Can You Believe They’re NOT Photos? The Wildlife Paintings of Eric Wilson

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Eric Wilson is one of the world’s most talented wildlife artists. During the last 20 years, he has painted endangered animals in their natural habitats all over the globe using a variety of mediums, from oil paints to pastels.

Growing up in Scotland, Eric Wilson spent most of his childhood days roaming the highland mountains, where his love for nature and wildlife was born. He also displayed great artistic talent very early on, and in 1967 his art teacher confirmed “Eric has an artistic talent way beyond his years”. So you could say it was only natural that he would combine his his love of wildlife and passion for the arts to become a wildlife artist. Unlike many of his colleagues, who use photos as reference for their works, Eric has always believed observing the animals in their natural habitats with just the help of local guides was key to his art. Throughout the years, he has painted lions in South Africa, tigers in Nepal, clouded leopards in Thailand, rhinos in Zimbabwe, wolves in Alberta, chimpanzees in Burundi and even polar bears in the Canadian Arctic, always making sure he included all the correct flora and fauna to create a faithful depiction of the wild.

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The Photo-Realistic Pastel Drawings of Ruben Belloso Adorna

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Ruben Belloso Adorna, a young artist from Seville, Spain, has taken the art world by storm with his incredibly detailed portraits of real-life and fictional characters drawn exclusively in pastel on wooden canvas.

Painting hyper-realistic works of art with oil paints requires great talent and skill, but drawing them with pastel sticks and crayons seems almost impossible. It appears the word “impossible” is not in Ruben Belloso Adorna’s dictionary, as the young Spanish artist manages to create stunning photo-quality masterpieces using only pastels. Born in 1986, he studied Fine Arts at the University of Seville, and has already made a name for himself in the art world, participating in numerous solo and group exhibitions, and winning several awards. Looking at the quality of his colorful drawings, and the way he is able to bring out the emotions of his subjects, it’s easy to see why many are already calling Ruben a genius of the 21st century.

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The Ostrichcopter – A Dead Ostrich Turned into a Helicopter

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Remember Bart Jansen, the Dutch artist who stuffed his pet cat and attached rotors to each of his paws to create the Orvillecopter? Well, Bart did it again, only this time he used a large ostrich as a medium for his bizarre art.

Last year, visual artist Bart Jansen and technical engineer Arjen Beltman shocked the world with the Orvillecopter, a unique flying machine that was part cat part helicopter. Apparently, their first invention wasn’t shocking enough, so they’ve decided to kick it up a notch by building an even more bizarre radio-controlled device they aptly named the OstrichCopter. This time they took a male ostrich that had died at an ostrich farm and turned it into a quadcopter by adding four rotors and a pair of wooden skids. The crazy duo describe their invention as “the world’s flying ostrich”, adding that the experience of flying “must be it’s wildest dream, to able to fly and finally escape them untrustworthy Wildebeests”. I didn’t know wildebeests attacked ostriches, but they probably just meant wild beasts. Anyway, Jansen and Beltman recently posted two videos of the OstrichCopter’s test flights on YouTube, and it seems to work pretty well.

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The Pixel Painter – 97-Year-Old Partially Blind Man Creates Masterpieces with Microsoft Paint

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When 97-year-old Hal Lasko was diagnosed with wet macular degeneration, which weakens the sight in the center of the field of vision, he thought his art-making days were over. Then, he discovered the computer and Microsoft Paint, which help him zoom in close enough to see every pixel, and got a second chance at making art history.

Making art with a rudimentary software like MS Paint is a nightmare for modern-day graphic designers, but Hal Lasko loves spending up to 10 hours a day creating stunning masterpieces one pixel at a time. Hal, a.k.a. Grandpa, used to work as a typographer, drawing all kinds of interesting fonts, back when that kind of thing was drawn by hand, and made maps during World War II. He retired during the 70′s but art remained a big part of his life, and he felt devastated when he started losing his eyesight. Hal thought his painting days were over, but his worries were put to rest 15 years ago, when his family introduced him to Windows 95′s Microsoft Paint, which allowed him to zoom in to pixel level, enough for him to see what he was doing. From that moment on, Grandpa has spent most of his days moving pixels around and creating unique artworks that combine pointilism with 8-bit art.

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Artist Uses Paint and Plastic to Turn Humans into Living Breathing Sculptures

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Believe it or not, there is a living human being underneath every one of Marie-Lou Desmeules’ artworks. The Canadian artist uses layers of paint and plastic to turn her models into thought-provoking sculptures of modern-day or historical icons.

The models of Quebec-born artist Marie-Lou Desmeules act as live canvases and experience a metamorphosis through her elaborate “Painting Surgeries”. The unique form of visual art draws a parallel between painting and plastic surgery, as the artistic creation of a portrait is compared with the artificial modification of a human body. Only instead of botox, liposuction and scalpels, Desmueles uses paint, hair and plastic props to give her models a new identity. Oftentimes the results of her painting surgeries are grotesque representations of pop icons like Michael Jackson, Pamela Anderson, Karl Lagerfeld or Barbie that invite viewers to ponder social realities and the the notion of beauty.

