85 Leg Sleeve Tattoo Ideas
Sleeves are big steps in any tattoo lover’s quest for full coverage, and full leg tattoos are just as important as those placed on the arms. Any number of concepts and designs can be utilized, and leg sleeve tattoo ideas are as varied and diverse as the people that wear them.
Some people choose a hodgepodge approach where a series of smaller tattoos are tied together with the use of filler tattoos, or ink breaking up elements into thigh, hamstring, shin, and calf tattoos. This approach works particularly well for American Traditional work. A person may also use a more holistic strategy that uses the entire leg as a large canvas for a single tattoo.
Whether black and gray, full color, or somewhere in between, an ambitious leg sleeve tattoo idea can make for some of the most exciting leg tattoos around. This gallery gives us a glimpse of what is possible with such a large canvas.
See more about - The Ultimate List of Top 137+ Best Sleeve Tattoo Ideas
1. Abstract Leg Tattoo Sleeve Ideas
Characterized by bold lines and vibrant colors, American and neo-traditional tattoos can be effectively utilized to create excellent full leg sleeves. While it is not a hard fast rule — some of the pieces in this gallery demonstrate a holistic approach — many people choose this style and slowly add more pieces of flash to their legs to create a collage-like effect.
Once a number of interesting designs are applied — anchors, roses, daggers, and skulls remain popular-tattoo artists often utilize filler tattoos to decrease blank space between the designs and tie the entire piece together.
Using this approach, the completed leg sleeve will have a classic style that wouldn’t be out of place on a turn of the century battleship.
2. Animal Themed Sleeve Tattoo Ideas
Some of the most famous and influential paintings in the world take an approach that uses surreal interpretations of subjects to create compelling works of body art. This same abstract approach can be equally successful when applied to full leg sleeve tattoos.
In the hands of a talented tattoo artist, everyday objects and mundane scenes can be transformed into mind-bending designs that will continue to shock observers for years to come. While many people often think of bright colors and melting clocks, these excellent tattoos show that an abstract approach can be just as exciting when applied in black and gray ink.
3. American/Neo-traditional Sleeve Tattoo
Man’s relationship with animals goes back millennia, and we continue to be fascinated with the creatures we share the world with. Whether it’s a fierce tiger or a playful tabby cat, there is something inherently fascinating about animals, and leg tattoos are a great way to commemorate this intrigue.
Many people choose to get animals that have traits they admire tattooed on them, while others simply think lion tattoos are badass. Applied in a variety of styles and utilizing different approaches, the leg sleeve tattoos in this gallery demonstrate just how exciting designs can be with the animal kingdom as inspiration.
4. Black and Gray Tattoo Design
There is just something appealing about black and gray tattoo work, and while many people instantly equate black and gray with Chicano tattooing, this monochromatic approach is far more diverse than just this old-school style.
Talented tattoo artists are able to create different designs that vary from hyper-realistic depictions of Greek gods to illustrative designs that use hatchwork and stipple to recreate the effect of 18th century lithographs. Whether on the thigh, calf, or entire leg, black and gray is an excellent choice for anyone who wants their ink to have a more classic quality.
5. Floral Tattoo Sleeve
Flowers are important symbols in just about every culture around the world. One only has to look at a funeral, wedding, or other religious celebration to see the powerful symbolism of flowers. Besides this important significance, flower tattoossimply look nice.
It is for both of these reasons that many people choose to incorporate flowers into their leg tattoos, and while some people use flowers as the centerpiece of their entire sleeve, another popular approach takes blossoms and uses them to fill in the blank space in a tattoo design to create a more unified work of body art.
6. Black and Gray Japanese Tattoos
The Japanese culture has a long and complex history of tattooing, and the variety of designs and concepts provide plenty of inspiration for those looking for an exciting leg sleeve tattoo. Not strictly traditional Japanese tattoos, these pieces use black and gray shading and incorporate a variety of Asian imagery, including Buddha, dragons, and fierce warriors, to complete these interesting tattoos.
