Malaysian artist Monica Lee uses simple graphite pencils to create stunningly realistic portraits of people and animals. Through her photorealistic drawings, she manages to capture the most minute details of her subjects – faded freckles, coarse beard hair and even the subtle weaves of a shirt.
Lee worked as a digital artist for 12 years before she switched to analog drawings. She grew up admiring and appreciating the value of photographs, thanks to her father who is a photographer. So photorealism comes to her quite naturally, and she enjoys depicting as many details as possible.
“I like to challenge myself with complex portraits especially people with freckles or beard,” Lee says.
To create her realistic art, Lee uses a combination of tools like smudging sticks to build the illusing of a three-dimensional form. This results in a nice balance – she concentrates on the tactile textures as well as blending soft, diffused grays. It takes her three to four weeks to complete a single drawing.