Pencil, paint, oils, pastels, charcoals and more: there are an almost infinite amount of materials that an artist can use to create gorgeous works of art. From abstract art to architectural drawings, there’s also an infinite amount of talent inside the minds and bodies of the creative world. But what happens when art and reality intertwine? There are some artists that have created pieces that most would mistake as real a photograph, without a second glance or question.
Believe it or not, the photos featured here were created by one’s hands and not by a camera capturing a real-life moment. Instead, each fill of color or stroke of a brush came from a person’s fingertips and not the push of a button or computer screen. Astonish the eyes and sift through a bit of the world’s most inspiring and talented of artists – but don’t be fooled by what is assumed. They’re called “hyperrealistic” pieces of art and they’re tricking people, confusing people and surprising people all over the world. Below are 14 pictures that are actually drawings, whether the eyes believe it or not.
14 By Paul Lung
This may look like an average, long-haired, fluffy, adorable and cuddly kitten but it’s really a pencil-drawing done by artist, Paul Lung. Using mechanical pencils, Lung utilizes his own and his friends’ pets as muses for his art. And sometimes it can take up to 90 hours to complete one of his pieces! Although this drawing may look like a photograph turned black and white, it was truly handmade with a lot of hard work, time and talent.
13 By Adolfo Fernandez Rodriguez
Nothing was used to create this beautiful piece besides a bout of colored pencils. As unbelievable as that is, Spanish artist Adolfo Fernandez Rodriguez pays attention to every intricate detail when focusing on hands, water and sculpture pieces. Every bubble, shadow, reflection, splatter and splash is capture by his hands and his hands alone throughout the creation of his art. And Rodriquez has an entire Facebook page devoted to his mind-blowing illustrations. This particular piece is from his “language of hands” series.
12 By Paul Cadden
Scottish artist, Paul Cadden, uses photographs he takes throughout his travels as inspiration to his drawings. Using just a graphite pencil, he captured this moment of a 50-year-old woman he came across in China smiling and laughing. Transforming these photos into black and white, hand-drawn pieces seems quite daunting and tedious. Besides graphite pencils he’s also been known to utilize watercolors for the creation of these type of hyperrealistic artworks.
11 By Gottfried Helnwein
It’s quite unbelievable to think that this portrait of a little girl is really made with solid strokes of a paintbrush. Austrian, visual artist, Gottfried Helnwein is also known as a photo-realist based on his large portraits of children – often with a theme of “losing innocence” woven throughout the pieces. And this particular work may be one of the hardest to believe was handmade instead of shot with a high-quality, photographer’s camera because of the detailing and incredibly realistic intricacy.
10 By Robin Eley
A London-born artist that uses just oil paint and miniature brushes, Robin Eley recreates every crease of the plastic wrap in this inspiring and hyperrealistic piece of art. She’s known for taking weeks to create a new work. In fact, one of her pieces took over 500 hours to produce. Obviously, there’s no arguing that she’s dedicated to her craft!
9 By Omar Ortiz
Here’s another piece from a hyperrealist artist that’s incredibly hard to believe isn’t an actual photograph. Omar Ortiz, from Mexico, has said, “Since I started painting I have always tried to represent things as real as I can.” And his oil on linen paintings of the female body are more than realistic. Every nuance of light and skin is present in his work.
8 By Lee Price
Lee Price does work with oil on linen, and it’s stunning. The use of color and realistic detail is incredible but the way in which the work is finished seems rather chic and sophisticated. And there’s a polished edge to the work that makes it attractive for a wide array of audiences. Price, intrigued by the relationship between food and body image, uses this as inspiration for her work.
7 By Paul Cadden
This is another Paul Cadden piece that was too stunning not to feature. Made with simple pencil and paper, the details on this particular piece are so intricate that, at first glance, there would be no other assumption than to believe this was a photograph. This Scottish artist has quite the attention to detail and definition. And this particular drawing is entitled, “4 days.”
6 By Ben Weiner
Ben Weiner doesn’t use people as subjects of hyperealistic art, instead he used paint. These are actually paintings of … paint. And they’re shockingly real, almost as if someone could reach out and dip their hands right into the colors. This American-born artist looked outside-the-box, nixed portraits of people and showed everyone how to make almost-tangible works with everyday inspiration.
5 By Ivan Hoo
Spending days on one painting alone, this artist takes everyday peeks at life and turns them into ultra-realistic pieces of art. He may work from still life or from photographs, either way Hoo has the ability to make unbelievable art right the tips of his fingers. He also dives into everyday objects instead of relying on just portraits and up-close faces. From puppies to Nutella, he can do it all with some soft, pastel pencils.
4 By Samuel Silva
This Portuguese artist can use a simple ball point pen – with varying colors – to create this kind of artwork. Samuel Silva can take up to 30 hours recreating a photograph into a piece with his bare hands. His work seems a bit magical with its perfect technique, visual details and nearly tangible accents. Like this tiger for example, soft fur, sharp whiskers and piercing eyes.
3 By Mike Dargas
Mike Dargas created an entire series of hyperrealistic portraits of women. The catch with his pieces are that they depict women’s faces drenched in honey and not a pore or hair follicle is missed throughout the process. This painter can get every crease of the lip and make it as real and as touchable as a painting can be without it coming to life right in front of your eyes.
2 By Simon Hennessey
As Huffington Post states, this artist painted eyes, until he got really, really good at it. Simon Hennessey’s paintings feature eyes that “are kaleidoscope mirrors warping and reflecting the world around them.” The huge difference with his work is it meshes real people with an imagined world around them – seen in the reflections around the eyes. It’s actually quite magical and incredibly creative. From the London bridge to urban skylines, they can be found inside the lenses of the sunglasses being worn in the pieces.
1 By Jason De Graaf
A Canadian painter created an entire series of hyperrealistic artwork and his name is Jason De Graaf. They are almost too real, too detailed and too “perfect” to believe as hand-painted pieces, but they are. This is another artist that strays away from portraits of people and goes for items in unique form, mixing textures and colors. Using water and marble as inspiration to skew the eye, there’s a heightened level of detail to his paintings.