There are many species of butterflies fluttering about, whether you fancy the idea of filling the wings in a more fantastical spectrum or opt for a realistic depiction of a winged species, coloring or lack thereof will be the first consideration in your butterfly tattoo piece.
For starters there are 6 families of butterflies. They are the Swallowtails, Brush-footed,Whites and Sulphurs, Gossamer- winged, Metalmark and lastly the Skippers. The most common butterflies most people are familiar with are the Swallowtails and the Monarchs that fall within the Brush-footed butterfly family.
Encyclopedias offer vast amounts of knowledge that can help you begin discovering th butterfly type and style you're after. Give this process some time as the wing shapes and sizes and even colors offer much variation in the butterfly's style.
Black and Grey TattoosDating back to the streets of LA in the 1970s, single-needle tattooing done in a fine line style became the stamp of prison tattoos before it hit the streets in style thanks to the artistic efforts of tattoo artists Jack Rudy and Freddy Negrete.
Black and grey tattoos can be a very dramatic choice for a butterfly tattoo because of the variation of shading that will likely be used to create your piece. Rose tattoos done in a fine line black and grey style offer the best example of how a butterfly can look classic, elegant and even mystical.
If you're into lunar and moon tattoos, consider adding black and grey butterflies to create a dark star set scene.
Men can incorporate butterflies into many different masculine tattoo designs including tribal and even Celtic tattoos. You can even opt for a nature theme tattoo with sleeves that carry on with insects.
Greek Mythology and ButterfliesGreek mythology has many connections to butterflies. The Greek word for butterfly is "Psyche" and that is also the translation of the soul.
Cupid married Psyche on one lonely condition. He would visit her only at night and the dark. In these evenings they shares romantic passions that were heated and unbridled. Soon Psyche became fearful that the man in the dark may be unhandsome in real life.
Amongst the pushing of her sisters, Psyche decided to light a candle upon Cupid's face at night only to see the beautiful winged man that he was. Angrily awoken by the light, Cupid took off and broke Psyche's heart, never to return. A lantern and a butterfly could depict this same lore or a moonlight tattoo could offer a romantic translation of their love story; tragic as it is.
Butterflies and EvolutionOn a lighter note, butterflies signify change and rebirth. Just as the butterfly begins life as a caterpillar and goes through a mysterious period of quiet transformation, the evolution springs upon a much more beautiful self.
If you've suffered significant loss or have parted with significant loves or people, a butterfly tattoo could help represent and affirm your change and help encourage a positive and brighter future.
Butterflies can be a playful and feminine tattoo and they can also offer much more dark and significant meaning. Whether it be to represent transformation and harmony or love and bliss, winged tattoos are proof that wherever a butterfly lands, beauty always follows.