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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Cartoonist Turns Ordinary Styrofoam Cups into Original Artworks

Malaysian-born artist Cheeming Boey uses a simple sharpie pen to turn simple Styrofoam cups into unique works of art that sell for hundreds, even thousands of dollars.

Styrofoam cups don’t usually attract a lot of attention, unless they’re mentioned in discussions about environment pollution. They’re cheap and disposable, so  no one really cares about them. Neither did Cheeming Boey, until six years ago, when he discovered they could be used as an original canvas for his sharpie doodles. He was in little coffee shop, in Irvine, California, when he got the urge to draw, but found himself without a piece of paper. So he just grabbed a Styrofoam cup from the trash can and unleashed his artistic talent. The result surprised Boey himself, and the artist immediately realized he was up to something.

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Charlotte Mann’s Meticulously Detailed Marker-Drawn Murals

Don’s you ever wish you could take a magic marker and simply draw things into existence? I’m talking about things like a better view for your house, new furniture or a brand new bicycle. That’s exactly what Charlotte Mann can do.

Most of the time, we don’t like it when other people draw on our walls, but a lot of people would love to have English artist Charlotte Mann go to work on their home, because she has the power to make their every dream come true with her trusty marker. Mann, who used to be a fashion designer, creates intricate murals on white walls, turning bland space into impressive masterpieces. Her wall decor installations have been so popular that the artist confesses she has never had to look for work. Most of her works have served as backdrops for various events, like fashion shows, but she has also unleashed her artistic talents on living spaces, proving a few doodles go a long way when it comes to redecorating.

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Carlos Zuniga Creates Art on Phone Book Pages

Chilean artist Carlos Zuniga creates detailed portraits and images by simply striking out names from phone book pages, with black ink. Sounds simple enough, but the results are awe-inspiring.

Carlos Zuniga isn’t the first artist to use phone books as the main medium for his works. Alex Queral has also been using them to carve his amazing celebrity portraits, but Zuniga developed his own artistic technique, which allowed him to differentiate himself from everyone in the art world.

Asked how he came up with this unique way of creating detailed images, the South American artist says it all started with a project he did back in 2006, called The Origin of Species. Inspired by the Ludovico technique used in the 1971 film  the  A Clockwork Orange, he began striking out every line of text from Charles Darwin’s book, The Origin of Species. Throughout the whole process, he couldn’t stop thinking about how to depict his ideas in a figurative way. Figurative representation had always been a great interest to him, but his drawing skills were lousy, and after eight years of taking classes, he felt frustrated.

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Amazing Artist Draws with Both Hands at the Same Time

Xiaonan Sun has become a YouTube sensation after a video of him drawing the portraits of Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins with both hands, at the same time, went viral. It’s definitely one of the coolest things I have ever seen.

Let’s face it, YouTube is full of videos of talented artists drawing realistic portraits of celebrities, and Xiaonan Sun was just one of them, until he posted a unique video of him drawing a tribute to Shawshank Redemption, one of his favorite movies of all time. The portraits of Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins look pretty impressive, but what really makes them special is the artist did them at the same time, with both hands. Most people can barely draw with their main hand, and here is this guy in his 20s who can do it just as well with both, and at the same time. I know I’m repeating myself here, but this is just insane.

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The Gun Powder Drawings of Cai Guo Qiang

Also known as China’s most explosive artist, Cai Guo Qiang uses gun powder to create some truly unique works of art. His technique of igniting gun powder on a paper canvas is considered a new medium of contemporary artistic expression.

Fire and explosion seems to be a very popular art theme these days. We’ve recently covered the works of Radya Timofey, a 23-year-old artist who paints with Molotov cocktails, and Rob Tarbell, who guides the smoke of open flames to create detailed artworks, so Cai Guo Qiang fits right in. The famous Chinese artist started using gun powder as an art medium in 1989, when he used fuse lines to create explosions that lasted between 1 and 15 seconds, for public audiences. But his works has evolved a great deal since then, and he now uses modern technology to create much more detailed works, and even aerial explosions supervised by experienced pyrotechnicians.

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Week in Hell – Five Days Locked in a Hotel Room, Making Art

It sounds like the title of a horror flick, but it’s actually a short video documenting artist Molly Crabapple‘s project, for which she locked herself in a hotel room covered the walls with doodles.

Molly started contemplating “what happens when an artist leaves their studio, their cliches, and their comfort zone and draws beyond the limits of their endurance” and she also wanted “to see what tarts and squidbeasts look like frollicking on a massive scale”. So she decided to spend her 28th birthday locked in an East Village room, covering the walls with art. She began by launching a Kickstarter fundraising campaign to help cover the cost of her daring project, including the photographic talents of Steve Prue. In September 2011 she did just what she promised, and spent five days locked in a room making art. Luckily, she wasn’t alone, as she brought along Keith Jenson from Brainwomb to document the experience, and also had a “cast of muses, musicians and miscreants” to keep her company.

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Lee Hadwin – The Sleepwalking Artist

We’ve all heard of and probably even known people who snore, smile, talk and even walk in their sleep. But creating art while sleeping? Now, that’s something!

This is exactly the curious case of Lee Hadwin, a 37 year old artist from London, who has been drawing in his sleep since the age of four. When he first started out, he would walk around in his sleep, scribbling on the walls of his house. He once carved on an old bureau, a family heirloom. His mother wasn’t too pleased with this. But soon, Hadwin’s scribblings turned into serious forms of art. As his artwork began to get more beautiful and intricate, he started to gain attention. His “sleep-art” has become so popular now that each piece fetches him a handsome six-figure price. He has produced around 200 pieces of art so far. He now goes to bed every night prepared, with his sketch books and art materials scattered around his flat.

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New Mind-Twisting Doodle Madness by Sagaki Keita

Sagaki Keita is an amazingly talented Japanese artist who specializes in recreating classic masterpieces from thousands upon thousands of childish doodles.

If you were to look at Sagaki Keita’s work from really up-close you’d only see familiar doodles like we all used to do back in school, during boring classes. But as you slowly back away, you realize that with every step the doodles seem to blend together until they form an incredibly detailed version of a classic work of art, like the Mona Lisa or an old Roman statue. His art really blows you away, and just thinking about the amount of time and effort that must go into each of his pieces, you can’t help but feel in awe.

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Meticulously Detailed Drawings Made with Graphite and Chalk

Paul Cadden is a Scottish-born hyperrealist artist who creates painfully realistic artworks using only graphite and chalk.

I’ve posted some pretty realistic drawings in the past, like Rajacenna’s detailed celebrity portraits, Juan Francisco Casas’ photo-like ballpoint pen drawings, or Paul Lung’s pencil artworks, but the pieces you’re about to see are on a whole other level. Using simple materials like graphite and white chalk, Paul Cadden is able to replicate complex photos down to the tiniest details. Whether it’s the countless wrinkles on an old man’s face, the smoke from a lit cigarette or the water dripping from someone’s face, he makes it look unbelievably realistic.

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