70 Sensational Tattoo Sleeves
Some people have one tattoo, others have a few on different spots on their body. It’s the really dedicated tattoo lovers who go for full tattoo sleeves. Hours in the chair are rewarded with a whole new landscape of skin. Check out 70 of the most amazing tattoo sleeves we found on the internet.
Tattoo sleeves can becomes a lasting homage to a favorite artist or work of art.
1. Keith Haring
You probably recognize Keith Haring’s work even if you don’t know the name. He was a popular artist/activist in the 80’s, known for his colorful human figures. The themes present in his works ranged from sex to death, all showcased by his graffiti style. And, if you’re into that kind of thing, lots of his art involves penises. For a fan of his work, this is a beautiful subject for a sleeve tattoo. All those vibrant colors look stunning!
2. Salvador Dali
The mind-boggling style of art known as surrealism came about in the early 20th century. This type of work often featured optical illusions, illogically paired subjects and strange, imagined creatures. Salvador Dali is probably the most well-known artist of the genre, and his works are certainly distinctive and incredible – a perfect fit for a tattoo. This full leg piece incorporates several of his works, including The Melting Watch, The Temptation of Saint Anthony (the long-legged elephants carrying a Roman building), and Dali himself (crazy mustache and all!). I imagine it would be a daunting task as a tattoo artist to take on someone else’s artwork, much less that of a very famous artist.
Ah, the mythical Banksy! Will we ever know his true identity? His subversive and stealthy graffiti art takes on war, capitalism, “the man.” His style is instantly recognizable, and makes for a gorgeous tattoo sleeves. The use of all black ink with occasional pops of red makes this tat striking.
4. Roy Lichtenstein
The Pop Art movement was huge in the 1960’s, and Roy Lichtenstein was one of it’s most famous artists. Pop Art really lends itself well to tattooing, especially tattoo sleeves, with the bright colors and crisp, defined lines. His style was influenced by comic strips, and he used a particular set of techniques to get his signature look. Each piece would be created with hand drawing, as well as Ben-Day dots. This is a form of printing that creates the uniform dot patterns so associated with Lichtenstein. I was interested to learn that those were made by taking pre-made overlay sheets, each with a particular size and distribution of dots – I don’t totally get how it works, but it sounds pretty cool, and is apparently how comics used to be printed.
Bio-mechanical and Ripped Skin
Shall we see what lies beneath? These are such cool sleeve tattoos.
This style of sleeve tattoo just trips me out. Like, I know it’s just ink, but I am absolutely blown away by how realistic a good artist can make this look. This particular sleeve looks really cool, and I don’t know if it is supposed to be representative of some movie robot, or if it’s just a creation. Either way, though, the red and blue are amazing, and the detail is super impressive.
This half-sleeve tattoo has more of the whole ripped-skin thing than the previous, but I just can’t tell what all the insides are supposed to be. I would say this is one of the less realistic ones I’ve seen, but it still looks kinda badass in the world of sleeve tattoos.
Whaaa! This is creepy and beautiful at the same time! This sleeve is awesome. It looks painful! Not painful as in it hurt to get it tattooed, but painful as in “Gah! My skin is gone! My exposed tendons are about to tear! Gah!”
I blame “Big Bang Theory” for the first thought I had when I saw this tattoo sleeve: “Is that a bat’leth?” I swear, I know next to nothing about Star Trek, but somehow that tidbit sunk in. Anyway, I really like this tattoo; it seems to be mechanical, and kind of alien, and just overall pretty sweet.
This is so rad! (Yeah, I said “rad.” You wanna fight about it?) I do wish I knew what language that was, and what it said, though. I love the idea of this, though. That is some seriously shredded skin, as if it was frantically torn away to reveal the secret instructions to access a hidden underground lair where a magical and dangerous treasure awaits. Or maybe I just watch too much TV.
This bio-mechanical sleeve tattoo something special. This dude’s arm is a motorcycle. Do you see it? It’s AWESOME! I see shocks, spark plugs, tie-rods, brake calipers…SO COOL! Whoever thought of this has earned my respect and admiration, as well as the artist. Incredible work, super realistic, and just overall amazing.
I had to do some digging to find out what the black squares underneath this ripped skin were meant to represent. I’ve come up with two possibilities: either Venom, the anti-Spiderman; or just the black suit that Spiderman wore for a time. I’m extremely confused by all of that, and if you want to delve into the Marvel Universe, go ahead, but I can’t keep up. So, suffice to say, I don’t know if this sleeve tattoo is intended to be that of a super hero or villain. Either way, it’s nicely done.
