In this digital era, it’s amazing to see artists like Olga “Melamory” Larionova using a primitive tool like the graphite pencil to create stunning portraits that rival high-resolution black-and-white photographs.
I’ve always been fascinated by hyperrealist art, but the level of detail in Olga Larionova’s pencil artworks just blew me away. Getting every little feature and reflection just right with glossy paint is impressive enough, but doing it with a simple graphite pencil seems borderline impossible. Yet this young artist from Russia’s Nizhny Novgorod proves it can be done. The uber-talented Melamory has been drawing ever since she can remember. She started by coloring the drawings her mother used to create for her, and as the years went by she began drawing the shapes herself. You’d never guess by looking at her incredible creations, but Olga never went to art school. She did read some books on academic drawing and that helped her develop some basic techniques, but she thinks being a self-taught artist and not having to follow a strict set of rules has actually helped her develop her own unique style. Having graduated from the University of Architecture, Melamory now works as an interior designer, but hyperrealist art remains her greatest passion.
Olga Larionova has always considered herself an artist, but she only discovered hyperrealism ten years ago. Inspired by the works of several artists, the likes of Armin Mesmann, she decided to try it herself. She doesn’t have any secret drawing techniques and says her stunning works are simply the result of years of painstaking practice. Olga is inspired by everything around her, from famous singers and actors to the interesting features of a person walking past her, or the way light reflects on various surfaces. Whenever something catches Melamory’s attention, she just whips out her trusty pencil and starts drawing.
One of the most interesting things about Olga’s artistic process is that she works on different areas of her portraits at the same time ultimately linking them like puzzle pieces to create awe-inspiring images. As you can expect, achieving this kind of detail takes a great deal of time, and Larionova says a single portrait can take between a couple of weeks and several months to complete.
Check out more of Melamory’s amazing pencil drawings on her Deviant art profile.