A sleeve tattoo can often be described as a combination or collection of various designs strategically placed on an individuals arm or leg to form one seemingly continuous work. However, sleeves can also be composed of a single continuous pattern or color.
The terms tattoo sleeve, full sleeve, half sleeve, etc. are generic terms given to tattoo designs covering the arm or leg in a close-knit pattern resembling that of a sleeve. The validity of this term is occasionally brought into question but has gained wider acceptance over the years, especially since the dawn of the internet age. “Full sleeve” is just a tad bit catchier and descriptive than searching the web for “full arm piece tattoos.” Most contemporary artists have accepted the term and regularly use it.
Sleeve tattoos are sometimes planned, but often the result of one tattoo leading to another, then another, and so on and so forth. As most of you with ink will attest to, tattoos are addicting! Let’s take a look at some awesome examples of sleeve tattoos on men.
Here we have a spectacular black and grey ink sleeve featuring a combination of swirling circles, geometric shapes, and mandala flowers. (Photo: Nissaco)
From the shading to the pattern work, this large scale dotwork design looks better and better the further you get from it—not because it sucks obviously. (Photo: Helsinki)
The first of many to come, this renaissance sculpture work features the Greek Titan Promethesus covered by a strategically placed bolt of cloth is the work of master tattooist Jun Cha, who’s renaissance-inspired work has earned him quite the following.
As tough as it is to name complex tattoo sleeves, we think we did OK. One of our favorite designs on the list, this intricate colorless sleeve has a nice even weight throughout. (Photo: Zmierzloki Tattoo)
A women dons a lion head cap while holding a lantern with what looks to be a double exposure landscape scene inside. (Photo: Nederland)
We’ve always been a huge fan of Alex Grey’s work so when this piece came up we of course had to include it on our list. It’s a good thing this sleeve isn’t in color ’cause people probably wouldn’t be able to handle the cosmic awesomeness of a full-blown Alex Grey masterpiece. (Photo: Erik the Viking)
Another fantastic piece from Jun Cha. The sharp contrast seen in the shadows of Cha’s work has become one of the most defining characteristics of his work. (Photo: Jun Cha)
We can’t say enough good things about this piece. A star-filled purple and blue sky transitions to a colorless pond in the woods. (Photo: Tyler Malek)
Here we have a stunning spiraling design that contains samples of various styles and patterns. The bold outlines and negative spaces give this piece an undeniably stylish vibe. (Photo: Christopher Noogin)
Mars with his signature helmet to signify his warrior status. (Photo: Jun Cha)
From the cosmos to the depths of the sea, this piece has it all. This colorful sleeve travels from the wrist all the up the arm ending on the neck. (Photo: Ben Klishevskiy)
This blackwork sleeve is comprised of a number of different designs but the focal point is clearly the piecing eyeball mid way down the arm. (Photo: Kostas Baronis Proki)
In a pale shade of green no doubt. (Photo: Sullen Art)
If you haven’t noticed already, this is actually the same design we showcased earlier on. It was just too amazing so we thought no one would mind a second and third look. (Photo: Nissaco)
Mandala flower patterns and heavy blackwork fill take turns filling this segmented design. (Photo: Ivan Hack)
Here we have a space-themed sleeve with an astronaut in various stages of surfing. What do we love most about this piece? The reflection on that visor of course. (Photo: Tobias Jonsson)
Well, this sleeve seems to have all the trappings of an M. Night Shyamalan film. (Photo: Craig McDonagh)
If you love your country and it’s military, what better way to show it off than with an epic full sleeve tattoo in stunning color. (Photo: Luka Lajoie)
It’s just a sleeve. Don’t worry, he’s not a cyborg…yet. (Photo: Matt Driscoll)
Amazing detail. This piece looks, for lack of a better word, sharp. (Photo: Pavel Roch)
A heavy black upper transitions into no less than four different out-of-this-world geometric patterns. (Photo: Jakob Holst Rasmussen)
This is how you do tribal sleeves! For those of you not yet Kenny Brown fans, his tribal work is something you must see. (Photo: Kenny Brown)
Tidbits of red ink adorn this otherwise colorless asian-themed sleeve. (Photo: Nha Nguyen)
Here we have a samurai warrior complete with head to toe armor and mask. (Photo: Nha Nguyen)
This vintage style sleeve tattoo features softly lit angels and a perfectly drawn timepiece. (Photo: Dennis Wilde)
Jun strikes again, this time adding a gorgeous female face to the mix. (Photo: Jun Cha)
Tribal chaos. (Photo: Lai)
The depth added to this geometric masterpiece makes this piece a border line optical illusion. (Photo: David Mushaney)
While we’re not 100 percent sure if the ornate shoulder border is finished, or just waiting to be shaded, our vote says leave it like this. (Photo: Badjo)
Wandering Russian tattooist Nika Samarina never ceases to amaze with her arresting combinations of color and keene eye for detail.
In the past few decades, geometric sleeves have exploded in popularity. (Photo: Xnazax)
If you didn’t know better you’d think this sculpted masterpiece was done with a hammer and chisel instead of a needle and ink. (Photo: Jun Cha)
This steampunk-inspired armor features brilliant shading and a few strategically placed gems. (Photo: Steven Mckenzie)
Does this remind anyone else of the film Labyrinth starring David Bowie? (Photo: Bolo Art)
(Photo: Johan Avila)
A wonderful tribal sleeve with a few non traditional additions. (Photo: Nissaco)
(Photo: Jun Cha)
Originally Published: https://tattooblend.com/36-perfect-sleeve-tattoos-guys-style/