Detailed Urban Landscape Images Are Actually Ultra-Realistic Paintings

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Nathan Walsh is an English realist painter who specializes in urban landscapes. He pays tribute to some of the world’s most beautiful cities, like New York, Chicago or London, through photo-realistic paintings of various urban locations.

Nathan is definitely not the only artist in the world who can create amazingly-realistic images using simple tools like a pencil and paintbrush, but the painstaking process he employs to reach his goal is very different from the way other hyper-realist masters work. Painters who use photographic sources for their artworks use a variety of techniques, including loose sketching of their subjects or transforming the canvas into a grid and painting box by box, but Nathan Walsh takes things to a whole new level by relying on elaborate drawings that look a lot like architectural blueprints to achieve the awe-inspiring level of realism visible in the images below. Before picking up the paintbrush, he draws up to 100 different sketches of a single urban scene, a time-consuming process that can take up to three or four months.

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Artist Uses Powerful Airplane Engine as Paintbrush to Create Jet Art

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Florida-based artist Princess Tarinan von Anhalt creates abstract works of art by hurling cans and bottles of paint into the air and letting the strong winds produced by a jet engine splatter it onto a canvas. It’s probably the most expensive paintbrush ever used, but clients will often pay as much as $50,000 just to watch her work.

Jet Art, characterized by using a jet engine’s air currents to create abstract shapes on a canvas, was invented in 1982, by Prince Jurgen von Anhalt of Austria. After he passed away, his legacy was kept alive by his wife, Princess Tarinan von Anhalt, who became the first woman to use the unusual painting technique, in 2006. She has been using Jet Art to decorate pieces of clothing including sportswear, swimwear, luggage, and jeans, which she presents at various fashion shows, but using the power of a jet engine to create unique artworks remains the most impressive use of this intriguing yet dangerous practice. Last week, the artist was invited to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Learjet, a private airplane brand, by painting 101 canvasses in just two days. Believe it or not, that’s a lot tougher than simply throwing paint into the air and letting the engine do the rest. Princess Tarinan von Anhalt has to endure winds several times stronger than a hurricane and temperatures that can reach 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Flexjet/Jet Art Media

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The Wonderfully Artistic Tattoos of a French Skin Art Master

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If you’re going to get a tattoo, why not go for something truly beautiful instead of the usual tribal, heart, dragon or those tacky Chinese characters that people seem to love so much. Five years ago, French tattoo master Xoïl aka Loïc adopted a new artsy style called the “Photoshop Style”, which really gives “skin art” a whole new meaning.

Xoïl was born in a very small village in Southern France, where his father worked as a mason, creating beautiful things out of stuff other people just threw away. Watching his father at work inspired him to leave the rural life behind and start making cool stuff himself. He never had a formal apprenticeship under a tattoo artist, because they all had these “old-school crazy ideas” he just didn’t recognize at the time, so he simply hung out at tattoo shops picking up the basics and developing his unique style. And it shows in his current artworks. Xoïl’s style is so distinct from other skin artists’ that you can recognize one of his pieces on sight. Combining clients’ ideas with stamp-like textures, typewriter-inspired fonts and geometric patterns, the French master creates incredibly beautiful works of permanent body art that have caught the attention of tattoo enthusiasts around Europe and the US.

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Artist Creates Sculpture Smaller Than a Blood Cell on a Hair Stubble

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Renowned microsculptor Willard Wigan MBE has created the world’s smallest ever work of art by carving a motorcycle on a hollowed-out hair stubble, by hand, in between his heartbeats. The tiny masterpiece measures just 3 microns and is only visible through a microscope.

55-year-old Willard Wigan MBE was already famous for his tiny pinhead sculptures, but he wanted “to go beyond human expectations” and “personally challenge himself” to create something even more amazing that the world hadn’t seen before. So one day, while brushing his face after a shave, he noticed a tiny hair stubble embedded in his fingerprint and decided that was going to be his new canvas. The Birmingham-based artist somehow managed to hollow out the hair fragment and armed with a special tool featuring microscopic diamond fragments he painstakingly sculpted a golden chopper motorcycle, working 16-hours a day for five weeks. Why would such a small work of art take so long to create, you ask? Willard explains that his microscopic chopper is smaller that a human blood cell and so fragile that even the pulse in his finger could have crushed it completely, so he was forced to work in between heartbeats.

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Art Students Swallow Pieces of Film to Become Human Cameras

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The next time you look in the mirror and ask yourself “what am I?”, a correct answer could be: a living, breathing camera. Last year, two art students, Luke Evans and Joshua Lake, conducted an unusual experiment in which they swallowed several pieces of film to capture the digestive system at work. Their art project was aptly named ”I Turn Myself Inside Out”.

