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Your Eyes See Photos, But These Are Really Hand-Painted Masterpieces

South Korean artist Young-Sung Kim has a very special talent, he can paint photographs. That may sound like a gross exaggeration, but just take a look at what he’s able produce with a paintbrush, some acrylic and mountains of talent and patience.

The old saying, ‘I’ll believe it when I see it’, doesn’t really apply to Youn-Sung Kim’s art. You can stare at his incredibly detailed painting for hours and still not be able to tell them apart from high-resolution digital photographs. Kim is so good at what he does that, sometimes, he himself has trouble telling his hyper-realistic paintings from the photos that inspired them. Once, he actually mistakenly sent the press the file of a photo he took, instead of the painting he did, because they looked virtually identical to the naked eye.

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Young Self-Taught Artist Creates the Most Insane Graphite Pencil Drawings

Jono Dry is only 28-years-old and has never taken art classes, but his incredible talent allows him to create these photographic quality drawings using only graphite pencils. The young South African artist is considered one of the few people in the world able to take drawing pat the limits of what is considered achievable with simple graphite pencils.

Jono spends most of his time working on his large-scale drawings, and usually takes about 2-3 months to complete a piece, but he once spent a whopping 5 months painstakingly drawing one of his most complicated artworks. Considering how incredible the result of his labor ends up looking and the fact that he only produces between 4 and 8 large-scale drawings per year, Jono Dry’s hand-drawn masterpieces are considered very exclusive among collectors.

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The Lifelike Digital Portraits of Irakli Nadar

28-year-old Irakli Nadar is considered one of the most talented digital artists of our time. Using only digital painting tools, he is able to create photo-like portraits from scratch. His works are so good that many in the digital art world accuse him of simply applying various filters to digital photographs and passing them off as paintings.

You could say that Irakli Nadar’s amazing skill is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, his breathtaking artworks have brought him worldwide fame and legions of adoring fans on various social networks, but his success and enviable skill have also made him the target of criticism from both rival artists and the average internet trolls. Luckily, he has learned to live with both, and says that tough as it sometimes is, he just ignores the haters and focuses on the positive.

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Young Mexican Artist Creates Stunning Ball-Point Pen Drawings

Most artists take decades to master their tools, but at 23 years of age, Alfredo Chamal is already one of the world’s best ball-point pen artists in the world. He specializes in hyper-realistic drawings that look like artistic photographs from afar. It’s only when the viewer approaches the artwork to take a closer look that he realizes it is actually a hand-drawn large-scale drawing, and not a photograph.

Made famous by by Spanish illustrator Juan Casas, the ball-point pen is not the most popular art tool in the world, partly because of it’s permanent effect which makes covering up any mistakes very difficult. But that din’t stop Alfredo Chamal from using the tool to experiment contemporary realism. Based on photographs he takes himself, Alfredo’s large scale drawings take several days to complete, but the end result is always more than worth the effort that goes into them.

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Exceptionally Talented Artist Takes Hyperrealistic Oil Painting to Near Perfection

Swedish artist Anna Halldin Maule spends several months glazing layer upon layer of oil paint to create these stunning works of art that can easily pass for high-resolution photographs to the untrained eye.

Born in Gothenberg, Sweden, Anna took an interest in painting at a very young age, honing her skills under the guidance of her grandfather, celebrated artist Bror Halladin. Today, she is one of the world’s most respected hyper-realist painters, and looking at her breathtaking work, it’s easy to see why. Although she works with a limited palette of toned-down and muted colors, Halladin Maule is able to replicate human features so well, that her oil paintings often pass for photographs.

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Turkish Artist Recreates Iconic Movie Scenes Using Hundreds of Thousands of Tiny Colored Dots

Seen from afar, the works of Turkish artist Çağatay Odabaş look like large-scale printed movie posters, but as viewers approach them to take a closer look, they discover that they are actually made up of hundreds of thousands of tiny hand-drawn circles.

37-year-old Odabaş says that his art is largely influenced by his two most favorite activities growing up in the 80s and 90s – playing with LEGO bricks and watching movies. He starts out by picking out the movie stills he wants to recreate from his collection of thousands of films, which he considers his research library. He then proceeds to split this image into several pieces, mapping out each one with tiny circles, which are all assigned a certain code, to serve during the coloring process. Then, like a complicated but fascinating LEGO model, he puts all the pieces together to create these ultra-realistic masterpieces of pointilism.

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Artist Spends Hundreds of Hours Creating Photorealistic Pencil Drawings

Arinze Stanley is a talented young Nigerian artist whose works often leave people scratching their heads and asking themselves if they’re looking at a pencil drawing or a high-definition black and white photograph. Yes, his drawing skills are that good!

Arinze’s interest in art, and drawing in particular, was sparked at a young age, primarily by the fact that he was always surrounded by paper. His family ran a paper company, so he would often kill time by grabbing a piece of paper and trying his hand at drawing. But he only started exploring hyper-realism in 2012, and became a professional artist a year later. He has never taken any professional art classes, and claims that the level of detail he is able to produce is solely the result of years of practice. Looking at his fantastic artworks, it’s safe to say that he has come a long way in very little time.

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Self-Taught Artist Creates Mind-Blowingly Realistic Portraits of Wildlife

Looking at the detailed leopard portrait below, you’d be inclined to think Franziska Treptow is a photographer. Every detail, from the tiny hairs of the animal’s fur to the reflection in its eyes, is so perfect that it’s almost impossible to believe that the young German artist paints or draws every one of her artworks.