These leg sleeves are great examples of how different shading styles and approaches can be utilized to create one of a kind works of permanent body art.
7. New Wave Full Sleeve and Color Tattoo
Not any single style, in particular, these interesting leg sleeves draw inspiration from a variety of sources to create compelling and colorful designs. Some of these leg tattoos use nature as subject matter, with trees, mountains, and animals coming together to show off the tattoo artist’s skill and dedication.
Others take common elements like skulls and demons and apply them in interesting ways to create unique compositions that are sure to turn heads for years to come.
8. Pop-Culture Cool Tattoo Designs
From the Terminator and Harry Potter to SpongeBob, Mulan, and other cartoon characters, the variety of designs and concepts in pop culture that can be incorporated into leg sleeves means that there is a design out there for everyone.
9. Traditional Color Japanese Tattoos
10. Tribal Leg Tattoo
The term “tribal tattoo” is very broad. It can represent everything from the stylized swirls and whorls that became popular in the early 2000s to traditional tattooing practices from indigenous cultures. One of the most striking and culturally significant tribal tattoo styles is the tā moko of the native peoples of New Zealand. Made up of overlapping patterns that are inspired by the natural environment of the Polynesian islands and beyond, these tribal tattoos are traditionally used for leg sleeves or lower leg pieces.
The tattoo art in this gallery demonstrates how tribal patterns can be successfully incorporated into leg tattoo ideas that utilize a variety of different design elements.
Leg Sleeve Tattoo FAQ
How much do leg sleeve tattoos cost?
In a perfect world, the only factors to consider when thinking about getting a full leg tattoo would be the artist, design, and placement. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world and tattoo price is an essential element to take into account when considering a leg sleeve tattoo.
The price of tattoos can vary significantly depending on a number of factors and the experience and reputation of the tattoo artist is one of the first factors affecting price. A reputable artist in a high demand tattoo shop will charge between $100-$150, and some may even be as high as $200 per hour. Most leg sleeves will take at least 15 hours and some – such as a tribal leg tattoo or Japanese thigh tattoo – may take significantly more. A safe estimate will have a full leg sleeve costing around $2,000.
The good news is that a full leg tattoo is almost always broken up into multiple sessions, generally comprising the outline, plus upper piece and lower leg tattoo sessions. The tattoo shop usually recommends that you wait until the completed portion has finished the tattoo healing process before continuing with the piece. This means that you can wait months, or even years—the design isn’t going anywhere!—to complete a large tattoo, which allows for a more realistic time frame in terms of budgeting.
Given the price, it is important to view a large tattoo as an investment that will bring a lifetime of joy, and while they may be expensive, for those with a passion for ink, they are worth every penny. What are the most popular leg sleeve tattoo styles? The ideas and concepts used for leg sleeve tattoos are limited only by the wearer’s imagination and the skill of the artist; however, there are some styles that have become increasingly popular in recent years.
The tribal leg tattoo designs of native Polynesians are traditionally applied in black ink. A tribal tattoo may start with a thigh, although many go on to utilize the entire leg as well.
Japanese irezumi also traditionally use the leg sleeve in their designs – they provide a wealth of inspiration to draw from when considering new ink.
American traditional, with its bold lines and bright colors, is also a popular choice for a leg tattoos, especially when you want to build a piece using a series of small and simple tattoos. For these, the Tattoo artist often utilizes a collage-like approach, using filler tattoos – skull, a pinup woman, flower, koi fish – to tie different, standalone designs together into a cohesive sleeve.
The classic look of black and gray Chicano work can also make for a great full sleeve tattoo.
The truth is, leg sleeves are as diverse and unique as the people that sport them, and with thousands of talented tattoo artists in the United States and around the world, there is sure to be a leg sleeve tattoo idea for everyone.
Did you enjoy these leg sleeve tattoo ideas? Click on the links below for more awesome ink galleries featuring sleeve design and cool styles: