20-Year-Old Artist Creates the Most Realistic Colored Pencil Portraits You’ve Ever Seen

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I must admit, ever since I found artist Heather Rooney’s YouTube channel, I’ve been hooked! She posts all these time lapse videos of her incredibly realistic colored pencil portraits, and, well, you have to see what she’s capable of doing with a few colored pencils. Watching her draw is just as fascinating as looking at the finished artworks, which all look unbelievably life-like. I’ve just spent a good hour watching videos of her drawing some of my favorite celebrities, and I’m definitely going back for more.

One of Heather’s most popular works is a rendition of the famous Hollywood selfie picture (featuring major stars like Brad Pitt, Ellen DeGeneres, Jennifer Lawrence and more) taken at this year’s Oscars. The amount of detailing that she’s put into the features of each of the celebrities is simply mind-blowing. Her artwork was featured by every major art site on the internet when she first posted it, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg, believe me. This girl has dozens of incredible portraits just waiting to be discovered.

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Patient Artist Creates Detailed Star Wars Art with Thousands of Staples

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A New York artist has been combining his love for staples and Star Wars to create stunningly intricate works of art. 40-year-old James Haggerty makes pictures of iconic Star Wars characters using tens of thousands of multi colored staples in organized patterns. Some of his most notable works are Darth Vader (made from 10,496 staples), C-3PO (33,580 staples) and Greedo (21,458 staples).

Haggerty’s work is incredible meticulous – he starts out with a thoroughly organized plan. He first creates five to ten ink drawings and picks his favorite one. He transfers that one onto a painted board, about 40 x 32 inches in size. He then patiently punches each staple on to the board. The dark background of the board fills in some of the negative spaces, while the metallic staples form the highlights, adding shine and depth to the picture.

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Man Single-Handedly Builds World’s Largest Balloon Sculpture

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John Reid, a balloon artist from New York, built the world’s largest balloon sculpture (made by a single person) last Friday. He got to work on Thursday morning at the Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience event and spent the next several hours inflating thousands of colored balloons at his booth.

42 hours later he had put together a 50-foot tall Transformers robot, ‘Poptimus’ Prime, using 4,302 purple, green, white, black and gray balloons. It was so tall that it actually couldn’t fit upright in the convention center. Reid and 10 other volunteers had to struggle a bit to bring it into a kneeling position. The robot is said to be invincible, except for one weakness – needles!

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Child Prodigy Aged 11 Creates the Most Amazing Nature-Inspired Drawings You’ve Ever Seen

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11-year-old Dušan Krtolica is a child prodigy artist from Serbia who creates mind-blowing drawings of wildlife. The fifth grade student at ‘Laza Kostic’ school in New Belgrade first began to draw when he was only two years old. He has already had three national solo exhibitions to his name – the first two by the age of eight. Dušan’s drawings are mostly pen-and-pencil works of various species of animals, both alive and extinct. He draws prehistoric animals, birds, insects, and also legendary knights.

Dušan’s knowledge of the animal world is remarkable. He knows about all the geological eras, and which animals roamed the earth during those periods. He knows all the 65 species of marsupials and can effortlessly recite their names. And when his parents bought him the most comprehensive encyclopedia of animals, it took him less than three weeks to learn it word for word. “I would have studied animals and published a book about them, but I’m going to draw all of them,” said Dušan, whose ambition is to become a Zoologist when he grows up.

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This Shockingly Realistic Pencil Portrait Was Drawn by a 16-Year-Old

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This pencil portrait of an old man looks unbelievably realistic, down to the reflection in the pupils, and it’s hard to believe that it was actually drawn by a teenager. For her incredible masterpiece, 16-year-old artist Shania McDonagh won the top prize at this year’s Texaco Children’s Art Competition. She was judged the best in the senior age category, for students aged 16 to 18 years old.

