Japanese Artist Paints Incredible Portraits on iPod Touch and iPad

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Japanese artist Seikou Yamaoka uses a $2.99 application called ArtStudio, and his fingertips to create incredible-looking portraits on his iPod Touch and iPad. And he does it all during a long train commute.

It’s amazing what some people can do with their hands, but Seikou Yamaoka’s work is even more impressive considering he only uses his fingertips. By tapping and sliding his fingertip over the 3.5-inch screen of an iPod Touch, he creates beautiful portraits that look a lot like they’ve been painted with watercolor. That’s actually the talented artist’s goal – to produce  images that look more like watercolour paintings than digital artworks. He uses ArtStudio, a cheap application available on the Apple App Store to create complex colorful images over several hours, during a train commute to work. He starts with a blank canvas, draws an outline of the face he’s about to reproduce and carefully adds strokes of color until it looks like a real painting. Apart from his unusual talent of using Apple’s gadgets to create portraits, Yamaoka likes to paint the old fashioned way, using watercolor or oil-based paint.

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The Wedding House – World’s Smallest Five-Star Hotel

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At 2.5 meters wide and with just 53 square meters of floor space, the Eh Häusel (Wedding House) in Amberg, Germany is the world’s smallest hotel, and a five-star one at that.

From the outside, the Eh Häusel looks like it’s been pushed into the narrow space between two neighboring buildings, but it’s the interior that’s supposed to impress its guests. The hotel is set up on 6 staggered floors and has all the features you’re used to finding in a luxury hotel, including a very comfortable bed, fireplace, fine furniture, flat screen TV and spa bathroom. Guests from as far as China or Mexico pay 240 euros to spend a night at the world’s smallest hotel, and believe it or not the Eh Häusel is fully booked many months in advance. Of course that’s partly due to the fact that’s it’s so small it can only be occupied by one couple at a time.

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Duzzle Art – Doug Powell’s Puzzle Piece Mosaics

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Mosaic artist Doug Powell uses thousands of puzzle pieces to assemble mosaic portraits that capture facial features right down to the finest features.

We’ve featured some of Doug’s work on OC a while ago, when he created a space shuttle mosaic exclusively out of keyboard keys. But he is actually most famous for his unique skill of putting puzzle pieces together as detailed mosaics, which he calls Duzzle Art. If you’re wondering what that means, he just replaced the “P” in puzzle with a “D” from Douglas to personalize his art.

Doug Powell started experimenting with random jigsaw puzzle pieces in 2001, but it wasn’t until 2007 that he began assembling them into portraits. Throughout the years he has developed and refined his technique to the point where he can now reproduce detailed features like lips or eyelashes. The artist never paints any of the puzzle pieces he uses in his mosaics, he only cuts and shapes some of the pieces to make his works even more realistic. Each of the Duzzle Art masterpieces numbers thousands of individual puzzle pieces, and Doug claims he has an inventory of over one million pieces, enough to fill an average size above-ground pool.

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The Camel-Riding Robot Jockeys of Arabia

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Camel racing is a really popular sport throughout the Arab world, and owning a heard of specially-bred fast camels is apparently considered a symbol of wealth and power. But it’s not the animals we should be talking about, it’s their weird-looking robot jockeys.

Obviously, robot jockeys aren’t exactly an integral part of the old camel racing tradition. In the old days, children and light young men were used to whip the camels to victory, but in recent years things had  really gotten out of hand, and crackdowns on the black market revealed around 40,000 kids from South Asia had been kidnapped or sold by their families to become, among other things, camel jockeys. Welfare organizations started reuniting the children with their families, offering them shelter and food until they could return home, but a solution to camel jockey trafficking had to be found urgently. The United Arab Emirates banned children under the age of 16 from competing in camel races, and a Swiss company called K-team realized the business opportunity and began creating light robot jockeys known as “Kamal”, in 2003.

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Would You Believe These Were DRAWN by an 18-Year-Old?

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Rajacenna is an 18-year-old self-taught artist from the Netherlands who draws the most realistic portraits I have ever seen, using only pencils.

