You could swear these old photos were taken decades ago, and have been stored away some place collecting dust, but in fact these tiny artworks are painstakingly drawn by Paul Chiappe, with a simple pencil. Mind blown yet?
28-year-old artist Paul Chiappe, from Edinburgh, Scotland, has been drawing with pencils ever since primary school, and throughout the years his skills have improved to such a degree that he’s now able to create detailed photographic artworks. I remember even in primary school meticulously copying images for art class,” Chiappe remembers. “I would end up drawing dolphins and things from wildlife books. Basically, anything I would draw I’d make sure it was as realistic as possible.” Now he’s become an expert at creating Victorian-style photographic artworks in such stunning detail that you actually need a magnifying glass to tell them apart from real photographs.
“Using old photos allows me to play with the idea of memory more than a very current image would and works as a device to force people to cast their minds back,” Paul Chiappe says about his artistic choice. “I find it particularly interesting looking at people in old photographs and appreciating the differences and similarities, across different periods, cultures and personalities.” Most of his miniature masterpieces are created with just a pencil, but on some of them he also uses airbrushed paint.
Talking about the size of his drawn photographs, Chiappe says: “The scale stems from an interest in miniatures, where there is an intimacy forged between the viewer and drawing. I also like working on a small scale for technical reasons – it makes sense for me to produce small work because it wouldn’t be practical to produce large works with the same level of detail.” What most people don’t realize when looking at his wonderful works on a computer screen is that some of the detailed faces he creates by pencil are as small as 2mm.
Photos © Paul Chiappe
via Daily Mail