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Artist Feeds House Flies Watercolor Pigments and Lets Them Paint by Regurgitation

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Who knew common house flies could be such talented artists? Los Angeles artist John Knuth discovered their potential and started feeding them sugar mixed with watercolor pigments so they could create stunning works of art through their natural external digestive process.

John Knuth is not the first artist to collaborate with nature in order to create art, but his way of doing things is definitely unique. The young American artist harvests hundreds of thousands of house flies from maggots he orders online. Once he has enough, he places them in a closed environment where the surface they can land on is limited to the canvas, and begins feeding them a mixture of sugar, water and watercolor pigments. When flies eat they digest externally so they are in a constant state of regurgitation. After a few weeks, the entire canvas is covered with millions of tiny colorful specks of fly vomit, and a surprisingly beautiful painting is revealed. Chance plays a big role in this collaborative artistic effort, but Knuth says he has greater control than is revealed in the artworks (colors, build ups etc).

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French Artist Creates Amazing Portraits from Liquid, Solid and Powdered Foods

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World, meet Vivi Mac, an amazing artist from France who can use virtually any kind of food to create detailed celebrity portraits. Although she has yet to display her ephemeral masterpieces in an proper art gallery, Vivi Mac has already made a name for herself online.

We’ve featured some amazing food artists on Oddity Central in the past, but none quite like this one. Karen Eland is a master coffee painter, Elisabetta Rogai uses wine as her medium, Kelly McCollam uses spices and food coloring to recreate classic paintings, but the self-taught Vivi Mac can take anything from chewing gum, to milk or crème brûlée and turn it  into an awe-inspiring portrait.  When working with liquids, Mac uses a simple plastic straw and her hands to guide the unusual mediums around a plastic tray which acts as a canvas. Just how she manages to capture the finest facial features is still a mystery to me, and I’ve seen videos of her doing it dozens of times.

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Life-Size Fiat Abarth Model Made Exclusively from Body-Painted Contortionists

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Italian car-maker Fiat has partnered with renowned body painter Craig Tracy to advertise their sporty Fiat 500 Abarth in a truly unique fashion.

Craig Tracy is a master of body-painted optical illusions. From realistic animals to breathtaking sceneries, he is able to create just about anything from a a few expertly-painted flexible bodies, but he has really outdone himself for this new Fiat advert. The talented artist spent five days working with a team of female circus performers and contortionists, mapping out each one’s position in this human vehicle model and painting all the tiny details on their bodies. Although it would have been much easier, photographer RJ Mura says the team never even considered doing it in Photoshop, and that everyone strived to get the human Abarth looking just right without relying on post-production editing. All things considered, the end result is mind-blowing.

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The Stunningly-Beautiful Finger Paintings of Paolo Troilo

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Italian artist Paolo Troilo doesn’t use paint brushes to create these incredibly beautiful works of art. Instead he dips his fingertips in black and white paint and guides them across the canvas, rendering the most detailed finger paintings I have ever seen.

Paolo Trolio is a self-taught artist who started drawing when he was only 4-years old. One day his mother put an 8×8-foot paper canvas in front of him along with a small-scale reproduction of a painting by Giotto da Bondone. “Try to copy the painting and enlarge it,” she told him, and from that moment on,  at least one time a day, every day he would draw something, gradually improving his skills. “It’s easy to become a good drawer,” the artist says. “To be able to communicate is a gift”. In September of 2003, Paolo decided to give painting a try, as well. He moved into a small apartment and went out to buy everything necessary for painting, but when he came back he realized the brushes were missing. So he started painting with his fingers, and he’s been doing it ever since. “Painting with my fingers was a revelation and a liberation,” he says about the experience.

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Scottish Chef Takes Celebrity Pizza Art to Another Level

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Domenico Crolla, pizza master extraordinaire and owner of award-winning restaurant Bella Napoli, specializes in amazingly detailed celebrity portraits made exclusively with mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce on a pizza dough canvas.

Domenico’s career as a pizza artist began with the face of legendary action film star Bruce Lee. After receiving a “thank you” message from the late actor’s daughter, the pizzaiolo felt inspired to pursue his new hobby and create other edible celebrity portraits. Today his extensive collection numbers portraits of classic icons like Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra as well as delicious depictions of contemporary pop stars like Rihanna, Beyoncé or Robbie Williams. And he still receives thanks from them quite often. ”The pizza for me is like high-fashion: a custom-made suit made by experienced and capable tailors, using fine fabrics and attention to detail,” Crolla says. And he definitely puts a lot of time and effort into each of his pizza artworks. He doesn’t use any kind of computer-generated images for his designs, preferring to place every ingredient on the pizza dough by hand until he gets it right. The most amazing thing about Domenico Crolla’s portraits is they look better when cooked.

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Artist’s Amazing Anamorphic Drawings Seem Ready to Leap Off the Page

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It’s amazing how some people can use rudimentary tools like pencils and paper to trick the brain and make their artworks look like they’re coming to life. Alessandro Diddi is one of these rare talented artists who creates anamorphic drawings that seem ready to jump off the page.