Black and White
All of the tattoo sleeves in this section are done in “black and white,” but technically, I guess it should be “shades of black and skin color.”
There is so much going on in this sleeve, but it seems to be about the passing of time. It’s got a very Renaissance feel to it, but I will absolutely admit that I have no idea if this is a depiction of an actual work of art, or if it was just created for this tattoo. I’m no art history buff, but I’ve seen a lot of paintings in museums in Europe, and they tend to look like this. I wonder if 10:05 has any special meaning? Did you know that when you see a clock in a print advertisement, or even in the background on TV, it is likely set to 10 minutes past 10? Someone, at some time apparently put some thought into it, and decided that it looked like a smile, so to please customers, all the clocks should be set that way.
I am loving this negative space floral sleeve tattoo! It’s so beautiful, and so unique! I can’t imagine having to sit through all that solid color inking, so I give this girl props. The sharp lines and minimal shading make this so contrasty, and I am a big fan of contrasty. Spell check is telling me that “contrasty” isn’t a word, but whatever.
Ok, so this musical tattoo might actually be in color, but the photo is black and white, so I am going to assume this is an all-black-ink sleeve. How great is the splattery brush effect? (Apparently, I like to add “y” to the ends of words a lot.) I’m dying to know what song this is…can anyone tell? I have song lyrics on my leg, but I can definitely see how someone who was much more musically inclined than myself would choose to go with the actual sheet music instead.
Simple, shaded and sweet. That is all.
I have included this sleeve because it reminds me a little bit of Gallifreyan, with all the circles. On closer inspection, there are actually a lot of elements to this sleeve. I see lotus flowers, stars, some possibly Asiatic writing. And actually, the spiral background is awesome.
I’m still considering this one to be black and white, even though it seems like some of the ink here might be slightly reddish in tone. Let’s assume that it’s just shading and lighting and whatnot. Anyway, who doesn’t love a nice Nightmare Before Christmas tattoo?? And this one is very well done – the characters look great. I think Zero is my favorite. I just love that little ghost dog!
A classic-style nautical sleeve tattoo, sans color. Love it. I feel like this ink actually has lots of depth and texture, even though it is using the traditional, more simple tattoo design.
It’s entirely possible that some of this guy’s sleeve is just drawn with a pen. Those gears look like something out of one of Da Vinci’s sketch books. Of course, if it is, in fact, a tattoo, i am absolutely amazed by the fact that it looks like someone drew it with like, a half-dead sharpie. I feel like this tattoo probably has a lot of special meaning to this guy, but I love it even without knowing what that meaning might be! Check out this page for the special meanings behind other tattoos.
The Illuminati lives! It’s controlling the media and taking over the government! George Washington! Freemasons! ‘Murica!
This sleeve tattoo is super cool on several levels. #1, the use of pointillism; #2, the way the shapes seem to stretch; #3 the circles at the joints. I love it.
Oooh! Another negative space floral sleeve! This one is just roses, and I think has a softer look than the one we saw earlier. The petals definitely have a more realistic feel to them. So pretty!
When I was younger, I thought that when I got older, I’d get a tattoo of Tweety Bird. I was 12, and I found Tweety Bird to be hilarious. Fortunately, I never did get that ink, but now that I’m an adult, there are still a lot of fictional/cartoon characters I would like to ink on myself.
Wow. I mean, really. I don’t know if I’d choose the world of Shrek for a sleeve tattoo, but this ink is incredible. All of the characters are spot-on, the colors are so vibrant, and the whole composition of the piece is great. Overall, this is an amazing tattoo.
25. Magical Fairy Land
I have a feeling this girl grew up in the eighties. Tinkerbell, My Little Pony, Hello Kitty? Yeah. I feel like I should know what that little mushroom house is from, but I’m drawing a blank. The whole thing is kind of like if someone threw up a bag of Lisa Frank products into a Sanrio Surprises store. But in a good way.
26. Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice
He didn’t appear. I’m disappointed. But I still like this sleeve. The Beetlejuice face is a little too demon, not enough Keaton for my taste, though.
If you’ve read any of my other articles, you probably know I go crazy for tattoos with lots of bright, vibrant colors, and this sleeve is no exception! The yellows and oranges in this tattoo are to die for! The color is so saturated, it’s hard to believe it’s on skin!! It’s also just an amazing comic book tattoo, all the way down to the text bubbles. Very nicely done.
