Majestic nature collage leg sleeve by Gabriele Pais (Instagram @gabripais). barnowl faun flowers forest fox GabrielePais moon hornedowl lake landscape nature realism sleeve stars

15 Sleeves from Artists with a Diverse Array of Styles

These spectacular sleeves illustrate how our most visible appendages are perfect canvases for excellent art work.

Powerton in Tattoo Ideas

A tattoo sleeve is what it sounds like — a large, continuous work of art that covers up the entirety of a person's leg or arm. Much like back and chest pieces, sleeves have the potential to be some of the most impressive tattoos around because the ample amount of skin allows for bigger and more elaborate illustrations. Unlike their shirt-covered cousins, however, sleeves are on some of our most visible body parts, making them the best type of tattoo for showing off. Check out this wonderful range of sleeves from artists whose skill in their respective styles is unrivaled.

Ross Howerton
From Tattoodo App
One of our very own tattoo ambassadors, @HenningJorgensen, executes the traditional Japanese style in this sleeve. (Instagram @henning_royaltattoo). cherryblossoms dragon HenningJorgensen Japanese peony sleeve traditional
One of our very own tattoo ambassadors, @HenningJorgensen, executes the traditional Japanese style in this sleeve. (Instagram @henning_royaltattoo). #cherryblossoms #dragon #HenningJorgensen #Japanese #peony #sleeve #traditional
Ross Howerton
From Tattoodo App
A lovely pair of matching three-quarters sleeves done in the traditional Japanese style by Doryu (Instagram @doryu_stateofgrace). butterflies Doryu Japanese chrysanthemums mist sleeves traditional
A lovely pair of matching three-quarters sleeves done in the traditional Japanese style by Doryu (Instagram @doryu_stateofgrace). #butterflies #Doryu #Japanese #chrysanthemums #mist #sleeves #traditional
Ross Howerton
From Tattoodo App
Beautiful sleeve of a Tibeta tiger sleeve by Yoni Zilber (Instagram @yonizilber). flowers mist Tibetan tiger waterfall YoniZilber
Beautiful sleeve of a Tibeta tiger sleeve by Yoni Zilber (Instagram @yonizilber). #flowers #mist #Tibetan #tiger #waterfall #YoniZilber

As exemplified by the images above, arms are fertile terrain for sleeves done in traditional styles, like Japanese and Tibetan, which are practiced by numerous talented tattooists who bring their own nuances to these time-honored approaches to the art form.

Ross Howerton
From Tattoodo App
Enchanting neo-traditional sleeve of nature-inspired imagery by Kirsten Holliday (Instagram @onholliday) that harkens to biological illustration. bee KirstenHolliday honeyblossom mistletoe neotraditional sleeve swallow
Enchanting neo-traditional sleeve of nature-inspired imagery by Kirsten Holliday (Instagram @onholliday) that harkens to biological illustration. #bee #KirstenHolliday #honeyblossom #mistletoe #neotraditional #sleeve #swallow
Ross Howerton
From Tattoodo App
A whimsical sleeve full of biological illustrations of birds and flora in the neo-traditional fashion by Kirsten Holliday (Instagram @onholliday). birds butterfly dove flora flowers insect KirstenHolliday neotraditional parrot raven sleeve
A whimsical sleeve full of biological illustrations of birds and flora in the neo-traditional fashion by Kirsten Holliday (Instagram @onholliday). #birds #butterfly #dove #flora #flowers #insect #KirstenHolliday #neotraditional #parrot #raven #sleeve

Recent from Tattoo Ideas

Ross Howerton
From Tattoodo App
Lovely neo-traditional sleeve by Rose Hardy, featuring the classic queen-of-hearts imagery. broach bust neotraditional queenofhearts RoseHardy roses sleeve
Lovely neo-traditional sleeve by Rose Hardy, featuring the classic queen-of-hearts imagery. #broach #bust #neotraditional #queenofhearts #RoseHardy #roses #sleeve
Ross Howerton
From Tattoodo App
A stunning bunch of flowers by Mico (Instagram @micotattoo) done in an excellent combination of geometrically ornamental and traditional style. bold elaborate flowers geometric Mico neotraditional ornate sleeve
A stunning bunch of flowers by Mico (Instagram @micotattoo) done in an excellent combination of geometrically ornamental and traditional style. #bold #elaborate #flowers #geometric #Mico #neotraditional #ornate #sleeve

Sleeves are also fantastic for traditional and neo-traditional Americana. The handful of artists whose work is showcased in the preceding photos demonstrate the versatility of these styles as well as how eye-catching they are when executed in large-scale across arms.