At first glance, the artworks of Kingston University students Luke Evans and Joshua Lake look like a collection of specimens captured under a microscope, when in fact they are stills of their digestive systems doing what they do best, process stuff. The two young artists said “we wanted to bring our insides out” so they swallowed several piece of 35mm photographic film and let their bodies do the rest. They’re no doctors, so they didn’t know for sure if this would affect their health in any way, but as a precaution they put the film inside brightly colored capsules to avoid damage to their colons (those things have sharp edges). After eating the film, the two Graphic Design & Photography students waited for nature to take its course and hoped for the best. When the time came, they did their “business” in a bag, took it to a dark room and started looking for the capsules. Luckily, their bright color made them easy to spot. After retrieving the film strips, they scanned them with an electron microscope which revealed some interesting images of their insides.

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The Amazingly Intricate Porcelain Skulls of Katsuyo Aoki

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Japanese artist Katsuyo Aoki uses ceramics to create the most intricate skulls you’ve ever seen. Decorated in rococo style, her amazing works of art incorporate various lacy, swooping patterns and tendrils that make these symbols of death look beautiful.

You’ll probably never look at a skull the same way after seeing the amazing artworks of Katsuyo Aoki. The Tokyo artist specializing in detailed porcelain sculpture has chosen the ghoulish symbol for her Predictive Dream series to prove even death can be beautiful. ”The decorative styles, patterns and symbolic forms I allude to and incorporate in my works each contain a story based on historical backgrounds and ideas, myths, and allegories. Their existence in the present age makes us feel many things,; adoration, some sort of romantic emotions, a sense of unfruitfulness and languor from their excessiveness and vulgarity,” Aoki says in her artist statement. We’ve featured decorated human skulls on OC before, like the painted skulls of Hallstatt ossuary, or the elaborately carved Kapala ritual cups, but nothing quite as detailed and beautiful as these fragile porcelain masterpieces.

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Artist Creates Incredibly Realistic Papercraft Birds

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Dutch artist Johan Schreft creates three-dimensional lifesize models of birds from pieces of paper. To make his works even more realistic he paints each one by hand with watercolors and gouache. The results are simply mind-blowing.

Leiden-based Johan Schreft showed an interest in drawing as well as animals and nature at a very young age. Inspired by the artworks designed by the english artist Malcolm Topp, he started making paper bird models when he was only 14 years old. Over the years the Dutch artist honed his skills, and today his papercraft models look so realistic it’s almost impossible to tell them apart from the real birds that inspired them. Johan takes anywhere from two days to a full month to complete just one of his stunning masterpieces, and although he uses some computer software for the basic design, he does most of the work by hand. Because each bird species has its own specific features, he can’t use a standard design, so every model goes through a complex process that requires several steps and involves a lot of trial and error.

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French Artist Gives Insect Larvae the Chance to Make Their Own Jewelry

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French artist Hubert Duprat supplies Caddisfly larvae with precious materials like gold flakes, opal, turquoise, rubies, and pearls which they use to build protective casings which can be strung and worn as unique pieces of jewelry.

Caddisfly larvae live in rivers and streams, where they collect natural materials like gravel, sand, twigs and just about anything else they can carry to build elaborate armors that provide protection from various threats. The larvae glue all the debris with silk excreted through salivary glands located near their mouths. Using this knowledge, Hubert Duprat places the Caddisfly larvae in climate-controlled tanks and replaces their usual building supplies with precious and semi-precious materials and lets nature take its course. This unique collaboration between art and nature yields impressive results in the form of one-of-a-kind gilded sculptures that sometimes look a lot better than some designer jewels. The French artist views his intriguing project as a collaborative effort, and says “it is their work as much as it is mine”.

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Fashion Designer Gets Married in Dress Made from 100,000 Bread Tags

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Australian fashion designer Stephanie Wilson married her high-school sweetheart in a unique dress made from 100,000 plastic bread tags she had collected over the last 10 years.

Stephanie Wilson and Will Wapling met and became friends while attending Belmont High School in Geelong. After completing Year 12, the two became a couple and moved in together. Stephanie remembers there was a pile of bread tags on the window sill of their home which they kept adding to. She and Will used to joke that when there were enough tags to make a wedding dress they would get married. It may have been a joke to them, but as soon as people found out about their plan they started collecting bread tags and giving them to the lovebirds. At one point, they were getting so many that Stephanie had to get bigger jars to store them in. Then, 10 years later, they realized their idea wasn’t so crazy after all, and decided to go through with it. Having dozens of jars full of plastic tags sitting in their home, Stephanie and Will were sure they had enough bread tags to make the dress. It turned out they were wrong, but luckily the groom-to-be had a baker cousin who came to the rescue with rolls of fresh tags.

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Keng Lye’s Three-Dimensional Resin Paintings Look Incredibly Life-Like

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Singapore-based artist Keng Lye uses his phenomenal sense of perspective to create incredibly realistic animals by painting in layers of epoxy resin and acrylic paint. His series, called Alive Without Breath, features stunning works that blur the line between what is real and what is not.

