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The Photographic Pencil-Drawn Portraits of Franco Clun

Italian artist Franco Clun uses only pencil and paper to create these incredibly realistic portraits that can easily be mistaken for photographs. Believe it or not, he’s a self-taught drawing master who has never studied art…

I’ve always found hyperrealism fascinating, and the collection of articles on this amazing art genre that I’ve posted on Oddity Central throughout the years is proof of that. I never get tired of looking at drawings and paintings so masterfully executed that they resemble high-resolution photos, and I consider myself lucky whenever I discover the works of truly gifted artists, like Franco Clun. The Italian-born master of the pencil says he has never taken art classes and that everything he knows he learned from experience and from reading some drawing manuals. I guess you can say he’s living proof that practice makes perfect, and that following your passions in life can truly lead to amazing things. Although he has had to take a long break from drawing to dedicate himself to other things, his love for graphite remained strong, and now he’s wielding his trusty pencils again to create marvelous works of art.

Franco-Clun-drawings

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Kelvin Okafor’s Photo-Realistic Drawings Are Simply Mind-Blowing

Look closely at the images below, and tell you don’t see artistic black and white photos? Well, they’re really just incredibly detailed pencil and charcoal drawings by talented British artist Kelvin Okafor. Mind blown, I know.

It’s safe to say some of the world’s most talented photographs couldn’t capture  all the details in Kevin Okafor’s portraits, and instead of high-resolution cameras, his only tools are a set of pencils, a piece of paper and sometimes a stick of charcoal. But then again, not many people have his amazing talent. Like other new-generation artists like 22-year-old Diego Fazo, or the incredible Dirk Dzimirsky, London-based Kelvin Okafor works wonders with his pencils. Too poor to leave the house and socialize, the gifted artist spent most of his childhood and teenage years improving his drawing skills. Instead of partying and clubbing like other kids his age, he found refuge in drawing, and is now reaping his rewards – he charges between £800 ($1,300) to £3,000 ($4,750) for commission works, and some of his best portraits are already being sold for as much £10,000 ($16,000). It might seem like a lot of money, but considering the quality of his work and the amount and time and patience that go into each piece, I’d say it’s worth even more.

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Insanely Complicated Maze Is Probably Impossible to Solve

It looks like the street map of a really complex city of the future, but this intricate drawing is really a 30-year-old maze drawn by a Japanese janitor. His daughter posted photos of the complicated work on Twitter, which went viral almost instantly.

Just last year, we posted an article about the efforts of Joe Wos, a Pittsburgh-based cartoonist who was working on the world’s largest most difficult hand-drawn maze. He worked on it from July until the end of September, and estimated that a person would need approximately 40 hours to solve it. His doodle-filled maze is truly something to behold, but I doubt it’s more challenging than the one created by Twitter user @Kya7y‘s father. Drawn on an A1 sheet of paper measuring 35 by 23.3 inches, this multi-layered masterpiece reportedly took the artist seven years and several months to complete. “Won’t somebody make it to the goal?” @Kya7y tweeted after posting the pics. And, believe it or not, there were actually plenty of people willing to waste several days of their lives trying to find the exit… If there even is one.

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Illustrator Documents Her Shopping for the Last 6 Years by Drawing Her Everyday Purchases

From everyday groceries to household appliances and rare souvenirs, artist Kate Bingaman-Burt, from Portland, Oregon, keeps track of everything she buys by making silly drawings of something she purchases every day. She started this habit six years ago and has since then published two volumes of a book on the topic, called Obsessive Consumption – What Did You Buy Today?

Kate Bingaman-Burt is an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at Portland State University, but she’s also interested in modern consumerism. In 2002, she started documenting her shopping by photographing everything she purchased, and continued doing so every day until 2004. Then, she decided to combine her artistic talents with her interest in everyday consumption by replacing the photos with drawings she did herself. For the last six years, she has been making drawings of at least an item she buys every single day. The six years of the project have been compressed in two volumes of a book entitled Obsessive Consumption – What Did You Buy Today? published by Princeton Architectural Press, but can also be viewed online, on Kate’s official website.

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This Photo Is Actually a Pencil Perfect Drawing

At just 22 years old, Italian artist Diego Fazo has developed the skill to create photo-realistic drawings using a simple charcoal pencil. His latest creation, pictured below, has drawn hundreds of positive comments on his Deviant Art profile.

