Artist Draws Insanely Detailed City Landscapes Entirely from Memory

Dutch artist Stefan Bleekrode has been blessed with the most amazing talent – he can draw amazingly detailed sketches of cities he has visited, using only his razor-sharp memory as reference .

The 28-year-old has used his superhuman power of recollection to create ‘Cityscapes’,  a series of sketches of some of the world’s most famous cities, like London, New York and Paris. Stefan’s drawings are so mindbogglingly detailed that it’s almost impossible to believe he relies solely on his memory. Using just ink, he composes dense and realistic images of buildings, streets, lights, bridges and any other details his mind picks up. His sophisticated techniques – stark tonal contrasts, precise perspective, and stunning detail –  make each drawing look photographic, as if they were captured from an aerial vantage point.


Some of his pieces are set in very specific locations such as London Bridge & the Shard or Broadway and 5th, but most are generic, like Italian City, City in Holland or City at the Foot of the Mountains, precisely because he works from memory. He describes his work as “snapshots of things I’ve seen when traveling or just going through my everyday routine, small bits of beauty in familiar settings.”


Interestingly, Stefan has been working on his photographic memory and drawing skills since he was 10 years old. He began with impressionist drawings of places in France and Belgium, and slowly trained his mind to pick up details in any given location. “At the age of 10 I wanted to recapture my impressions of places in France and Belgium I’d visited during a holiday the previous summer,” he explained. “Where I lived there was very little that pleases the eye – just 1960’s housing estates and offices. By doing these small pencil drawings I could drift back to those sunny and inspiring places where the world was colourful and eager to be explored. I continue to do the Cityscape drawings for as long as I enjoy it or until I run out of ideas.”


The smallest of his artworks can take up to five days to complete, while large-scale drawings take him almost half a year and sell between $1,800 to $6,000.



When I first read about Stefan Bleekrode’s art, I thought it sounded oddly familiar. And then I remembered writing about Stephen Wiltshire, an autistic artist known as “The Human Camera” for his ability to draw complex panoramic cityscapes entirely from memory.







Photos © Stefan Bleekrode

via Beautiful Decay

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