The Western dragon is most commonly used for its mythological history rather than for a deeper meaning. However, they can occasionally have a deeper meaning, such as the Celtic ‘circle of life’ dragon — which is meant to represent the cyclic nature of life. They can also show pride in nationality. An example of this would be the red dragon, which is the national symbol of Wales.
As for the Eastern dragon, it is more than a large, snake-like creature. These dragons illustrate the elements of fire, wind, earth and water. They can have far reaching implications, being neither good nor evil, they often represent the forces of nature, which can be both beautiful and brutal.
Although most dragon tattoos are colorful, they can also be done in black and shades of grey. Black and red is another great option, and is frequently seen in tribal tattoo designs.
Given the protean nature of dragons, it is possible to create a variety of scenes and a variety of creatures. One fascinating design is the koi fish dragon. The koi being a sign of masculinity, wisdom and longevity, is said to climb waterfalls and at the end of its trek, is transformed into a dragon. This design can be simple and show a creature featuring attributes of both a dragon and a koi fish, or they can be intricate and depict the journey between fish and beast.
The backdrop of dragon tattoos can be just as diverse as the dragon itself. Flames, flowers and symbols of peace are frequently used. However, you can tell a story with a landscape. A medieval castle; emerging from a cave, or a Japanese woodblock-type background with rippling waves, mountains and colorful skies.