Full-sleeve tattoo ideas require excellent craftsmanship on the part of the tattoo artist because so much skin is covered. Full-sleeve tattoos that express one artistic idea or follow one conceptual theme often leave the most successful impression, since they are more likely to be visually cohesive. Full-sleeve ideas include scrolls of text, floral designs, tribal patterns, Celtic designs and messages in foreign languages.
One of the vital decisions to make in choosing a full-sleeve tattoo is whether to stick to one color, a limited palette or a full palette of colors. Limited palette and monotone tattoos can be visually striking in any pattern.
Smashing Hub illustrates several tribal tattoos that leave a powerful impression. Tribal tattoos often draw from traditional Maori, Celtic, Polynesian, African, Japanese or Native-American designs to pay homage to those cultures. Other tribal tattoos use abstract shapes to create an exotic or chilling impression. Often these tattoos are monotone or sometimes done in an outline form.
Some women opt for floral full-sleeve tattoos, often choosing a Chinese or Japanese style to tie the design together. Floral tattoos are more likely to be colorful. Dragon tattoos are also typically very colorful, with the dragon itself tending to wrap around the whole arm from shoulder to wrist. Snake tattoos also tend to wrap around the arm, but often use fewer colors.
Some people choose to get their favorite sayings tattooed down their arms in a full-sleeve design. In particular, Vedic verses and poetry are popular choices for these text-based tattoos.