Don’t tell me you can tell the image below is a drawing and not a high-definition photograph, because I don’t buy it. In fact people were so skeptical this incredible piece of art was drawn by hand that young Diego Fazo had to put up some photos of the work in progress just to lay doubts to rest. And looking at his-mind-blowing masterpiece, can you really blame people for  questioning it’s hand-drawn?

Like other talented artists who started their careers on Deviant Art, Diego is a self-taught pencil master whose technique matured with the passing of the years. He started out as a tattoo artist, and developed a passion for creating photo-realistic drawings. Inspired by the works of Japanese artists from the Edo period, like Katsushika Hokusai, he managed to capture people’s imaginations with his precise lines and oriental drawing techniques.

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Illustrator Creates Incredibly Detailed Drawings Inside Matchbooks

Jason D’Aquino is an expert miniaturist who unleashes his talent on all kinds of recycled objects, from ledgers, leaflets, vintage calendars to small pieces of paper and even tiny matchbooks. And to make sure everyone understands just how skilled he is, the man doesn’t do some simple doodles, he recreates the Mona Lisa, vintage movie portraits and even portraits of icons like Marilyn Monroe.

Drawing the kind of stuff Jason D’Aquino does is hard enough on a large canvas, but he manages to do it on the inside of matchbooks. Using high-magnification goggles, like those used by jewelers, the artist sketches incredible artworks only a few inches in size, sometimes even under an inch. The self-declared miniaturist seems to love small surfaces and has always enjoyed the challenge of seeing how small he can draw. As a child, he was always fascinated with his mother’s artworks, and says he had a pencil in his hand since before he could walk. Although he remained faithful to the graphite pencil, his art got smaller and smaller as he grew older. At first it was just a matter of convenience, but soon shrinking his art became a challenge. At the rate he’s going, he probably going to need a microscope pretty soon.

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Photo-Realistic Pencil Drawings by Self-Taught Artist Randy Hann

It takes a great artist to show the true power of a pencil, and Newfoundland-based Randy Hann is one such artist. His breathtaking attention to detail translates into drawings that look more like shot with a professional camera than with a simple pencil.Randy Hann is definitely one of the most talented Canadian artists of our time.

The Newfoundland native takes inspiration from the people, wildlife and scenery that surrounds him every day to create spectacular works of art. Born in 1961, Randy says he can always remember being able to draw, even as a young child, but it wasn’t until years later that he started taking his innate abilities seriously. He didn’t attend an art school, but dedicated years to developing and refining his drawing technique. Today, the self-taught artist is internationally-known for his mind-blowing hyperrealistic works. His masterpieces have been exhibited in various art galleries, and many are found in private collections around Canada and throughout the world.

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Skilled Artist DRAWS Victorian Photographs with a Pencil

You could swear these old photos were taken decades ago, and have been stored away some place collecting dust, but in fact these tiny artworks are painstakingly drawn by Paul Chiappe, with a simple pencil. Mind blown yet?

28-year-old artist Paul Chiappe, from Edinburgh, Scotland, has been drawing with pencils ever since primary school, and throughout the years his skills have improved to such a degree that he’s now able to create detailed photographic artworks. I remember even in primary school meticulously copying images for art class,” Chiappe remembers. “I would end up drawing dolphins and things from wildlife books. Basically, anything I would draw I’d make sure it was as realistic as possible.” Now he’s become an expert at creating Victorian-style photographic artworks in such stunning detail that you actually need a magnifying glass to tell them apart from real photographs.

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Twin Brothers Take Doodle Art to the Next Level

Sergei and Vyacheslav Savelyv are two twin brothers with an extraordinary talent for doodling. They uses colored pens and pencils to draw what seem like endless circular doodles and create incredibly detailed portraits of world famous icons.

Sergei and Vyacheslav Savelyv have so far displayed their wonderful artworks only in their home town of Petrozavodsk, in Russia’s Karelia region, but I think you’ll agree their talent deserves worldwide recognition. The creative duo who works under the name “SaveL” have an impressive doodle portrait portfolio of famous celebrities like Johnny Depp, Robert De Niro or Antonio Banderas, all created with ordinary pens of pencils. Their technique looks a lot like what many of us used to do on the back of our notebooks in school to check is a pen still worked, only their loops form very detailed images. We’ve seen some truly mind-blowing doodle art in the past, like the works of Sagaki Keita or Jason Sho Green, but while they assembled their masterpieces out of tiny little drawings, these Russian twins use the simplest form of doodling to create intricate portraits.

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Illustrator Challenges Reality in Awesome Video Series

Renown illustrator and author Mark Crilley demonstrates his insane drawing talent in a series of videos in which he recreates everyday objects with pencils, ball-point pens and fine paintbrushes.