“When people see my drawings they are often pleasantly surprised, they fail to understand exactly how I’ve managed to achieve the 3D look,” Alessandro Diddi told the Daily Mail. Such reactions are perfectly understandable, considering his pencil-drawn designs seem perfectly life-like. But that’s only because a lot of people don’t understand the art of anamorphic design. “When you understand the mechanism of the anamorphic design, you realize that putting together drawing like this is really not so difficult,” he says. It’s hard to demonstrate without giving viewers a 2D views of his creations, but the talented Mr. Diddi uses angles and shading to trick your eyes and brain into seeing something magical. This technique has been used by artist’s all around the world for some time now, but his drawings are definitely something special. Using simple props like pencils, a wedding ring or his hands, Alessandro Diddi really breathes life into every one of his amazing sketches.

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The Do Hit Chair – A Smashable Piece of Furniture Worth $8,500

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Furniture doesn’t come much more customizable than the Do Hit Chair from Droog Design. For the modest price of €6,553 ($8,500) you get a stainless steel cube and a sledgehammer to shape it into the chair of your dreams.

Created by Dutch designer Marijn van der Poll caused quite a lot of controversy when it was first revealed back in 2000. You’d expect a designer chair priced at several thousand dollars to be really special, and this one is, just not in the way that you would expect. Instead of shaping his masterpiece into something unique, van der Poll simply welded a stainless steel cube and left the design part to the buyer by throwing in a sledgehammer. So you basically pay €6,500 (€7,930 if you’re in the EU) for a steel cube and get to smash it for minutes or hours until you get the desired shape. If this sounds interesting, the Do Hit Chair is still available on the Droog website, but you could just run down to your local hardware store, get some steel sheets and a sledgehammer and just build your own for much less. And if you’re feeling uninspired, there’s even a YouTube video of Marijn van der Poll himself smashing away at a steel cube trying to make a chair. Or, if you’re too lazy to pound it with the sledgehammer yourself, you can have the designer pre-smash it for you, but the price for the chair goes up to $12,738. The default version sounds cheap now, doesn’t it?

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Malaysian Artist Makes Celebrity Portraits from Scribbles

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For the average illustrator, scribbling isn’t the best way to create realistic-looking portraits. But then again, Vince Low isn’t your average illustrator. The Malaysian artist somehow manages to produce impeccable portraits of some of Hollywood’s greatest actors using only childish scribbles.

The lead illustrator of Malaysian advertising agency, Grey, Vince Low has an impressive portfolio of stunning artworks, but his latest portrait series, called Faces, is particularly eye-catching. That’s because the stunning depictions of stars like Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, Will Smith or Leonardo Di Caprio were all done exclusively with scribbles on blank white canvases. Most people would have a hard time capturing their unique features using classic drawing techniques, but he creates highly accurate facial representation just by overlapping thousands of swirling lines. Amazing or what?

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Artist Spends Years Working on Just One of His Incredibly Detailed Drawings

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The pen-and-ink drawings of Manabu Ikeda are enormous in both size and detail. Working on paper canvases several meters in size, the Japanese artist spends up to two years on a single one of his masterpieces, never knowing what they are going to look like until they are finished.

Manabu Ikeda begins work on his monumental artworks by sketching some images in his sketchbook as they pop into his head. He is always thinking about his art and sometimes sees images when he is doing the most mundane things, like having dinner with his friends. His drawing are a combination of the things that inspire him, from nature and history to technological advancements and catastrophic events like earthquakes or tsunamis. Although he has an idea of what he wants to lay down on paper when he starts to draw, a lot of time he just uses the images that flash in his mind as he is working, and the end result is a big mystery until the final stages of the drawing process. Filling a white canvas big enough to cover a large wall is a painstaking task, as Ikeda works at a very slow pace. His works are so insanely detailed that he will sometimes work for eight hours a day on a single 4-inch square trying to get everything just right.

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The Amazing Pencil-Drawn Illusions of Ramon Bruin

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Netherlands-based Ramon Bruin is a mostly self-taught artist with a gift for creating amazing optical illusions. He is well-versed in airbrushing and painting, but his most impressive works require only a pencil and a few pieces of paper.

The best word I can think of to describe Ramon Bruin’s art is “mind-blowing”. ”The art I make is what I like to call optical illusionism,” the gifted artist says. ”It appears the drawings are 3D and actually leap off the page. It’s of course all optical illusions.” He uses a variety of methods to achieve the desired result, including the anamorphic technique – drawing detailed yet distorted images which looks incredibly realistic only when photographed from the right angle. ”The main thing about my art is they are photographs of drawings. It’s all about the photograph,” Bruit told The Huffington Post. ”I draw out of perspective and when I’m done I take a photograph from one particular angle and the whole image appears to leap off the page. It can only be seen on the photograph – you can’t see it live.” To make his 3D wonders even more impressive, he often draws them on multiple pieces of paper and adds props like pencils and his own hands.

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