Sleeve tattoos look great especially if you have a well-toned arm. What if I told you it's possible to have a finished sleeve tattoo in nine hours?

Half-sleeve tattoos on average take about nine hours to finish and they are also cheaper than full-sleeve tattoos. So, if you are under budget or not ready for a full-sleeve tattoo, we suggest getting half-sleeve tattoos.

How is a half-sleeve tattoo different. Well, it just means that it is going to cover the upper are of the arm and extend all the way to the shoulder. Some men argue that these types of tattoos look unfinished, but it isn't the case most of the time. It all just depends on the design.

Another thing that is going for half-sleeve tattoos is discreetness. There are still some people who associate tattoos with criminal activity. And half-sleeve tattoos are easier to conceal since they cover only upper half of your arm.

To help you with the design of your next sleeve tattoo, we've put together a collection of half-sleeve tattoos for men. Use them as inspiration or create your own idea out of them.

1) Tribal Half-Sleeve Tattoo

If you are searching for a tattoo which will accentuate your masculinity, a tribal tattoo is probably the best thing you can get. These tattoos will make you look like a warrior with a hint of savageness and classical ruggedness.

In case you are interested in history of these tattoos, we'd like to mention they are based on tattoos which warriors of tribes used to get to identify the wearer as someone who belongs to a particular tribe. The first tribal tattoos date back to over 5000 years.

2) Half-Sleeve Tattoos in Realism Style

Realism as an art has been around since Renaissance but found its way to the world of tattoos only recently. It started becoming more and more popular starting from 20th century. This style usualy depicts in a convincingly realistic way nature, animals, faces, celebrities, and so on. It is one of the most jaw-dropping tattoos you can get.

3) Half-Sleeve Tattoos in Traditional Style

Old-fashioned iconic style which is known for its bold lines, bright colors, and iconic designs like roses and lady hearts. It's been around for as long as tattoos themselves. You can't go wrong with the traditional style.

4) Angel Wing Tattoo (Realism)

A unique tattoo idea that covers exactly half of your arm and ends at shoulder blades. If you decide to cover your entire arm in the future, you can have a continuous theme if you follow angel and death theme or anything Christian.

5) Girl And Roses (Realism Tattoo)

This tattoo pictures a portrait of a girl, roses, and skull. The tattoo is done in realism style. So the meaning of tattoo is basically love, beauty, and creeping death. Enjoy thins in your life while it lasts!

6) Wolf Tattoo (Realism)

If love animals, what animal can look more badass than a wolf. In the pictures above you can find some examples of incredible jaw-dropping wolf-tattoos that you can use as inspiration.

7) Pixelated Portrait of a Girl

I don't remember where I saw this tattoo but I like it. This half-sleeve tattoo depicts a portrait of a girl, a pixelated flower, and geometrical figures. It combines elements from realism and watercoloring. The mixture of various styles makes this tattoo very unique and refreshing.

8) Religious Tattoo in Realism Style

If you are of a religious type, probably one of the best ways to show your devotion is by getting a tattoo. You can get a tattoo of Jesus, angels, and so on. Done right in realism style it can look incredible. It is like you are telling a religious story on your sleeve.

9) Compass Tattoo in Realism Style

A compass in a combination with other graphics looks stunning. The meaning can be like this: you are the captain of your ship which is your life and compass is your purpose in life. You can also throw in a watch in your tattoo and you get also a reminder that your time is limited.

10) Crow Tattoo in Realism Style

Crows were considered carions of death. A lot of people have superstitious fear of them but maybe you aren't one of them. Just look how incredibly badass these tattoos look with a crow in them!

11) Crow Tattoo in Traditional Style

Another set of tattoos with crows in them but this time they are done in traditional style. They look just as impressive as the previous ones.

12) Skull Tattoo in Realism

Let's just acknowledge the fact that skull tattoos look awesome. The meaning of skull tattoos is that life is fleating and death is inevitable or that's what you are going to say when they ask you for the meaning of your tattoo :)

13) Pirate Themed Tattoo in Realism

Pirates! Those badass raskalls! You can't go wrong with pirate themed half-sleeve tattoos. Especially done in realism style it is going too look like a piece of art on your body.

14) Pirate Girl Tattoo in Realism

Combine pirates and girls and you get a great idea for your next tattoo. There is probably nothing hotter than girls with guns.

15) Dragon Tattoo

If you are into mythical creatures, consider getting a dragon tattoo. No matter what style of the tattoo is going, it will look equally impressive. You can get them in japanese style or in realism.

16) Vikings Tattoo in Realism

Viking themed half-sleeve tattoo done in realism style. Goes well with a beard :)

17) Knight Tattoo in Realism

Anything warrior themed is going to look badass as a tattoo. This one depicts a knight in realism style.

18) Roman Soldier in Realism

This half-sleeve tattoo depicts a roman soldier. The red brushes create perfect contrast with otherwise black and white colored tattoo.

Last Words

When it comes to half-sleeve tattoos, there are a lot of styles you can choose from. As we have mentioned before, half-sleeve tattoos will look just as impressive as full sleeve tatoos.

Hopefully, our list was of some help for you to get an inspiration for your tattoo.


  • If you would like to get a couple's tattoo, check out this post.