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Artist Creates Portraits of Pop Icons with Thousands of Spray-Painted Tiny People

Seen from afar, Craig Alan’s celebrity portraits seem made out of thousands of expertly placed paint dots, but as you draw nearer, you notice that those dots are actually tiny detailed human figures.

Craig Alan’s “Populous” series was inspired by a bird’s eye view from his mother’s 6th story condo, in Orange Beach, Alabama. He was watching the people down at the beach and photographing them when he noticed that their tiny figures forming patters. In one of his photos, the people appeared to have formed a eye, and the artist recalls that this was what first got his creative wheels turning. He started spray-painting tiny human figures on white canvases, positioning them in such a way that they and their shadows formed detailed portraits of some history’s most iconic personalities, from Michael Jackson to Marilyn Monroe.

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Turkish Artist Recreates Iconic Movie Scenes Using Hundreds of Thousands of Tiny Colored Dots

Seen from afar, the works of Turkish artist Çağatay Odabaş look like large-scale printed movie posters, but as viewers approach them to take a closer look, they discover that they are actually made up of hundreds of thousands of tiny hand-drawn circles.

37-year-old Odabaş says that his art is largely influenced by his two most favorite activities growing up in the 80s and 90s – playing with LEGO bricks and watching movies. He starts out by picking out the movie stills he wants to recreate from his collection of thousands of films, which he considers his research library. He then proceeds to split this image into several pieces, mapping out each one with tiny circles, which are all assigned a certain code, to serve during the coloring process. Then, like a complicated but fascinating LEGO model, he puts all the pieces together to create these ultra-realistic masterpieces of pointilism.

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Swedish Artist Creates Incredibly Realistic Drawings with Thousands of Tiny Dots

23-year-old Julia Koceva has taken the internet by storm with her impressive drawings created using an old technique known as stippling – creating pattern and applying varying degrees of solidity or shading to it by using small dots.

A criminologist by day, Koceva spends her nights working on her amazing drawings. She takes between 40 and 100 hours to finish a piece, painstakingly applying tiny black dots to a large piece of paper, using nothing but a ballpoint pen. As Alphonso Dunn, author of “Pen and Ink Drawing: A Simple Guide,” says, stippling creates a unique texture but requires patience and a meticulous approach. It’s a technique that requires nerves of steel and mountains of patience, but the end results are nothing short of awe-inspiring.

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Incense Pointillism – Artist Burns Thousands of Holes into Paper with Incense Sticks to Create Beautiful Landscapes

While traditional forms of pointillism involve adding distinct dots of color in patterns to form an image, Korean artist Jihyun Park does the opposite. He inverts the art of pointillism by puncturing dots into paper instead of adding them.

Using incense sticks, Park burns thousands of tiny holes into rice paper, until recognisable patterns of clouds, mountains and trees emerge. His project, titled ‘Incense Series’, consists of completed drawings mounted on varnished canvases. So the holes in the paper allow the viewer to see shadows while the white canvas reflects light.

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Photo-Like Monochromatic Portraits Created with Thousands of Tiny Holes

Norwegian artist Anne-Karin Furunes’ portraits might look like black-and-white photographs, but that’s just your eyes playing tricks on you. They’re actually paintings made with of thousands and thousands of tiny holes. Anne creates them by punching perforations into large canvases, creating the effect of monochromatic hyper-realistic portraits.

Anne has been perfecting her unique perforation technique since the 1990s, when she was a student of architecture and art at the Art Academy of Trondheim. All the main painters back then used a lot of paint on the canvas, she said, but she wanted to ‘enter the canvas’ in her own way.

“So I tried to find my own language,” she explains. “At that time, I was really interested in photos – old photos, albums, private albums – and I think it was the idea of trying to transform these photos to something physical, something bigger. And to give it a kind of soft treatment so it was, in a way, a memory. Something that is coming and disappearing at the same time.” The holes, she said, are symbolic of memories – how they disappear exactly when you try to grasp them.

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Needle-Poked Canvas Holes Reveal Beautiful Portraits

Tel-Aviv-based artist Michal Taharlev creates stunningly-beautiful artworks inspired by old family photos without using brushes or writing tools. Armed only with a sharp needle and mountains of patience, she pokes the canvas thousands of times to reveal heart-warming images.

Inspired by pointilism, the painting technique that uses dots to trick the eye into making up a detailed image, Israeli artist Michal Taharlev used an 0.5mm needle and methodically poked holes in canvases to create her “Holes in Memory” series. Focusing on the details of old family photographs, she managed to recreate the original images in a gradient-like fashion. “The use of a needle on a photo and the violent act of damaging and obsessing over memories, yet in a very strict manner, gives a new meaning to the innocence and the unknown future the photos hold,” the artist says. I can only imagine the patience and concentration required to complete just one of these incredible works of art, as just a few miscalculated holes can ruin days-worth of painstaking work.

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Vinyl Portraits of Famous Musicians Created with Thousands of White Dots

Daniel Edlen, from Phoenix, Arizona, is probably one of the world’s most patient artists. Using just white acrylic paint, he dabs thousands of tiny white spots on black vinyls to create amazingly-detailed portraits of famous musicians.

But why would an artist go through a painstaking process of dabbing white spots on records, instead of painting them the old-fashioned way, with a brush? Well, Daniel told My Modern Metropolis that  “it’s challenging painting on raw records because the paint streaks if I stroke it. Dabbing is the only way it works, but consistency is hard because I don’t use any black and I can’t remove paint easily once it’s dried.” That means the talented artist doesn’t afford to make any mistakes during the creative process, and that’s probably why he can take up to a whole month to complete a single piece.

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