“Go big or go home” applies quite literally to the man who chooses not a small, innocuous tattoo but a full-body suit of ink armor.
If tattoos often tell the story of a person’s life in independent fragments and symbols, why not write it in epic proportions?
There are several full tattoo designs on the arms, legs, chest and back that create an unforgettable image. From intricate tribal symbols to geometric diagrams, large-scale visuals to sprawling cinematic vistas, there’s truly no shortage of inspiration. The question is, how brave are you to be the one documenting your own moving history? Are you ready to tell your story with confidence and without apology, using your body’s canvas and your tattoo artist’s needle as your weapons of choice?
A tattoo of epic proportions may not be for the faint-hearted and socially conscious, but for men who dare to dream big, there’s no bigger impression to make.
Whether you want to capture a moment that can only be revealed on a large scale or believe there is a greater pattern than mere skin, a full tattoo transforms the human being into a walking art and let the world know that he holds nothing back.
1. Large sleeve tattoo
There’s a wide variety of sleeve tattoos on display and they all display great technical features that set them apart from more conventional work. Some choose traditional black and gray, focusing on detailed sketching and gray-scale coloring, while others are spare but use bold black ink, clean lines, and flowing images. Contrast with negative space. Still others use meticulous stippling to create shadow or contrast the main focal point with an alternative fill or signature ‘highlight’ color. All of these tattoos are worthy additions to a portfolio.
2. Full back tattoo
OH! If you are looking for a perfect cross section of large tattoos to influence your choice on a full back then these examples are all you need. They are amazing, using the huge available canvas to create realistic works of skin art. Some of these choose large focal images – such as the head and face of a Chinese warrior – while others, such as back tattoos based on intricately engraved geometry, aim to build build a complementary piece for many technical applications. I think my favorite is a great whale tattoo that matches the realism with its dazzling kaleidoscope of color and detail.
3. Large tattoo inspired by Irezumi
The word Irezumi means ink insertion in Japanese. They have long been taboo due to their links to the Yakuza underworld and are still opposed by much of Japan’s conservative culture. Irezumi has long been at the forefront of shaping the ideology and application of modern tattooing. The examples above show why by creating great large tattoos with the use of clean lines, a compact yet vibrant color palette and iconic images central to mythology and folk culture.
4. Pop culture sleeve tattoos
An absolutely fascinating collection of pop culture sleeve tattoos. Just like in the world of film and television, superheroes are exploding as a style of body art and self-expression. The works above are strong depictions of the animation style with great use of color and action. The movie tattoos are also outstanding – I love replicating the movie characters in the ink style that best suits them – they use more black ink and traditional coloring techniques to create each tattoo big with nuance and realism.
5. Large skull tattoo
I’m a fan of skull tattoos. Big, small, detailed or sketchy, unless they are overcome by a terrible lack of skill or awareness there isn’t much I don’t like. These are the best of crop images, large images that are embedded in a wider section or are completely in focus. These skulls are emblematic of the technical use of color, shade and line in creating extremely effective works of body art.
This group of black and gray tattoos moves from traditional tattoos to completely badass personal depictions. There is a range of versatile, monumental techniques on display such as: geometric patterns contrasting black ink and negative space, classic gray scale shading to create stone effects or even monumental flow of complementary line and shading in Chicano body art.
7. Giant animal tattoo
First, that decoded cat tattoo might be the strangest tattoo I’ve ever seen. It’s engaging on a skill level and very creative. Most of these tattoos focus on the realism of each beast, but are enhanced by geometric patterns, incredible people, and a whole host of technical applications and spatial perspectives.
8. Large neoclassical tattoo
These large tattoos are like museum exhibits on the skin. Love the way classical Greek style balances clean, sharp details with vibrant negative space to create beautiful stone faces and monuments. They achieve the difficult feat of being able to look simple yet be elaborately combined with skill, artistry and clarity. I like how there are many smaller techniques used within each main creation, with highlights and shadows often appearing when layering old school concepts.
9. Get loud and vibrant
These large tattoos have a bold, unique style. They are placed in unusual positions or choose to use striking colors and images, and it works to a great extent. In particular, the 3D work highlights the subject’s chest, blending a wonderful purple alternative color with a vivid blue, which is then contrasted with the terrifying depth of the stunning hexagon.
10. Large religious tattoos
A large group of tattoos that focus on faith. They use symbolic ink – praying hands, the Eye of Providence, crosses and figures – to create a range of versatile body art, mainly in traditional shades of black and grey. The mid-chest tattoo with its stunning white patterned collar and pulsating cross is a near-perfect example of combining religious themes with the panache of body ink to create a great work.
Need to see more themed tattoos in this article? Click on the links below to learn more.
Top 100 best sleeve tattoos for men – Theme, Talent and Time
60 Marvel tattoos for men – Superhero comic book design ideas
103 animal tattoos for men – Amazing living creature designs
120 Full Body Tattoos For Men – Masculine Ink Ideas