19-Year-Old Artist Creates Insanely Realistic Pencil Portraits

Mayor Olajide, a 19-year-old artist from Nigeria, has taken the hyperrealistic art world by storm with his photo-realistic charcoal pencil portraits.

We’ve featured some really gifted hyperrealism artists on Oddity Central over the years, true masters like Anna Halldin Maule, Hirothropologie, or Dru Blair, but it’s rare to see that kind of talent in someone as young as 19. And yet, here is Mayor Olajide, a 19-year-old Nigerian artist who has been attracting attention with his hyperrealistic pencil drawings for at least a couple of years now. He apparently started drawing when he was only 5 years old, and by age 15, he was already selling his art pieces and taking commissions to contribute to the family budget. Today, he is considered one of the world’s most promising hyperrealists.

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Don’t Trust Your Eyes! Hirothropologie’s Photorealistic Paintings

A talented artist working under the pseudonym ‘Hirothropologie’ has become world-famous for his ability to create photo-like portraits using paint, brushes and lots of skill.

It might sound like an exaggeration, but having to distinguish between one of Hirothropologie’s paintings and an actual photo of his model is a very challenging endeavor. Every little detail in his paintings, from loose strands of hair to freckles or creases in his subjects’ clothes, are expertly reproduced on canvas, creating an almost eerie hyperrealistic illusion. It’s hard to believe Hirothropologie is able to achieve this with just paint and a set of fine brushes, but then again, as he puts it, “I put my entire life into this”.

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The Photo-Like Acrylic Paintings of Johannes Wessmark

Johannes Wessmark is a self-taught Swedish artist who specializes in hyperrealistic acrylic painting that rivals high-resolution photography.

Johannes Wessmark was born in Karlstad, Sweden in 1962. He had a happy childhood, but he wasn’t the most popular of his peers, preferring instead to observe without interacting. Looking back, the Swedish painter remembers some quirks that hint at the attention to detail his art is now world-famous for. When he was 10, he decided to start cleaning his own room, just to make sure it was done exactly the way he wanted. He sorted all of his toys in straight lines and in color order, which was a bit odd for a kid his age. He also drew and painted a lot, and his mother encouraged him to develop his artistic side, which turned out to be a great idea, as Johannes is one of the world’s most respected hyperrealistic artists.

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The Hyper-Realistic Big Cat Paintings of Julie Rhodes

Julie Rhodes is a UK-based artist who specializes in photo-like hyperrealistic paintings of wildlife, particularly big cats like lions and tigers.

You’d be forgiven for mistaking Julie Rhodes’ paintings for photographs, as the differences are very hard to spot for the untrained eye. From her subjects’ intricate fur patterns, to the perfect coloring of the cats’ thick coats and the reflections in their eyes, these paintings are almost perfect. A professional artist with over 20 years of experience, Rhodes specializes mainly in paintings of big cats (lions, tigers, and leopards) but doesn’t shy away from portraying other animals as well, like elephants and zebras.

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The Ultra-Realistic, Three-Dimensional Paintings of CJ Hendry

CJ Hendry is a talented artist whose detailed three-dimensional pencil drawings are virtually indistinguishable from high-definition photographs or computer-generated images.

Australian-born CJ Hendry is able to draw just about anything, from crumpled designed paper bags, to leather boxing gloves and magnified flowers showing off their every detail. She spends between 80 and 200 hours working on a single piece, and it shows. A close inspection of her drawings shows incredible attention to detail and an ability to make the subjects depicted almost life-like, as if they are merely placed on the canvas, not drawn on it.

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The Insanely Realistic Airbrushed Portraits of Dru Blair

When it comes to hyperrealistic airbrushed portraits, you’ll have a tough time finding better works than those of South Carolina artist Dru Blair. His amazing paintings are virtually indistinguishable from photos.

Dru Blair first picked up the airbrush while working on his Master’s degree at the University of South Carolina, and spent several summers after that painting T-shirts in Myrtle Beach. Later, he worked as a freelance illustrator for several ad agencies and painted many novel covers, before developing an interest in techniques like photorealism, trompe l’oeil illusionism, faux finishing, and color theory. Today, he creates some of the most realistic airbrush portraits and teaches the secrets of the trade to other interested artists at his art school, aptly named School of Realism.

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Insanely-Talented Artist Hand-Paints Picture-Perfect Portraits of Women

German artist Philipp Weber specializes in hyper-realistic paintings of female models which can hardly be distinguished from high-resolution photographs at first glance.

Born in 1974 in Rostock, Germany, Philipp Weber showed an inclination for the arts when he was only three-years-old, and continued to impress both his parents and his art teachers as he grew. Weber graduated from the prestigious University of Arts in Berlin in 2002 with top grades, and has been wowing art critics with his awe-inspiring hyper-realistic paintings. Looking at how incredibly detailed his artworks can be, it’s easy to see why some of them can take the artist months, sometimes even years to complete.

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One of These Eggs Is Real, the Other Is a Painting. Can You Tell Which Is Which?

A Japanese artist recently posted a picture of a hyper-realistic painting of a raw egg next to a photo of a real egg and challenged his social media followers to figure out which was which. Most of them couldn’t tell the difference. Can you?

