Mind-Blowing Painted Illusions by Oleg Shuplyak

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Oleg Shuplyak is a talented Ukrainian oil painter who uses hidden images to turn his artworks into mind-blowing optical illusions.

Born on September 23, 1967, in the Ternopol region of the Ukraine, Oleg Shuplyak studied architecture at the Lviv Polytechnic Institute, but his passion was always painting. Although he creates all kinds of beautiful paintings, it was his talent of transforming his works of art into optical illusions that really caught my eye. Objects and characters in his paintings are aligned perfectly in such a way they create outstanding illusions that are easily spotted. I find his art fascinating, and having seen some pretty awesome optical illusions in the past, I have to say his works are some of the best I’ve ever come across.

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Ukraine’s Amazing Underwater Painters

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You can’t rush art! That’s what they say anyway, but that rule doesn’t apply to the members of Ukraine’s national school of underwater painting, who have just 40 minutes of oxygen to complete their masterpieces.

Painting usually takes patience and comfort to produce memorable works of art, but the artists painting in the depths of the Black Sea can’t really afford to take their time, because that would mean risking their lives. The unusual group of painters, all certified divers, work at depths of between 2 and 20 meters, and claim what they do is just like regular painting, only their canvases are covered with a waterproof adhesive coating, before they plunge into the sea. Although they decide at what depth they want to work, underwater painters have to be very careful because the deeper they go the more color is lost, and on the surface colors look totally different. Red, for example, turns brown or even black.

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Meticulously Detailed Drawings Made with Graphite and Chalk

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Paul Cadden is a Scottish-born hyperrealist artist who creates painfully realistic artworks using only graphite and chalk.

I’ve posted some pretty realistic drawings in the past, like Rajacenna’s detailed celebrity portraits, Juan Francisco Casas’ photo-like ballpoint pen drawings, or Paul Lung’s pencil artworks, but the pieces you’re about to see are on a whole other level. Using simple materials like graphite and white chalk, Paul Cadden is able to replicate complex photos down to the tiniest details. Whether it’s the countless wrinkles on an old man’s face, the smoke from a lit cigarette or the water dripping from someone’s face, he makes it look unbelievably realistic.

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Jason Sho Green’s Mind-Blowing Doodle Portraits

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Jason Sho Green uses a simple ball-point pen to create incredibly intricate portraits that are actually made of other smaller drawings.

Whether we’re good at it or not, we all like to doodle, but American artist Jason Sho Green has taken the pastime to  a whole new level with his amazing doodle portraits that look like modern-day mosaics. Seen from a distance, his works looked like detailed recreations of his subjects, for which he uses shadows to outline the fine characteristics of the face, but as you approach them you realize there’s a lot more to them. Jason actually uses a ball-point pen to “assemble” his portraits from various doodles, including images of people, animals and fantastic creatures.

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Russian Artist Paints with Molotov Cocktails

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Radya Timofey, a 23-year-old Russian artist is taking the art world by storm with a series of original paintings made by throwing Molotov cocktails at his canvases.

They are often used to cause chaos, but young Radya Timofey is turning Molotov cocktails into art tools to create beautiful portraits of soldiers who fought in World War II. He uses a mix of home-made napalm and oil-based substances to sketch the outlines of the portraits and then throws a Molotov cocktail at the canvas, setting it ablaze. After the artwork has stopped burning, a charred figure is revealed. Although the actual “painting” takes place in abandoned outdoor areas, Radya Timofey says “of course it’s dangerous to use fire like this, but we are careful. We put them on the hospital as a testament to their bravery, in life they literally did have to put their faces in the fire to fight the Nazis.”

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Young Artist Uses Gravity as Her Paintbrush

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Toronto-based artist Amy Shackleton creates amazingly detailed paintings without using brushes, or even her fingers. Instead she just relies on gravity to slowly guide the paint across the canvas.

It’s almost impossible to believe anyone can paint such beautiful artworks without a paintbrush, but actually doing it all by using the laws of gravity? That can’t be true, right? Actually it can, and if you’re not going to take my word for it, just check out the timelapse video at the bottom of the page, that features around 30 hours of work compressed into just two minutes. I watched it several times, and I still can’t get over how talented this girl is.

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World’s Largest Collection of Clowns Is Kind of Creepy

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Ortrud Kastaun, a 61-year-old woman from Germany, has set a new Guinness record for the world’s largest collection of clown related items.

Orty, as her friends know her, has been collecting clowns for the last 15 years, and has so far amassed 2,053 different clown-related items. She’s had to move to a bigger house that would accommodate all her creepy smiling buddies, and has even opened a small clown museum close to her home, in Essen. But Kastaun hasn’t always been obsessed with clowns; it all started in 1995, when she was a recovering alcoholic going through therapy. “I remember being in therapy one day putting a jigsaw together. The image was of a clown in a jack-in-the-box. Something just clicked. From that I day on I began collecting clowns,” Orty remembers. It was a tough time for her but she credits clown for helping her get passed it.

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Stunning Landscapes Are Actually Built in a Fish Tank

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They may look like some of the most beautiful places on Earth, but they are actually miniature topographies of fictitious environments, built in a large fish tank, by New-York-based artist Kim Keever.

The pictures below look a lot like traditional paintings, but the process in which they are created is anything but traditional. In a era when technology allows artists to create large-scale works with a few clicks of a mouse, Kim Keever chooses to construct his surreal landscapes by hand. Using hand-crafted plaster molds, various found objects, color pigments and lighting, he manages to create realistic worlds captured with a large-format camera. Keever places his dioramas inside a 200-gallon fish tank, fills it with water, arranges the lighting and adds pigments at just the right moment, before trying to take the perfect picture. Although he uses a digital darkroom to emphasize color and tone, his photographs are unaltered in the process.

