Woman Born without Arms and Legs Overcomes Odds, Become Successful Painter

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Zuly Sanguino is a talented young artist and motivational speaker. The 24-year-old Colombian creates beautiful, colorful paintings of flowers and landscapes that have been exhibited in various shows. She has also given several motivational lectures at corporate organizations, schools and prisons. Zuly is an exceptional woman, mainly because she’s managed to achieve so much even though she was born without fully formed limbs.

Born with phocomelia, a congenital disorder that affected all four of her limbs, Zuly was destined for a life of disability. The doctors had informed her mother, Guillermina, that Zuly would have to be lying down all the time for the rest of her life. In spite of their poverty and terrible living conditions (they lived in shacks with dirt floors), Guillermina wouldn’t give up on her daughter – she taught young Zuly to sit at first, and then walk on her own without external support.

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Hong Yi Strikes Again with Football Painted Portraits of Popular World Cup Players

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Shanghai-based artist Hong Yi, a.k.a. ‘Red’, has combined her love for football and art in a very unique way – she recently painted a massive portrait of three superstars of the 2014 FIFA World Cup – Ronaldo, Neymar and Messi – by dribbling a paint-covered football on a canvas.

Red didn’t use a single paintbrush to create her amazing portraits of the three popular football players! Instead, she kicked a paint-stained football around on the canvas, and actually managed to paint highly accurate pictures of her subjects.

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The Incredibly Realistic Painted Frescoes of Patrick Commecy

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Not all forms of wall graffiti are acceptable – most are viewed as vandalism. But in the case of French street artist Patrick Commecy, homeowners actually invite him to paint on their walls. Along with his team of muralists, he transforms boring, dull patches of wall into vibrant scenes, full of life. In fact unless you have a ‘before’ picture, you might not even realize it’s a painting.

Patrick and his team travel across France, painting hyper-realistic windows and balconies on bare walls that resemble the rest of the building. They dress up these painted windows with plants, birds and sometimes even rocks and waterfalls. It all looks so real that it’s confusing for a moment – it’s hard to tell the difference between a real tree and the painted one.

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Surreal Animal Portraits Expertly Painted on Wild Turkey Feathers

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If you thought painting bird feathers was difficult, wait till you check out this super-talented artist who paints on bird feathers. That’s right, Connecticut-based Brenda Lyons paints the most stunning animal portraits using moulted turkey feathers as a canvas, as a part of her ongoing series called ‘Painted Feathers’.

I seriously appreciate the kind of work Brenda does, because I can’t even hold something so delicate without eventually destroying it. And to actually apply acrylic paints directly on these feathers to create something so beautiful – it just blows my mind.

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Can You believe These Are Hyper-Realistic Acrylic Paintings and Not Actual Photographs?

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We’ve seen lots of artists creating portraits that look like photographs, but very few have come as close to the real thing as Sheryl Luxenberg. Her work is fittingly called ‘hyperrealism’ – her paintings are just too real to be true. You probably need to stare at them for hours to spot one feature that doesn’t look utterly lifelike.

Sheryl is an award-winning visual artist living in Ottawa, Ontario. On her websites, she says that she tries to present the objectivity of her subjects, taking advantage of illusionistic depth and emphasizing with paint a flattened three dimensional look. I’m an art-dummy, so I really have no idea what that means. But it’s apparently the hallmark quality of the Photorealism Art Movement that began in the United States in the late 1960s.

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Artist Uses Ashes of the Deceased to Paint Portraits of Them

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Adam Brown, a Missouri-based painter, is offering his clients a unique way to connect with their deceased loved ones. He mixes the ashes with paint pigments and uses them to create portraits of the dead, as a ‘lasting memory’.

The 32-year-old artist said: “It hit me that having ashes in an urn on a fireplace would be a good way to remember that someone died, but having them in a piece of art is a good way of remembering that someone lived.” For Brown to paint the portraits, his clients need to send him the cremated remains of their loved ones. “Out of respect, I still wear gloves when handling the ashes,” said Brown “And whatever is left over, I am careful to return. I only need about four to six ounces, depending on the canvas. The ashes would go into the background.”

He takes these ashes, which have the texture of sand, and mixes them with paints, craft glues and resins. Brown also incorporates the deceased’s favorite colors and personality into the artwork. He puts a written inscription at the back warning that the painting contains human remains. This is “in case it ever leaves the family and goes into auction, so people know what they’re buying.”

