Tattoo Sleeve Pictures and Ideas

Jennifer Betts

Inspiration for the Perfect Tattoo Sleeve

Creating a tattoo sleeve is typically a long, thought-out process that includes several months to years of planning to get it perfect. While some people start out with a sleeve in mind, others get individual elements and decide to turn their concept into a sleeve. For instance, a Hello Kitty theme merges well into other design elements. If tat sleeves seem like an impossible goal, look at this tattoo sleeve gallery for inspiration! From well-planned, themed sleeves to more random designs, you'll find a little of everything.

Sleeve of Flaming Faces

Sleeve tattoos can have a cohesive theme that runs from the shoulder to the wrist that also works in other design elements. Notice in this piece how the color and black work merge together to create unity within the artwork. Additionally, the way the colorful faces seem to run the length of the arm show the thought that went into creating the piece.

Maori-Inspired Sleeve

Maori tattoo work has a long history. The tattoos themselves hold significant meaning to this indigenous Polynesian tribe. The different design elements can hold significance about birth, heritage, and other important life events. Sleeves created in this style are typically well designed and though-out pieces. They are also found on both men and women.

Masked Mermaid With Sea Elements

A lot of times on a sleeve design, you will find patchwork tattoos that have been added overtime and are then worked together through coloring or shading in of the background. Other times, you will find a sleeve that has a central element like this mermaid that the rest of the sleeve is then worked around to create an ocean theme.

Intricate Ocean Designs

Ocean themes can be fun to work with in a tattoo sleeve. First, you want to plan out your main elements then work the background around it. The waves of the ocean are worked around the nautical star and mermaid creating a uniform look. The color of the piece also works in unison yet still highlights individual elements.

Portraits With Patterns

Portraiture is a great way to build a sleeve design. The upper half of the sleeve is done in black and gray, but the color elements are worked in to create an unique design that still looks uniform. The cheetah print also works to highlight the portrait and make everything merge.

Beautiful Backgrounds

With a sleeve design, you will find that it is truly the background that brings everything together. While the individual designs weaving through it are important, how you work the background together makes it seem like a sleeve. The cheetah print in this sleeve is the design element that brings everything together.

Bold, Vibrant, Sexy

Another way to bring together a sleeve is through color. Using bold, vibrant elements together along with colors that complement each other makes the piece come alive. In this sleeve, the blues found in Shiva work together with the purples and greens found in the flowers above it.

Classic Stars

The best way to work out a sleeve is to have some design elements that repeat throughout the arm. For example, you would include all horror elements in a horror sleeve. You might also have multiple stars that range in size dancing up your arm to create harmony.

A Slow Process for Unique Art

Sleeves are a slow process. Different elements seem to come together as you get your ink completed, making one piece slowly work into the next. Just remember to use each element and colors that compliment each other to get that look you are going for. Ready for more inspiration? Check out the Wrist Tattoo Gallery to extend your art.

Jennifer Betts
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Tattoo Sleeve Pictures and Ideas