Pencil Master Creates Mindblowingly Realistic Sneaker Drawings

Steph Morris is an insanely talented UK artist who specializes in hyper-realistic drawings of sneakers. Her work is so detailed that even closeups of the drawings are hard to distinguish from the real thing.

When it comes to sneaker drawings, Manchester-born Steph Morris is renowned for her unrivaled realism. She has always had a thing for sneakers, so pairing up this passion with her artistic talent just made sense. She didn’t originally plan to make a living out of drawing sneakers; At first, she was more interested in wearing them, as she pursued a career in sports, but a number of injuries forced her to reevaluate her options and come up with a plan B. She took up the pencil, started drawing the things she loved most, and never looked back.

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Painting Rivers with a Fly Rod, a Unique Art Form

Ben Miller is the world’s only fly cast painter. Instead of a regular paintbrush, he dips his special flies in paint, attaches them to a fly rod and flings them against a canvas from dozens of feet away.

Fly fishing and painting don’t really seem like a match made in heaven, but then again, you probably haven’t seen Washington-based artist Ben Miller at work either. He is regarded as the world’s first and only fly cast painter, meaning he uses a fly rod and the art of fly casting to create thought-provoking artworks designed to raise awareness about the importance of preserving the world’s rivers. Growing up in central Washington state, Ben was introduced to the beautiful rivers of the region early on in his life, learning to fish from his father. As a young adult, he got the idea to combine his love for fly fishing with his passion for art in a unique art form that has come to be known as fly cast painting.

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Talented Artist Creates Cardboard Dioramas That Doubles as Detailed Portaits

Kuronushi is a young Japanese artist who specializes in shadow art. He puts together hundreds of pieces of cardboard that, when viewed from different angles, project detailed shadows.

You’ve probably seen shadow art – expertly arranged objects that project certain shadows – before, but Kuronushi’s creations are on another level. He glues together hundreds of pieces of cardboard to create themed dioramas that project a shadow artwork when light is cast on them from a certain angle, but there is actually more to these rudimentary-looking cardboard installations. When Kuronushi turns his little dioramas, the shadows they cast change into related portraits. For example, for a scene inspired by the Wizarding World of Harry Potter featuring a broom-riding Hogwarts student and a half-moon, the installation also casts a detailed portrait of Harry Potter himself when seen from a certain angle.

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The Incredibly Detailed Fake Nail Art of Vivian Xue Rahey

Self-taught nail artist Vivian Xue Rahey uses tiny brushes to create ultra-realistic portraits of pop-icons and celebrities on acrylic nails.

Looking at some of Vivian Xue Rahey’s tiny masterpieces, you’d think she has been practicing acrylic nail painting for most of her life, but you would be mistaken. She only started doing nail art to decompress while working to launch her own tech company. The trained software engineer had just launched a software startup, when she took the hobby of nail painting as a way to relax but ended up going so deep down the rabbit hole that she decided to abandon her career in the tech world and become a professional fake nail artist instead. And the rest is history!

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Kurt Wenner’s Mind-Boggling 3D Pavement Illusions

Kurt Wenner, a former NASA illustrator turned professional artist, specializes in chalk-drawn three-dimensional illusions that seem carved into the pavement rather than drawn on it.

Born and raised in Santa Barbara, California, Kurt Wenner attended both the Rhode Island School of Design and Art Center in Pasadena and was quickly recruited to work for NASA while studying at the Art Center. There, he was among the few highly skilled artists whose work was done solely by hand. Eventually, Kurt eft the agency and moved to Europe to study some of the world’s greatest works of art. Disappointed to find no class on the principles of classicism, the young artist came up with his own self-learning program which involved spending countless hours drawing from the magnificent art collection of the Vatican Museums and the Pantheon.

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Artist Ordered to Repay Museum $76,000 After Turning In Blank Canvases as Artworks

Danish artist Jens Haaning has been ordered to repay the Kunsten Museum in Aalborg 532,000 kroner ($76,000) after handing in two blank canvases as artworks in a project he named ‘Take the Money and Run’.

In 2021, Jens Haaning, a Danish conceptual artist whose work focuses on power and inequality, was commissioned by the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg to recreate two of his earlier artworks for which he had used a bunch of banknotes to represent the average income in Denmark and Austria. The artist agreed and the museum provided about 532,000 kroner ($76,000) for him to recreate the art pieces, including a fee of 40,000 kroner. Only when the museum staff unpacked the two artworks from Haaning, they found two blank canvases titled ‘Take the Money and Run’.

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Vietnamese Artist Sculpts Papaya Fruits into Realistic Flowers

Nguyen Thi Thu is one of the few remaining artists practicing and constantly enhancing the traditional Vietnamese art of sculpting realistic-looking flowers out of papaya fruits.

Thu became enamored with carving various flowers from papaya fruits at the age of 15, when, like many other parents during the 1980s, her family registered her for an exclusive class on the art of sculpting the tropical fruit. She was fascinated by the traditional art form, but then she had to move to Russia for 15 years, where, because she was too busy working and had no access to green papayas, she couldn’t practice her favorite art form. She tried it with all sorts of other fruits and vegetables, including watermelons, but nothing was quite like the papaya she knew. When she went back to Hanoi in 2009, she immediately got back into papaya sculpting, and she has been practicing the craft ever since.

