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Artist Uses Black Paper and White&Grey Pencils to Create Portraits of Women Cast in Light

Looking at English artist Zulf’s portraits, you get the sense that they’re really simplistic in nature. They’re not the most detailed, heck they sometimes just outline a woman’s face, but that’s just what makes them special.

We’ve seen some truly mind-blowingly realistic portraits in the past, such as the masterpieces of Alena Litvin or those of Dylan Eakin; the works of London-based artist Zulf are nowhere near as detailed, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less magical, quite the opposite really! What makes these works unique is the concept of light being cast on part of the protagonists’ faces, which only reveals part of their visage, letting the viewer imagine the rest.

Photos: Zulf/Instagram

To achieve the magical, almost surreal effect, Zulf works on black paper, using white and grey pencils to draw the silhouettes of the protagonists. This creates the illusion of light being cast on certain parts of their bodies.

 

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“I take my time to find what I feel is the perfect reference for what I need. Sometimes, it can take me hours just to find one. Each piece I create can take me anywhere between 1 to 60 hours depending on details, although I try to keep it minimal as possible,” Zulf told Bored Panda.

 

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Zulf admitted that, like most of his artworks, he likes to keep an air of mystery about him, which is why he prefers to use his pseudonym rather than his real name. He did reveal that his is “shy of turning 50” and living in London with his wife and two children.

 

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“I’ve always loved art. As a youngster, I was part of a graffiti crew. I started creating back in the summer of 2013 after not doing any art for 20 years. My passion for drawing and painting keeps forever evolving and that’s what keeps me going,” the English artist said.

 

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“The beauty of that is I never know what direction I’m going to take next. I got into the pencil-work when the short winter nights would draw in early and it was too cold and dark to spraypaint outside. So I started to draw portraits indoors, practicing for around 3 hours every night after work,” Zulf added.

 

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For more of Zulf’s magical and mysterious portraits, keep an eye on his Instragram.

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