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Artist Uses Her Fingers to Create Mind-Blowingly Realistic Paintings of Icebergs

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Zaria Forman’s paintings of icebergs are so realistic that just looking at them actually gives me the chills. Her 2012 collection, Chasing the Light, is a tribute to her mother who died from brain cancer. She also hopes to raise awareness to climate change through her work.

Forman has a unique style of creating art. “When I travel, I take thousands of photographs and make small sketches. Once I am back in the studio, I draw from my memory of the experience, as well as the photographs to create large scale compositions. I add layers of color onto the paper, smudging everything with my fingers and hand,” she said.

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This Portrait of Morgan Freeman Is Actually a Finger Painting Done on an iPad

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26-year-old iPad artist Kyle Lambert has created an ultra-realistic finger painting of Hollywood star Morgan Freeman. If you put Lambert’s painting and Freeman’s photograph side-by-side, it’s almost impossible to tell them apart. The features are practically lifelike, down to the last freckle.

The British artist from Cheshire took one month and used 285,000 finger strokes on his iPad to complete the painting. He used an application called Procreate that allowed him to zero-in and layer his work. Using the app’s features, he reduced the brush size to only a few pixels for extra precision. This enabled him to zoom in to apply stroke after stroke, producing the amazing, photo-like portrait.

Lambert says that Procreate was crucial to his finger painting process. “It captures every brush stroke automatically and you can export it to the camera roll,” he explains. “It has the best canvas size and video export. It’s the most like Photoshop.”

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Keep Away from Fire: Belarusian Artist Paints with Petroleum

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A true artist can create outstanding art from almost anything, even ugly, greasy oil. Who would have ever imagined that petroleum could be used to paint breathtaking images? Belarussian artist Ludmila Zhizhenko, that’s who.

Ludmila was a designer at a petroleum company for years before she invented this new technique of painting in 2009. She would use watercolors earlier, but petroleum is now her material of choice. Ludmila’s paintings have are elegant, with an old-world charm. They resemble vintage, yellowed photographs from the last century. Photo artist Sergei Kholodilin says, “This is a synthesis of photography and painting.”

For her paintings, Ludmila uses petroleum produced in the Gomel region. To make one ‘heavy oil’ painting, she needs about 10 grams of the stuff. And there are only two types of petroleum she can make use of. Ludmila lets us in on a few of her trade secrets: “It is important not to stop putting stroke after stroke. Otherwise, if the oil dries out,  it will be very difficult to fix something,” she says. Due to the chemical composition of petroleum, she mostly paints outdoors.

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Who Needs Paintbrushes? Argentinian Artist Paints with His Eyes

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Did you know the human eyes could be used as a tool for painting? Argentinian artist Leandro Granato recently invented the bizarre technique by snorting paint through his nose and squirting it through his eyes and onto the canvas.

Leandro Granato, 27, uses a very unique variation of drip painting which involves snorting watercolor through his nose and then pushing the liquid out from his eye socket. As impossible as this may seem, he uses up to a pint and a half (800 ml) for each piece. The young artist first discovered his talent during his childhood. “Ever since I was a kid I knew I had a special connection between my eye and my nose,” he explains. “As I grew up I started realizing air and liquids could go out of my eye if I put them through my nose.” By combining his special ability with his passion of art, Leandro started putting liquid paint up his nose and became the inventor of a new painting technique he suggestively calls eye-painting. “When I decided I would do this for a living my whole family thought I was going crazy – as well as many other people,” the artist remembers, but in the end he proved them all wrong. His eye-painting creations take between 10 minutes and 10 months to complete and sell for up to £1,500 ($2,400).

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More Mouthwatering Hyper-Realistic Food Paintings by Tom Martin

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They may look like high-resolution photos of delicious foods, but these are actually incredibly detailed paintings by acclaimed hyper-realist artist Tom Martin. All of his pieces is a least one meter wide and can sell for up to £17,000 ($27,000).

We first discovered Tom Martin’s amazing artworks back 2010, when we featured some of his most impressive food-related paintings. The 26-year-old artist has been keeping himself busy in these last few years, creating new stunning masterpieces guaranteed to make viewers drool over them. Most of his works focus on food, but you might notice there aren’t any greasy burgers and pizzas displayed in his paintings. “I focus on food and its content because it plays a very big part in my life at the moment,” the artist explains. “I am a keen fitness enthusiast and along with that comes a healthy diet and the science of learning how your body uses carbohydrates and proteins.” You will however find bowls of delicious-looking fruit cereal, toast and marmalade, and even small guilty pleasures like waffles and ice-cream.

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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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