I’m a big fan of realistic drawings, and I’ve previously featured amazing works like the pencil drawings of Paul Lung, the ballpoint pen portraits of Juan Francisco Casas, or Cristina Penescu’s detailed scratchboard masterpieces, but at only 18 years of age Rajacenna is in a league of her own. Born in 1993, she started modelling for various Dutch companies when she was only 4, and at 5 years old she made her first appearance on television. She starred in films, soap-operas and tv-series and at 12 she became the host of Kinderjournaal, the first Dutch web-tv for kids.

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British Artist Paints Masterpieces on Swan Feathers

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Artist Ian Davey has found a natural and sustainable canvas to paint his masterpieces on – swan feathers. Now his light works sell for thousands of dollars.

Each individual piece can take up to a week to complete, but Ian Davey’s delicate feather paintings really are something special to look at. The 46-year-old artist, who lives in a converted farmhouse in Snowdonia National Park, Wales, paints on swan feathers collected from a nearby swannery. He only uses feathers that naturally fall on the ground during the birds’ annual shedding period and starts the artistic process by cleaning and individually straightening them with tweezers. He always draws a sketch of what he means to paint on the feather, because he only has a one-foot-long, three-inches-wide canvas to work with so he has to know exactly what goes where. He applies a primer and works with a special acrylic paint that protects the feather. To nail the most detailed parts, Ian uses a specialized 000-size brush.

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Amazing Works of Art Painted Only with Beer

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Artist Karen Eland paints all kinds of portraits and paintings using nothing but beer.

The first time we featured Karen Eland on Oddity Central was when she took the art world by storm with her beautiful coffee paintings. She started her artistic career doing portraits with water color and colored pencils, but quickly moved on to painting with coffee, which really helped her make a name for herself. Now, after 14 years of creating art with the world’s favorite breakfast drink, Karen realized there are a lot of other drinks and foods she could experiment with, so she tried tea, beer, liquor, and lots of other stuff, but beer eventually proved the most successful.

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Man Turns Junk into Life-Size Models of Old Fighter Planes

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Ian Baron, a nuclear plant mechanic from Bowmanville, Canada, has spent the last five years building life-size replicas of old fighter planes from various kinds of junk.

Ian started making his planes five years ago, after visiting the Ford Automotive Museum in Michigan where he saw what can be accomplished by bending metal. He had experience building dune buggies and restoring Model A Fords, and he truly believed he could create a fighter replica with stuff he already had around the house. The few things he didn’t have, like sheet metal from above-ground pools he scavenged from scrapyards and neighbors. He also became a regular at stores like Princess Auto and Home Depot, but all his hard work and expenditures paid off nine months after starting the project, when he finally completed his  1916 Sopwith Carnel, a replica of Snoopy’s plane, the one that shot down the infamous Red Baron. It had bar stools as bulkheads, farm gates as wings and metal pool walls as the skin.

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Mind-Boggling Embroidered Portraits by Cayce Zavaglia

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Cayce Zavaglia is an embroidery artist from St. Louis, Missouri whose embroidered portraits look more like paintings than needle and thread artworks.

Over the past 16 years, Cayce has created portraits of her family, friends and fellow artists, but while her passion for the expressions of the human face has remained constant, paint has slowly been replaced with a less toxic material – thread. She remembers her initial works were painted so thickly they looked a lot like cake frosting; she moved on to works on panel that required only medium-laden oil paint and eventually only used paint for the background of her amazing embroidered portraits. They still look like paintings from afar, but a closer look reveals their true nature and the amount of work that went into creating them.

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Artist Creates Un-BRIE-leavable Cheese Portraits

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To celebrate British Cheese Week, artist Faye Halliday has created a series of creamy celebrity portraits made with cheese spread.

The young artist created her series of cheese portraits using only cheese spread on a black canvas. Halliday was commissioned by English brand Primula to test the versatility of their cheese spreads in a really ingenious way. “We’ve always known how versatile Primula Cheese spreads are, which is why our products are much loved by consumers across the country. This gave us some food for thought, so we decided to really put its versatility to the test and have a bit of fun with our Primula celeb portraits,” The unique exhibition that took place at  the N1 Shopping Centre in Islington, London included portraits of London mayor Boris Johnson, US President Barack Obama, Justin Bieber and cheesy English duo Jedward.

