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Artist Uses Black Paper and White&Grey Pencils to Create Portraits of Women Cast in Light

Looking at English artist Zulf’s portraits, you get the sense that they’re really simplistic in nature. They’re not the most detailed, heck they sometimes just outline a woman’s face, but that’s just what makes them special.

We’ve seen some truly mind-blowingly realistic portraits in the past, such as the masterpieces of Alena Litvin or those of Dylan Eakin; the works of London-based artist Zulf are nowhere near as detailed, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less magical, quite the opposite really! What makes these works unique is the concept of light being cast on part of the protagonists’ faces, which only reveals part of their visage, letting the viewer imagine the rest.

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Insanely-Talented Artist Paints Hyper-Realistic Portraits of Wildlife

Over the years we’ve featured some impressive hyper-realistic art on Oddity Central, but when it comes to animal portraiture, I’m pretty sure Canadian artist Nick Sider takes the cake.

Nick Sider knew he wanted to be an artist since he was just 5-years-old, but it took him another 20 years to build up the courage to dedicate his life to painting. At the age of 25, he quit his job and started teaching himself how to paint with acrylic paints. Looking at his works, you would think Nick has decades of experience behind him, but he’s actually only 31-years-old, so to say that he made up for lost time in just six years would be a serious understatement.

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The Hyper-Realistic Pencil Portraits of Alena Litvin

Moscow-based artist Alena Litvin has a very special gift – she can recreate a detailed photographic portraits using only colored pencils and mountains of talent. The results are often so impressive that you can barely tell the drawing apart from the photo.

Looking at her amazing drawings, it’s very hard to believe that Alena is a self-taught artist who has only been exercising her craft for the last eight years. From portraits of celebrities like Scarlett Johansson or Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, to regular people who commission her to draw portraits of their loved ones, there’s nothing the young Russian artist can’t pull off. She can take up to 10 days to finish a portrait, which may sound like a long time, but just look at the level of detail in some her artworks…

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Artist Creates Amazing ‘Web Portraits’ Using a Single Sewing Thread

Slovenian artist Sašo Krajnc creates incredibly detailed portraits by tightly winding a single sewing thread on a circular wooden frame to create overlapping straight lines.

That’s actually the most impressive thing about Sašo Krajnc, that he’s able to create such detailed facial features, like the curvatures of the eyes and lips, using only straight lines. He starts out with a circular frame made of wood or aluminium and lined with metal nails. He then takes a long sewing thread and begins winding it around these nails creating hundreds, or even thousands of black straight lines that crisscross and overlap to emphasise the features of his subjects.

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The Photo-Like Painted Portraits of Yasutomo Oka

These lovely portraits may look like high-definition artistic photographs, or even the product of CGI, but they are actually oil paintings created by Japanese artist Yasutomo Oka

At just 34-years-old, Yasutomo Oka is quite obviously already a master when it comes to hyperrealistic paintings. The artist, who hails from Komaki, in Japan’s Aichi Prefecture, spends up to a month working on one of these masterpieces, making sure that they turn out as realistic as possible, and the result is almost always awe-inspiring.

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Artist Creates Detailed Portrait with 20,000 Sunflower Seeds

Shanghai-based artist Hong “Red” Yi is well known for her use of unconventional materials, and her latest masterpiece – a portrait of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei made with 20,000 meticulously arranged sunflower seeds – is worthy of her reputation.

Inspired by Ai WeiWei’s quote – “the seed is a household object but at the same time it is a revolutionary symbol” – Red sprinkled 20,000 sunflower seeds onto a white canvas and painstakingly arranged them all by hand to recreate Weiwei’s famous portrait with his hands stretching his eyes wide open. Remarkably, she managed to capture his features in great detail, just like she had managed to do with other unusual mediums in the past.

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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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The Awe-Inspiring Salt Portraits of Rob Ferrel

A true artist doesn’t really need expensive tools and materials to produce something beautiful, and San Antonio artist Rob Ferrel is the perfect example. For months, he has been treating his Instagram followers with  highly realist portraits that he creates using nothing but salt, a few brushes, and a piece of cardstock.

Ferrel begins by pouring salt on a table and then moves it around with brushes until recognizable features begin to emerge. He also uses cardstock for clean, sharp lines. Once the portrait is ready, he photographs it and posts it to Instagram, and then gathers up all the salt to make his next masterpiece.

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Chinese Barber Uses Leftover Hair to Create Insanely Realistic Portraits

Li Hailing, a barber from Lingbao, in central China’s Henan province, uses leftovers from his day job to fuel his real passion – art. He collects the hair that he cuts at his salon and, in his spare time, arranges the thousands of strands to create stunningly-realistic celebrity portraits.

