Ken Delmar, the Artist Who Paints on Paper Towels

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Paper towel painting is a popular children’s learning activity, but American artist Ken Delmar is determined to turn it into a proper art form. For the last eight months, he has been using the flimsy kitchen disposables as canvases for detailed and vibrantly colored artworks.

71-year-old Ken Delmar has been painting most of his life, but he never imagined he would one day be exercising his artistic talents on paper towels instead of the linen canvas he normally used. The Connecticut-based artist had the epiphany one evening in early January of this year, while preparing to close his studio. He was using a paper towel to clean his brushes and knives when  he noticed the paint on the fragile paper looked more brilliant and energetic than the one he had spent so much time spreading on a regular canvas. He figured it was because the paint was being absorbed by the paper which gave it more depth and layers of richness, and started thinking of ways of ways to prevent the colors from blending into one another, or have them blend in an interesting way. He experimented with various paper towel brands and different consistency oil paints, until he found the perfect combination. The colors were astonishing and the unusual canvas made his works “edgy and different”.

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Photo-Realistic Paintings of Landscapes Reflected in Sunglasses

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Many of Simon Hennessey’s paintings look so lifelike that they are often mistaken for photos. To achieve this level of realism, the English artist spends anywhere from two weeks to seven months on a single piece using an airbrush and acrylic paint.

40-year-old Simon Hennessey started painting landscapes reflected in the sunglasses of tourists in 2008. He had just finished painting a model wearing sunglasses and suddenly realized the reflection on the lenses allowed him to explore the spatial and environmental surroundings in a unique distorted and miniature fashion. From that moment on the popular accessory has become a predominant them in his hyper-realistic art. Simon has spent the last five years traveling to big cities like London and New York, taking photos of iconic landmarks reflected in the lenses of sunglasses worn by human models, which he uses as an inspiration for his art. He doesn’t just copy an entire photograph, but combines elements from multiple reference pictures, adding or removing certain details, altering textures and depth to produce original works of art. This allows him to create an illusion of reality different from that of his photographic sources, making his realistic paintings appear clearer and more distinct than any photo.

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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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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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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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Woman Paints the Man of Her Dreams Two Months Before Meeting His Real-Life Version

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Chloe Mayo, an amateur artist from Surrey, England, painted a depiction of her dream man two months before meeting him on an online dating site. She was so shocked by the resemblance that she hid the painting for fear he would think she was a stalker.

In 2009, Chloe, who was single at the time, painted a romantic image of her holding hands with a tall, dark, bearded man. The 31-year-old didn’t think too highly of her artwork, so she just left it in a corner of her living-room and forgot all about it. Shortly after, she started looking for love on the internet, and ended up messaging Michael Goeman. The pair seemed to have a lot in common, and after two months of chatting, they decided to meet in person. The moment she laid eyes on him, Chloe was shocked by his resemblance to the man in the painting. Fraid he might think she was some kind of stalker, she put the hid the painting under the bed and only showed it to Michael after they went on a few more dates. “He was due to come over to my house and I thought that if he saw the picture he would think I was a stalker and a bit weird, so I hid it under my bed,” Chloe said. “About a week later I mustered up the courage to show him and although he looked a bit confused, he saw the funny side when I explained what had happened.”

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Detailed Urban Landscape Images Are Actually Ultra-Realistic Paintings

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Nathan Walsh is an English realist painter who specializes in urban landscapes. He pays tribute to some of the world’s most beautiful cities, like New York, Chicago or London, through photo-realistic paintings of various urban locations.

Nathan is definitely not the only artist in the world who can create amazingly-realistic images using simple tools like a pencil and paintbrush, but the painstaking process he employs to reach his goal is very different from the way other hyper-realist masters work. Painters who use photographic sources for their artworks use a variety of techniques, including loose sketching of their subjects or transforming the canvas into a grid and painting box by box, but Nathan Walsh takes things to a whole new level by relying on elaborate drawings that look a lot like architectural blueprints to achieve the awe-inspiring level of realism visible in the images below. Before picking up the paintbrush, he draws up to 100 different sketches of a single urban scene, a time-consuming process that can take up to three or four months.

