Top 49 Tattoo Sleeve Filler Ideas – [2020 Inspiration Guide]
There are a range of ways to complete a complex and interesting sleeve tattoo on your arm or leg.
The most overlooked yet crucial element is tattoo filler, the supporting design elements which complement the focal point of the tattoo to help it blend and fit to the entire limb.
The elements are greatly important for filling out and supporting the major theme of large, complex, and colorful Japanese sleeve tattoo designs. This is known as Gakoubori. The major elements used are wind, water, smoke, rocks and earth, waves, and clouds.
American traditional tattoo sleeves use filler such as stars, crosses, hatches and other simple designs to complement what are usually a series of tattoo images unconnected to each other except for the style of application.
In geometric or mandala style tattoo ideas then recurring patterns that play off the main design and fit into a larger pattern help the tattoo grow outward from a central point or help in creating 3d visual effects.
The most overlooked filler for many tattoos is negative space. Negative space refers to a piece where the majority of the linework and inking is done in order to bring out the empty space to reveal an image. Negative space it is popular for being cost-effective in its comparatively minimal use of ink, as well as its stylistic versatility.
The following collection of 47 sleeve filler tattoo designs illustrate the possibilities for collectors to flesh out their large sleeve tattoos. Whatever style of tattoo sleeve you are looking for, there’s a filler element you can use for strengthening your overall design.
1. Flower Tattoo Sleeve Filler
2. Geometric Sleeve Filler Tattoos
3. Japanese Filler Tattoos (Gokoubori)
4. Mandala Sleeve Filler Tattoos
5. Black and Gray Sleeve Filler Tattoos
6. Smoke Filler Tattoos
7. American Traditional Sleeve Filler Tattoos
Sleeve Filler Tattoo FAQs
Tattoo filler images are designed to create background support for the main tattoo theme, or tie seemingly unconnected tattoos together.
Common filler images include:
- The elements
- Negative space
- Geometric shapes and patterns
- Grayscale shading and shadow
- 3d effects
- Stars, dots, asterisks, and circles
- Solid black ink
The elements are greatly important for filling out and supporting the major theme of the large and complex Japanese tattoo designs. This is known as Gakoubori. Most used elements:
- Waves and water
- Rocks and earth
Negative space refers to a piece where the majority of the linework and inking is done in order to bring out the empty space to reveal an image, like a stencil.
This technique is popular for being cost-effective in its comparatively minimal use of ink, as well as its stylistic versatility.