British Cheese Week started last Saturday and ends on Sunday, October 2nd.

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Embroidered Wine Stain Portraits by Amelia Harnas

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American artist Amelia Harnas creates original portraits by spilling wine on white cotton or paper canvases and embroidering certain details to emphasize features.

It’s amazing what some artists can achieve with the most unusual of mediums. Take wine for example, I’ve seen it used as a weapon during the Haro Wine Battle, and as a relaxing spa attraction, but I never imagined someone could use it to create artistic portraits. But that’s exactly what Amelia Harnas does, she uses wine stains to make works of art. From the artist’s website:

These portraits are created either by using a wax resist (much like batiks) and repeated wine stains with embroidery as a reinforcing drawing over the original design or wine on paper with machine sewing. These are my first experiments using wine, and I am excited to continue expanding upon these first results.

It’s amazing how she’s able to control the wine to create just the right effects, and I’m sure her works are just going to get better as she gains more experience.

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Akodessewa Fetish Market – Africa’s Voodoo Supermarket

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Togo’s Akodessewa Fetish Market is recognized as the largest fetish market in the world, a place where Voodoo practitioner can find anything they need for their rituals.

The practice of voodoo began in West Africa, before being taken to America by slaves, and in countries like Togo, Ghana, or Nigeria the religion is very much alive. Many people believe healers using animal parts and strange talismans can invoke spirits with their bizarre rituals, and solve their problems. And if there’s one place where voodoo priests can stock up on their creepy supplies, it’s the Akodessewa Fetish Market, in Togo’s capital city, Lome. Just think of it as an outdoor pharmacy where various animal parts, bone statues and herbs take the place of conventional medicine.

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Amazing Pin and Thread Installations by Debbie Smyth

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British artist Debbie Smyth uses hundreds of pins and meters of delicate thread to create mind-blowing art installations.

I’ve seen a lot of impressive artworks made from thread, but young Debbie Smyth is really pushing the envelope with her incredible thread drawings. She’s mixing fine art drawings and textile art, illustration and embroidery, flat and 3D art, to create something totally unique that challenges viewers to ask themselves “how did she do it?”. Debbie starts her sophisticated art installations by plotting out the design with hundreds of thin pins on a white canvas, then moves on to fill it with thread. “On first glance, it can look like a mass of threads but as you get closer sharp lines come into focus, creating a spectacular image. The images are first plotted out before being filled out with the thread, the sharp angles contrasting with the floating ends of the thread.  And despite the complexity of the lengthy process I try to capture a great feeling of energy and spontaneity, and, in some cases, humour” the artist says about her works.

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Numberism – Using Numbers to Create Incredible Works of Art

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Numberism is a unique drawing technique invented in 2008, by Portland-based artist Sienna Morris. She uses numbers and scientific formulas to draw beautiful works of art.

27-year-old Sienna Morris has been a painter and designer for most of her life, but she truly found her passion in 2008, when inspired by her obsession with time and the unanswerable question of how much we have left, she started drawing pieces using only the numbers of the clock (1 – 12). She tried to capture beautiful moments of our lives and just how fleeting they are, reminding us all to appreciate the present, knowing we only have one shot to do so. Sienna’s early works were drawn in pencil, but as she started creating larger scale pieces, she moved on to brown micron pen (005), and later to scratchboard, where she etches the numbers using an exacto blade and finishes with an ink or watercolor wash.

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Gregory Da Silva – The African Mad Hatter

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Gregory Da Silva, better known as Egg Man, is an African comedian artist and storyteller famous for wearing an outrageous had adorned with 1,000 eggs.

Born in Benin, West Africa, Da Silva studied computer science but decided to follow his artistic calling and went on to found a theater group called Voice of Spirit. They performed political, comic and poetic theater shows in Benin, but he made a name for himself after he became the Egg Man and started giving street performances wearing his ridiculously large headgear. When he first started performing in Cape Town, South Africa, Gregory’s art was so unique it got him arrested by the local police, who had to call their superior for advice on what to do with him. They were told to let him go, and he’s been performing in the city’s Green Market Square ever since.

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