Would You Believe These Were DRAWN by an 18-Year-Old?

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Rajacenna is an 18-year-old self-taught artist from the Netherlands who draws the most realistic portraits I have ever seen, using only pencils.

I’m a big fan of realistic drawings, and I’ve previously featured amazing works like the pencil drawings of Paul Lung, the ballpoint pen portraits of Juan Francisco Casas, or Cristina Penescu’s detailed scratchboard masterpieces, but at only 18 years of age Rajacenna is in a league of her own. Born in 1993, she started modelling for various Dutch companies when she was only 4, and at 5 years old she made her first appearance on television. She starred in films, soap-operas and tv-series and at 12 she became the host of Kinderjournaal, the first Dutch web-tv for kids.

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Mind-Boggling Embroidered Portraits by Cayce Zavaglia

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Cayce Zavaglia is an embroidery artist from St. Louis, Missouri whose embroidered portraits look more like paintings than needle and thread artworks.

Over the past 16 years, Cayce has created portraits of her family, friends and fellow artists, but while her passion for the expressions of the human face has remained constant, paint has slowly been replaced with a less toxic material – thread. She remembers her initial works were painted so thickly they looked a lot like cake frosting; she moved on to works on panel that required only medium-laden oil paint and eventually only used paint for the background of her amazing embroidered portraits. They still look like paintings from afar, but a closer look reveals their true nature and the amount of work that went into creating them.

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Embroidered Wine Stain Portraits by Amelia Harnas

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American artist Amelia Harnas creates original portraits by spilling wine on white cotton or paper canvases and embroidering certain details to emphasize features.

It’s amazing what some artists can achieve with the most unusual of mediums. Take wine for example, I’ve seen it used as a weapon during the Haro Wine Battle, and as a relaxing spa attraction, but I never imagined someone could use it to create artistic portraits. But that’s exactly what Amelia Harnas does, she uses wine stains to make works of art. From the artist’s website:

These portraits are created either by using a wax resist (much like batiks) and repeated wine stains with embroidery as a reinforcing drawing over the original design or wine on paper with machine sewing. These are my first experiments using wine, and I am excited to continue expanding upon these first results.

It’s amazing how she’s able to control the wine to create just the right effects, and I’m sure her works are just going to get better as she gains more experience.

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Artist Creates Self-Portrait with Thousands of Plastic Bottle Caps

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Chicago-based artist Mary Ellen Croteau has created an astounding self-portrait using thousands of recycled plastic bottle caps.

Mary Ellen Croteau considers herself a political artist who uses her works to make statements and get people to look at things from a different perspective. This time she wanted viewers to acknowledge the presence of bottle caps in our everyday lives and realize how rarely they are recycled. Croteau was stacking plastic bottle caps and plastic pill bottles trying to create precarious towering columns inspired by the modernist works of Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi, when she noticed smaller caps fit inside the larger ones and created a whole new color combination. This got her thinking about Chuck Close’s art and the way he creates realistic portraits using just shapes of color.

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Toasted Celebrity Portraits by Henry Hargreaves

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New York artist Henry Hargreaves makes portraits of modern icons using dozens of pieces of toast. You have to admit, burnt toast never looked this good.

With his series of toast portraits entitled “Toasted”, Henry Hargreaves joins the ranks of established artists who chose toast as their art medium, the likes of Maurice “Toastman” Bennett, Laura Hadland or Adam Sheldon. Using dozens of pieces of toast, some barely toasted, other burned to a crisp, Hargreaves managed to create a series of mosaic portraits that includes The Beatles, Che Guevarra, Jim Morrison and Marylin Monroe. I gotta say they all look good good enough to eat.

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Artist Writes Detailed Portraits of Dogs

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Florida-based artist Stephen Kline has created a new artistic technique that allows him to draw detailed portraits of dogs, using only text. For example he can draw the portrait of a poodle just by writing the word ‘poodle’ a few hundred times. You’d think writing the same  word so many times would eventually get boring even for the most patient artist, but Stephen has so far created hundreds of these brilliant litographs of every dog breed you can think of.

Stephen Kline introduced his Lines of Language technique in 1999, and since then he’s gained thousands of art-collecting fans from 20 different countries and every state in the US. His litographs have so far generated tens of thousands of dollars for dog rescue centers around the world.

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Karen Caldicott Immortalizes Celebrities in Plasticine

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Leicester-born Karen Caldicott is currently living in the New York area, where she stays busy creating plasticine portraits of celebrities.

Well-versed in a multitude of styles, Karen has found  a niche rendering various celebrities in plasticine, and her skill and dedication landed her collaborations with established publications such as the New York Post or Fortune Magazine. She bases her three-dimensional  seven-inch plasticine busts on photographs of the celebrities taken from different angles, and then shapes and carves away the clay until it looks like she intended.

So far, Karen Caldicott has created plasticine illustrations of all sorts of celebrities, from President Barrack Obama, to rock legend Mick Jagger and even Apple CEO, Steve Jobs. But she also does commissions, so if you fancy a clay bust of yourself, contact her via her official blog.

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The Art-in-Art Collage Portraits of Maxim Ksuta

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Using hundreds of small images of classic masterpieces, Russian collagist, portrait painter and historiographer, Maxim Ksuta, has created a series of unique portraits, called Art in Art.

According to English Russia, Maxim Ksuta believes some art forms have ceased to exist in the modern world, which is now getting ready to embrace something new. So he decided to give them new meaning and find a place for them by using tiny images of known artworks (paintings, sculptures, architectural motifs) dating from the antiquity and up to modern times, to create unique collage portraits of his friends.

