Maori inspired tattoo designs and tribal tattoos images

Hand drawn Kirituhi designs, custom tattoos, sketches, tutorials and high resolution printable tattoo flash drawings.

December 26, 2015

Tribal Polynesian turtle tattoo

Written by M. Storm

I designed this Polynesian turtle tattoo last week (high resolution available here: tribal turtle tattoo) from a sketch I did a few months ago. The turtle tattoo has a lot of meaning and symbolism, ranging from "immortality, fertility, stability, strength and security.  First I started drawing a basic outline of the turtle and trued to incorporate some Maori / Polynesian koru shapes like it is surrounded by water.

How to draw a turtle tattoo
Outline of the turtle design
Drawing tribal tattoo turtle design
Maori turtle tattoo meaning
a bit of adjustments to the sketch
Tattoo sketch of a Polynesian turtle design

Then I started on the tribal patterns inside the turtle body, with some rows of spearheads and otherrepetitive shapes and elements

Once the pencil drawing was completed, I used 3 different markers to trace the outlines of the tattoodesign. First a thick Edding Marker with a 3mm tip, then a Copic Multiliner 1mm, and finally a Pigma Micron 04 for the finer details in the design.

Drawing a turtle tattoo design
Using a Copic multiliner 1mm
high quality turtle tattoo in tribal maori style
all lines traced with marker and fineliner

When all the black lines and shapes were traced, I got to the favorite part of designing tribal tattoos, shading and layering with my set of Classic Copic Markers in 9 different greytones.

Tribal Polynesian turtle tattoo designTurtle tattoo Polynesian tribal style
Started adding shading with Copic markers in greytones
I use the N5 marker to draw the thick shading and the other tones to add more depth.
Below you see a photo of the first stages of the shading proces:

Once the shading was done, the final high quality design looks like this. The turtle has a nice row of spearheads flowing from the body into the full tattoo.

photo of high resolution turtle tattoos

high resolution tribal turtle tattoos

tattoo designs with turtle download images

When I complete the design, I make a set of digital mockups for my customers, so you can see how the tattoo looks on different bodyparts.

It's a rough preview, so it's not 100% perfect, but it gives you an idea.

Here are 5 different examples:

shoulder tattoo with turtle design
halfsleeve tattoo with turtle

inner forearm tattoo with turtles
inner forearm tattoo

forearm tattoo sleeve with turtle in tribal tattoos
forearm tattoo sleeve with turtle in tribal designs

calf tattoo with tribal turtle image

turtle thigh tattoo design pictures
thigh tattoo with koru turtle

stomach tattoo and upperback turtle design
stomach tattoo and upperback turtle design

And finally I decided to create a nice Youtube video of the steps from start to finished design:

Have a great day!

If you wish to order the high resolution design of this tattoo, please visit my website:

Cheers :Mark

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