Will A Tattoo Artist Do A Sleeve All In One Session?

Will A Tattoo Artist Do A Sleeve All In One Session?

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Will A Tattoo Artist Do A Sleeve All In One Session?

A tattoo sleeve covers a large area of your arm from shoulder to wrist.These tattoos normally cover the entire outer side of the arm, so they stretch from one shoulder to the other and sometimes down a person’s hand.

No! A sleeve tattoo typically involves intricate and detailed work covering a large arm area. It can take several sessions and hours to complete a full sleeve tattoo, each lasting several hours. In this case, you can choose between a full-sleeve or half-arm sleeve tattoo.

Remember, half sleeves are more commonly seen, but it’s still unique and is becoming more popular among people who want to get a tattoo on their arm but want to cover it only partially with ink.

If you choose to have a half-sleeve, you must admit that it will not look as good as if you had gotten the whole thing in one go.

As far as the whole arm, you must consider that a sleeve tattoo is an extremely difficult job, and you may not want to go back and forth several times.

Another thing you have to consider is the level of pain you can handle during the procedure. However, if you are willing to put up with all of this, a sleeve tattoo is an option for getting your tattoo done in one session.

How Many Sessions Does Getting a Sleeve Tattoo Take?

The number of sessions required to complete a sleeve tattoo Varies depending on the: 

  • Size. 
  • Complexity of the design.
  • Individual’s pain tolerance and healing time.

However, here is a table showing the estimated number of sessions for different sleeve tattoo sizes:

Size of Sleeve TattooAverage Number of Sessions
Small (quarter sleeve)2-3
Medium (half sleeve)4-6
Large (full sleeve)8-10

How Painful Is A Sleeve Tattoo?

The pain of getting a sleeve tattoo can vary significantly depending on: 

1. Your Tattoo Artist

A few artists are known for firing off as many tattoos as possible with the least discomfort for their customers. However, a lot of time comes at the cost of the quality.

These artists might have a reputation for giving their customers an easy time. Still, their tattoos are usually less detailed and quality than those who take more time to make your tattoo as awesome as possible.

Will A Tattoo Artist Do A Sleeve All In One Session?

If you go with a reputable artist who isn’t known for speed and quantity, you’ll likely get a great tattoo that doesn’t hurt too much.

2. Pain Tolerance

Some people feel a sting here and there when it’s done; others need a lot of pain medication to get through it.

If you’re the latter, request the right anesthetic before your sleeve tattoo is done to get through the entire process without feeling much pain.

3. Pain Intensity

Sometimes a tattoo hurts more when you take the bandage off, and sometimes it hurts more when the tattoo is being done. The same goes for a sleeve tattoo.

Some people report that while creating their sleeve tattoo, they felt considerably less pain than when they got a full arm or leg piece done.

Others reported feeling just as much discomfort each time they got their sleeve tattoo done.

The best way to avoid intense pain each time is to go with a tattoo artist who you know has done many tattoos before and knows what they’re doing.

If you’re feeling anxious, it can be hard to tell how much or little pain you’ll feel during your tattoo session.

4. Tattoo Size

The bigger the tattoo, the more the pain. This is where most pain people feel during a sleeve tattoo comes from. A smaller tattoo might require fewer needles, and the process will go faster.

Where do you start getting a sleeve tattoo?

Getting a sleeve tattoo is a significant decision, and it’s essential to consider various factors before starting the process. 

1. Choose a Design: Before getting a sleeve tattoo, you’ll need to decide on your desired design. Take the time to research various designs and styles and select one that resonates with you.

You can work with a tattoo artist to create a custom design or choose an existing one you like. Once you’ve chosen a design, you can research talented and reputable artists.

You can look at portfolios to understand what the finished tattoo will look like.

2. Get a Renowned Tattoo Artist: To get a sleeve tattoo from an accomplished artist with extensive training and experience, you’ll need to research them beforehand.

Make sure you pick one with a solid reputation and experience with sleeves. Artists have different reasons for choosing sleeves, including that it’s easier to work on the entire arm and can be wrapped on if necessary.

3. Schedule a Consultation: Once you’ve found a tattoo artist, schedule a consultation. Discuss your design and the process of getting a sleeve tattoo.

The artist will provide the cost, estimated time frame, and tattoo aftercare information during the consultation.

4. Prepare for the Appointment: When you schedule your first appointment, prepare to discuss the length of the session, what will happen during the session, and what you can expect.

Are There Tattoos That Last For Six Months?

You should also be prepared to discuss your design, how many sessions it will take, the costs of each session, including any supplies, and what you can do before each session to promote healing and ease discomfort.

5. Begin the Process: The artist will create your sleeve tattoo once ready. The process may take several sessions, depending on the size and complexity of the design.

Following the artist’s aftercare instructions is essential to ensure proper healing and maintain the tattoo’s quality.

Do Sleeve Tattoos Go All Around the Arm?

Yes! Tattoos on the arms do tend to go all around the arm. The tattoo usually stops at the hand, with a gap between each finger. However, it’s not uncommon for sleeve tattoos to go up over the shoulders and wrap around both of your arms.

Keep in mind:

  1. Tattoos on arms can be more painful than tattoos on other areas of your body because they involve larger muscles and more skin being pierced.
  2. Usually, the more pain you feel, the bigger your tattoo will look (and vice versa).
  3. You may have to deal with thicker lines and more prominent colors (like black).
  4. Sometimes it’s difficult to hide something that is on your arm.
  5. Tattoos that go over the shoulder will be hidden by clothing. They will also usually be closer to your neckline than they are to other parts of your body because they need as much skin as possible.
  6. You can’t just put on a shirt, tie it around your arm and go about your day as usual. Tattoos need to be hidden at all times.
  7. It’s usually easier to cover up your tattoos with longer sleeves. This will help hide the tattoo and make it less noticeable to onlookers.
  8. Your tattoo will probably look significantly different than the one you had before, so be prepared for that.