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This Art Stinks! German Artist Paints with Cow Manure

German artist Werner Härtl has carved out a truly unique niche for himself – he is currently the only known artist who uses diluted cow dung to create sepia-style paintings.

Here at Oddity Central, we’ve featured some funky art mediums in the past, from the artist’s own blood as paint, to dead cockroaches as canvases for tiny paintings, but in terms of weirdness, few things come close to Werner Härtl’s chosen medium. The German artist started experimenting with cow dung in 2012, during a stint as an agricultural worker. He packed some manure into a canister and used water to dilute it in order to obtain different sepia tones. These days, he prefers to get the ‘paint’ directly from the source, placing the canister just under the cow’s rectum as it poops. He claims that harvesting just two bovine bowel movements provides him with enough material for at least half a year.

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Talented Soap Maker’s Creations Look Good Enough to Eat

Julia Popova, a talented soap maker based in Sankt Petersburg, Russia, creates amazingly detailed bars of soap that look like delectable desserts, liquor bottles or juicy fruits.

Nine years ago, when Julia started making her beautiful soap bars, she only made them as gifts for family and friends, but she received such positive feedback that she actually started showing them off on social media. And soon, orders started coming in and the OmNon Soap brand was born. In the beginning, she would buy regular soap bars, melt them, and them mold them into the desired shapes, but as she became more involved in the artistic process, she started buying the base ingredients and then making her own soap. Well, calling it soap doesn’t do it justice, as every one of her creations is more like a piece of art.

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The Photorealistic Ballpoint Pen Portraits of Patrick Onyekwere

Talented Nigerian artist Patrick Onyekwere creates stunning, emotionally-charged portraits that look more like photographs than ballpoint pen drawings.

Living and working in Lagos, Nigeria, Patrick Onyekwere started drawing professionally in 2015 and has since become one of the world’s leading ballpoint pen drawing masters. A fan of Kelvin Okafor, himself an accomplished hyperrealist artist specializing in pencil portraits, Onyekwere is able to capture and convey the emotions and feelings of his models like no one else. He actually has an entire selection process that starts with inviting subjects to talk about their lives and their culture, before taking a few snapshots of them for reference.

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The World’s Only Cat And Mouse Armorer Creates Tiny Metal Masterpieces

Calgary-based sculptor Jeff de Boer has made a career out of creating intricate metal suits of armor for cats and mice.

“It all started with a mouse,” Jeff de Boer recalls. He was looking for a creative way to combine his longtime passion for medieval armor with his trade as a jeweler and one day it simply dawned on him – he could make a tiny suit of armor for a mouse. It seemed like an interesting idea at the time, but he had no idea he would go on to become known as the world’s first and only animal armorer and create over 500 suits of armor for mice and cats.

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The Macabre-Yet-Mesmerizing Tattoos of Sandry Riffard

Sandry Riffard is a talented tattoo artist from France who specializes in macabre hyperrealism with a three-dimensional layer.

We’ve featured some amazing tattoo art over the last 15 years, from titans of the trade like Arlo DiCristina and Karol Rybakowski, to talented newcomers carving out their own niches, like Eduardo “Duda” Lozano or Mexican artist Yatzil Elizalde, but when it comes to hyperrealistic macabre tattoos, it’s tough finding someone better. The French artist has always had a thing for horror-inspired art, but he has come so far in the last few years, setting himself apart from other practitioners of the style with some incredible projects.

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The Amazing UV Tattoos of Jonny Hall

UK-born artist Jonny Hall is famous for being one of the first tattoo artists to introduce UV-reactive ink to the style of black-and-grey realism.

UVealism, a term coined by Hall himself, basically refers to the enhancement of already-impressive black-and-grey realist tattoos with the ethereal glow of UV-reactive ink. In plain light, UV tattoos are semi-invisible, but put them under an ultraviolet black-light bulb and you get to see a whole new dimension of the design. UV-reactive ink is a bit more difficult to work with than normal tattoo ink, because it’s a lot thinner, but when used correctly, the results are awe-inspiring.

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The Cracked Glass Portraits of Natnael Mekuria

Ethiopian-born artist Natnael Mekuria specializes in stunning celebrity portraits cracked into panes of glass using only a chisel and hammer.

22-year-old Natnael Mekuria discovered cracked glass art during the Covid-19 pandemic, but mastering the unusual art form took a lot of time and patience. In the beginning, he lacked the hand control necessary to keep the glass canvas from shattering, so he would spend hours chiseling at it only to have it break into pieces before finishing. But he didn’t give up, and today he is able to turn simple panes of laminated glass into beautiful works of art. He still spends hours on end painstakingly chiseling at the glass, but the end results are much different than when he first started.

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The Photo-Like Fire-Painted Portraits of Alex Peter Idoko

Nigerian artist Alex Peter Idoko uses fire, razorblades and sandpaper to create stunningly-realistic portraits that look more like sepia-toned photos.

Pyrography, or painting with fire, is an intriguing art form that involves the decoration of a wooden canvas with burn marks resulting from a controlled flame or heated instrument, like a poker. It’s a less forgiving art than traditional painting, as mistakes are much harder to fix or hide due to the destructive nature of fire. However, some artists control the unusual medium so well that they can create photo-quality artworks that are almost indistinguishable to the naked eye.

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