Tattoo For Arms

Image by @weheartitapp via Pinterest

Colorful Grizzly Bear With Flowers and Butterfly

Image by @tattoostylist via Pinterest

American black bear tattoo

Image by @tiffleetattoo via Instagram

Here are some where a black bear is decked out in finery:

Black Bear With Jewelry

Image by @petloaf via Pinterest

Black Bear Surrounded with flowers

Image by @monikabooo via Instagram

Panda Bear Tattoo

Over the last few years, pandas have seen a surge in popularity. They are cute and goofy, but they carry their own symbolism too.

For instance, pandas can be a symbol for the appreciation of life, playfulness, gratitude, and just having a good time overall.

At the same time, they are associated with gentle power and strength, slow progress, and peace.

Pandas are instantly recognizable. As a result, an outline or even a few features are all you need to know that you're looking at one. So, if you like small and simple panda bear tattoo designs, here are some excellent options.

Cute Panda Tattoo On Ring Finger

Image by @elios_faktory/flickr.com via Pinterest

Panda Bear On Ankle

Image by @muradthehd via Pinterest

Simple Panda Bear Tattoo

Image by @fransara87 via Pinterest

Want to step the cuteness factor up a notch? Look at these cute bear tattoo ideas:

Cute Crawling Panda Tattoo

Image by @meerasharma25552 via Pinterest

Cute Panda with Flowers

Image by @cabellbrockenbrough via Pinterest

Panda Holding A Heart Balloon Tattoo

Image by @esmerelda3918 via Pinterest

Cute Panda Sending Love

Image by @faithiscrazy_ via Pinterest

Thinking Panda Tattoo

Image by @gilldeee via Pinterest

Two Panda Bears Tattoo

Image by @Unnatiiiiii·she/her via Pinterest

Peeping Panda Bear Tattoo On Shoulder

Image by @maddymayur via Pinterest

If you prefer a more realistic approach to your panda tattoo, these are great ideas too. Some of them will require a pretty talented tattoo artist!

Realistic Panda Bear Tattoo

Image by @10masters via Instagram

Nature Surrounded Panda Bear

Image by @martha.amon.raven via Instagram

Panda Bear with Scarred Butterflies

Image by @carolinascropjaramillo via Instagram

Polar Bear Tattoo

You probably wouldn't think that a group of dots could create something so majestic. Well, this polar bear tattoo proves how well this design idea can come together:

Summer Solstice Polar Bear

Image by @mari.g1970 via Instagram

These are simple yet beautiful depictions of a polar bear. There isn't a lot of detail here but the addition of the snowflakes gives you a clear indication of just what kind of bear it is:

Polar bear snowflakes tattoo

Image by @ashwee1239 via Instagram

Snowy polar bear Tattoo

Image by @carrie_metz_caporusso via Instagram

At first glance, this polar bear tattoo may appear simple but if you take a closer look you can see how many little details there are to unlock. It is beautiful and a little haunting at the same time:

Fine Line Polar Bear Tattoo

Image by @tattoofilter via Pinterest

You are just as likely to see polar bears underwater as you are to see them on ice. So, it only makes sense to have polar bear tattoos featuring them like this.

Polar Bear Bold Line Tattoo

Image by @ahrtt_ via Instagram

Colorful Underwater Solo Polar Bear

Image by @tattoodo via Pinterest

Bear Head Tattoos

The bear head doesn't have a specific meaning. However, people often use this design as an emblem. It can be an indication of strength, courage, toughness, or even a warrior mentality.

