Day Dreamer

15 Small Watercolor Tattoo Ideas and Their Meaning

Small Watercolor tattoos have been on an uptrend for the past 10 years as customers love the dainty tattoo style. These small tattoos can be illustrative with definitive lines or transparent and true to traditional watercolor painting. Tattoo artists accomplish this by using transparent pigment and watering their ink down, although each tattoo artist has a different method and style. Today we’re going to review 15 small watercolor tattoo ideas  that are so subtle and beautiful you’ll wear them as works of art. 

1. Crescent Moon

The crescent moon is a beautiful and simple tattoo design that ages well and looks great in any color. A half moon or crescent moon symbolizes birth and fertility as well as womanhood.

2. Koi Fish

Swimming Koi fish represent perseverance and strength, this tattoo is perfect for symbolizing a personal battle trial and is a small watercolor tattoo that looks great pretty much anywhere. 

3. Butterfly

  The butterfly represents change and transformation and is a beautiful tattoo to symbolize a journey of embracing change. We love this particular tattoo because of the circle dotted detail around the wings representing metamorphosis. 


Whales represent freedom and inner joy as well as solitude. This is a unique small watercolor tattoo idea that will stand out and stand the test of time.

5. Airplanes

Airplanes symbolize travel and wanderlust, this particular design is great because it utilizes black which can help the tattoo maintain its shape and prevent fading. 

6. Peter Pan 

Peter Pan represents youthfulness and joy. This tattoo is great if you want a multitude of colors and the fading isn’t as harsh on the clean outline of this design. Small watercolor tattoos can lack clarity but this tattoo perfectly emulates the free flowing design of watercolor with the much needed structure of a traditional tattoo. 

7. Wildflowers

One of the most popular and most stunning tattoos on this list is the wildflower. This design is truly a work of art and is a design which can utilize easily embody a lot of colors. 

8. Hummingbird

Hummingbirds symbolism happiness and positivity, this tattoo is looks great on a flat surface of the body such as the back and is a small tattoo which can be expressed in several different colorways. 

9. Single Rose

The rose represents love and romance. This is the perfect tattoo for any romantic and can be expressed in a multitude of different colors, even in black and white. 

10. Heart

Similar to the rose, hearts symbolism love, affection and wisdom. This is an adorable option and can be very small and easily hidden for those that don’t want to commit to a complex tattoo. 

12. Water/ Waves

Waves represent calmness and balance but also turbulence. This is the perfect tattoo for water lovers and can be expressed in many different shapes and sizes either in a shape or free form. 

13. Planets

Planets represent creativity and otherworldliness. As shown below, this tattoo can be in a series such as the solar system or a singular planet. 

14. Rainbow Paint Splatter

Perfect for LGBTQ representation, the rainbow splatter is a unique tattoo that can be designed in anyway you can imagine. This tattoo is also great for expressing creativity and individuality. 

15. Flame/Fire

Fire represents passion, desire and rebirth. We love the triangular outline of this tattoo as it creates dimension and structure to the free flowing flames. 

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