Franziska’s ideas start as sketches and photos of wildlife. Using her skills in digital photo manipulation technology (Photoshop), she creates a digital model for her works, which helps her become aware of the composition and accentuation of light and shadow. She then sketches that model on paper or canvas and uses pencils or paints to create the ultra-realistic animal portraits exclusively by hand. The whole process, can take anywhere from a few hours to more than a month, depending on the complexity of the project. The end result is always breathtaking.

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The Photo-Like Pencil Portraits of Shinichi Furuya

It never ceases to amaze me the kind of amazing things talented people can create using only the simplest of materials. Case in point, artist Shinichi Furuya, who uses pencils and paper to make these stunningly-realistic portraits of Japanese celebrities.

The level of detail in Shinichi Furuya’s artworks is so breathtaking that it’s hard to believe they are only pencil drawing. But even more unbelievable is the fact that Furuya is just an amateur artist. He describes himself as a “middle-aged businessman who wasn’t able to become a professional illustrator” and says that creates these masterpieces in his free time. So this guy couldn’t find a job as an illustrator?!? There must be something very wrong with the world…

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The Photo-Realistic Drawings of Flavio Apel

Take a look at the photo below. Can you believe this is not a photograph, but an (almost) pixel-perfect pencil rendition of a stock photo? Neither could eye (pun intended), but it’s true. This is the kind of work Italian artist Flavio Apel is capable of.

Apel says his passion for drawing started out as a simple hobby, which makes his amazing artworks that much more impressive. He definitely became quite serious about drawing at some point in his life, because he is currently able to draw human eyes and skin to perfection. From the tiniest of wrinkles to the slim veins in the eyeball, Flavio’s works seem flawless black-and-white photographs and you probably need an expert to tell them apart.

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Artist Born without Hands Draws Stunningly Realistic Portraits

We’ve seen a lot of hyper-realistic art here on OC, but the works of Polish artist Mariusz Kedzierski are especially stunning and awe-inspiring. That’s because he’s able to draw like a complete pro despite the fact that he has no hands. Each piece takes him at least 20 hours to complete, while his most complicated work to date required a whopping 100 hours. In seven years he has put in about 15,000 hours of work, completing over 700 drawings.

For some unknown reason, the 23-year-old from Świdnica city, in southwestern Poland, was born without hands. “There is no logical explanation,” he says.  “In the past I have asked myself and God, ‘why me?’ many times. But when I accepted myself, I realized that if I would not be born without arms, I might not do what I do.”

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Artist’s Painted Portraits Look More Like High-Definition Photographs

Italian artist Marco Grassi paints portraits of women that are so perfect, down to the fine hair lines, pores and freckles on the skin that people often mistake them for photographs.

However, Grassi differentiates himself from other hyper-realist painters by giving his artworks a surreal twist. In one painting, for example, his subject’s back is adorned with a tribal motif that seems carved into her back revealing a hollow interior. Other of his ‘surreal hyper-realistic” include a woman with spectacular glowing tattoos that seem to emerge from her skin, or another with a futuristic glass necklace around her neck. Although his human subjects appear photographed, it’s these little impossible details that give them away as paintings.

Marco-Grassi-painting

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The Shockingly Realistic Sculptures of Kazuhiro Tsuji

We’ve featured a lot of hyper-realistic paintings on OC in the past, but here’s something we haven’t seen very often – unbelievably realistic human busts. These 3D sculptures are so life-like that they could give Madam Tussauds a run for their money. They’re the work of Japanese artist Kazuhiro Tsuji, who employs a variety of mold making and sculpting techniques to create his wonderful art.

Born in Kyoto, Japan, Tsuji began to display an affinity towards art, painting, photography, nature, science and technology since childhood. Growing up, he experimented with various media, and finally discovered that ‘portraiture’ was his real passion. But with no money to attend college, Tsuji began to educate himself in the art of special effects makeup.

It all started when he came across a magazine that detailed the makeup techniques used in the 1976 TV mini series Lincoln. Inspired by the intricate craftsmanship, Tsuji gathered his meagre savings and used it to buy makeup supplies. “I took a life cast of myself and attempted to transform myself into Lincoln, which was all the more difficult considering I’m Japanese” he recalled.

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German Artist Creates Photorealistic Oil Paintings

Hyperrealistic paintings are always awe-inspiring, and the works of German artist Mike Dargas are no exception. His precise paintings are so rooted in reality that it’s easy to mistake them for real-life photographs. In his artworks, the 31-year-old artist from Cologne depicts human models in a plethora of emotions – lost in thought or internal conflict, or simply relaxed and radiating a heavenly grace.

Mike has been painting since childhood, and developed his talents by later attending art school. He worked as a tattoo artist in his early twenties, and eventually opened his own studio in Cologne. Inspired by artists such as Dali, Breton and H. R. Giger, he began to experiment with surrealism and realism.

Mike-Dargas-paintings

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Japanese Artist Creates Amazingly Realistic Miniature Dioramas

Satoshi Araki, an artist from Tokyo, creates highly realistic miniature models of towns, vehicles, and a lot of other objects from everyday life. He is particularly skilled at making small-scale dioramas of chaotic cityscapes that are affected by urban decay, pollution, or warfare.

Satoshi mostly uses styrofoam board to make these incredibly intricate and complex models – he cuts them down to the desired shape and size, paints them, and then glues them together. He explains on his blog that he uses Google Image Search to pull up images that he later uses as a visual reference. These images help him create scenes that are very life-like, down to the smallest detail.

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