Texaco Children’s Art Competition is an art contest held for kids in Ireland, every year since 1955. Shania, a student at Mount St. Michael Secondary School in Claremorris, has been taking part in the contest for the past four years. And you won’t believe this – she has won the first prize in her age category every single time. According to Professor Delan McGonagle, the chairman of the judging panel, Shania is a ‘young artist of exceptional skill and ability among the many talented artists in the competition.’ He also added that Shania’s work has established her as one of the most talented artists of her generation, whose skill could see her become one of Ireland’s foremost portrait artists of the future.

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Artist with Background in Criminology Turns Bones into High-End Jewelry

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Artist Kirstin Bunyard has managed to blend her two great passions – fashion and dissection – into a morbid yet intriguing art form. Kirstin makes high-end, elegant jewelry (rings, bracelets and necklaces) using natural bones. In 2009, she started her own label called Ossuaria Jewelry, through which she sells her handmade accessories. She personally selects the bones for each piece and fashions them by hand to create ‘bold and dramatic adornments’ that are meant for ‘people with a bit of an eccentric side’.

Kirstin has a background in criminology, but she was always interested in fashion as well. “From the time I was 10 years old, I knew I wanted to be a fashion designer,” she said. Her dream was to ‘take on the world of punk culture and high fashion’. She sketched all the time, waiting for the day when her creations would be displayed on the runway. But by the time she got to college, her life had taken a different course.

After college, Kirstin worked for a short while as an autopsy assistant and attended several autopsies and embalmings. During this time she developed a great admiration for bones – the structures that support the body. She found them so elegant and alluring that she began to believe that they deserved a more prominent place outside the body. That’s when she seriously began to consider shifting her line of work.

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I Dare You to Find the Real-Life Female Model Hidden in This Mind-Blowing Body-Painting

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Paul Roustan, an award-winning body painter from Chicago, has created an absolutely mind-blowing painting of a moth. When you first look at the black-and-white picture, all you can see is a moth with its wings spread out. Nothing looks amiss, not even when you look closely. But after you watch the making-of video, you’re left in a state of mild shock – there is actually a real-life female model hiding in the artwork. Scroll down for the revealing photos and video, but try to find it on your own first.

It was nice of the artist to create the helpful video. Without it, I don’t suppose anyone could have guessed the perfectly camouflaged secret of the painting. The entire image consists of a painted woman standing with her arms folded, against a similarly painted background. Audrey Biernacki, the model, blends into the surroundings so well that it’s impossible to tell her apart. The whole project took Paul seven hours to complete – five to paint the background and two for the model.

“On average, it takes me three hours to paint the entire body,” he said. “This one was a bit more meticulous lining things up, which is why it took so long just for a portion of the body.” Paul predominantly uses airbrushes on his human canvasses. He has been painting people since 2005 ‘out of curiosity’. He used to be an editorial illustrator for and adult magazine, and one day he came up with the idea of painting one of the models for a photo spread. The magazine agreed, and he has been hooked ever since.

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French Artist to Live inside Grizzly Bear Carcass for Thirteen Days

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Abraham Poincheval, a performance artist from France, specializes in confining himself to the smallest possible spaces for long periods of time. A couple of years ago, he spent a whole week buried in a tiny underground hole in a bookstore, with just a pile of books for company. Now he has fashioned a new task for himself – he’s spending nearly a fortnight (1 to 13 April) crammed inside the carcass of a grizzly bear, in a space measuring only half a square meter. He won’t be coming out at all, not even to eat, drink, sleep or relieve himself. Two cameras will be on him at all times, recording the whole experience.

The bear itself was excavated by Abraham and has been partly reconstructed to support the project, using plywood, plaster, foam and polystyrene tubes. The bizarre installation is completely covered with the bear’s original skin and fur. When empty, the entire structure weighs 115 pounds. Inside it is a semi-upright chair on which the 42-year-old artist will be spending all his time. Rubber exercise bands will help him get some movement and he has some room by his feet for a stretch. There’s also a kettle and an odd assortment of foods that only a bear could appreciate – frozen dried fruits, insects and worms. Too bad the bear isn’t Winnie the Pooh, or Abraham could have had some honey as well.

