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Sun, Sand, and Ink

beach tattoos, traditional tattoos, summer tattoos

The month of May is almost over and although it feels as if spring just started, summer is right around the corner. As kids, summer meant we had tons of free time to hang out with friends, enjoy family vacations, or just relish the time we didn’t have to spend at school. As adults, we may not have those long breaks, but we still chase that summertime freedom, scheduling vacations or simply coordinating quick weekend trips to escape the woes of daily life.

The coming season will bring heat waves and sun, inspiring people to flock to the beach or to the pools to cool off. Regardless of whether you prefer to spend the summer swimming at the beach or hiding from the heat indoors, we can certainly agree that the summer months would not be complete without a little time in the sun. These tattoos celebrate the number one summertime destination: the beach.


beach tattoos, summer tattoos, traditional tattoos, Mikki Ulma tattoo

Beach scenes are a staple in American traditional tattoos. The familiar style is well-suited to these tattoos that call for brightly colored landscapes with vibrant sunsets, green palm trees, and covetable surfboards.

Since many of the motifs counted amongst the American traditional style today were originally inspired by the art and experiences sailors encountered on their travels to East Asia and Polynesia, images commemorating island life are common. Moreover, nautical imagery is important because the American traditional style is intertwined with the lives of sailors who devote themselves to the sea. This particular tattoo is a perfect representation of the American traditional beach scene. A single palm tree looms over calm waves as the sun sets in the background, and this particular sun is reminiscent of the image of the rising sun—a nod to the Japanese influence on American traditional tattoos.


minimalist tattoos, beach tattoos, summer tattoos, Shinji tattoo

The rising sun has a place in this carefully encapsulated beach as well. However, the monochromatic ink places greater significance on the landscape. Whereas the traditional beach tattoo seems to afford equal attention to each aspect of the scene, this image dedicates more detail to the land itself. With a lone beach chair reclining on the sand and palm trees backlit with a setting sun, this minimalist tattoo captures all the elements of a picturesque beach scene. Relaxing, warm, and secluded, it brings to life the image most people conjure in their minds when they think of the beach. Fittingly, the square frame is reminiscent of a postcard, inspiring viewers to daydream about sitting in that beach chair.


beach tattoos, summer tattoos, traditional tattoos, Rachael Davison tattoo

For some vacationers, a day at the beach means relaxing in the sand, then cooling off in the water; for others, it offers a perfect place to party. Tattoos depicting beach scenes always involve the familiar images of of palm trees, sand, water, and a sunset. How these motifs are framed is one way to make these tattoos unique. Pictures within a foamy pint glass of beer, this beach scene offers an exciting alternative to a relaxing beach trip.


beach tattoos, traditional tattoos, Dottheglob tattoo

Not all vacationers flock to the beach. Some wish to escape the summertime heat in the snow-capped mountains instead. This tattoo depicts a beach scene opposite a mountainside in the form of yin and yang, showing an appreciation for both the sun and sand on the beach and the lush greenery of the mountains.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the official position of PainfulPleasures.