20 Lovely Light & Disturbingly Dark Angel Tattoos

Joe Osborne | Dec 4, 2019 Beauty & Style
20 Lovely Light & Disturbingly Dark Angel Tattoos

A Storybook Cherub

When one thinks of the words "angel tattoos," the first images that come to mind are of adorable, tiny cupids and cherubs fluttering through sun-drenched skies. Or, at the least, some sitting on clouds peppered through with rays of gorgeous sunlight. While we did find plenty of those in our search of the coolest angel tattoos, we found a surprising number of more, shall we say, aggressive and somber takes on the whole concept. For every cherub out there, there's a fallen angel or a violent one there to meet it. Perhaps this is because angels have taken on lots of meanings in pop culture, and have been used to demonstrate all sorts of expressions, oddly enough as that is.

Another interesting trend arose in researching this list: the vast majority (judging by our endless scrolling through Instagram as a sample) of angel tattoos are done in the straight, black-and-white line work style. Of course, we have no idea why this is, but can certainly guess. Perhaps it has to do with color generally applying more interpretation upon a piece of art than simply a noir approach, the latter leaving most of that up to the viewer. So, from angels falling out of the sky to adorable cherubs aplenty, and some more somber interpretations in between, these are the most interesting angel tattoos we could find for plenty of inspiration before getting that next (or first) piece of awesome angel ink.

  • A Falling Angel


    This one is surprisingly dark for what one would expect to see when thinking of the words "angel tattoo," but the majority of the work found in our research fit this theme. This is obviously an angel falling from grace in beautiful, dramatic fashion, gorgeously inked by Salt Lake City-based Allie Bringhurst.

  • A Cherished Little Cherub


    This adorable little piece by Iris Tattoo studio in Miami, Florida, is a simple but expert example of line art done well. For anyone familiar with the Precious Moments figurines, this piece should serve as some wholesome nostalgia. This is an elegant and innocuous piece of ink to place almost anywhere.

  • A Dark-Winged Angel


    Bringing things right back down into the deific doldrums, this piece by Danish artist Maya Katrine Ekelund should please the goths out there. This angelic woman is enveloped in the shadow of her own wings, with only a green butterfly on her shoulder bringing any light to the scene.

  • The Cutest Cupid


    This one is a literal cupid angel of Valentine's fame, inked by Italian artist Silvia Venturelli. This is another piece of line art, expertly drawn and shaded to produce an undoubtedly classic image. For the old-school tattoo fans out there, this should drum up inspiration.

  • An Interfaith Angel


    We're loving this piece of ink by a German artist known only as Silvi, incorporating the Buddhist mandala symbol with the visage of a beautiful angel. Of course, the line and shading work here is absolutely on point, particularly with the shading in the angel's divine locks of hair.

  • Deep Blue Angel Wings With a Splash of Turquoise


    We have always been here for watercolor tattoos, and this piece by Mexican artist Eloy Garcia brings on the splashes of color in spades. Featuring multiple shades of blue, we love the symbolic line work as well as the halo created from errant splashes of blue.

  • A Female Angel With Open Arms


    This is another piece of line art that just screams quality, and it's a generally positive piece of ink art. The female angel depicted here looks absolutely triumphant, as if she's ready to bestow grace upon all who lay eyes upon her. The shading and line work here, by India studio InkBlot Tattoos, are just brilliant, too.

  • A Storybook Cherub


    This baby angel, created by FK Black in Brazil, is rendered just too beautifully for us to pass without including on this list. The line work here simply excellent, looking absolutely fitting just as much in the pages of a children's story as on this lucky person's skin.

  • Watercolor Angel Wings


    We're loving this take on the watercolor piece colliding with the angel aesthetic. Inked by Berlin-based artist Manoo Stich, of course, this is a tattoo enhanced by incredible line work at its base. Admittedly, this is another dark decoration, ideal for the subsection of goth moms out there.

  • A Fierce Angel Fighting for Justice


    We absolutely adore the depiction of what we can only assume is Michael the Archangel, arguably the most militant of God's order within the Christian text. The incredible emotion captured by this line art is among these best we've ever seen, inked by the studio Downtown Social Club in Spain.

  • Lifted Up on Angel's Wings


    While an unfinished piece, we couldn't pass up on such an interesting approach to the archetypal "angel tattoo." Inked by Mexican artist Alexa Carmín, it appears that -- once finished -- this piece will express the duality of a light and dark side, depicting one dark wing and another light wing. 

  • St. Michael the Archangel in Battle


    Here's another sight of Michael the Archangel in the middle of righteous battle, with what's likely some sort of sinner under his heel. The color, shading and line work here are simply excellent. Thanks to Italian studio Showtime Tattoo for this brilliant, action-packed piece.

  • A Simple, Subtle & Symbolic Angel Piece


    Colombian studio Fragmented inked this simpler and more subtle piece that includes the elements of multiple faiths, particularly the ornamentation of Buddhist and Hindu faiths with the unmistakable imagery of a Christian angel's wings.

  • A Classic-Style Angel


    We've always been big fans of the classic style of tattoos from decades past, and this one both nails that aesthetic and depicts an intriguing angelic woman. We're unsure of the significance of this angel, if any, but it sure does look pretty and inspiring.

  • Simply Soaring Angel's Wings


    Here's a number by a Turkish tattoo artist that could be placed almost anywhere rather innocuously: a simple set of angel's wings. There's plenty of symbolism to draw here, leaving it up the owner and viewer of the piece to interpret, and would serve as an excellent first tattoo.

  • A Cherubic Harp Duet


    Here's another cutesy piece to even out the righteous violence of archangels and sadness of fallen angels, this time inked by Andrew Vidakovich of Baltimore. Done in the American traditional style of decades past, we love the look these two tiny angels are sharing -- it's something we could see on the margin of an ancient medieval text.

  • An Adorable Light in the Darkness


    This piece inked by Barcelona-based artist Victoria Franco features an old-school style that's just too cute to ignore. We're not sure what significance the lantern light has, if any, but we'd be lying if we said we weren't intrigued.

  • Epic Angel Guitar Solo                                                                                              


    We'd think that more of the angels on this list had the ability to rock, given their mystical voices, but that's not evident based on our research. But this piece may just make up for all of the lacking in rock potential with its incredible line and shading work by artist Matt Johnson of Moscow, Indiana.

  • This Cherub Has Put Fear to Rest


    We're in love with this cutesy cherub just resting above its figurative fears, so nonchalant and, well, fearless. Inked by Taiwanese artist known only as Shayne, this piece is both adorable and inspirational at the same time.

  • Cherubs Share a Smooch


    This is such a positive tattoo, showing one cute faerie cherub giving a smooch to another angel. The expert line work in this piece does plenty to carry out the emotion presented, which is just pure love and joy, thanks to Seoul-based artist Lee Yejin.


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