Tattoo sleeve for men - sketches with meaning, popular styles of application, spectacular photo works

Every brutal man, with a smile or a serious look looking at us from the photos from the social network has a few attributes that create his unique image. These can be: a bold haircut, a thick beard, a twisted mustache, carefully selected tasteful clothing, expensive sunglasses or a tattoo "sleeve", as if accidentally proudly put on display.

How else could it be? Not everyone can afford such a tattoo made by a professional master, and the matter here is not time and patience, but its enormous cost. Therefore, the tattoo sleeve for men, something like a distinctive mark, a symbol of power and wealth of the category of people living a full life and nothing to deny themselves.

Men's sleeve and its kinds

Tattoo of a man's sleeve is a special kind of tattoo, which simply can't be confused with an ordinary one. She is remembered at first sight and differs from a female tattoo sleeve by some styles inherent only to the man and subject lines (themes) in the general composition of the tattoo.

The finished tattoo the sleeve at the man has the size of a covering of a hand from the beginning of a shoulder up to a wrist. It is a final completed work in one or more appropriate, or matching, tattoo styles.

Tattoo can be divided into several stages of work or types of tattoo sleeve. It all depends on the degree of pain threshold, complexity (drawing fine details) and financial independence of the client. That is, there is a single idea of a tattoo sleeve, which can be applied to the hand in parts at different intervals (sessions), until the tattoo takes its final form.

Full Sleeve

Half Sleeve

Three-quarter sleeve from shoulder

Three quarter sleeve from wrist

Thus the tattoo sleeve can be divided into 3 types or stages:

  1. Finished or full sleeve Occupies the entire arm area from wrist to shoulder.
  2. Half Sleeve or half sleeve occupies an area equal to half of the arm (forearm or surface from shoulder to elbow).
  3. Three-quarter sleeve occupies the surface from shoulder to half of the forearm of the hand or from wrist to half of the shoulder (the middle between the shoulder and elbow joints).

The fourth type is called the mini sleeve (1/4 of the arm area) is more suitable for girls. On a man it does not look solid.

How to decide on a sleeve?

Tattoo sleeve is a complicated job that requires a lot of patience from both the client and the master. Taking into account that complex plots on the whole arm are made during 5-10 sessions, you will have to pay a considerable price. The speed at which the work progresses depends on the sensitivity of the client's skin. With a low pain threshold, the process can take up to a month.

Working on a future tattoo project, assess all factors in a complex:

  • How the presence of a large full arm tattoo can affect your career;
  • Whether the chosen theme will not go out of fashion in a few years;
  • Whether your attitudes toward body art will change as you get older.

A huge tattoo on the whole surface of your arm is forever. Such an image is almost impossible to remove or dramatically correct. Thus, it is necessary to clearly correlate the acquisitions with the likely losses, so that the choice becomes an informed one.

When making a decision, study the positive and negative experiences of tattoo salons' clients. If you can read the pages of Internet forums, you can greatly enrich your ideas about such genre of tattoo as "sleeve". Even better start your work on the project with a consultation with the master, to whom you are going to entrust your body. A specialist will always suggest the best solution.

Combination of styles and compositions in the sleeve

In most cases, the compositions at the top of the arm are contiguous in meaning with the bottom. As an example: at the top of the sky or space, and below on the forearm, the surface of the earth or the abyss of the sea.

In other cases, the sleeve is done in the same color scheme, but different styles. Let's say the top of the sleeve is an ornamental or geometric style and the bottom is a Realism or Blackwork solution.

Incongruous styles such as Thrash Polka, Cyberpunk, Biomechanics or Oldschool are best used in a uniform style on the surface of the entire arm to avoid tastelessness.

Start at the end

Unless you're planning to ink your whole arm at once (and it's unlikely you'll be able to), Nicholas suggests starting with a tattoo on the shoulder and working your way down.

"Sometimes clients come to me who are planning to tattoo an arm, but don't know exactly what they want to portray on their body. Then I beat them with something unusual on the shoulder and make sure the pattern doesn't look like a sticker. On subsequent occasions, I refine it by combining it with new tattoos. Then the sleeve looks like one piece." Nicholas says many of his colleagues like to start with a brush, which is also understandable. When you brush the sleeve from the end, you gradually draw out a coherent image. This is much more sensible than first getting tattoos in different parts of your arm and then trying to combine them into one.


Unlike girls, men prefer black and white arm tattoos to colored ones. The main attention in such compositions pay attention to the game of light and shadow, thus highlighting the most important subject lines of the theme.