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Babushka Artwork Takes Quilling to a Whole New Level

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I’ve always found quilling a fascinating art form, but after seeing Yulia Brodskaya’s mind-blowing “Babushka” I feel there’s nothing a talented artist can’t do with just a few colorful strips of paper.

I discovered quilling a year ago, and since then I have posted a number of impressive works of art created using only strips of colorful paper, but I haven’t seen anything as impressive as Babushka since Susan Myers’ recreation of Van Gogh’s Starry Night. It takes a lot of skill to shape simple pieces of paper into a detailed artwork, but Yulia Brodskaya has definitely taken quilling to new heights, using light and shadow to create an awe-inspiring masterpiece that carries a powerful emotional message. The Russian-born artist says Babushka is “the first piece in the series of works which I consider a declaration of love to the material and the technique. It is also an attempt to raise a profile of this paper craft, which has been previously regarded with some disdain, and to bring this type of artwork on a new level in terms of its ability to convey meaning and emotions.” She’s definitely up to a great start and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

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Incredibly Realistic Pumpkin-Carved Portraits by Alex Wer

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Alex Wer is an awesome artist who can take just about any image and turn it into a piece of everlasting art, by carving it into a craft pumpkin. His Halloween creations look so almost to good to be real.

Alex Wer, also known as “The Pumpkin Geek” first started exercising his awesome talent as a pumpkin carver two years ago, by accident. His wife asked him to carve a pumpkin for her office Open House, and since he had always enjoyed carving pumpkins, he thought it would be fun. He only has a few weeks until Halloween, so he had to decide between carving a real pumpkin that would spoil within a week, or go for a craft pumpkin that could theoretically last forever. He went for the second option, and although he only created a logo and some script, Alex’s pumpkin was a hit at his wife’s event. Before he knew it he had 35 orders for custom logos and children pictures, and his “Orange Empire” was born.

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Incredible Photographs Look Like Traditional Chinese Paintings

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Using a style known as pictorialism, Chinese artist Dong Honh-Oai was able to create a series of amazing photographs that look like Chinese traditional paintings.

Born in 1929, in Guangzhou, China’s Guangdong province, Dong Hong-Oai left his home country when he was just 7, after the sudden death of his parents. The youngest of 24 siblings, he was sent to live within the Chinese community of Saigon, Vietnam. There he became an apprentice at a photography studio owned by Chinese immigrants and learned the basics of photography. During this time he became particularly interested in landscape photography, which he practiced in his spare time. At 21, after doing a series of odd jobs, he became a student at the Vietnam National Art University.

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Panama’s El Valle de Anton – Where Trees Are Square

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A few miles north of the Panama Canal Zone is the Valley of Square Trees a unique tourist attraction where trees of the cottonwood family have rectangular trunks.

Unique in the entire world, this group of square-shaped cottonwood trees grow in a valley created from the ashes of a giant volcano – El Valle de Anton. Featuring hard-right angles, the trunks of the square trees have baffled tourists and scientists alike, for several years. Experts from the University of Florida took saplings of the mysterious trees to see if they retain the same characteristics in a different environment, and concluded that their square shape must have something to do with conditions unique to the valley in which they grow. Evidence that the cause of this bizarre phenomenon is deep-seated is indicated by the fact that their tree rings, which represent its growth, are also square.

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Japan’s Anti-Groping Women-Only Train Cars

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Groping on public transportation is an international problem, but Japanese railway companies have found an effective way to stop it by introducing women-only train and subway cars.

It’s a known fact that Tokyo is overcrowded and that is most obvious during rush hour, when professional pushers shove people into train cars so the doors can close properly. Unfortunately this is the kind of environment where perverts thrive. Usually most people mind their own business, reading a magazine, checking their email or talking on the phone, but some men prefer to talk dirty to the women next to them and groping them. This kind of molestation or “chikan” as the Japanese call it, happens every day in Japanese major cities, and lost of women choose to be quiet and bear it, because of the way male-dominated Japanese society functions. But ever since Japanese railway stations introduced the women-only train cars, they don’t have to, anymore.

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Which Way Are They Looking?

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Venezuelan artist Jesus Gonzales Rodriguez creates mind-twisting images by putting together multiple photographs of a person and cutting along the edges. Every image is made up of a frontal and side-view photograph pieced together to form an optical illusion in which the portraits look normal at a glance, but only until your eyes detect the outlying visage. The photos below are part of Rodriguez’s “1/2″ project, which you can check out on his Flickr profile. Pretty impressive work…(still trying to figure out which way they’re facing)

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Retired Dentist Creates Functional Miniature Airplane Models

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Young C Park, a retired dentist from Honolulu, Hawaii, spends thousands of hours painstakingly working on fully functional models of famous fighter planes.

Every little part of Mr. Park’s planes is a miniature replica of the original. He spends hours on end manipulating aluminum into chains, cable and hinges for his creations and doesn’t leave his workstation until every part is up to his high standards. It might seem a little extreme considering we’re talking about models, but the 77-year-old retired dentist is very passionate about his planes and always aims to execute perfect replicas of the machines that have fascinated him throughout his life. His 1/16 scale models have retracting landing gear and working controls, but the levers are so tiny you need fine tweezers to operate them.

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