You can choose from these realistic bear tattoo designs:

Realistic bear face Tattoo

Image by @reddit.com/u/TurnSashaHeel via Pinterest

Bear grin tattoo

Image by @tattoo_times via Pinterest

Healed Grizzly Bear Tattoo

Image by @reddit.com/Brian Gonzales via Pinterest

These have a more tribal feel and may be suitable options if you prefer an iconographic take on the bear head:

Tribal Face Bear Tattoo

Image by @danxcooper via Instagram

Hold True Tribe Bear Face Tattoo

Image by @mattalexandertattoo via Instagram

Traditional Colorful Bear Head Tattoo

Image by @deaddrifttattoodenverco via Instagram

If a bear skull tattoo is more in line your design preferences, take a look at these haunting yet gorgeous ideas:

Black Bear Skull Tattoo

Image by @customtatdesign via Pinterest

Bear Skull with Flowers Tattoo

Image by @burnbridge via Pinterest

Black and Grey Bear Skull Tattoo

Image by @dollysskinart via Pinterest

Bear Paw Tattoos

The bear paw tattoo is one of the more popular bear tattoo designs. It typically indicates strength and power. In Native American culture, it is also a symbol of good luck and mobility.

One reason that the bear claw tattoo is so common is that it allows for a lot of creativity.

First, you have straightforward designs for the bear claw:

Simple Bear Paw Tattoo

Image by @JayxJiggy via Pinterest

Bear Paw Tattoo On The Back

Image by @kmesterhzy via Pinterest

Here, the designs within the bear claw get a little more intricate:

Black and Grey Tribal Bear Paw

Image by @artofchee via Instagram

Black Bear Paw With Claws Tattoo

Image by @painted_heart_arts via Instagram

With these, the bear is featured within the bear paw tattoo:

Bear Inside The Paw Tattoo

Image by @callandra.tattoos via Instagram

Inked Bear Paw Tattoo

Image by @tattoostudionext via Instagram

Grizzly Bear Paw Tattoo

Image by @devinestreettattoo via Instagram

These tattoos get really creative with the idea. They feature entire scenes within a bear claw. Some can be related to the bear theme - the woods, mountains, streams, etc. However, you are also free to put your own completely unique spin on it:

Bear paw with a picture of the ocean in Tofino

Image by @sirens.ink_tattoo via Instagram

Fresh black work bear paw with a night sky and forest scene

Image by @tigerlotustattoo via Instagram

Cool bear claw with Flowers tattoo

Image by @highervibrationstattoo via Instagram

bear paw forest theme tattoo

Image by @talismantattoocompany via Instagram

Native American Bear Paw Tattoo

Image by @cribbe667 via Instagram

Nature Lover Bear Paw Tattoo

Image by @hannastattoos via Instagram

Mama Bear Tattoos

A mama bear is a popular symbol of motherhood. They are loving and caring towards their cubs and fierce warriors, protecting their cubs from predators.

Naturally, it is the perfect tattoo for a mom to get.

This is a simple silhouette but its placement on your wrist can be a wonderful reminder of the most important people in your life!

Mama bear tattoo with two cubs

Image by @alli_mowrer via Pinterest

Here are more detailed versions of this idea:

Momma and baby bears tattoo

Image by @mommamermaid via Pinterest

Mama Bear Walking With Cubs

Image by @tattoostylist via Pinterest

Dark Side Mama Bear with Cubs Tattoo

Image by @ariellesundberg via Pinterest

If you are a watchful and tough mama bear, these bear tattoo designs are fitting:

Grizzly Mama Bear With Babies

Image by @tattoostylist via Pinterest

Roaring Mother Bear With Tensed Cubs

Image by @reddit.com/Rodrigo Catuaba via Pinterest

Bear Cub Tattoos

Bear cubs are a symbol of innocence. Most people get tattoos of them because they are so darn cute!

They can be used to depict your child - or children - or childhood as an idea.

Black bear cub tattoo

Image by @talk2thahand247 via Pinterest

Small Bear Cub and Star Tattoo

Image by @prodsec4691 via Pinterest

Baby polar bear cub tattoo

Image by @sjgouldin via Pinterest

Wandering Bear Tattoos

If you associate bears with wanderlust, you aren't the only one. These animals seem to be constantly on the move, ambling on from place to place. This is why they are used to depict journeys and traveling.

If you are a traveler at heart, a bear will be your perfect spirit animal.

