A full sleeve tattoo is one that literally covers the arm from shoulder to wrist. The most beautiful full sleeve tattoos are the ones that blend into one flowing tattoo.
In order to achieve this, one must try to envisage the end result before even going to the parlor. Discussing your ideas with the tattoo artist will also greatly help into achieving the look that you are after.
Things may get a bit tricky if you already have some tattoos on some parts of your arm. A professional tattoo artist will be able to offer you various options and ideas of how he can connect all existing tattoos and make them seem as though you had wanted a full sleeve tattoo from the outside.
A common technique that is used to achieve a flowing tattoo, is to add backgrounds to existing tattoos. Popular backgrounds include flame tattoos, smoke and swirls.
If on the other hand, you're thinking of getting a sleeve tattoo from scratch, then the world is literally your oyster because you have total freedom as to what type of tattoos you can choose.
It is said that the most beautiful full sleeve tattoos are ones which revolve around a specific theme. Favorite themes for full sleeve tattoos include floral designs, Celtic themes, tribal tattoos, Japanese art, religious tattoos and much more.
If you already have a few pieces on your arm, it is imperative that the theme fits these existing tattoos otherwise you will lose the whole flowing effect.
Work closely with your tattoo artist so that you'll get an idea of how the whole thing would look BEFORE the actual work starts. Have the whole design created on paper first.
If this is your first tattoo or you only have a couple of tattoos, try to talk to different artists so that you'll get a good feel of what each one is capable of. Then go with the one who is on the same page as you.
A full sleeve tattoo will most likely take a couple of weeks to complete (sometimes even months or longer). This greatly depends on how elaborate the design is and pain tolerance. It is important that you allow healing time from swelling to get the best results.