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Artist Uses Powerful Airplane Engine as Paintbrush to Create Jet Art

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Florida-based artist Princess Tarinan von Anhalt creates abstract works of art by hurling cans and bottles of paint into the air and letting the strong winds produced by a jet engine splatter it onto a canvas. It’s probably the most expensive paintbrush ever used, but clients will often pay as much as $50,000 just to watch her work.

Jet Art, characterized by using a jet engine’s air currents to create abstract shapes on a canvas, was invented in 1982, by Prince Jurgen von Anhalt of Austria. After he passed away, his legacy was kept alive by his wife, Princess Tarinan von Anhalt, who became the first woman to use the unusual painting technique, in 2006. She has been using Jet Art to decorate pieces of clothing including sportswear, swimwear, luggage, and jeans, which she presents at various fashion shows, but using the power of a jet engine to create unique artworks remains the most impressive use of this intriguing yet dangerous practice. Last week, the artist was invited to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Learjet, a private airplane brand, by painting 101 canvasses in just two days. Believe it or not, that’s a lot tougher than simply throwing paint into the air and letting the engine do the rest. Princess Tarinan von Anhalt has to endure winds several times stronger than a hurricane and temperatures that can reach 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Talented Artist Paints on Butterfly Wings

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Inspired by the beauty and history of his home town of Istanbul, Turkish artist Hasan Kale paints stunning miniature portraits on all kinds of unusual canvases, from butterfly wings to coffee beans and even tiny pepper seeds.

No surface is to small for 53-year-old Hasan Kale. Ever since the 1980s, this Turkish micro art master has been painting his miniature marvels on things as small as cactus thorns and rice grains. Most of his works are detailed scenes of Istanbul, with its beautiful mosques and towering minarets, men rowing their boats through the Bosphorus Strait and seagulls flying in the distance. Thew level of detail in Kale’s artworks is simply unbelievable, despite the tiny canvases they’re painted on. With surgical precision, the artist guides a fine-tipped brush across butterfly wings, snail shells and fruit seeds, using his finger as a palette for mixing colors. Confronted with the skepticism of viewers who didn’t believe such wonderful works of art could be done exclusively by hand, without any digital touch-ups, Hasan Kale has recorded a series of making-of videos.

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Cheryl Kelley’s Photo-Realistic Paintings of Classic Muscle Cars Will Blow Your Mind

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They look like high-definition photos enhanced in Photoshop, but in reality Cheryl Kelley’s muscle-car inspired artworks are just really good hyper-realistic paintings. Using high-gloss oil paints the Texas-based artist  manages to capture the beauty of these iconic vehicles from a bygone era better than any camera ever could.

Cheryl Kelley has always been drawn to beautiful classic cars. During her childhood, she used to play with Hot Wheels toy cars and remembers being fascinated by their delicate curves. Now all grown up, Cheryl drives her very own 1977 Corvette, and has managed to make a name for herself in the art world by painting photo-realistic portraits of muscle cars. The talented artist finds her inspiration at classic car shows and museums, where she takes high-resolution photos of vintage Chevrolets, Camaros or Corvettes that she later uses as guidelines for her impressive creations. Working with glossy oil paints on aluminum panels, Kelley is somehow able to reproduce not only the tiniest details of the vehicles, but also every reflection, ultimately producing masterpieces that look more realistic than their photographic references.

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Svetlana Kolosova’s Fairy Tale Palm Paintings Bring Back Warm Memories

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Inspired by the immortal fairy tales of famous writers like Hans Christian Andersen and Antoine de Saint Exupery, Russian artist Svetlana Kolosova paints heart-warming ephemeral works of art on the palms of her hands.

Svetlana Kolosova has always had a thing for the arts, but taking care of her four children and focusing on household chores left her little time to focus on her passion. She lacked the time and concentration to work on complex oil paintings, so at one point she decided to combine her work around the house with her love for art. She replaced oil paints with watercolors and inspired by the wonderful stories she read to her children when they were little, she started painting fairy tale-inspired artworks on the most convenient canvas she could think of – her left palm. A tribute to the stories that fascinated so many young minds throughout the ages, Svetlana Kolosova’s magical palm painting series may be ephemeral in nature, but they manage to bring back such wonderful memories…

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The Electrifying Painting Performances of David Garibaldi and His CMYKs

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David Garibaldi is a successful performing artist who combines his passion for painting, dance and music in truly inspiring performances. Holding a paintbrush in each of his hands, he strokes the canvas as he dances to modern tunes, creating incredibly detailed portraits of pop icons.