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Guy Spends Two Years Building Giant World Globe with Colored Matchsticks

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Now that we have Google Earth, world globes are almost obsolete. But there certainly is an undeniable old-world charm associated with them. Perhaps that’s what prompted sculptor Andy Yoder to spend the last two years building his own globe, entirely out of colored matchsticks. He painstakingly hand-painted thousands of matches individually and put them together to form a large model of our planet.

Yoder’s son, Reddit user ‘yoderaustin’, explained that underneath all the matchsticks is a frame of foam and cardboard inside a plywood skeleton. Once the frame was ready and the painting was done, his father used wood glue to attach the matches to the skeleton. And in case you’re wondering – the ‘matchstick globe’ isn’t a potential fire hazard. Yoder had the good sense to douse the entire structure in a flame retardant chemical.

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Mind Blown – These Soft-Looking Dresses Are Actually Carved from Marble

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The white dresses in the pictures below are so pretty and airy you’re probably already imagining yourself or your girlfriend wearing them. But unless you are or dating Wonder Woman, that’s never going to happen, because these lovely pieces of clothing with all their frills, pleats and waves have actually been carved out of hard rock by Scottish sculptor Alasdair Thomson.

A History of Art graduate from the University of Edinburg, Thomson says his love for sculpting began when studying classical and Renaissance works for his dissertation. He dabbled in the trade while working as an apprentice for an American sculptor between 2006 and 2008. Around the same time, he became interested in clothes and the way they are depicted through art. That’s when he decided to produce his own contemporary take on the classical subject.

“I started to play around with some flowing drapery forms and eventually started carving simple T-shirts and folded men’s dress shirts,” said 32-year-old Thomson. “I produced a piece of work that was a wall-hanging called Ruby and that is when I thought, ‘Okay, there is something in that.’” His latest work is showcased in ‘The Identity Collection’, a set of 12 sculptures that explore the way fabric hangs and folds and captures that lightness and gracefulness in stone.

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Microscopic Wonders – Incredibly Detailed Castles Etched onto Individual Grains of Sand

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Artist Vik Muniz is almost a regular here at OC. We first wrote about his art made from domestic and industrial junk in 2010. Then, in 2012 he was back with his recreation of classic paintings using torn magazine scraps. Now, in collaboration with artist and MIT researcher Marcelo Coelho, Vik has taken then opposite approach to his previous art forms. While his older, gigantic art could only be admired from high above, his latest work is microscopic – a series of sandcastles etched onto individual grains of sand.

Vik said that earlier he had the opportunity to work on an environmental scale. Around that same time, he thought of “going the opposite way around and actually making things so small that it would create a similar impression. They would be so tiny that they could only be imagined, they could not be seen.” When Marcelo was first approached by Vik, he thought it was a joke. “He came to me and said, I want to draw a castle on to a grain of sand. I think the sheer impossibility of that is what excited me.”

Vik and Marcelo spent four long years on trial-and-error experiments before they could successfully create the tiny, magnificent drawings. Each piece of art is less than half a millimeter in size – an inconsequential fleck of sand to the naked eye. Together, they devised a process involving both antiquated technology and innovative visual tools. Vik first created the sketches using a camera Lucida – an optical superimposition device from the 1800s that uses a prism to turn images in front of the viewer into projections on paper. Using this technique, he was able to trace the tiny castles.

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The Picture-Perfect Pencil Portraits of Natasha Kinaru

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Natasha Kinaru is a beautiful, young Russian artist whose pencil and pastel drawings of celebrities are incredibly realistic. So realistic, that they are often confused with digitally ‘enhanced’ photographs.

“I am inspired by people, so different, beautiful, interesting, mysterious, bright, talented,” said 21-year-old Natasha. “Drawing allows you to see them closer, try to guess the character, to convey mood, emotion. If it works – a portrait (is) alive, looking at it you can see the spark in his eyes and painted soul of the artist.” Some of her most popular drawings feature subjects like Benedict Cumberbatch (as Sherlock Holmes), Daniel Craig, Jim Parsons (of The Big Bang Theory fame) and Leonard Nimoy (Spock in the original Star Trek series).