Majestic Bear Goes To Paris

Image by @tattoofilter via Pinterest

Inked Black Walking Bear Tattoo

Image by @Cox_Eka via Pinterest

Dotted Black Bear Wandering Tattoo

Image by @feraleyes via Instagram

You can add to the bear tattoo with coordinates, times, and anything else that may remind you of an important occasion.

Remember, bears don't just have to represent a physical journey - they can be used to depict an emotional one as well. There are many ways you can take this tattoo to the next level.

Tribal Bear Tattoo

As you know, bears are an important part of Native American culture. They are often featured on totem poles and are considered to be a spirit animal by many.

Now, if you are planning on getting a Native American tribal bear tattoo, it's important to be culturally sensitive. Make sure that it is OK for you to use certain images and symbology.

It is also a good idea to learn a bit more about the imagery that you're getting tattooed on. Try to work with a tattoo artist that has done this kind of bear tattoo before.

These are some of the tribal bear tattoo concepts you can consider:

Tribal Theme Bear Face Tattoo

Image by @maruha-studio.ru via Pinterest

Bear Paw On Dream Catcher Tattoo

Image by @weheartitapp via Pinterest

Native Indian Tattoo

Image by @tomasvaitkunas5 via Pinterest

What a lot of people don't realize is that bears feature heavily in Celtic tribal mythology as well. Bears are associated with the bear goddess Artio. She is a symbol of protection, motherhood, and femininity.

In this case, these designs would be excellent:

Celtic Bear claw tattoo

Image by @crimemzk1 via Pinterest

Tribal Bear Tattoo On Shoulder

Image by @ninagaudin via Pinterest

Celtic and Viking knotwork bear tattoo

Image by @jaigilchrist via Pinterest

Celtic Bear For Arms

Image by @pagantatu.com via Pinterest

If you want to get in touch with your inner goddess, there are some beautiful pairings of goddesses and female warriors with bears. While these bear tattoo ideas are gorgeous, they do have a certain wild and fiery feel.

Black and Grey Bear Woman Tattoo

Image by @wtattoogallery via Pinterest

Wonderful black and grey wild bear woman

Image by @wtattoogallery via Pinterest

Bear Headdress Tattoo

Image by @rickilynn87 via Pinterest

Bear and Woman Love Tattoo

Image by @maleahr via Pinterest

If you want to get such tattoos, consider doing some research into concepts behind the mythology. This may give you a few ideas about what kind of imagery you need to include in your own tattoo.

Geometric Bear Tattoo

Geometric tattoos have taken over in the last few years. They are in line with a modern art sense. They are simplistic, clean, and also add a sense of balance.

The straight, perfect lines don't take away from the beauty of the tattoo in any way. Instead, it allows you to express the natural world symmetrically.

Here is the most basic representation of this tattoo art concept. Despite being made of simple lines, there is no denying that these bears are cute and convey a fair amount of emotion as well.

Small geometric brown bear

Image by @Zavodilla via Pinterest

Fun geometric bear tattoo

Image by @coastlinetattoo via Pinterest

This bear tattoo breaks the rules a little. It is largely a geometric tattoo. However, with a little shading and the inclusion of flowers and plants, you have a softer version of this art style:

Perfect lineart bear tattoo

Image by @wtattoogallery via Pinterest

This geometric bear tattoo includes a mama bear and her cub. There is a lot you can do with this style:

Geometric black Momma and brown cub

Image by @tasupperschoolart.com via Pinterest

If you prefer a bear head, here is an idea:

Geometric Bear Head Tattoo On Hands

Image by @alineymarques via Pinterest

This looks a bit softer than your average geometric tattoo but this look is achieved through shorter lines made to look like curves and clever shading techniques.

Soft and Short Lines Bear Head Tattoo

Image by @tattoodo via Pinterest

If you want the best of both worlds - stark lines and realistic renderings, here is some excellent inspiration for you:

Stark lines and Realistic render Tattoo

Image by @tattoostylist via Pinterest

Watercolor Bear Tattoos

There is a lot to like about watercolor tattoos. Not only can they elevate the simplest of designs but they are especially fitting for a bear tattoo. If you identify with the spiritual elements of the bear, the watercolor concept is a great way of incorporating a surreal feel to your tattoo.