Li, whose inspiration comes from sand painting, uses the same techniques for his hair paintings – he sprinkles hair onto a canvas with his hands and arranges them until recognizable portraits emerge. There is no glue involved, so the hair can all be blown off with a simple swift wave of the hand, leaving nothing behind on the canvas. Li photographs each piece of hair art before he destroys it and moves on to the next. It takes him a minimum of two hours to finish each hair painting.

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The Amazing Ballpoint Pen Portraits of Enam Bosokah

Using only a simple ballpoint pen, Ghana-based artist Enam Bosokah creates stunningly realistic portraits of prominent African personalities.

“A lot of guys have already made their name using pencil, so I decided to use a pen,” Bosokah said in an interview with Anadolu Agency. “A lot of artists avoid pens because of the irreversibility (i.e., the inability to erase), but I believe it is one of the easier tools to work with. When I use the pen it is like I am adding to the paper – I can’t take it back,” he explained.

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Artist’s Painted Portraits Look More Like High-Definition Photographs

Italian artist Marco Grassi paints portraits of women that are so perfect, down to the fine hair lines, pores and freckles on the skin that people often mistake them for photographs.

However, Grassi differentiates himself from other hyper-realist painters by giving his artworks a surreal twist. In one painting, for example, his subject’s back is adorned with a tribal motif that seems carved into her back revealing a hollow interior. Other of his ‘surreal hyper-realistic” include a woman with spectacular glowing tattoos that seem to emerge from her skin, or another with a futuristic glass necklace around her neck. Although his human subjects appear photographed, it’s these little impossible details that give them away as paintings.

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Artist Creates Fluffy Celebrity Portraits with Dog Hair

Colombian-American artist and opera singer Mateo Blanco was in the news late last year for creating three celebrity portraits out of the most unusual material – dog hair! Blanco revealed that he was listening to Lennon when inspiration struck, and he decided to honor the three late singers with dog hair purchased from a local groomer.

The portraits – of musicians John Lennon, Michael Jackson, and Jimi Hendrix – were purchased by Orlando-based Ripley Entertainment and unveiled at Ripley’s Odditorium on December 12. The Michael Jackson portrait is still on display in Orlando, while John Lennon is currently at Ripley’s Mexico City, and Jimi Hendrix at Ripley’s Key West Odditorium.

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Every White Line in these Ultra-Realistic Animal Portraits is Just a Scratch

We’ve seen highly talented artists burn paper, roller skate, and even kick a football around to create art. But here’s something new – Illinois artist Allan Ace Adams actually scratches away at paper to create breathtaking animal portraits. It’s called scratchboard art, and it involves using an exacto knife to scrape away a top layer of black ink off the canvas to reveal the white clay underneath.

A scratchboard is actually a hardwood board coated with a thin layer of porcelain clay. Another thick layer of black ink is added on top of the porcelain, which the artist has to scratch off in order to create an image. “I explain to people that I’m scratching in the highlights instead of the ‘darks’ like you would with a graphite drawing,” Adams wrote on his website. “Shades of gray can be achieved by how much ink is removed or by applying an ink wash. The ink wash can be scratched back though to reveal the white once again.”

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Artist Creates Awe-Inspiring Portrait with 20,000 Teabags

Shanghai-based artist ‘Red’ Hong Yi has made a name for herself in the art world by creating larger-than-life portraits of celebrities using unconventional materials. For her latest masterpiece Red used 20,000 teabags to depict a tea maker practicing his trade.

To create the incredibly complex portrait, Hong Yi stained the tea bags individually by steeping them in hot water, to create 10 different shades of brown. Hong managed to achieve this level of color variation by changing the boiling temperature for every teabag and the amount of water used. For the really dark tones, she used food dyes. Once the tea bags were ready, she carefully arranged them to form the portrait, then stapled and attached them to wiremesh before hanging them from a wooden frame.

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The Shockingly Realistic Sculptures of Kazuhiro Tsuji

We’ve featured a lot of hyper-realistic paintings on OC in the past, but here’s something we haven’t seen very often – unbelievably realistic human busts. These 3D sculptures are so life-like that they could give Madam Tussauds a run for their money. They’re the work of Japanese artist Kazuhiro Tsuji, who employs a variety of mold making and sculpting techniques to create his wonderful art.

Born in Kyoto, Japan, Tsuji began to display an affinity towards art, painting, photography, nature, science and technology since childhood. Growing up, he experimented with various media, and finally discovered that ‘portraiture’ was his real passion. But with no money to attend college, Tsuji began to educate himself in the art of special effects makeup.

It all started when he came across a magazine that detailed the makeup techniques used in the 1976 TV mini series Lincoln. Inspired by the intricate craftsmanship, Tsuji gathered his meagre savings and used it to buy makeup supplies. “I took a life cast of myself and attempted to transform myself into Lincoln, which was all the more difficult considering I’m Japanese” he recalled.

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