Cloud Tattoos for Men

Getting new ink is a great way to add some flair and spark change for those willing to make a decision that is a bit more daring (and permanent). While the list of best tattoos for men is long and dependent on many different images and tattoo styles, there is something classic and versatile about cloud tattoos. 

Though many men tend to get clouds as bicep or arm tattoos, certain designs can also fit nicely on the chest or calf. Whether you want them to be more in the background for a centered piece, or you simply like the artsy vibe that many cloud tattoo designs have, there are countless options to choose from. That said, if you’re in the market for some new ink, here are 25 cloud tattoo ideas for men who want to reach the sky.

Black Cloud Tattoos

Through the use of darker shading, black cloud tattoos create a more masculine look on a sometimes more delicate image. If you are looking for something that appears a bit more realistic, make sure that your artist knows how to shade properly rather than simply filling in the lines. 

Black Cloud Tattoos
@derekchungtattoos / Instagram

 Akatsuki Cloud Tattoos

If you enjoy tattoos that have more of an animated look to them, you should play with the idea of getting a red Akatsuki cloud tattoo. Though Akatsuki cloud tattoos can be done in black and white, maintaining the red coloring allows for them to be more authentic and traditional. 

Akatsuki Cloud Tattoos
@mothmanderstattoo / Instagram

Japanese Cloud Tattoos

With abstract lines and pristine shading, Japanese cloud tattoos are both simple and beautiful. While they could work nicely as the background to another image, they are just as eye-catching on their own.

Japanese Cloud Tattoo, Cloud Tattoos
@ryanberti / Instagram

Cloud 9 Tattoo

There is no right or wrong way to pay tribute to the classic “Cloud 9” mentality via some ink. From clouds paired with the number “9”, to the word “nine” being inked in script, cloud 9 tattoos allow for endless creativity when it comes to the design. 

Cloud 9 Tattoo, Cloud Tattoos
@aaronsytattoo / Instagram

Storm Cloud Tattoos

Storm cloud tattoos can be paired with rain droplets or bolts of lightning to create a mysterious and enticing piece, regardless of if they are done in black and white or have a pop of color. 

Storm Cloud Tattoo, Cloud Tattoos
@katie_foster_tatt / Instagram

Cloud Shading Tattoos

When it comes to cloud tattoos, proper shading can truly take a basic or fake-looking cloud and turn it into a realistic or abstract tattoo. If you are looking to create an image that is darker or more intense, then go for heavier shading. However, if you want to create a more heavenly or airy scene, lighter shading is the proper route. 

Cloud Shading Tattoo, Cloud Tattoos
@theinkelephant / Instagram

Simple Cloud Tattoos

Simple cloud tattoos are the perfect way to make a meaningful tribute or fill some space if needed. They are both aesthetically pleasing and simple, meaning the tattoo won’t look too busy or overdone. Since simple cloud tattoos do not have a ton of line work or shading, they will inadvertently look more animated than realistic. 

Simple Cloud Tattoo, Cloud Tattoos
@gwd.s / Instagram

Cloud Background Tattoos

From religious iconography to meaningful tributes, cloud background tattoos create an entire scene that is both detailed and intricate. Just make sure that the shading is not too dark so that it does not overwhelm the image that will be going in front. 

Cloud Background Tattoo, Cloud Tattoos
@drawingbloodstudio / Instagram

Sun and Cloud Tattoos

Whether you’re looking to make a more symbolic message or simply like designs that contain polarity, sun and cloud tattoos blend together nicely to create a harmonious scene. This design in particular might look best when given some color so as to create contrast between the two opposing elements. 

Sun and Cloud Tattoo, Cloud Tattoos
@eddie_dit / Instagram

Thunder Cloud Tattoos

Similar to storm cloud tattoos, thunder cloud tattoos tend to use darker shading and more voluminous line work to create a darker scene. If you like color, throw in some yellow lightning bolts for added flair. 

Thunder Cloud Tattoo, Cloud Tattoos
@rranoraa / Instagram

Realistic Cloud Tattoos

Realistic cloud tattoos tend to be the most eye-catching due to their artistic touch. Realistic cloud tattoos are also the best kind of design for background pieces, being that they are most often airy and easy to tattoo on top of. 

Realistic Cloud Tattoo, Cloud Tattoos
@yellow__school / Instagram

Cloud and Lightning Tattoos

Cloud and lightning tattoos can be done either realistically or abstractly, creating a stormy scene. If you prefer something a bit more cartoonish, try asking for simple line work and color to add that animated element. However, for those who want something with realism, thin lines and delicate shading create the proper scene. 

Cloud and Lightning Tattoo, Cloud Tattoos
@melissadowart / Instagram

Moon and Cloud Tattoo

When inked traditionally, moon and cloud tattoos create an air of mystery that is reminiscent of Halloween. If you are into the sort of “werewolf moon” look, a large, full moon with scattered clouds across it creates an awesome scene that is both beautiful and a bit dark. 