Yas is a master of hyperrealistic painting, who spends hours on end trying to get every detail of his artworks just right to the point where most people cannot tell them apart from photos of actual things. He can draw various things, from cross-sections of fruits and vegetables, to ice-creams and cocktails, but his most impressive work yet has to be this raw egg done in acrylic that perfectly resembles a photo of a raw egg. According to his Instagram, he spent four hours a day painting it and it took him several days to complete, but the result is pretty impressive. I for one couldn’t tell which one was the painting and which was the photo, and apparently neither could most of his fans.

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Insanely Talented tattoo Artist Creates the Most Realistic Portrait Tattoos You’ve Ever Seen

At just 30-years-old, Karol Rybakowski is already one of the biggest names in the world of tattoos, and looking at some of his works, it’s pretty easy to see why. His portrait tattoos look as if a picture has been slapped on the subject skin, and in many cases they turn out even better than the photos that inspired them.

It won’t surprise you to learn that Karol Rybakowski studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts, in Warsaw, before becoming a tattoo artist, but while that explains his artistic style, I for one still can’t wrap my head around how a 30-year-old can create such stunningly-realistic tattoos. And apparently, I’m not the only one. About four years ago, just when his works started showing up online, people in the business who had never seen his tattoos in person actually thought that they were photoshopped. There was a particularly heated debate surrounding his tattoo of Bradley Cooper as sniper Chris Kyle in “American Sniper” with many people claiming that it looked too good to be true.

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Young Self-Taught Artist Creates the Most Insane Graphite Pencil Drawings

Jono Dry is only 28-years-old and has never taken art classes, but his incredible talent allows him to create these photographic quality drawings using only graphite pencils. The young South African artist is considered one of the few people in the world able to take drawing pat the limits of what is considered achievable with simple graphite pencils.

Jono spends most of his time working on his large-scale drawings, and usually takes about 2-3 months to complete a piece, but he once spent a whopping 5 months painstakingly drawing one of his most complicated artworks. Considering how incredible the result of his labor ends up looking and the fact that he only produces between 4 and 8 large-scale drawings per year, Jono Dry’s hand-drawn masterpieces are considered very exclusive among collectors.

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Young Mexican Artist Creates Stunning Ball-Point Pen Drawings

Most artists take decades to master their tools, but at 23 years of age, Alfredo Chamal is already one of the world’s best ball-point pen artists in the world. He specializes in hyper-realistic drawings that look like artistic photographs from afar. It’s only when the viewer approaches the artwork to take a closer look that he realizes it is actually a hand-drawn large-scale drawing, and not a photograph.

Made famous by by Spanish illustrator Juan Casas, the ball-point pen is not the most popular art tool in the world, partly because of it’s permanent effect which makes covering up any mistakes very difficult. But that din’t stop Alfredo Chamal from using the tool to experiment contemporary realism. Based on photographs he takes himself, Alfredo’s large scale drawings take several days to complete, but the end result is always more than worth the effort that goes into them.

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Exceptionally Talented Artist Takes Hyperrealistic Oil Painting to Near Perfection

Swedish artist Anna Halldin Maule spends several months glazing layer upon layer of oil paint to create these stunning works of art that can easily pass for high-resolution photographs to the untrained eye.

Born in Gothenberg, Sweden, Anna took an interest in painting at a very young age, honing her skills under the guidance of her grandfather, celebrated artist Bror Halladin. Today, she is one of the world’s most respected hyper-realist painters, and looking at her breathtaking work, it’s easy to see why. Although she works with a limited palette of toned-down and muted colors, Halladin Maule is able to replicate human features so well, that her oil paintings often pass for photographs.

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Artist Spends Hundreds of Hours Creating Photorealistic Pencil Drawings

Arinze Stanley is a talented young Nigerian artist whose works often leave people scratching their heads and asking themselves if they’re looking at a pencil drawing or a high-definition black and white photograph. Yes, his drawing skills are that good!

Arinze’s interest in art, and drawing in particular, was sparked at a young age, primarily by the fact that he was always surrounded by paper. His family ran a paper company, so he would often kill time by grabbing a piece of paper and trying his hand at drawing. But he only started exploring hyper-realism in 2012, and became a professional artist a year later. He has never taken any professional art classes, and claims that the level of detail he is able to produce is solely the result of years of practice. Looking at his fantastic artworks, it’s safe to say that he has come a long way in very little time.

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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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The Photo-Like Pencil Portraits of Shinichi Furuya

It never ceases to amaze me the kind of amazing things talented people can create using only the simplest of materials. Case in point, artist Shinichi Furuya, who uses pencils and paper to make these stunningly-realistic portraits of Japanese celebrities.

The level of detail in Shinichi Furuya’s artworks is so breathtaking that it’s hard to believe they are only pencil drawing. But even more unbelievable is the fact that Furuya is just an amateur artist. He describes himself as a “middle-aged businessman who wasn’t able to become a professional illustrator” and says that creates these masterpieces in his free time. So this guy couldn’t find a job as an illustrator?!? There must be something very wrong with the world…

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