In the colored versions of tattoos, bright colors try to muffle. All these actions in men are aimed at increasing the variety of combinations with the style of clothing. That is, to make the tattoo universal, at which any worn shirt with short sleeves, T-shirt or T-shirt looked chic and manly.

In the exceptions fall into the Japanese style, where the tradition of tattooing requires a bright color palette and thrash polka with a radical red color used in the background of the tattoo.

Temporary Tattoos

Temporary tattoos are applied with henna. Such painting on the body will not have to be removed. The application of henna patterns will not cause any pain or discomfort to the client.

Tattoo sleeve with henna

The advantages of applying a henna tattoo are

  • Are safe for health. The main thing is that a person is not allergic to the components of henna;
  • No needle is required, the epidermis layer is not destroyed;
  • Go away by themselves from the body, not requiring a specialized removal. For faster removal it is recommended to use soap or scrub;
  • It is allowed to make such tattoos even at home. The main thing is that the artist should be able to draw well;
  • does not require careful and long care for the area of skin on which the tattoo was applied. One should only avoid getting water. And for a long time the pattern on the body, it is necessary to avoid sunlight and mechanical effects.

If a person still wants to get a temporary tattoo in the salon, there is one important thing to know. A real master will never offer a client blue, red or green colors of the future drawing. Because in this case, impurities are added to the henna solution, which That can cause burns to the skin.

Recipe for a henna tattoo can be prepared at home. To work with henna, you will need the following ingredients:

  • henna;
  • lemon juice;
  • basma;
  • aromatic oil.

The henna will last about two weeks.

Steps for preparing the pattern mix:

1The henna should be sifted thoroughly.

2Take twenty grams from it and add to the previously prepared lemon juice of two lemons.

3Mix until a viscous mixture.

4Place in a bag for 12 hours in a warm place.

5Add the granulated sugar after 12 hours. For a darker color, add basma.

6Then add a teaspoon of aromatic oil. Then the pattern will last longer.

7Wrap in a bag and leave in a warm place for 12 hours.

8The mixture is ready.

Do not add artificial colors. They are not safe for people who are allergic to chemical components.

Steps of applying the pattern to the hand:

1Rinse with an alcohol solution the part of the body where the pattern will be located.

2Prepared in advance, attach a stencil with a pattern to the hand.

3 Apply the mixture in a thin, even layer. For darker colors, apply a thicker layer.

4Stick with varnish when finished.

5Rinse off the residue with a cotton swab dipped in lemon juice.

Themes and Character of Men's Sleeves

The main theme of the male sleeve tattoo is predators. No matter what they are, it can be bloodthirsty mammals prowling the land, or terrifying inhabitants of the seas or impetuous lords of the sky carnivorous birds. They are often depicted aggressively, with grinning or hunting, spreading their wings and preparing to sink their claws into their prey. Anything that evokes a sense of danger at the sight of these images.

Another popular theme is the image for "good luck". Money, dice and cards, casino roulette, cars, guns, girls.

The third theme is travel. Tourist attributes, compass, maps with coordinates, etc.

Rounding out the list are warriors, all that exist, from Russian bogatyrs to Japanese samurai. Scandinavian legends and fearless Spartans, gladiators and European knights, Indians, ninjas and even pirates.

Chicano-style sleeves

Often the Chicano style sleeve tattoo does not end at the wrist, but has a continuation on the hand. The style has its own distinctive characteristics:

First, the tattoo is done based on the gravosh technique (smooth transitions and shadow play). Secondly, the tattoo has clear contours. Thirdly, the same plot attributes are present in the form of collage: cards, money, patterned inscriptions, roulettes, crowns as symbols of power, blossoming roses and weapons.

Many compositions feature portraits of girls with painted faces in the manner of Latin American street gangs.

Blackwork Sleeves.

It should not be forgotten that Blackwork, also the last chance to be creative if there is an old tattoo, not subject to laser removal or coverup (applying a new tattoo on top of the old one).

In fact, the style of Blackwork and is a coverup, only more progressive and 100% effective. A large area is overlapped by dense black shading and over shading is placed a pattern, often geometric, by white coloring pigment (paint). The end result is very, very pretty.

Realism Sleeves

In the Realism style images with representatives of terrestrial fauna, and more simply - animals, are very popular. So are portraits and images of people (or warriors). This is the only style that can fully reveal the boundless beauty of the tattoo, making images alive.

Realism is a high-level, professional style that is mastered by real artists, not the masters of 2 week courses, even with a lot of practice. Artists are defined as people who can easily create both a work on leather and oil on linen canvas. These are people with a natural talent for fine art.

What styles and details are trending in 2021

Voluminous sleeves, one of the trends of 2021, help create striking looks. Take inspiration from the latest shows by Louis Vuitton, Carolina Herrera, Burberry, Loewe, Valentino and other famous fashion houses.

