Innovative Artist Creates Beautiful Dust Paintings

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Los Angeles-based artist Allison Cortson collects dust from her art-subjects’s homes and uses it to paint the background of their portraits. She started her series of “dusty” artworks, called Dust Paintings, several years ago, but she’s only just now getting the online exposure she so rightfully deserves.

Dust paintings…Now here’s something you don’t see every day, right? Well, actually, just a month ago we posted a story about Alessandro Ricci, an Italian artist who paints with dust collected from historical buildings in Florence. But while his dust creations are more like environmental statements against the pollution in his home city, Allison Cortson’s paintings are much more elaborate, and have a completely different purpose. Through her dust paintings, the artist tries to emphasize the fact that “matter is mostly empty space” and  it’s only through interactivity with living beings that they provide any value. That’s why, in all of her Dust Paintings artworks the human subjects are painted in color, while the background is recreated with dust.

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Renowned Artist Creates Jesus Portrait from 24,790 Push Pins

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World renowned artist Rob Surette has recently completed a mind-blowing portrait of Jesus Christ made out of 24,790 colored push pins. The amazing work of art measures  5.5 feet x 4 feet, and took the artist six months to finish.

Rob Surette has been fascinated by pointillism ever since he discovered the art of Georges Seurat, who invented the dot painting technique during the late 1800s. He became a master of it himself and now creates incredible works of art that always has viewers asking how he achieves such elaborate visual illusions. ”They stand close to the image and say, ‘All I see is push pins!’ and then they walk backwards, away from the artwork and say, ‘It looks so real!  How is that possible?’” Rob says is the reaction of most people. Before starting work on this portrait, Surette set a record for the world’s largest Lite Brite creation (513,000 pieces), and wondering what other objects he could use to create a portrait out of dots, he settled on push pins.

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Mind-Blowing Portrait Created from Thousands of Coffee Stains

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Just weeks after she took the Internet by storm with her incredible portrait of Yao Ming, created only with a basketball and red paint, Malaysian artist Hong Yi strikes again, this time with a realistic rendition of Taiwanese singer Jay Chou made with coffee stains.

The young artist begins her unusual creative process by taking a sip of coffee. Like most of us, she spills some of it in the small saucer and that apparently inspires her to use the dirty bottom of the cup to start a sepia tone masterpiece. At first the coffee cup stains look just like the ones you can spot on table cloths in cheap restaurants, but as she progresses, her work starts to take shape. First you can make out the outline of the head, then the nose and mouth, the eyes, and before you know it you’re staring at a realistic portrait of Jay Chou made with coffee stains, and struggling to lift your jaw off the floor.

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Artist Paints Portrait of Yao Ming Using a Basketball

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I can think of a few things one can do with a basketball, but painting is definitily not one of them. But I guess that’s exactly what makes Shanghai-based artist’s, Yi Hong, so special.

Yi, who goes by the name of “Red”, and describes herself as an artist who “loves to paint, but not with a paintbrush”, recently posted a video of herself painting a detailed portrait of retired NBA superstar Yao Ming, using nothing but red paint and a basketball. In the time-lapse she dips the ball in paint and carefully bounces it on the canvas, and slowly by surely, the portrait starts to take shape. All the help she got was in the shape of a print of the famous Chinese basketball player, which she checked a few times, for accuracy. The amazing video got 400,000 views in just a few days, and the artist posted about how flattered she is, on her Facebook page. Yi Hong was born and raised on the island of Borneo, and also spent some time in Australia and the Netherlands, but she ultimately settled in Shanghai.

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Woven Newspaper Portraits by Gugger Petter

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Most people look at old newspapers as trash, but for artist Gugger Petter it’s a challenging medium for which she has the utmost respect. Using  a special weaving technique, she’s able to take fragile newspapers and turned them into beautiful portraits.

Although she considers the informative purpose of the newspaper important, Petter has been fascinated with this unusual art medium because it presents her with a black/white/and limited color palette, which she has always preferred. In 1986, when she first arrived in California, she laid eyes on a stack of discarded newspapers yellowed by the sun, and found it very intriguing. From that day forth she started thinking about ways she could use this material in her art. She started by rolling newspapers into tubes and creating wall and floor sculptures, but after a couple of years she developed her weaving technique.

