A TATTOO artist has paid tribute to a Hollywood actor who died this week by inking a portrait of his face from one of his best-known movies onto a life-long fan.

Stuart “Biffa” Sutherland, a tattoo artist at K2 Body Art, in Richmond, said the idea to immortalise the face of actor Robin Williams, who died on Tuesday aged 63, was the idea of his boss Chris Moss – who last year created a similar work of Nelson Mandela’s face as a tribute to the great leader.

Mr Sutherland said he had been tasked with the job, and asked people he knew who might be willing to go under the needle before previous customer Melissa Plews-Smith, from Catterick Village, jumped at the chance.

Loading article content

She said: “The news of Robin Williams’ death was such a shock. I have had a couple of tattoos by Biffa done before and trust him completely, so it was an easy decision when they asked if I was interested.

“I have grown up with Robin Williams films and my children now love them as well. I wanted to do something as a tribute for him and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.”

Mr Sutherland said: “I trawled dozens of pictures of him before I found one of a high enough quality – that is the most important thing with portrait tattoos because we need to blow it up to create a transfer and sometimes they can just end up really grainy.

“The picture was from the Flubber film, and includes a bit of Flubber in the tattoo, which was the hardest bit to recreate.”

The tattoo took more than three and a half hours to complete but Ms Plews-Smith said it was worth the wait and the pain.

She added: “I also have tattoos of Voldemort from Harry Potter, some writing and a seahorse.

“I’m over the moon with this one, I think it’s absolutely fantastic – there’s no-one else I would have trusted to do the tattoo, especially as it was quite spur of the moment.

“We did discuss the image and where it would go best, I chose my leg just above my knee.

“I wanted to do something to show my appreciation for the actor who meant so much to my childhood, and to highlight that anyone can suffer from depression as he did.”