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.

Zaria-Forman

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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).

Leandro-Granato

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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”.

paper-towel-paintings

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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.

Marie-Lou-Desmueles

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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.

Flexjet/Jet Art Media

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