Tattoos have so many ways to grace the body, with a popular choice being the quarter sleeve tattoo. One of the smallest sleeve designs, the quarter sleeve tattoo is still large enough to pack a punch and include a lot of artwork. They are also more easily hidden than other sleeve tattoos and are more easy to preserve. A simple T-shirt will shield them from the hot, drying sun.
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The quarter sleeve tattoo will cover one-quarter of the arm, usually from the shoulder to the middle of the bicep, about where a short sleeve would be. Less traditional tattoo enthusiasts may opt for the quarter sleeve in another area, like from the wrist to the middle of the forearm, or from the elbow to the middle of the forearm or middle of the bicep.
Since the tattoo is going to wrap around the arm, a design that incorporates the different dimensions works well. This means one will often see slithering snakes, swimming koi, leaping lizards or panthers about to pounce decorating a quarter sleeve tattoo. The top of the arm is where the face of the creature will usually be placed, with the body wrapping around the underside and back of the arm. Keep in mind the underside of the arm, the armpit and the inside of the wrist are very delicate areas, painful places for tattoos. Designs that are minimal in those areas will be much easier to endure.
Another feature of quarter sleeve tattoos is usually a background theme or design that ties the whole tattoo together. The slithering snake, for instance, could be surrounded by winding vines that meander around the arm, shading in the white spaces with different hues of green. The same could be done with the koi, lizards or other main art featured as part of the tattoo. Background designs often consist of flames, swirls, lines and waves. Often shading with a colour or two will be enough to unite the design, without a lot of background decor needed. Tribal designs, too, are popular as quarter sleeve tattoos. These are deep, bold shapes that don't need a central piece of art but stand on their own.
A quarter sleeve tattoo does not necessarily have to consist of one central design flanked by background colour or illustrations. A collection of small tattoos gathered around one-quarter of the arm is also considered a quarter sleeve tattoo. The smaller collections of tattoos are easier to ink in instalments, thereby giving the person shorter sessions and time for each individual tattoo to heal. Design collections usually look best when they do have some continuity, such as a school of fish, a gathering of small animals, a burst of different flowers or other similar designs.
Quarter sleeve tattoos still allow the wearer to display a great amount of artwork that can easily be covered by long sleeves and sometimes even with short sleeves. This means any person who would rather not flash his tattoo can simply wear a regular T-shirt, but he can just as easily show it off with a tank top or muscle shirt. The U.S. Marine Corps banned sleeve tattoos, or any others that are visible when a marine is wearing his regular uniform, but those with a quarter sleeve tat have the greatest chance of getting away with it, as it's the smallest of the sleeve tattoos.