What Size Tattoo Takes 2 Hours?

The size of a tattoo will depend on what it is and its complexity. A lot of tattoos will take around 2-3 hours to complete. The smaller they are, the shorter they’ll take.

It all depends on how much detail you want since larger tattoos will have more detail than smaller ones.

Design and placement also matter – Tattoos in hard-to-reach areas or requiring more precision will take longer because of that difficulty level.

Tattoo SizeEstimated Time
Small (2-4 inches)30- 1 hour
Medium (4-6 inches)1-2 hours
Large (6-8 inches)2- 3 hours
Extra Large (8+ inches)3+hours

What To Do Before Getting A Sleeve Tattoo?

Choose a Design or Idea-Dragon
– Samurai
– Key
– Flower
– Your Sports Team and player of choice
-City/state’s name and number.
Research Tattoo Artists and Shops-Talk to family and friends who get tattoos.
– Research online.
Select a Tattoo Artist or Studio to Visit-Call the shop and make an appointment.
Plan your Budget-The price of the tattoo will vary but can cost between $100-$2,000.
Prepare Mentally and Physically for the process-Prepare for pain.
– Rest well
– Stay hydrated
-Eat well.

What Do You Wear After A Sleeve Tattoo?

After getting a sleeve tattoo, wearing loose-fitting clothing that won’t rub or irritate the area is recommended. It’s also important to keep the tattoo clean and well-moisturized during healing.

For the first few days after getting a tattoo, covering the area with a sterile dressing is common to protect it from bacteria and other contaminants.

Afterwards, you can switch to loose, breathable clothing that won’t stick to or rub against the tattoo. Avoid wearing tight clothing, jewelry, or anything that can scratch or irritate the area.

The area may be prone to pigment fading and may get irritated by clothing made of coarse fabric, such as cotton. Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes over your tattoo.

After the tattoo is completely healed, including an additional one to three months of healing time for the white ink used in color tattoos, you can choose clothing that fits without rubbing it.

Will A Tattoo Artist Do A Sleeve All In One Session?

Since getting a sleeve tattoo can be a long process, expect to need more than one set of clothing during the healing process.

Limit your activity during the first few days after getting a tattoo to reduce swelling and irritation, but don’t completely avoid activity. If you work out or lift weights, wear clothing that gives the tattoo air and room to breathe.

What Are The Stages Of A Sleeve Tattoo?

1. First Session

In the first session, the tattoo artist sketches the outline of your final design.

2. Filling in the Design

The next session will involve more drawing and shading to complete your tattoo, with the final set done on the skin.

3. The Finishing Touch

The final touch will be a thin layer of ink placed over the tattoo to protect it from damage and make it last longer. You don’t have to worry about it since you’ve already been through this process a few times!

4. The Final Touches

The final touches on the tattoo will involve a lot of cleaning, making sure you’re happy with the final look and that it’s still as strong as possible.

5. Time to Heal!

Your first session is time-consuming and may even be painful, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to recover and not push yourself too hard in the very first session because that’s when you’ll feel how intense it can be.

6. Healing Time

It can take about two weeks for your tattoo to heal fully, but for a 90% tattoo, it will probably be around three to four weeks.

That’s why you want to get the total package and decide on all the details of your design before bringing the artist back!

Not only do you increase your chances of having a good tattoo experience, but you also get to figure out what you want.

Can I Sleep With A Long Sleeve After The Tattoo?

No! It’s generally recommended to avoid wearing tight or restrictive clothing over a fresh tattoo, including long sleeves, as it can cause friction and irritation to the tattooed area.

However, if it’s necessary to wear a long sleeve shirt while sleeping, you can do so as long as you take certain precautions to protect your tattoo.

Firstly, ensure the long sleeve shirt is clean and made from a soft, breathable material that won’t rub against the tattooed area. Avoid wearing anything that might stick to the tattoo, such as synthetic fabrics or rough bedding.

Secondly, consider using a protective barrier such as a clean, soft bandage or tattoo wrap over the tattooed area before putting on the long sleeve shirt.

This can help prevent irritation, rubbing, and sweat from affecting the healing process.

Lastly, make sure you are sleeping in a comfortable position that doesn’t put pressure on the tattooed area.

Do not sleep on your stomach/ side, as this can cause the tattoo to rub against the bed sheets or clothing, affecting the healing process.

Remember that proper aftercare is crucial to your tattoo’s healing, so follow your tattoo artist’s instructions carefully and seek medical attention if you notice any signs of infection or complications.


Sleeve tattoos are some of the most popular because of their versatility. They are a great way to get a large tattoo without being limited by size or placement.

The downside is that the popular images make it much easier on the artist, so you must be prepared to go way outside your comfort zone and allow many hours to get the tattoo you want.


I'm Vincent, a registered skincare specialist and an award-winning tattoo artist. I've been in the industry for over 10 years and have worked with some of the best tattoo artists in my field. I've loved everything to do with tattoos and arts in general, as well as exercise and wellness! This site is a place for me to share some of the expertise knowledge I have, as well as keep up-to-date with current research and studies. Tattoos are a huge passion of mine, I faced many questions from customers about different products, and there was hardly any help on the internet. I decided to start a blog and help other people!

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