Lutz Huelle, Carolina Herrara looks 2020
Lutz Huelle, Carolina Herrara

The trend for puffy voluminous sleeves is relevant for more than a year, will not leave the fashion pedestal in 2021. To get better acquainted with this trend, we show a selection of stylish images from popular bloggers and designers. Where the main roles are fashionable closet items with voluminous sleeves.

  • First, the more puffy the volume of the sleeve - the more fashionable. In this case, it can be long or short.

Very puffy sleeve

  • Colors and materials can be very diverse, as well as clothing models. But note that the main color in 2021 is blue (Classic Blue).
  • In the new seasons you can find actual sleeves-ballon sleeves, flared bell sleeves, puffed buffs and other massive sleeves not only in dresses and blouses.
  • In addition to them in the coming year you will need trendy coats and capes with voluminous sleeves, shirts and sweaters, jackets and blouses.

Below are examples of striking images 2020-2021, which you can safely navigate.

Trend of the season - voluminous sleeves top of fashionable things

Biomechanics style sleeves

Biomechanics is a totally masculine style, without exaggeration. In the tattoo arm it depicts a cyborg arm embedded in a man's body. Brilliant mechanisms mixed with flesh create the illusion of a soulless half-robot - half-man, than again gives the man a masculine look, instills fearlessness and steadfastness in his actions.

The image of the hand conveys in detail the technology of the mechanism working on the hinges at the shoulder and elbow joints, which connect the shock absorbers that perform the functions of human bones.

In color, the Biomechanics-style arms can be either colored or black and white.


As a theme for the "sleeve" brutal guys often choose images with animals with great strength. Not a bad idea - to surround the drawing of a lion, wolf, eagle, a knight in armor with a complex pattern or ornament. The richness of the plot, the stylistics of the work depend solely on personal preferences. By interweaving different motifs, you can create a stunning sketch.

Traditional tribal motifs are optimal for the sleeve. A complex ornament is made up of many symbols that have their own meaning. Any salon will offer you examples of sleeves that use Mayan, Aztec, and Maori motifs for review.

The sleeve may contain large areas entirely painted in black. Very interesting look ornamental tattoos with thick black stripes and girdles.

Scandinavian subjects on the whole arm are very beautiful. Portraits of Vikings, courageous rulers on the background of characteristic landscapes are unique and mysterious, make you admire the complex interweaving of lines, the accuracy of images.

Chicano is a complex genre that conveys the breath of Latin American life, where crime and everyday life, cruelty and beauty are intertwined. Large portraits of gangsters, gorgeous girls surrounded by drawings of weapons and gaming accessories, urban landscapes look really cool.

Space is a newfangled trend in tattooing. Using colored pigments, masters create realistic images of galaxies and nebulae, real and fantasy planets, meteorites and asteroids. Space scenes look good in combination with earthly landscapes below, emphasizing the fragility of life on our planet and the greatness of the universe. The profound symbolism of the large artistic canvas on the hand fills the image of the tattoo holder with alluring features.

Cyber mechanics is a typically masculine style based on a predilection for technology, complex devices. "Terminator arm", embedded in a living organism, creates a complete illusion of a robotic half-man, makes you admire and wonder at the unusualness of the figure.

Ornamental Style Sleeves

A universal style suitable for both girls and men. At its core are patterns that are made up of geometric shapes. The focus is a mandala, a scheme of the universe universe, or a pattern making a perfect circle.

The sleeve in the Ornamental style is monochrome. It is applied in one color, but in different tones of light. That is, the color palette of the tattoo is a gradient scale from the main color to white in one direction and to dark in the other. Also, some of the details of the tattoo can be done in the technique of dotting (the technique of applying tattoos by dots).

The temporary accessory is safe and quality

A quality accessory is durable and safe. It well tolerates washing and contact with water. It resembles stockings in texture due to its pores and elasticity. Such a sleeve allows the skin to breathe and does not impair blood circulation.
Manufacturers use quality thin synthetic materials to manufacture the product. The patterns are applied with the help of resistant dyes.

Even when looking closely, the imitation is difficult to distinguish from the real tattoo. Therefore, the desired effect for yourself, your picture and the people around you will definitely be achieved.

Sleeves in the Oriental style.

He is also a Japanese style, with which men associate themselves with the legendary warriors Samurai or the powerful criminal clan "Yakuza". In either variant, the man singles out for himself and communicates to others such qualities as fearlessness, tenacity and blind devotion to any of life's rules.

In the plot of the composition of the sleeve tattoo in men popular images of blossoming chrysanthemums, river carps, samurai masks.