Moon and Cloud Tattoo, Cloud Tattoos
@ati.ful / Instagram

Korean Cloud Tattoos

Recognized by their dark shading and abstract shape, Korean cloud tattoos boast an incredibly masculine design that works best as either a full or half sleeve.

Korean Cloud Tattoo, Cloud Tattoos
@skinfuelempirekvadrat / Instagram

Cloud and Star Tattoos

Similar to moon and cloud tattoos, cloud and star tattoos can be designed in a variety of ways to create a peaceful nighttime scene. Whether you want a shooting star or a cloudy sky full of twinkling lights, this is a unique design that not many men tend to go for when creating cloud tattoos. 

Cloud and Star Tattoo, Cloud Tattoos
@saegeemtattoo / Instagram

Cloud Tattoos with Names

While most people advise against getting names permanently tattooed, cloud tattoos with names open the door for you to keep a loved one as a part of you. Though you could use the name of your children or a family member who is alive, cloud tattoos effortlessly create a heavenly ambiance, meaning it is the perfect pairing for the name of a loved one who has crossed over to the other side. 

Cloud Tattoo with Names, Cloud Tattoos
@skadhafi / Instagram

Cross and Cloud Tattoos

Perhaps one of the most popular cloud tattoo designs, cross and cloud tattoos are a way for religious men to pay homage to their family roots or spiritual beliefs. If you would like to personalize your cloud and cross tattoo in a more meaningful way, include a specific scripture or verse in the design. As stated above, you could even take the personalization a step further by adding the name of a loved one so that they are a permanent part of your meaningful tattoo. 

Cross and Cloud Tattoo, Cloud Tattoos
@gmeektattoo / Instagram

Smoke Cloud Tattoos

Smoke cloud tattoos combine the elements of fire and air to create a sultry design. They are best characterized by having a slimmer base that widens as the tattoo expands, similar to smoke from a fire.

Smoke Cloud Tattoo, Cloud Tattoos
@kaitattoo2019 / Instagram

Cloud Tattoos Sleeve

If you’re looking to start a unique sleeve, cloud tattoo sleeves are the perfect base being that they can easily be added upon. As long as your shading isn’t too dark, cloud tattoo sleeves are both effortlessly cool and versatile, allowing for you to add more and get creative as you go. 

Cloud Tattoo Sleeve, Cloud Tattoos
@deep_tattooz / Instagram

Creeping Cloud Arm Tattoos

Cloud arm tattoos are a popular route to take because the shape of clouds wraps nicely around the arm, creating a dynamic design. 

Cloud Arm Tattoo, Cloud Tattoos
@hozhotattoo / Instagram

Cloud Tattoos on Chest

If you want to have a large scene, cloud tattoos on the chest might be your best option. Given the width of our chests, designs can stretch out horizontally, providing ample space to get creative.

Cloud Tattoo on Chest, Cloud Tattoos / Instagram

Forearm Cloud Tattoo

Since this area is rather slim, forearm cloud tattoos are perfect for smaller and more simple designs. Though you can get intricate and detailed with them, the forearm is not the spot if you want to add something very large or wide. 

Forearm Cloud Tattoo, Cloud Tattoos / Instagram

Cloud Finger Tattoos

If you’re into the more trendy or minimalist look, cloud finger tattoos are both modern and cool without requiring too much effort. Just the simple outline of a cloud is all you need when designing the ideal cloud finger tattoo. 

Cloud Finger Tattoo, Cloud Tattoos
@zimnytattoo / Instagram

Cloud Tattoos on Shoulder

Since the shoulder rounds at the top, cloud tattoos on the shoulder make for very artsy and complimentary designs. Though your tattoo can easily stretch beyond the ball of the shoulder, a more circular design fits perfectly and provides a unique opportunity to do something different. 

Cloud Tattoo on Shoulder, Cloud Tattoos
@kennytavener_art / Instagram

Hand Cloud Tattoo

Cloud hand tattoos are choice for those who are interested in getting something a bit smaller and more subtle. Since cloud tattoo designs on the hand fall on the smaller side, a more animated or cartoon-like cloud would fit nicely. 

Cloud Hand Tattoo
@pokeeeeeeeoh / Instagram


What does a cloud tattoo symbolize?

Depending on which angle you are looking at them, cloud tattoos can hold various meanings. For some, the combination of air and water represents both emotions and intellect, leading to a sort of balance between the two. For others, clouds can symbolize something as simple as mystery or a “gateway” to heaven. 

What kind of tattoo goes with a cloud background?

From religious iconography to a ship in a storm, clouds make for a beautiful background to several different images. While crosses and praying hands are common for those looking to pay tribute to their religious beliefs, scenes in nature also make for a great piece of body art. 

How should a cloud tattoo be shaded?

When it comes to shading, the amount of coloring depends on the style that you are going for. If you want more light and airy clouds, it is best to do minimal shading. However, if you are looking to create some dark or stormy clouds, darker shading is the way to go.  

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