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Pencil Shaving Portraits by Kyle Bean

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Artist Kyle Bean has created a series of unique portraits made with pencil shavings, for the new Handmade Issue of Wallpaper Magazine.

We’ve already featured Brighton-based Kyle bean a couple of times, for his intricate matchstick insects and eggshell chicken, and he continues to amaze us with more original works. Having been asked to contribute on the Handmade Issue of Wallpaper, he has created a series of beautiful portraits using only pencil shavings from colored pencils. A time-lapse video of the process of making one of these incredible works of art is also in the works, and will appear in the online edition of Wallpaper Magazine.

With such incredible projects under his belt already, I wonder what Kyle Bean has in store for us, in the future.

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Pippa Middleton Portrait Made from 15,000 Crumpets Looks Good Enough to Eat

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British artist Laura Hadland used 15,000 English crumpets and over 100 jars of jam and Marmite to create a delicious portrait of Princess Catherine’s sister, Pippa Middleton and her much-talked-about derriere.

28-year-old Laura Hadland came up with the idea of making this tasty representation of Pippa after she came first in a Beefeater Grill poll to find the female celebrity Britons would most like to “wake up to breakfast with”. She won 21% of the vote cast by 2,000 people and the honor of being recreated with one of Britain’s favorite snacks.

Along with more than a dozen helpers, Laura spent 24 hours arranging the 15,000 crumpets into a 13 meter by 21 meter mosaic of Pippa Middleton’s face and the backside that captured the imagination of millions of men around the world, on the day of Princess Catherine’s wedding. The crumpets, which weighed over a ton, were covered with jam and Marmite, for shading. Now Pippa really does look good enough to eat.

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Bashir Sultani’s Art with Salt

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They say it’s back luck to spill salt, but Toronto-based Bashir Sultani clearly has little regard for superstition, as he has no problem spilling the seasoning and shaping its fine crystals into detailed portraits of modern icons.

After spilling salt onto a black background, Afghan-born Sultani uses basic tools, like a razor blade and Q-tips to manipulate the grains into portraits of actors, singers, popular movie characters and other icons. He makes it all look easy in his videos, but it’s obvious you need a great deal of patience and skill to create such original masterpieces.

Be sure to check his YouTube channel for more making-of videos of his amazing salt portraits.

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Photographer Makes Creative Portraits from Fruits, Vegetables and Flowers

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Klaus Enrique Gerdes, a New York City photographer, has created a series of original portraits made exclusively from vegetables, fruits and flowers.

Seeing these incredible artworks for the first time, I thought they were masterpieces of the famous Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1527 – 1593) – an Italian artist known for his imaginative portraits made entirely from fruits, vegetables and flowers. But whereas Arcimboldo painted his portraits, Gerdes first created them from real fruits, vegetables and flowers, and then took photos of them. They actually remind me a little of the fabulous vegetable art of Ju Duoqi, and Carl Warner’s foodscapes.

Gerdes told the PDN Gallery that the idea for his organic portraits first came to him while working with leaves.  ”While I was photographing a human eye that was peeking out amongst hundreds of leaves, it occurred to me that I could actually utilize leaves to construct portraits or masks.” It just evolved from there and he started using fruits, vegetables and flowers.

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Artist Creates Black Eyed Peas Portrait of Black Eyes Peas Member

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To tell you the truth I often wondered why no one bothered to create a portrait of the Black Eyed Peas using black eyed peas, before. We’ve seen all kinds of weird portraits, like those made of toast, broken vinyl or bottle caps, so a black eyed peas portrait of the Black Eyed Peas seemed almost logical.

English artist Lee Mericks finally rose up to the challenge and created an 85 cm by 60 cm portrait of BEP singer will.i.am using nothing but thousands of black eyed peas. The artwork was commissioned by Alton Towers, to celebrate the Black Eyed Peas’ forthcoming concert at the Staffordshire resort, and took 24 hours, over a four-day period, to complete.

According to Lee Merricks, the black eyed peas portrait of will.i.am contains approximately 5 kilograms of black eyed peace, each of which were painstakingly placed by hand. If you’re curious to know the exact number of peas used, feel free to count them yourself.

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Lily Allen Portrait Is Made of Real Lilies

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British singer Lily Allen is getting married this Saturday and London florist McQueens wanted to celebrate the event by creating a unique portrait of the artist, using actual lilies.

A team of six flower experts worked nine hours arranging the Asiatic lily blossoms into an Andy Warhol-style portrait of the acclaimed artist. The one-of-a-kind floral masterpiece measures six by ten feet and numbers a total of 1,800 lilies. Asiatic lilies were chosen because apparently they represent romance, femininity and purity. The lily portrait was a collaboration of English florist McQueens and The Flower Council of Holland, and will on display for a week, at one of McQueens’ London branches.

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Commemorative Portrait Made from 13,138 Dice

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To commemorate the death of his friend, Canadian artist and designer, Tobias Wong, Frederick McSwain has created a giant portrait of him, from 13,138 dice.

The artist says:

The idea of a die itself was appropriate—the randomness of life. It felt like [a medium] he would use. Because [Tobias] was a very street-level force, I thought it was appropriate [to install] the portrait on the floor. Its not something I wanted to suspend on the wall; I wanted it to be right there on the floor where you almost interact with it.

The idea of every decision you make and everything you’ve done in your life, defines who you are. All of those days symbolically makes up the image of Tobi.

Tobias Wong was 35-years-old when he passed away, more accurately 13,138 days old, so McSwain used a die for every day he lived…

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