The time-consuming process used by Keng Lye to create his stunningly-realistic artworks involves filling bowls, buckets, and boxes with numerous layers of lye, and painting the detailed creatures with acrylics and epoxy resin. Each piece consists of several layers, and just one little mistake can compromise weeks, even months-worth of work. This laborious technique requires the utmost patience and attention to detail, but executed to perfection it gives the artwork great depth and an overall life-like look. The art of painting/sculpting in layers of lye was made famous by Japanese artist Riusuke Fukahori, whose exceptional masterpieces we featured on Oddity Central in the past, but Keng Lye added his own unique touch by incorporating physical elements into his art pieces to make them look even more real. For his mind-blowing octopus he used a small pebble, and to make the turtle’s shell he made great use of an egg shell extruding from the resin. But even without these accessories, his fish and crustaceans look ready to jump out of the water.

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Picture-Perfect Pencil Drawn Portraits by Olga Larionova

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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.

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Wacky Croatian Artist Draws Landscapes with an Industrial Angle Grinder

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You could say Albert Krtalic is a cut above other artists. The Croatian creator uses an industrial angle grinder to engrave beautiful landscapes on ceramic canvases. He recently showcased his original works during a exhibition in his home town of Makarska.

The industrial angle grinder isn’t exactly what you would call an artistic tool, but self-taught artist Albert Krtalic has been using it to engrave detailed landscapes inspired by the beauty and culture of his home country on to fragile ceramic surfaces. Asked how he came up with such an unusual engraving method, Krtalic said that the fact that he is a self-taught artist makes him more open to experimenting with different tools and mediums, hence the industrial angle grinder technique. He says mastering the industrial equipment wasn’t easy, and thathe had a lot of “casualties” in the early days, but working with a power tool has paid off in the end, as it gives his artworks an “edgy, industrial look”. Local collectors think he’s on to something and are snapping up his creations while they’re still cheap ($75 each) convinced they’ll one day be worth a small fortune.

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Talented Artist Paints on Butterfly Wings

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Inspired by the beauty and history of his home town of Istanbul, Turkish artist Hasan Kale paints stunning miniature portraits on all kinds of unusual canvases, from butterfly wings to coffee beans and even tiny pepper seeds.

No surface is to small for 53-year-old Hasan Kale. Ever since the 1980s, this Turkish micro art master has been painting his miniature marvels on things as small as cactus thorns and rice grains. Most of his works are detailed scenes of Istanbul, with its beautiful mosques and towering minarets, men rowing their boats through the Bosphorus Strait and seagulls flying in the distance. Thew level of detail in Kale’s artworks is simply unbelievable, despite the tiny canvases they’re painted on. With surgical precision, the artist guides a fine-tipped brush across butterfly wings, snail shells and fruit seeds, using his finger as a palette for mixing colors. Confronted with the skepticism of viewers who didn’t believe such wonderful works of art could be done exclusively by hand, without any digital touch-ups, Hasan Kale has recorded a series of making-of videos.

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Modern Espressionist Creates Amazing Latte Portraits

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New York City barista Mike Breach uses a toothpick as a brush to create beautiful portraits into his tasty lattes. From Albert Einstein to rapper Jay Z, it seems like there’s no face this self-proclaimed “espressionist” can’t draw on coffee.

Today Mike Breach is well-known coffee artist, with a big following on social sharing sites like Tumblr, but only a year ago he was just another barista working in a hotel kitchen surrounded by espresso machines. He was “so, so bored” that he started drawing things on coffee just to pass the time. Armed with a toothpick he realized he could manipulate the coffee foam and milk to create all kinds of designs. He started by doing hearts on his cups and people got really excited about it, so he kept on practicing and came up with adorable teddy bears, and even a portrait of the hotel boss. At first he didn’t think he could ever draw faces into his lattes, but his skills gradually improved to the point where he’s now able to create detailed celebrity portraits. The fact that his artworks only last for a few minutes only makes them more personal. “I kind of want to be like Willy Wonka with coffee- make it interesting and fun for people; take the pretentiousness out of it, take the seriousness out of it,” Mike says.

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Cheryl Kelley’s Photo-Realistic Paintings of Classic Muscle Cars Will Blow Your Mind

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They look like high-definition photos enhanced in Photoshop, but in reality Cheryl Kelley’s muscle-car inspired artworks are just really good hyper-realistic paintings. Using high-gloss oil paints the Texas-based artist  manages to capture the beauty of these iconic vehicles from a bygone era better than any camera ever could.

Cheryl Kelley has always been drawn to beautiful classic cars. During her childhood, she used to play with Hot Wheels toy cars and remembers being fascinated by their delicate curves. Now all grown up, Cheryl drives her very own 1977 Corvette, and has managed to make a name for herself in the art world by painting photo-realistic portraits of muscle cars. The talented artist finds her inspiration at classic car shows and museums, where she takes high-resolution photos of vintage Chevrolets, Camaros or Corvettes that she later uses as guidelines for her impressive creations. Working with glossy oil paints on aluminum panels, Kelley is somehow able to reproduce not only the tiniest details of the vehicles, but also every reflection, ultimately producing masterpieces that look more realistic than their photographic references.

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