28. Outer Space
This sleeve feels a little Jetsonsy (there I go with “y” again!), but I’m fairly certain it’s not modeled after any specific character. The colors and composition are great, though, and I particularly like the use of white ink.
Oh, those Disney Princesses! While I like this tattoo sleeve, I do find that some of these ladies appear to be a bit over-rouged. What’s with all those cheekbones?
30. Avengers, Assemble!
Wait…are Wolverine and Spiderman Avengers? It’s that whole Marvel Universe thing again, I have no idea.
31. Wicked Queens
This sleeve is a bit of a different spin on the princess theme; we’ve got two princesses and their corresponding evil queens. It seems a little strange to combine the two different stories, but they are incorporated into the design really well and perhaps using tattoo sleeves to depict duality is a really clever idea.
32. I am Groot
If Groot isn’t your favorite character from Guardians of the Galaxy, we can’t be friends. This sleeve tattoo is awesome.
This. Is. GORGEOUS! Very Parisian, very baroque. I love the rose petals! They are incredibly realistic. I’m trying to decide what to call all the swirly, leafy bits around the roses, but I am drawing a blank. Regardless, they are amazing, and this whole tattoo has so much depth. Beautiful.
I don’t even understand how this could be a tattoo. How did they get it to look like that?? It’s almost as if those flowers were painted on with acrylic paint. They look amazing, and the muted colors are beautiful.
So pretty! I am dying over this tattoo sleeve! Cherry blossoms are such a great subject for tattoo sleeves, with their pink petals and dark, craggy branches. What makes this one extra special to me is the blue background. It really makes everything pop, and gives it a little something different.
Another floral sleeve tattoo with muted colors. I am really enjoying the orange here. I wish all tattoo sleeves could be as beautiful.
This one is really pretty. I am particularly into the tiny little yellow flowers at the bottom; they’re so cute!
This is an amazing abstract graphic watercolor sleeve. I don’t even know where to start! The black circle reminds me of a city skyline, and I feel like the colored bits are like butterflies. Whatever the intention behind it, it’s one of the most fabulous tattoo sleeves I have seen.
Is it weird that this sleeve makes me want sushi?
I don’t know if this one really qualifies as a sleeve, per se, but it’s so cool I had to include it. I love the graphic quality of this ink, the dark colors and the contrast.
This is an extremely beautiful piece. It’s got so much going on! Watercolor! Abstract! Cherry blossoms! Koi! I don’t understand the compass, but who cares? It all works together visually, and I bet this guy gets tons of compliments on it. Check out some more amazing koi tattoos here.
This is so simple, yet I imagine it was fairly difficult for the artist to work up. Totally worth the effort, though, because it looks awesome.
I have no particular obsession with birds or orchids, but I would get this tattoo in a heartbeat. It’s absolutely gorgeous! Every little thing about it is working for me.
It’s a fairy tale in ink! This sleeve is so pretty! I want to know why the fair maiden is running away from the deer, though. Shouldn’t she be singing with them?
I don’t know what the hell is going on with this sleeve, but it is so visually amazing, I don’t even care. I’m sure there is a story being told in there somewhere, and I feel like it’s probably epic and mystical and adventurous.
I like this one. It’s got a very hand-drawn feel and I love how the flowers pop against the rest.
That’s Notre Dame, right? Are angels battling around the cathedral? I don’t know for sure, but I am impressed with the scale of this ink.
My absolute favorite part of this geisha sleeve tattoo is the blue lotus flower. It’s totally unexpected in a sea of black and red. I’ve done a bit of reading on the meaning of lotus flowers, and the colors they are depicted with, and technically, a blue lotus shouldn’t be shown fully open. But then again, if you’re mixing Buddhist symbols with a geisha and Japanese cherry blossoms, you probably aren’t too concerned about accuracy, just the beauty!
So bold! I love these rich colors!! This is a gorgeous sleeve, and I’m not going to analyze the lotus flowers in this one.
What a beautiful Ganesha garden! Why you so mad, Ganesha? He’s kind of scary. Anyway, you can see some other awesome Ganesha tattoos (and just elephants in general) here, some are even tattoo sleeves.
That’s it. I’m getting flowers and birds in my next tattoo. The pocketwatch at the bottom seems to be a memorial or tribute, which is a nice way to do it.
