The Photo-Realistic Charcoal-Drawn Portraits of Dylan Eakin

Looking at the expertly-drawn charcoal and graphite portraits of Dylan Eakin, you’d think he has a lifetime of experience and many years of art school under his belt, but the truth is he’s a self-taught artist and he’s only been at it for three years.

Staring at most of Eakin’s black-and-white portraits, I often found myself looking for any clues that I was looking at a drawing and not a high-definition photograph. That’s what hyperrealism is all about, I know, but the talented artist really takes it to the extreme, nailing even the finest of details, like loose strands of hair on his subjects’ faces, droplets of sweat or the smallest wrinkles. To the untrained eye, his works seem perfect, but he is the first to point out that there are some things he simply can’t replicate.

Photo: Dylan Eakin

“Highlights are impossible. Not difficult, impossible,” the talented artist said in an interview. “Because there’s no way to make a 2-dimensional charcoal drawing emit light. It took me a couple of years to come to terms with that.”

Completion time varies from project to project, Eakin said, adding that even though he always looks for ways to make the process more efficient, he constantly finds new elements to add, and that can really slow things down. He can finish an 18 x 24” portrait in about eight days of intensive work, though.


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Got to put a whole day aside just to focus on the left lens, and I’m pretty happy with it. Here’s some progress/detail shots too. Over halfway now! And after this point, everything is just a little out of focus, and that’s always kinda relaxing to draw. Should be a straight shot to the end. Beind done with General’s compressed charcoal, Ritmo charcoal pencils, Tombow graphite, and an Uni Posca paint pen on Strathmore smooth bristol. . . . #gallery #artoftheday #paint #art_toinspire #sketch_dailydose #art_dailydose #portrait #art #charcoaldrawing #charcoal #art_insanely #realism #pencilportrait #duende_arts_help #create #art_spotlight #loveart #photorealism #photography #artgallery #art_realism_ #drawing #drawings #graphite #pencildrawing

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Dylan Eakin only started training as a hyperrealist artist in 2016, and he recently told Bored Panda that after three years of hard work he is finally at a point where he is proud of his work. He mainly uses charcoal and graphite, occasionally using tiny points of white paint for those otherwise impossible highlights, but he plans to tackle color hyperrealism one day.

“I feel like going in that direction would just be a natural chain of events, but right now there’s a whole universe in charcoal and I feel like I’m just scratching the surface,” Eakin told Artzine.

For more incredible charcoal and graphite portraits, check out Dylan Eakin’s website and Instagram.

And while you’re here, you may want to treat yourself to some more awe-inspiring hyperrealistic drawings, like those of Jono Dry and Arinze Stanley.