Watercolor tattoo bear

Image by @agyadou0797 via Pinterest

Colorful Watercoloured Bear face

Image by @kickassthings.com via Pinterest

Watercolor Style Bear Tattoo On The Forearm

Image by @tattoofilter via Pinterest

This is a great idea if you want a tattoo of a polar bear. The colors make the white of the bear's fur stand out. At the same time, it's a great way to represent the Northern Lights, a phenomenon usually associated with the polar bears' home:

Watercolor polar bear Tattoo

Image by @christybrownn via Pinterest

Landscape in Bear Tattoos

In these tattoos, the landscapes are part of the bear. You can choose natural landscapes such as woods and forests or include any skyline that you prefer.

These two design elements come together quite beautifully. What makes these tattoos so stunning is that the outline of the bear and the landscape blend together seamlessly:

Nature Embedded With Bear

Image by @sortra via Pinterest

Outline of the bear blends with Nature

Image by @keitherambrose via Pinterest

California Bear Half-Dome Tattoo

Image by @Jane Cho, Speakeasy Tattoo via Pinterest

If you prefer it in color, here are some options:

Explosion of Colors - Landscape Themed Bear

Image by @Koray Karagözler | kickassthings via Pinterest

Forest Theme Colorful Bear

Image by @duneseaembergal via Pinterest

Here is a truly stunning one of the night sky:

Galaxy Bear Tattoo

Image by @Adrian Bascur | kickassthings via Pinterest

Bear and Arrow Tattoos

This is certainly an unusual bear tattoo design idea. Here, the tattoos are embedded in the bear, creating a graphic image. While this tattoo can seem quite violent, the meaning behind it isn't necessarily so.

These tattoos usually depict a wounded bear, which can translate to hurt in your past, perhaps betrayal. It can also relate to emotional baggage that you're still carrying around.

This tattoo doesn't always have a negative meaning, however. It could be used to indicate that you are still standing despite the pain you have experienced in the past.

Traditional Bear Tattoo

Image by @tattoodo via Pinterest

Colorful Roaring Bear With Arrows

Image by @tattoocircle.tumblr.com via Pinterest

Brown Bear With Arrow Tattoo For Chest

Image by @bohnenpflanzer via Pinterest

Creative Bear Tattoos

Your bear tattoo doesn't always need to have a meaning. It could simply be a cool or interesting concept. Or, it could be something that makes you laugh.

It could also be a mash up of ideas or concepts. After all, bears do exactly what they want. It only makes sense to have a tattoo that comes from your own imagination.

Here are some tattoos that depict this perfectly:

Bear Moving Castle Tattoo

Image by @slimjonesink via Instagram

Crazy Bear Tattoo On Hands

Image by @hamitattoo via Instagram

Roller Skating Bear Tattoo

Image by @phillyforeally via Instagram

Big Bear Watching Over The Little Bear

Image by @casabonne_tattoos via Instagram

For such tattoos, you will need to work side-by-side with a talented artist. Explain the basic concept to them and they will help you bring your vision to life.

Teddy Bear Tattoos

A teddy bear tattoo can have different meanings. More often not, teddy bears are a reminder of childhood. A more peaceful time when life was filled with love, hope, and dreams.

In this case, these are some excellent ideas for a teddy bear tattoo:

Simple Teddy Bear Heart Tattoo

Image by @orbitingp1uto via Pinterest

Usual Teddy Bear Tattoo

Image by @marielemseffer via Pinterest

Furry Hanging Golden Teddy Tattoo

Image by @04a9l01cni08u9i via Pinterest

A teddy bear tattoo can also be used to mark the passage of time from childhood to adulthood. In this case, the teddy bear tattoo isn't quite as pleasant. As you will have learned from growing up, life tends to knock the stuffing out of you sometimes.

