Of all of the different styles of art and illustration, one of my favorites is that of hyper-realistic drawing. This is the process of illustrating scenes in – in many cases – an alarmingly detailed and realistic manner, and when done well can be hard to tell that it’s not a photograph. Of course, it’s incredibly difficult to create artwork like this, as it takes patience, practice and an absolutely phenomenal amount of talent.
As you may expect, because it’s so difficult to get right, there are very few artists out there who can accomplish such an intricate feat. The entire process is similar to the Trompe l’oeil style, which is French for “deceive the eye”. Trompe l’oeil paintings often use forced perspective to depict highly realistic imagery that almost fools you into thinking that it’s real. Even during the height of it’s popularity, there were very few masters of the style – and the same is true of photo-realistic pencil drawings, in which there are very few artists capable of such intricate, detailed and impressive artwork.
While artists of photo-realistic pencil drawings will use a photo to guide them, there’s so much detail for them to have to get right, from capturing the exact facial expressions all the way to making sure the lighting details are accurate, and even down to the reflection in the eyes of the subject. It’s this level of accuracy that makes the art so lifelike and realistic that it’d be easy to forget that it’s not a photograph.
To help showcase some of the work that these incredible artists are able to achieve, we’ve brought together a collection of some of their illustrations. Each one of these is the result of days of work, and years of practice before that, and are stunning examples of what can be achieved if you have time, patience, practice and a real passion for your work. Keep in mind – all of these images have been hand-drawn by the artist – they’re not photos or computer renderings. We hope you find this collection of hyper-realistic illustrations an interesting source of inspiration, and that it encourages you to perhaps try your hand at creating detailed, lifelike artwork of your own.
Are there any examples of photo-realistic drawings that you’ve found that deserve a mention? Or have you tried your hand at creating your own highly detailed, extraordinarily intricate art yourself? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.
Post Contributor: Dan writes for unusual gifts experts The Handpicked Collection, who specialize in interesting gift ideas for women and men. In his spare time he enjoys studying graphic, web and print design.