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Self-Taught Artist Creates Mind-Blowingly Realistic Portraits of Wildlife

Looking at the detailed leopard portrait below, you’d be inclined to think Franziska Treptow is a photographer. Every detail, from the tiny hairs of the animal’s fur to the reflection in its eyes, is so perfect that it’s almost impossible to believe that the young German artist paints or draws every one of her artworks.

Franziska’s ideas start as sketches and photos of wildlife. Using her skills in digital photo manipulation technology (Photoshop), she creates a digital model for her works, which helps her become aware of the composition and accentuation of light and shadow. She then sketches that model on paper or canvas and uses pencils or paints to create the ultra-realistic animal portraits exclusively by hand. The whole process, can take anywhere from a few hours to more than a month, depending on the complexity of the project. The end result is always breathtaking.

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