Though the dove itself is the symbol for peace, a peace dove tattoo typically depicts a dove with an olive branch in its mouth. Designing a peace dove tattoo requires access to tattoo designs, paper and pencils.
- Research dove tattoos
Websites such as SloDive feature images of real dove tattoos. Others such as Tattoo Finder offer stencils and graphics of doves. Look at several examples of doves, and choose a few that seem right.
- Choose the tattoo location
The location of the tattoo dictates its size. A dove that appears on the ankle must be much smaller than one on the back.
- Create a sketch
Use the images you researched, and sketch an idea of the tattoo. A peace dove is typically featured in profile with the wings spread. The olive branch is usually in the beak, though it could be clutched in one foot.
- Add or subtract from the design
Make sure to include details such as feathers and colors. Add further details such as tattoo swirls or words. If the design looks busy, subtract certain elements.
- Leave the design alone
Tattoos are permanent, so leave the design alone for at least a week. Return to the sketch after that time, and modify the design as appropriate.
- Consult a tattoo artist
Drawing on the body is different from drawing on flat paper. Tattoo artists can advise on which elements of the design are and are not possible to create on the body.