Here are some tattoos that depict this:

Cute Teddy Tattoo On The Arms

Image by @Caribbean_Gem via Pinterest

Torn Teddy Bear Tattoo Design

Image by @freetattoo via Pinterest

Brown Teddy Bear Tattoo

Image by @ilariabonora87 via Pinterest

The Bear Constellation

Although you may know, the constellations as the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper, these stars have historically known to represent bears.

Even more interestingly, this constellation represents the hunters and bears. The hunters continue to change the bears even as the stars rotate according to the movement of the Earth.

Here are some great ideas for this kind of tattoo:

Brown Bear Constellation Tattoo

Image by @dancgorman via Pinterest

Geometric Bear Tattoo

Image by @abbiewhale via Pinterest

Polar Bear tattoo with Cub Constellation Pattern

Image by @i.pinimg.com via Pinterest

Big Dipper Little Dipper constellation back tattoo

Image by @carriethepearl via Pinterest

Literature-Inspired Bear Tattoos

Your love of bears may have started at a pretty young age. This was probably because many of the characters in your favorite books were bears!

Winnie the Pooh taught us about love, friendship, acceptance, and adventure. As such, these tattoos are only fitting:

Winnie the Pooh Tattoo

Image by @mandaamelissa via Pinterest

Winnie The Pooh Tattoo for National Winnie the Pooh Day

Image by @magnumtattoosupplies via Pinterest

Pooh Bear Playing With Butterfly Tattoo

Image by @Rochellefra53r via Pinterest

And then, there is Paddington! His story teaches kindness, good intentions, and how to find wonder wherever you go.

colorful Paddington tattoo

Image by @alattyanibarbara via Pinterest

Little Paddington Bear sketch

Image by @tattoofilter via Pinterest

Paddington Bear dancing in the rain Tattoo

Image by @j_barczewski via Pinterest

Movie and TV Bear Tattoos

Bears have been just as prominent in movies and TV as in books.

One of the first bears you may have seen on your screen was probably Baloo. He taught you about enjoying life and end focusing on the bare necessities:

Baloo Enjoying Tattoo Design

Image by @findyoursmiletattoos.com via Pinterest

Jungle Book Baloo Tattoo

Image by @disneytattooart via Instagram

And, let's not forget about the Bear in the Big Blue House. He taught you about being responsible and being a good friend.

Big Blue House Bear Tattoo Design

Image by @sarahvandale via sarahvandale

There is also the beloved Brother Bear movie:

Disney's Brother Bear Tattoo Design

Image by @yoferdanda via Pinterest

These tattoos are an especially cute idea for siblings:

Brother Bear Tattoo For Siblings

Image by @swiderky via Pinterest

If Fozzie bear is a more relatable character, here is one you could get:

tattoo of Fozzy bear holding a rubber chicken

Image by @derlla via Instagram

If you grew up on the Care Bears, these tattoos are incredibly fitting:

Cutest little tenderheart Care bear tattoo

Image by @clumsymol via Pinterest

Amazing Care Bear Tattoo For Full Hands

Image by @Corpsepainter Tattoo & Piercing via Pinterest

Cute Pink and Blue Care Bear Tattoo

Image by @secretlove0510 via Pinterest

Happy Care Bear Tattoo Designs

Image by @exstestentialdread·she/her via Pinterest

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Does a Grizzly Bear Tattoo Symbolize?

Grizzly bear and brown bear tattoos represent a few different things. This includes strength, a wild nature, oneness with nature, and a fighting spirit.

2. What Does a Bear Head Tattoo Mean?

A bear head can be used to define inner strength, courage, and a warrior spirit.

4. What Does a Black Bear Tattoo Mean?

Black bears don't hold as much meaning as brown bears. However, they can be used to depict the joy of life and indulgence in the finer things.

There you go - all the bear tattoo designs and ideas that you can possibly imagine. Now that you know the options available, you can form the structure of your own tattoo. In turn, you will be able to create the perfect tattoo in no time at all!

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