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Self-Taught Artist Creates Mind-Blowingly Realistic Portraits of Wildlife

Looking at the detailed leopard portrait below, you’d be inclined to think Franziska Treptow is a photographer. Every detail, from the tiny hairs of the animal’s fur to the reflection in its eyes, is so perfect that it’s almost impossible to believe that the young German artist paints or draws every one of her artworks.

Franziska’s ideas start as sketches and photos of wildlife. Using her skills in digital photo manipulation technology (Photoshop), she creates a digital model for her works, which helps her become aware of the composition and accentuation of light and shadow. She then sketches that model on paper or canvas and uses pencils or paints to create the ultra-realistic animal portraits exclusively by hand. The whole process, can take anywhere from a few hours to more than a month, depending on the complexity of the project. The end result is always breathtaking.

“What triggered her creative urge was a pure interest in the hole beauty of flora and fauna,” Franziska’s website states. “Her sources of inspiration vary constantly: from a walk through the nature to something she sees, reads or notices in a completely different context. Always different, her influences come from a wide range of interest areas. In the end, her real passion is being alone in the studio, experimentation and search for her own art figurative language.”

But what I found most impressive about Franzika Treptow is that she is a self-taught artist, with no formal education as a painter or an illustrator. How does a person teach themselves to paint and draw like this?

For more amazing hyper-realistic portraits of animals, be sure to also check out the works of Illinois-based artist Allan Ace Adams.

Photos: Franziska Treptow

via My Modern Met