Born in Los Angeles to entrepreneur parents, David Garibaldi moved to Sacramento when he was just four years old, for his dad’s business. Ever since he was very little, David had a strong sense of creativity, and although they didn’t share his passion for the arts, his family always encouraged him. He started by drawing cartoon characters, then moved on to encyclopedias, comic books and anything else kids his age were into back then. Then, during middle school, he started getting into hip-hop, so his friends suggested he use his artistic talents to do graffiti. It helped him develop his own style and explore all kinds of new design elements, but all those late nights he spent leaving his artistic mark on the walls and trains of Scaramento really affected his education. By the time he realized he was neglecting school, it was too late, and he couldn’t graduate with the rest of his class. It’s one of his biggest regrets, but also one of the things that motivated him to become the great artist he is today.

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Who Needs a Paintbrush When You’ve Got Magic Fingers

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You probably thought finger painting was just for kids, but Iris Scott is determined to prove you wrong. Wearing a pair of latex glove, the American artist dips her fingers in color paint and wiggles them on the canvas to create beautiful work of art.

“I see the world through ‘finger painted’ colored glasses,” Seattle-based Iris Scott says. “I paint what I see. Finger paintings are hiding everywhere, sometimes I catch them when I’m walking down the sidewalk, or lounging in a living room.  I search for color relationships, and intriguing forms.” The young artist discovered this ingenious painting technique while on a relaxing artistic retreat in Taiwan. She was exercising her painting techniques in an air-conditioned room, when she realized she needed to go clean her brushes before switching to bright colors. But that required leaving the room and facing the high temperatures outside, so Iris just put away her painting tools and started using her fingers. ”I knew within 10 strokes that finger painting with oils was what I would spend the rest of my life doing,” the 28-year-old remembers about that very first finger-painting experience.

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Self-Taught Amateur Artist Paints with Ground Coffee and a Pinch of Sand

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Alexander Wald works as a plumber in the Ukrainian city of Lviv, but in his spare time he likes to exercise his artistic talents by painting with unusual mediums like ground coffee and sand.

Painting with coffee is not exactly unheard of. Artists like Karen Eland and Steven Mikel have been doing it for years, and even coffee beans have been used as an artistic material in an impressive mosaic by Saimir Strati. But until I came across Alexander Wald’s works, I had never heard of anyone using ground coffee. The Ukrainian amateur artist makes a living working as a plumber at the Lviv Circus, but most of his free time is spent creating unique works of art from dried coffee residue and sand. He drinks 2-3 cups of coffee a day, and instead of throwing away the coffee grounds on the bottom of his cup, he dries them and uses them as an art medium. His colleagues pitch in as well, otherwise Alexander would actually have to buy fresh ground coffee. This way, he enjoys his morning cups of java and has plenty of free material to work with. The self-taught artist says any kind of coffee will do, except for instant coffee, which doesn’t produce any leftover grounds.

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Vernon Spicer’s Incredible Pasta Paintings

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Self-taught artist Vernon Spicer, from Alabama, uses pasta like spaghetti, macaroni, lasagna and noodles to create his detailed paintings.

I’ve seen some pretty unusual materials used in paintings, but pasta is definitely a first for me. 71-year-old Vernon Spicer, a Vietnam veteran and pastor at a church in Selma, Alabama, got the idea of using the brittle material from a dream he had one night. It woke me up one night,” he told the Montgomery Advertiser. “In it, I could see something that had a three-dimensional design, one that involved me using sticks to create.” Instead telling him to get over it, wife Audrey encouraged him to pursue the vision and suggested he replace the sticks with uncooked spaghetti. That’s how Vernon’s career as an amateur pasta artist began. Now, six years later, Spicer can create some pretty amazing works of art.

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