How to Get a Calf Tattoo

by Contributor ; Updated September 28, 2017

How to Get a Calf Tattoo. Tattoos on the calf can provide an average sized area that works well for many different designs. The pain factor during the tattoo procedure is considered extremely tolerable to mildly uncomfortable, but some find the discomfort after the tattoo is completed to be a little more than expected.

Decide on placement. You may want a single design on one calf or matching or contrasting designs on both calves.

Choose a design. When deciding on a design, keep in mind that you'll have more space horizontally than vertically. Not all designs that will require wrapping around the leg will work well when placed in this manner. Also, for men, if you're a hairy fellow, when the hair grows back, the design will be partially obscured. So, unless you plan on keeping the area shaved permanently, you may want to go with a darker, bolder design that will be more visible underneath the hair.

Pick your colors. You may choose to do your calf tattoo in full color or in black and grey shading. The decision really comes down to personal preference, however, for men, you still want to keep in mind the hair factor when considering certain colors, especially lighter colors.

Gear up for some discomfort. The best thing regarding pain when getting a calf tattoo is there aren't any bones to tattoo over. Many people find bonier parts of the body much more painful, so many find a calf tattoo to be fairly painless. On the flip side, there's a lot of muscle in this area and some people find that as this muscle tenses, which is unavoidable, the pain becomes more noticeable.

Be prepared for the possibility of continued pain. Because your calf muscle stays pretty tense throughout the tattoo procedure, don't be surprised if it's tender for a few days following the procedure. Like overworking a muscle at the gym, when a muscle stays tense for an extended period of time, it's going to have the same effect.


  • If your job requires a lot of walking or standing throughout the day, it's highly advisable to get a calf tattoo when you're going to have a few days off. Calf tattoos are a popular choice for men, but they're also gaining in popularity among women. For those that must cover their tattoos during working hours, tattoos on the calf are very easy to keep covered if you generally wear pants to work. For women, however, you may find them more difficult to conceal if you tend to wear skirts or dresses on a regular basis.

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