A loyal client.

Having a client who regularly comes back for new work is always a great satisfaction. Even better when he has imagination and clear ideas, even if sometimes our tastes don’t exactly match 😀

After doing Coronavirus and Gaetano’s House, it was the turn of a famous horror movie character: Captain Spaulding.

The subject balances a tattoo on his other thigh (done by another tattoo artist) which portrays another horror movie character.

Tattoo portraits

Honestly, I’m not a fan of tattoo portraits, especially subjects that have already been tattooed hundreds, if not thousands of times using the same image. I strongly believe that a tattoo must be unique and personal, and I possibly always suggest re-elaborating the theme or the feeling one wants to convey in a new and original way.


This obviously doesn’t have to lead to a confrontation with the client.

After giving my opinion, if the client stands firm on his idea and the desired subject is still something that can be proudly displayed, I am willing to accept the request.


So there was nothing left to do but look for some good Captain Spaulding pictures.

I would have liked to find a nice image different from the one that has already been used countless times, but I had no luck. Apparently, the only image with a good resolution and suitable for a tattoo available on the web is this one, which is probably the most iconic. Perhaps I could have solved this by watching the movie hoping to find an original shot, but not being a fan of the genre I didn’t really want to watch a 2-hour movie in search of a shot that might not satisfy the client’s requests.

Therefore, given his decision and since this image is apparently truly iconic, we used that one.

A matter of background

As for the background, I was thinking of something neutral that would surround the face in order to increase contrast, but his request included a lettering: “Fuck Society” Which would match the one decorating the character on the other leg: ” Fuck the System ”, tattoo on which I will intervene shortly with a background to balance this one’s size.

While I was trying to find colours that could balance the lettering, the background and the portrait well, the client suggested I use the red and yellow center which is apparently the logo of the character’s shop in the movie. No sooner said than done, and it worked perfectly.

I took the time to adjust the size and the lettering, add some effects and shadows to make the face stand out and we were ready to go.

Pain management

I was sure I could finish the tattoo in a single sitting and, looking at the total time, I could have made it but the client has a fairly low pain tolerance in this body area, so we had to split the process into three steps, the first of which was dedicated to the outline and beard, which actually takes time.

It was my first time tattooing a beard, I imagined it would be challenging and so it was.

For the next session, the client decided to use an anesthetic cream, but despite this I was unable to complete it, we had to postpone the background to one last session.

Being one of only a few portraits done in my career (probably the third or fourth) I am very satisfied with the final result.

Picture and video was taken over six months after healing