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Artist Makes Bullet Portraits of People Killed by Bullets

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Whether in hunting or warfare, bullets are usually used for killing, but artist David Palmer has found a way to use these instruments of destruction to create beautiful celebrity portraits.

John Lennon, Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy were all great men, with one tragic thing in common – they were all killed by a bullet. Now, artist David Palmer has chosen to create portraits of these icons using probably the most unusual medium – bullet shells. After collecting enough bullet casings, the artist puts them together to create a metal canvas, and using a small hand torch darkens the ends of the bullet casings, creating incredibly detailed portraits. Using such a seemingly inappropriate art medium like bullets to depict their victims, Palmer hopes viewers  will “see the miracles that can arise from choosing to create rather than destroy.”

If you find bullet art interesting, you might want to check out the awe-inspiring miniature holy places made by Al Farrow, entirely out of bullets.

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Joe Black’s Amazing Badge Mosaics

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We’ve featured some pretty awesome mosaics here on Oddity Central, from Oksana Mas’ wooden egg mosaics, to the sweet jelly bean mosaics of Peter and Roger Rocha. But there are plenty of other incredibly talented artists out there who use the most unusual materials to create their art. Joe Black is one of them.

Using thousands of handmade badges depicting various images and icons, from the Vietnam War to Elvis Presley, Black manages to piece together amazingly detailed portraits. And if having the patience to create such wonderful mosaics wan’t impressive enough, nearly every one of the badges used is made by Joe Black himself, and relates to the artwork in some way. For example, the portrait of Superman is made up of corporate and fast food logos to depict the notion of goodness defeated by our ever-growing need to consume. A mixed media artist by definition, Black also makes use of oil paints, acrylics and other mediums to complete his modern masterpieces.

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Artist Uses iPad to Create Detailed Celebrity Portraits

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Long-gone are the days when painting was strictly done with specialized tools, like brushes, on canvases. Nowadays artists use anything from remote-controlled toy cars to Molotov cocktails to express their talents. So it should come to know surprise Kyle Lambert uses just one finger and the Apple iPad to create detailed celebrity portraits.

Kyle Lambert is a young English artist who specializes in portraits rendered using an iPad tablet and an $8 app, called Brushes. He only uses one finger as the brush, but judging by the detailed outcome, you’d think he has a whole set of professional tools and paints. Lambert starts out by sketching the basic facial proportions, drawing simple lines where the mouth, nose and eyes should be, making sure he gets the shape of the sitter’s head just right. It looks like the kind of sketch even I could do, but he says it’s the most important part of making a portrait, because it serves as the framework for the entire piece.

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Photocopied Portrait Recreated with 3.2 Million Dots

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People have been photocopying their body parts for a while now, and even though it’s still pretty funny, it’s not that impressive at it once was. But what about a portrait of a photocopied face recreated with over 3 million dots, is that impressive enough for ya?

Artist Miguel Endara started out with a portrait  of his father’s photocopied face, and somewhere along the way he decided to recreate it with millions of dots made with a variety of Micron pens. he took a piece of paper, drew an outline of his dad’s face with a pencil and started adding dots. As you can imagine, this kind of painstaking work takes a lot of patience, and luckily Miguel managed to keep it together for all the 210 hours it took him to finish his masterpiece. He even made a cool video documenting his amazing effort and posted a high resolution image of the portrait on his website, so you can actually see all of the 3.2 millions of dots he had to use.

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Incredible Portraits Made with Dripped Plasticine

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Argentinian art collective Mondongo creates incredibly detailed portraits by using dripped and molded Plasticine. I can’t imagine how much time they spend getting the skin tones just right.

We’ve posted our share of impressive portraits here on OC, made from the most unusual materials (from pancakes and chewing gum to written words), but few more detailed than the masterpieces created by Mondongo. The art collective, which consists of  Juliana Laffitte, Manuel Mendanha and Agustina Picasso, was founded in 1999 and has worked with  a huge variety of materials, from food to plasticine, depending on what best reinforces the concept of the work. Mondongo, which is the name of a traditional Argentinian tripe stew, was chosen precisely becomes the art collective creates its work from a cauldron of ingredients.

