It’s no different than signing a paper contract with a pen… Because the moment the ink hits your skin, it becomes it a real commitment.
And just about every man knows how expensive, time consuming and uncomfortable tattoo removals can be. But when you want to avoid that hassling process, all it takes is knowing what tattoo will suit you best down the road.
In order to help you out, I’ve put together a photo guide of the top 50 best shoulder tattoos for men. Some are technically sleeves on the arm, others cross onto the back and chest area, but nonetheless my goal for you is to get some fresh inspiration and ideas going!
Each men’s shoulder tattoo features distinctive styles, designs, shapes and sizes. Truly dream up something all of your own while you go through them. From geometric and tribal, to koi, clocks, wings, bones and more, the possibilities are endless.
Forget about figuring out what tattoo you will go with for a moment here or even how to get a tattoo in the first place, and instead think about what the right one means to you. What does it represent, and why do you want to always remember it?
Shoulder Tattoo Ideas
Trash Polka is developing renown by mixing a small color palette – black and red – with a mishmash of abstract ideas inside the one piece. This tattoo does just that, with the shading of the black being of most interest. It’s like only half the tattoo stencil was transferred in places and worked on by the artist.
This Spartan tattoo is almost a cover-up; it helps link together disparate elements of his other work with a large black and gray shaded image that pulls the other pieces in.
An enjoyable black work neo classical play on Japanese Irezumi. This is an elaborate piece despite only being in black and grey. The interplay of shapes and expert use of shading really makes this a standout bit of art.
This is the male model style of utilizing traditional north American style motifs. All his works are old school pieces, with muted grays, reds and greens in the color scheme and emphasis on various individual images rather than a cohesive, linked scheme.
Tribal tattoos are easily identifiable, especially when done well like this artwork. They feature elaborate and intricate blackwork of a crispness that other tattoo techniques really struggle to replicate.
The neo classical elements of this piece are nicely drawn, with the font and bannering being well placed to draw the other parts of the image together. While the shading is important the ink is also helped by good use of not tattooing parts of the skin as well.
This body art should have a buffering signal – it’s a major cover up job using flat black ink to replace an older tribal style tattoo. It will eventually cover most of the work, bar the Thai wording and some of the scale work. This type of reclamation project would be quite intense and uncomfortable in the application.
An interesting all black take on a new wave tattoo, the piece uses the odd placement to create an arresting bit of work.
This is a classic Polynesian tribal piece that was likely done without the use of a tattoo gun, but likely traditional tattooing implements of stick and chisel.
Wow. This is an exciting Chinese Dragon, rendered even more impressive by a unique choice of blue gray ink to create a solid color rather than shading you’d find with normal black or gray pigment. The color is accentuated by the single needle, crisp black lines of the scale and patterning of the dragon’s head.
This is the more traditional full dragon sleeve in the Irezumi style. The plating of scales is done by intense shading in black and gray, with the use of motifs such as cherry blossoms and waves to complement the sinuous serpent.
This tattoo is a new wave taken the classical American Bald Eagle.
While this effort is a more traditional expression of the recognizable symbol of USA. UIt’ the type of tattoo readily accompanied by a chopped hog motorcycle, sound system pumping the Boss, and a Harley Davidson bandana.
This not quite finished artwork mixes a few different styles together, mainly fusing Japanese technique in the shade work with the realism of the hourglass. The pink of the blossoms is a deft touch, providing a change in element for the entire tattoo. It will be a unique custom piece when completed.