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Traditional American tattoo filler??


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Hey folks. So I working on one arm at the moment sleeving it in all traditional american style tattoos. It will be done by the new year, then I will work and have my other arm done by summer. My question is, does anybody have any cool ideas for filler to bring them all in like a modern sleeve wood have. I have seen people thousands of tiny stars and crosses in gaps which looks cool. Any other ideas? thanks

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I've seen the tiny stars and other fill on plenty of sleeves. As long as they don't distract from the main work, put in anything you like.

This is a good example of a traditional sleeve that isn't so busy that you can't make out the primary tattoos.


Personally, I'd go with small leaves & vines, clouds, or something that ties the whole sleeve together. That may take planning ahead by your artist.


OK, my irezumi favoritism is starting to show here...


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  • 2 weeks later...

i would caution with the japanese windbar, cloud background as an afterthought to filling in a traditional sleeve.

it looks awesome, but I would expect a need to design with this background in mind with the initial layout and composition of trad tattoos . If you put a heavy black background around traditional tattoos that already contain a lot of black you will reduce the overall contrast and readability of the overall arm.

I guess the dots can create a similar issue, too much will reduce contrast. I've also read suggestions to select one artist to do all the filler dots insteady of many, to maintain the overall consistency.

i've got tattoos that blanket all the major areas. I'm filling in the holes with fun small tattoos. I've got negative around my chest bird that I would like to eventually fill in, but my tattooists have suggested NOT blacking in all in and instead leave as is or fill the centre halo part with a bright yellow to maintain contrast.

the other 2 thread links are great reads...


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