Ross Howerton
From Tattoodo App
An astoundingly intricate henna-inspired sleeve by Guy Le. blackwork elaborate GuyLe henna Mehndi ornate sleeve ornamental
An astoundingly intricate henna-inspired sleeve by Guy Le. #blackwork #elaborate #GuyLe #henna #Mehndi #ornate #sleeve #ornamental

As shown in this sleeve by Guy Le, arms and legs are ideal canvases for sprawling ornate blackwork. It's interesting how this sleeve takes after Mehndi's patterned elaborateness in such bold way. 

Ross Howerton
From Tattoodo App
This Spartan warrior is marching into deadly combat in this killer hyperrealist sleeve by Niki Norberg (Instagram @niki23gtr) that also depicts a noble lion. blackandgrey hyperrealism lion NikiNorberg sleeve Spartan
This Spartan warrior is marching into deadly combat in this killer hyperrealist sleeve by Niki Norberg (Instagram @niki23gtr) that also depicts a noble lion. #blackandgrey #hyperrealism #lion #NikiNorberg #sleeve #Spartan
Ross Howerton
From Tattoodo App
Absolutely divine black and grey realist sleeve by Jun Cha (Instagram @juncha). blackandgrey dove JunCha God sculptural sleeve
Absolutely divine black and grey realist sleeve by Jun Cha (Instagram @juncha). #blackandgrey #dove #JunCha #God #sculptural #sleeve
Ross Howerton
From Tattoodo App
A little tour through rock and roll history in this awesome collage of portraiture by Steve Morante (Instagram @steve_h_morante). Beatles collage DavidBowie Elvis JimHendrix KurtCobain PaulMcCartney  portraiture rockandroll RollingStones sleeve
A little tour through rock and roll history in this awesome collage of portraiture by Steve Morante (Instagram @steve_h_morante). #Beatles #collage #DavidBowie #Elvis #JimHendrix #KurtCobain #PaulMcCartney #portraiture #rockandroll #RollingStones #sleeve
Ross Howerton
From Tattoodo App
Thrust into the bowels of Hell in this outstanding horror realism by Darwin Enriquez. archangel blackandgrey DarwinEnriquez epic fire Hell realism toturedsoul
Thrust into the bowels of Hell in this outstanding horror realism by Darwin Enriquez. #archangel #blackandgrey #DarwinEnriquez #epic #fire #Hell #realism #toturedsoul

This group of black and grey tattoos demonstrates how sleeves invite an incredible amount of detail from artists who work in realist styles. Portraiture and other forms of hyperrealistic tattoos with motifs such as antiquity and horror are enthralling on the arms of their collectors.  

Ross Howerton
From Tattoodo App
Intense and elaborate Polynesian leg sleeves from Chris Higgins (Instagram @higginsandcotattoo). ChrisHiggins elaborate legsleeves Polynesian tribal sleeves
Intense and elaborate Polynesian leg sleeves from Chris Higgins (Instagram @higginsandcotattoo). #ChrisHiggins #elaborate #legsleeves #Polynesian #tribal #sleeves

Lastly, it is noteworthy to mention that while sleeves look stunning on arms, they can be even more impressive on legs (good thing they're not called "pant legs" by the way), simply because there is even more space for body art to occupy. Take the images above and below for instance, which show how a number of styles suit the longest parts of our bodies. 

Ross Howerton
From Tattoodo App
This little guy is straight out of a jar of formaldehyde. Amazing black and grey realism by Matt Jordan (Instagram @mattjordantattoo). babyskeleton blackandgrey bones horror MattJordan realism sleeves
This little guy is straight out of a jar of formaldehyde. Amazing black and grey realism by Matt Jordan (Instagram @mattjordantattoo). #babyskeleton #blackandgrey #bones #horror #MattJordan #realism #sleeves

If you liked surveying these astounding sleeves, you can see more pieces that live on very prominent swaths of our skin in a previous post. Also, make sure to check out the Instagrams of the awesome artists listed in the photos' captions to see more of their mind-blowing work, and remember if you want to get a tattoo that really wows the people around you, go with a sleeve; they speak the loudest.

Powerton

@Ross Howerton

Originally from Oklahoma. BA in literary studies from The New School. MFA in creative writing from New Mexico State University. English teacher, published poet, and writer for Tattoodo. I love art, books, movies, music, and video games.

Follow

More from Author

We Recommend

Recent Staff Picks