20-Year-Old Artist Creates the Most Realistic Colored Pencil Portraits You’ve Ever Seen

I must admit, ever since I found artist Heather Rooney’s YouTube channel, I’ve been hooked! She posts all these time lapse videos of her incredibly realistic colored pencil portraits, and, well, you have to see what she’s capable of doing with a few colored pencils. Watching her draw is just as fascinating as looking at the finished artworks, which all look unbelievably life-like. I’ve just spent a good hour watching videos of her drawing some of my favorite celebrities, and I’m definitely going back for more.

One of Heather’s most popular works is a rendition of the famous Hollywood selfie picture (featuring major stars like Brad Pitt, Ellen DeGeneres, Jennifer Lawrence and more) taken at this year’s Oscars. The amount of detailing that she’s put into the features of each of the celebrities is simply mind-blowing. Her artwork was featured by every major art site on the internet when she first posted it, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg, believe me. This girl has dozens of incredible portraits just waiting to be discovered.


Heather starts her portraits by creating a pencil outline, which she then fills up using various colored pencils. It sounds way simpler than it really is, but I don’t really have the technical knowledge to explain the process in detail. On her Facebook page, the talented 20-year-old says she takes about two-and-a-half hours to finish a piece, which is insanely fast for the amount of work that must go into each of these incredible portraits.


The 20-year-old is majoring in art, but her technique is mostly self-taught. Besides celebrities, she also draws popular animation movie characters, animals and plants. Because of her stunning work, the incredible artist has been given the nickname ‘Hand Drawn Photo Maker’. Crude, but accurate.















Photos: Heather Rooney/Facebook