Half Sleeve Tattoo

"From Koi sleeve tattoo to Tribal "



A half sleeve tattoo is a tattoo that typically extends around the upper arm from shoulder to elbow, or from elbow to wrist all the way around the lower arm.

full sleeve tattoo

There are some artists that refer to this lower arm tattoo as a quarter sleeve due to the fact that the lower arm tat covers less area.

A half sleeve usually starts as a single tattoo that is added to over time with similar pieces. However, a half sleeve can be designed as a whole piece and done over several sessions of tattooing.

Half or full sleeve tattoo?

The half sleeve tattoo is just one step away from the full sleeve tattoo. The full sleeve is typically from the shoulder to the wrist and completely covers the arm all the way around.

Whatever the amount of the arm that is covered it is a good idea to design the piece or pieces with a common theme. These themes vary with each persons taste and design ideas.

Sleeve Tattoos

Half sleeve tattoo designs are varied and their themes can be endless. There are several more common themes that can be customized to each persons taste.

rebel flag tattoos

Japanese – Asian influenced tattoo designs are common in not only sleeves but also in single pieces. The designs are popular primarily because of the bright color combinations and the huge amount of subject matter available. Some of the most popular subjects incorporated in the Asian influenced sleeve tattoos are cherry blossoms, Koi fish, geisha’s and foo dragons.

Tribal – Tribal designs are common for sleeve work. These designs are generally bold, geometric patterns with only one or two colors used. With the immense amount of fill in work required these tattoos can take several sessions which can last for hours.

Sailor Jerry – The Sailor Jerry style is one of the original and most famous tattoo styles in the United States. Norman Collins, the originator of the “Sailor Jerry” tattoo artwork, was a sailor turned tattoo artist with his own hand drawn designs becoming a legacy for future tattoo artists. This style includes staples from a sailors life including anchors, pin-up girls and swallows just to name a few.

tribal shoulder tattoo

Tribal arm tattoos

There are many things to consider before starting the process of getting a half sleeve tattoo or any large piece of body art.

1. Concealment – If you are employed or looking for employment it may be an issue if you are unable to adequately cover your ink. Most upper sleeves can be covered by a shirt with long sleeves, however a lower half sleeve or a full sleeve generally includes the wrist and will be harder to cover.

2. Cost – There is considerable cost involved in getting a tattoo. In most shops the minimum cost regardless of size or time involved is fifty to seventy five dollars, in some shops the minimum cost is considerably higher. This should give an idea of the cost involved in a several sitting sleeve tattoo. Then there is additional cost involved if you have the tattoo artist design the work for you.

3. Pain tolerance – For sleeve tattoos there is definitely a pain tolerance required, especially for the sensitive underside of the arm. No one wants to get into the process just to find out they are unable to finish the work due to the pain level involved.

4. Future regret – The area covered by a sleeve is impossible to be removed or covered. It is important to be absolutely positive the design elements chosen are what you would want permanently inked on your body.

When all of these considerations have been made the only thing left is to get the work done. This can be an enjoyable process for a persons first or twenty first tattoo, so have fun and when it's finished please share pictures of your work with us!

You can even send pictures of the process from beginning to end, we would love to share the pictures with others considering a half sleeve tattoo.







Tattoo Designs Of All Kinds
Half Sleeve Tattoo to Full Body Tattoos

Have A Great Story About Tattoos?

Here you can publish your work, share, show off, and brag a bit. This is the place to show the world your art.

Have you ever had a problem or a bad tattoo? You can also send a message and help others to prevent this. Tell us what happened and how you corrected the problem.

This page is for you and your experiences. Do you have a great story about tattoos? Share it!

Enter Your Title