As you’e probably already noticed, we don’t just post oddities here on OC, we also feature lots of cool, amazing stuff, and Mark Crilley’s “Realism Challenge” video series is as amazing as hyperrealist art gets. Using his super skills and basic utensils he creates incredibly realistic drawn replicas of everyday stuff, like crumpled paper, a torn playing card or a mushroom. The Michigan-based artist makes great use of the trompe l’oeil technique to effectively trick your eyes into  thinking they’re looking at a real object instead of a masterful drawing. Apart from these realism challenges, Mark also posts how-to videos for aspiring illustrators on his YouTube channel.

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Talented Lawyer Draws Stunning Photo-Like Ball-Point Pen Portraits

If these incredibly realistic ball-point pen drawings were created by an experienced full-time artist I would have been deeply impressed, but knowing these masterpieces were actually drawn by a self-taught lawyer, I’m desperately trying to keep my jaw from hitting the floor.

The realistic-looking ball-point pen drawings of Juan Francisco Casas are famous all around the world, and I never though I’d find another artist who could use a simple pen the way he does. And, technically I haven’t, because 29-year-old Samuel Silva is a lawyer who exercises his drawing skills as a hobby, yet manages to create stunning piece of art that belong in an art gallery. On his Deviant Art profile page, Silva, who graduated from law school and became a lawyer in 2007, describes himself as ” just a self taught patient hobbyist person”. He started drawing when he was only 2-years-old and developed his own style of ball-point pen drawing in school, by creating “simple classroom sketches in the back of exercise books”. For some reason, he didn’t go to art school, but that obviously hasn’t stopped him from taking his drawing skills to a level I can only describe as “awesome!”

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Guy Paints and Draws Incredible Portraits with One Continuous Line

Think about the most impressive maze you’ve ever had to solve, and I guarantee it’s not as cool as what this Reddit user can create with a single continuous line.

I could never draw or paint anything worth looking at, but I’ve always been fascinated by what some people can accomplish if they’re given a simple pen or paintbrush. Reddit user “renbo” is definitely one of these incredibly gifted artists. He creates amazing portraits/mazes of celebrities and movie characters by drawing a single intricate line that never crosses itself or end. It’s just one continuous loop that somehow manages to emphasize the subjects’ most important features. In order to make sure his artworks are perfect, renbo says he tries not to lift the pen off the canvas unless his hand gets really fatigued.

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High-School Teacher Creates Whiteboard Masterpieces During His Lunch Breaks

Minnesota-based artist Gregory Euclide creates amazing impermanent artworks in just 25 minutes, during the lunch breaks at the high-school where he teaches.

As unbelievable as this might sound, Gregory Euclide actually washes away the whiteboard masterpieces he draws every day, to make room for new ones. In an interview with Minnesota Original, the art instructor says his unusual habit of drawing on whiteboards started as a way to release stress after teaching 38 students an hour, five hours a day, for 8 months. He was beginning to feel a little restless so he decided to give himself 25 minutes every day to finish sketches he enjoyed drawing. He would use sumi ink, brushes, spray bottles, erasers, paper towels and pretty much anything else he could get his hands on around his desk.

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The Photo-Like Charcoal and Graphite Drawings of Robert Longo

New York-based artist Robert Longo creates detailed charcoal drawings that look amazingly photo-like. If you thought your sketches were pretty good, wait till you see what this guy can do.

You know when you look at a photo and you say to yourself “this looks too good to be true”? Most of the time Photoshop is to blame, but Robert Longo decided to create his own black and white photographs, the hard way. Instead of a few mouse clicks, he uses charcoal, graphite and paper, spending hours-on-end to create incredibly realistic works of art. You don’t need to be an expert to figure out Longo is an exceptional artist, but he has captured the attention of the art world, and his works have been exhibited in galleries around the world.

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Velodrawings – Art Made with Bicycle Skid Marks

Berlin-based Christian Grillitsch is a bicycle-drawing artist who creates beautiful and engaging artworks by skidding his bicycle wheel across the canvas.

Riding a bicycle is fun and healthy, but Austrian artist Christian Grillitsch has found a way to use this hobby to create some pretty unique works of art. Called “Velodrawings” his creations are skid marks left on white canvases. Sounds easy enough, and although we all like to wear out our tires like this, I doubt most of us can create the same stuff Grillitsch does. All he needs is white canvases, double sided tape to stick it to the floor, a bike, and the talent to skid at the right time without falling flat on his face.

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