Who suits clothes with volume in the shoulder girdle and arms area

Each girl has a certain type of figure. For this, she objectively evaluates the ratio of her hips and shoulders. Knowing your body type, you can confidently choose things that fit and know what to avoid. If we talk about fashionable things with big sleeves, the best look of these items of clothing is on the X, Y, H and I types of figures. As a rule, they need to create an accent in the shoulder area. Thus, balancing the volume - visually corrects the figure.

Images with trendy dresses and puffy sleeves

Sleeves in the style of Thrash Polka.

The daring style that loudly announced itself in the 70s, created an alternative trend in the world of tattoos - the Thrash Polka. It is popular with both men and girls.

The basis of the style are gloomy, sometimes aggressive images in black. Images for realism have the volume and are made in the technique of gravosh (based on the gradient) and have shadows and penumbra.

The main "calling card" of the style are the color patches of bright red. Sometimes they are presented in the geometric form of a circle, sometimes in the form of a careless brush stroke crosswise, but more often they are just spots that complement the composition of the background.

Celtic-style sleeves

The Scandinavian pattern theme became very popular after the release of the epic TV series "Vikings". Many men wanted to match themselves with the heroes of the film and get into the spirit of the ancient religion, with cultural heritage in the form of intertwining patterns.

In addition to patterns, Celtic is replete with its Scandinavian symbols, such as the Celtic cross, the hammer of Thor, the valcnut, runes, and the runic compass.

In addition to symbols, images of animals and birds such as dogs, wolves, and ravens (Odin) are woven into the Celtic style sleeve tattoo.

What are the most popular themes

Among the new trends are deliberately low-quality images. Their outlines appear faded and the background looks like cracked paint, dirty skin or crumpled paper. The plots of such tattoos are often naive, the inscriptions may contain grammatical errors.

Recently included in the design trends, creative lettering has also gained popularity as tattoo designs.

Visitors to the salons are often asked to put an ornate and ligature inscription on their hands.

Scandinavian symbols

Demand for Viking religious symbols has increased thanks to the TV series of the same name. Scandinavian warriors and travelers stamped patterns on their skin that promoted good luck and expressed reverence and devotion to higher powers.

Scandinavian symbols

Animals and plants

Such motifs can look both aggressive and aesthetic, depending on the chosen object and style of image. Cats, wolves, bears, and roses are the most common.

Animals and Plants

Flames on the skin

When depicting fire, it is easiest for the artist to cover large surfaces of the skin, because the curves can be made arbitrarily. The flames can look both realistic and stylized.

Flame on skin

Religious Themes

Around the world, the most popular in the criminal environment, but is a success with believers and superstitious people. The inscriptions often have a talismanic character or express gratitude.

Religious subjects

Cosmic motifs

Planets, galaxies and stars allow the master to use a variety of colors, demonstrate gradients and complex shades. These are neutral and aesthetic tattoos suitable for both men and women.

Space motifs

Rock and roll

Implies images of microphones, musical instruments, and performers' faces. Often performed in an old skool or realist style.

Rock and Roll

Other variations

A popular motif for hands is the armor of ancient warriors - chain mail, armor segments, leather and metal wristbands.

Wind Rose on the elbow or shoulder can be combined with travel attributes, ships and seascapes.


Among colored tattoos, images borrowed from cartoons and intertwining flowers are in high demand.

Sleeves in the style of Polynesia.

Unlike the original, modern Polynesian style sleeves tattoos prefer to do without additional elements such as a stingray, sun, warrior, etc. The sleeve simply consists of canonical patterns for Polynesian culture that occupy the entire surface of the arm.

The patterns consist mostly of triangles. The color scheme is strictly black dye pigment and no shadows or gradients.

The tattoo was worn by warriors, so - the Polynesia sleeve is a purely male tattoo.

A bit of history

Previously, tattoo sleeves were the prerogative of Hollywood stars. However, now they are available to everyone. The main thing is to find a good master, who will turn the desire into reality.
Initially, such tattoos were temporary and were intended for film shoots. The sleeves symbolized unusual personalities and could even be a symbol of belonging to the underworld. A prime example of such a character is George Clooney in the film From Dusk Till Dawn.

Temporary sleeves are used even now, for example, to see and evaluate how the real tattoo will look.

Secondary styles of tattoo sleeve





Less popular styles today include Oldschool, Tribal, Sketch, and Graphics sleeve tattoos. Styles are not abandoned, they just prefer to be applied in smaller sizes. But there are still exceptions.

Although there is potential for sketch and graphic styles to come out on the top list of popular sleeve tattoos for men, in the not too distant future.


For women

For men