Water is cleansing, beautiful; sometimes calm, sometimes tumultuous. It, like fire, can either sustain life or take it away. This seemingly innocent element holds a power that can be unimaginable, and for these reasons alone, water tattoos have become one of the most sought after symbols. However, water has also held its place in stories, myths, religions and astrology, and thus can be used in an almost endless amount of artistic depictions.
Many water tattoos show this element by itself. For example, you could show frothy waves wrapped around an arm or a leg; you could create a moon-shaped crescent out of a roiling ocean; you could create a spiraling whirlpool, a small placid lake, or a simple splash of blue water. You could also include other elements, creatures or natural objects, like surrounding a hot, fiery sun with a bubbling pool of water; a lily appearing to be dropped and splashing in a lake; or a mermaid gliding down a waterfall.
It is not uncommon to see water tattoos that depict one of the many stories that water appears in. One of the most popular depictions is, of course, of Venus (or Aphrodite) rising from the sea. However, there are many stories you could call your imagery from; for instance, you could create a sort of yin yang theme with clear, clean blue water and soiled, dark water to symbolize the Zoroastrian belief that the clean water is good and sacred, while the polluted water is thought to be an emblem of wickedness and evil. You could also create a vague but stunning image of the Scottish myth of Ashrays. In the story, these creatures were entirely translucent and lived beneath the water. For this, you could use a fading blue outline of a human figure, with glimmering white lines to give the appearance of waves within.
Many people prefer to use a Japanese style for their water tattoos. These styles can range from characters to woodblock, from symbols to paintings. Many of these styles feature flared slashes to represent a wild dash of water, or may take a more literal approach, as in woodblock and painting styles. They are usually done in white and blue tones, but can also be seen in red, orange and green.