How Much Does a Dragon Tattoo Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 15, 2018

The choice of a dragon tattoo is often linked to its mythical powers and is a symbol of supernatural powers among the Chinese and Japanese; however, a dragon tattoo has various meanings, depending on the region.  The dragon is also common in modern fantasy literature and western culture.

One of the things that set a dragon tattoo apart from other tattoo designs is the number of colors often seen in a design.

While most tattoos have one or two colors, dragon tattoos will usually be very colorful with multiple color combinations.

Tatuagem Dragão Dragon Tattoo by TattooArteBTU, on Flickr
Tatuagem Dragão Dragon Tattoo” (CC BY 2.0) by  TattooArteBTU

How much does a dragon tattoo cost?

On average, the cost of a dragon tattoo will depend on the size of the tattoo, the amount of detail that goes into it, the body part, tattoo artist and geographical location.  Very detailed dragon tattoos, such as a half or full sleeve, can cost as much as $1,400, while smaller dragon tattoos with less detail can be shaded for about $200 to $800. 

Moviefone.com did some research to see what tattoo artists would charge for the tattoo Lisbeth Salander had in the movie The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  Most professional tattoo artists stated that they would probably charge anywhere from as little as $500 to as much as $1,200.

On this WeddingBee.com forum thread, a member showcased her dragon tattoo she had done.  According to her, it cost $600 and took six hours to complete.

Dragon tattoo overview

There are many variations of the dragon tattoo.  Some can be very detailed, while some can be as simple as an outline.  Some people prefer a fire-spitting dragon, vicious looking and clawed monster, while some will consider a subtle look.  Some inked dragons may be done in monochrome colors while some can be done with an array of bright colors, making them stand out.  Like any other design, the design and colors are endless.

While most men prefer a larger, fierce looking dragon inked on their chests, back and arms, ladies often opt for smaller versions on their hands, legs and lower back.

The average session should take around two to five hours depending on the size of the tattoo.  If it is a very large tattoo, the artist may suggest that you do it in two sittings rather than all in one.

What are the extra costs?

An ointment will be needed after the tattoo is complete to keep the area moisturized and prevent an infection.  While some professionals will include these aftercare products, some may require you buy it separate from your tattoo quote.  A good ointment often costs $10 to $20.

Depending on the location and colors of your dragon tattoo, plan on touch-ups in the future.  This would be the case with any tattoo, however.

Tips to know

If you need inspiration, refer to this TattoosMe.com page that showcases 50 dragon tattoo designs.

How can I save money?

Don’t focus on the price when shopping for a tattoo.  While it can play a role, the hygiene and the artist’s experience and reviews are much more important.  Depending on where you live, try your hardest to receive as many quotes as possible as many artists are more than happy to offer a ballpark for free.


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