Even though I just realized that the building in the center of this sleeve appears to be the Chrysler building in New York City, next to what is most likely the Brooklyn bridge, for some reason, this still makes me think of Jack the Ripper. Should I see someone about that? How cool is this tat, though?
This is very similar to #52, but doesn’t give me as much of a London serial killer vibe. A good thing?
I absolutely adore this sleeve!!! The progression from a snowy road all the way out to a galaxy, all depicted in gorgeous, vibrant colors! What’s not to love? I wish I knew if that was supposed to be a space ship, the space station, or a specific ship from some sci-fi show I’m unfamiliar with.
Hey! Jack the Ripper! I mean, I assume. This time it’s definitely London, and that guy is definitely attired in late 19th century garb. Seriously, do I have a problem? I feel like my association is justified here, though. This is totally a Jack the Ripper tattoo. Right?
All of the ship tattoo sleeves that I came across were on women. I found that to be surprising.
It took me a second to even see this one. Very nice abstract ship accented with swoops of color.
A classic pirate ship, argh! Shiver me timbers! Drink up, me ‘earties, yo ho! Sorry. Anyway, this tattoo is awesome. Check out the waves at the bottom – very cool.
Oh, this is nice. I love those crisp, sharp lines that make up the sails in this ship. Something about the stark contrast between the blue and purple background and the heavy black lines make the sails actually appear to be completely colored in. The whole thing is just really coming to life for me. I love it.
I feel like someone should be telling a story about this ship; it should start with a kid saying “It was a dark and stormy night…” while holding a flashlight under their chin sitting inside a blanket fort. Just me? Okay, then.
I am not a fan of skulls, and I was actually going out of my way to not include any in this list. But then I came across all of these beautifully done skull sleeves, and had to give in.
I’m pretty sure this chick rides a Harley. I really like the juxtaposition of the skull against daisies, and the fact that it has hair. It’s all pretty badass in the world of women’s tattoo sleeves .
I originally had this sleeve grouped with the graphic tattoos above, because I didn’t even realize it had a skull in it. This tattoo is insanely cool, and really, really well done. I don’t know what any of it means, but that’s irrelevant when it’s so visually pleasing.
It’s going to sound crazy, but I think this is my absolute favorite sleeve on this entire page. I’m not really sure what it is about it – the incredible colors? the beautiful flowers? the fact that it kind of reminds me of the Jungle Cruise ride at Disneyland? – but it’s extremely striking to look at, and the quality of the work is just blowing me away. Stunning. Just stunning.
This one gives me the creeps a little bit. I feel like the whole thing is bleeding, and maybe because that skull chomped down on his arm so hard all his teeth fell out. I do enjoy that skull/flower juxtaposition here, though. In fact, I think this would have worked really well if it was JUST lilies, minus the terrifying skull.
Then, There Are These!
The tattoo sleeves in this section are fairly random, and didn’t really fit with the rest, so I gave them their own home together.
This is hurting my brain. I seriously keep seeing this as if the film strip is actually wrapped around his arm, and my brain is refusing to realize that its a tattoo. What an awesome salute to the film industry with this sleeve tattoo, though.
As far as tattoo sleeves go, I don’t think I’ve ever seen another tattoo like this one before. It’s as if his arm is the tree branch. Well, not really. I guess his arm is the space around the tree branch. Very cool and unique.
More cherry blossoms! I love how they have looked totally different style-wise in every all of the tattoo sleeves they’ve been in on this list. While I like this tattoo, and the whole “time’s running out” thing, someone (artist) needs to work a little bit on perspective. The top of that hourglass is WAY too big.
Incredible. Electrifying, even. How is this a tattoo and not a photograph? I can’t get over how vivid this is. The design is amazing and the execution is even better. One of my all time favourite tattoo sleeves!
If I remember correctly, when I found these tattoo sleeves on the interweb, it indicated that the military figure depicted was the guys grandfather. I think it’s a very nice tribute to a brave war hero!
This iconic image is a fitting salute to the Allied victory in World War II. Captured by Alfred Eisenstaedt in Times Square, this scene has become famous. They still do not know who the two people in the photograph are. Apparently, 11 men and three women had come forward over the years, but none could be verified.
I’m closing out this list with the weirdest sleeve tattoo of the lot. Churchill and a gas mask appear to be covering up a previous tattoo of a flower, with the word “deeply” still showing. Depressing newspaper headlines and one random red flower (or is it supposed to be half a peach?) complete the look. The Whovian in me really wishes the Doctor was inside that gas mask asking Churchill “are you my mummy?”
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