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Jason Sho Green’s Mind-Blowing Doodle Portraits

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Jason Sho Green uses a simple ball-point pen to create incredibly intricate portraits that are actually made of other smaller drawings.

Whether we’re good at it or not, we all like to doodle, but American artist Jason Sho Green has taken the pastime to  a whole new level with his amazing doodle portraits that look like modern-day mosaics. Seen from a distance, his works looked like detailed recreations of his subjects, for which he uses shadows to outline the fine characteristics of the face, but as you approach them you realize there’s a lot more to them. Jason actually uses a ball-point pen to “assemble” his portraits from various doodles, including images of people, animals and fantastic creatures.

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Russian Artist Paints with Molotov Cocktails

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Radya Timofey, a 23-year-old Russian artist is taking the art world by storm with a series of original paintings made by throwing Molotov cocktails at his canvases.

They are often used to cause chaos, but young Radya Timofey is turning Molotov cocktails into art tools to create beautiful portraits of soldiers who fought in World War II. He uses a mix of home-made napalm and oil-based substances to sketch the outlines of the portraits and then throws a Molotov cocktail at the canvas, setting it ablaze. After the artwork has stopped burning, a charred figure is revealed. Although the actual “painting” takes place in abandoned outdoor areas, Radya Timofey says “of course it’s dangerous to use fire like this, but we are careful. We put them on the hospital as a testament to their bravery, in life they literally did have to put their faces in the fire to fight the Nazis.”

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Montreal Artist Makes Portrait of Steve Jobs from 3,750 Apples

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Last Sunday was the first official Steve Jobs day, but instead of wearing jeans and a long-sleeve shirt, Montreal-based artist Olivier Lefebvre decided to honor the Apple co-founder in a very unique way – a portrait made from real apples.

Ever since his death early this month, people all around the world have been celebrating Steve Jobs and his huge contribution to modern technology. I’ve seen quite a number of inspiring works of art created in his honor lately, but I found Olivier Lefebvre’s organic portrait the most impressive. The Canadian artist painstakingly arranged 3,750 apples to depict the face of Apple’s charismatic co-founder, in the town of Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Quebec. And before anyone starts screaming things like “what a waste of good food”, you should know these were all deer apples, meaning they had fallen on the ground and started rotting. Lefebvre himself commented on Geeks are Sexy’s blog post saying: “I find it important to mention to all of you that all the Apples used where deer apples, I would never use human consumption grade food for art. So yeah i got my hands dirty. Made for a really nice apple aroma tho!

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Guys Sews Model’s Portrait with Sewing Machine

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I didn’t think one could use a sewing machine for anything but sewing, but this guy proves it’s the perfect tool to create realistic portraits.

I found this video during my daily browsing sessions, and knew I just had to post it for you guys to see, I haven’t been able to identify the skilled artist yet, but even though the video was uploaded by a Russian blogger, the protagonists speak English so I’m pretty sure the guy’s American. If anyone knows who he is, let me know so I can credit him for this awe-inspiring performance. You have to see the video to believe it, but long story short, this man sews a portrait of a female model into a piece of leather using just a sewing machine, and does it all in just a few minutes. All throughout the video I was sure he was going to sew his finger into the art piece, that’s how close his finger was to the needle…Amazing stuff!

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Japanese Artist Paints Incredible Portraits on iPod Touch and iPad

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Japanese artist Seikou Yamaoka uses a $2.99 application called ArtStudio, and his fingertips to create incredible-looking portraits on his iPod Touch and iPad. And he does it all during a long train commute.

It’s amazing what some people can do with their hands, but Seikou Yamaoka’s work is even more impressive considering he only uses his fingertips. By tapping and sliding his fingertip over the 3.5-inch screen of an iPod Touch, he creates beautiful portraits that look a lot like they’ve been painted with watercolor. That’s actually the talented artist’s goal – to produce  images that look more like watercolour paintings than digital artworks. He uses ArtStudio, a cheap application available on the Apple App Store to create complex colorful images over several hours, during a train commute to work. He starts with a blank canvas, draws an outline of the face he’s about to reproduce and carefully adds strokes of color until it looks like a real painting. Apart from his unusual talent of using Apple’s gadgets to create portraits, Yamaoka likes to paint the old fashioned way, using watercolor or oil-based paint.

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