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Portraits of Characters, Both Real and Fictional, by Roger Mares

Portraits of Characters, Both Real and Fictional, by Roger Mares

Tattoo Artists1 min Read

Neo-traditional depictions of unforgettable figures from films, TV, comics, and more.

The new millennium has proved to be a golden age for color portraiture in the world of tattoos, and while there are tons of depictions of famous figures, some of the best of them are the ones from fan-favorite books, movies, television shows, and other forms of entertainment. Few tattooists, however, illustrate this fact in quite the same way that Roger Mares does with his vibrant neo-traditional portraits of some of the most memorable characters ever to capture viewers' imaginations. There's something about his work in this highly animated style that makes his tattoos pop with personality. 

Mares' approach to creating neo-traditional work is both vibrant and graceful, and it's simply amazing how he uses it to capture various unique personalities. For instance, notice how he channels Frida Kahlo's own artistic sensibility into his portrait versus how terrifying he makes the depiction of Billy the Puppet from the Saw movies in the piece below. The drastic difference in tattoos like these demonstrates the incredible aesthetic range that's achievable in this genre of body art.    

One of the most fascinating aspects of Mares' portraits is the wide variety of source material on which he bases them. He's illustrated some of the most enduring characters of all time, like the Tin Woodsman from The Wizard of Oz and the White Rabbit from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Speaking of going through the looking glass, he's also done tattoos of figures from more recent adaptations of timeless classics, as seen in his depictions of Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. Some of his most captivating pieces are of characters from other contemporary hits. His portraits of Hannibal Lector, Arya Stark, and Iron Man are some of very best.  

Arya Stark from HBO's adaptation of Game of Thrones from Roger Mares' body of work (IG—mares_tattooist). #AryaStark #GameofThrones #HBO #neotraditional #portraiture #RogerMares

Should you want to see more of the famous figures that Mares has illustrated, pay a visit to his Instagram. He works out of Malibu Tattoo Studio in Barcelona, Spain if you want to track him down for a neo-traditional portrait of your favorite real-life or fictional character.

Ross Howerton
Written byRoss Howerton

BA in Literary Studies from The New School. MFA in Creative Writing from NMSU. Staff Writer for Tattoodo. I love art, books, movies, music, and video games. Hit me up on Twitter @Powertonium

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