Natasha said that she doesn’t draw for fame. In fact, anyone can sit down with her for a chat and even pick up a few tips on sketching. She makes her drawings using a complicated technique that involves layers. Using pencils of different softness, she creates tones, then draws the small details, completes the background shading and aligns the last layer. The end result is a character that is so alive and eyes that are so penetrating it’s almost impossible to believe it’s all done by hand, with pencils.

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Chinese Scrapyard Becomes Tourist Attraction after Staff Builds Transformers from Metal Junk

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One day, the workers at a scrapyard in China recently decided to get creative with all the metal junk lying around by building a giant Transformer statue. And when the life-size replica of the popular Autobot  started attracting the attention of visitors and passers-by, they decided to keep going. The team built over 40 Transformers in four months, which have now become tourist attractions in their own right.

The scrapyard where the Transformers are on display is located on a remote farmhouse on top of a hill, in Jinan City, Eastern China’s Shangdong Province. As you travel closer to the hill, the sight of these giant action figures in the middle of nowhere is arresting. And once you get there, it’s quite amusing to see the pigs at the farm live happily among the inanimate Transformers.

21-year-old Li Hung, a part-time worker at the yard, built the very first Transformer. The PR and marketing student said he wanted to make something ‘eye-catching’ using discarded parts. “I thought if people could see something spectacular made from junk, it would highlight what we do here and we could get more customers,” he said. Li was right. The robot became immensely popular, winning a lot of praise from locals.

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Self-Taught Artist Builds Macabre Life-Size Motorcycles Out of Animal Bones

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Would you spend $55,000 on a motorcycle that doesn’t run? Before you make a decision on that, here’s what you need to know – the motorcycle in question is actually made of animal bones. A Florida man created the beast using a lot of pieces from other dead beasts – three to four cow skulls, two to three alligator skulls, bones of goats, wolves, raccoons, turtles and pigs, and a cow spine for each of the wheels. The bike is rather cheekily named: ‘Cowasaki’.

Reese Moore, the bike’s creator, said it takes him about a year to collect all the bones from dead animals on the side of the road, or carcasses from hunters and farmers. It then takes him a week to sand the bones down and but the bike together. It’s not just bikes – the 65-year-old also makes a host of other things with the bones, including dinosaurs and choppers. And when he isn’t doing that, he trains whales and sea lions, builds museum exhibits and performs in Timucuan Indian re-enactments. He was also a snake wrangler at one point.

“I don’t do anything normal,” Moore observed. “I just go around and show off and make weird stuff.” He got into the bones business after using them to make Halloween decorations for his kids sometime in the early 1990s. That year, he made a dinosaur out of an assortment of bones for his sons. When the owner of Froggy’s Saloon asked him if he could take the model, Moore had a better idea. “I was kidding, and I said, ‘I’ll build you a motorcycle for Bike Week.’” The bar-owner said it couldn’t be done and Moore accepted the challenge. “In about three or four days I called him up and told him he could pick up his motorcycle.”

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Young Ukrainian Builds Awe-Inspiring Miniature Frigate with 17,000 Coins

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This is what I call expensive art! While most artists spend money on art supplies, this Ukrainian man actually used money itself. 29-year-old chef Sergei Nikolayev Knurov fashioned a detailed miniature ship out of a variety of Ukrainian coins. The final piece contains a whopping 17,000 coins, with bank notes for sails.

Sergei, a resident of Mykolaiv city in southern Ukraine, first started the project with coins from his piggy bank. But he soon ran out of material – his personal stash only covered the keel. So he began to exchange paper money for coins whenever possible at drug stores and markets, and sometimes with friends. When people found out what the coins were meant for, they were glad to part with their loose change. The coins Sergei used are mainly 2 and 10 kopecks, and the sails are made of 25 five-hryvnia notes.

At first, it wasn’t easy for Sergei to actually create the 3 dimensional model of the ship using just his sketches and notes. But lucky for him, his wife Alena is an amateur numismatist (a person who studies and collects currency). She helped him fuse the coins together using silicate glue, which worked pretty well. Sergei said that using regular super glue could have resulted in oxidization, but this way the metal structure will last longer.

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