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In this life drawing, Martin wanted to play around with the edges of the figure. “Edge control is the most valuable artistic tool to control the viewer’s eye,” he explained in an interview for ImagineFX magazine. “Hard edges draw attention, while soft or lost edges give the eye a place to rest.”
Tags coiored pencil drawings, colored pencil, colored pencil art, drawings, full-post, Morgan Davidson, pencil, pencil art, pencil drawings, photorealistic drawings, realistic drawings
Many of Colombian artist Juan Osorno’s surreal pencil studies depict voided human faces with unusual objects, landscapes or natural phenomena in the place of facial features. You can view the full collection of these abstract sketches on Osorno’s Behance page.
Gillian Lambert’s Self Deception series is stunning, and we struggled to chose just one illustration to feature. In the end we went for Hands because we love the simultaneous indifference and exasperation of the subject’s face as it is moulded by the hands.To see the full series, and Lambert’s other work, visit her website.
Composed using soft and therefore much darker graphite, this sketch by Charlie Mackesy shows how effective blurring can be through two indistinct figures. Mackesy is a master of painting and sculpture, as well as drawing, and you can browse his portfolio here.
Remrov is a self-taught artist who creates incredibly realistic pencil drawings, often of animals (although he will draw anything he finds interesting). He has autism, which for him means he sees the whole world in tiny little details. This drawing is of Pilaf, a lovebird Remrov has owned for 17 years. “Pilaf helps me a lot with the challenges I face as an autistic person,” he says.
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Illustration 15 beautiful pencil drawings to inspire you 15 beautiful pencil drawings to inspire you
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French illustrator Cécile Metzger’s quirky self-portrait is fascinating for its use of colour. The hint of red pattern on the cup immediately attracts the eye, and together with the contrasting blue cup and orange top – opposite colours on the colour wheel – keeps focus away from the girl herself. To see more, check out Metzger’s Tumblr.
This sketch is a great example of wonderfully weird pencil art
Hughes also advises photographing your still life from several angles before you start work. “You never know when a hungry kid will run into your studio and grab that carefully positioned doughnut!” he smiles.
Melanie Phillips has been a professional pet portrait artist since 1997. She works from her garden studio in Wales, which she shares with her artist husband Nicholas and Tibetan terrier Lily.
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Less weird but no less wonderful, our next choice is Belgian artist Els Dufourmount’s untitled sketch of a girl. Combining a close-up focus and bold shading, Dufourmount uses light and dark to add life to the girl’s face.
Jake Spicer thinks the best portraits are created when you can meet and sketch the model in person
This Japanese Artist’s Pencil Drawings Are So Realistic, People Can’t Believe They’re Not Photographs
This is 22-year-old Japanese artist Kohei Ohmori hard at work on one of his intricate pencil drawingsHe’s become a hit with his shockingly lifelike portraits, which each take more than 200 hours to completeOhmori’s Twitter followers call him a ‘mad genius’ over the amount of manic attention he devotes to his workCarefully-placed shades, highlights, and thin strokes of a pencil can produce seriously amazing effectsArmed with a box of ultra-sharp Mitsubishi pencils, any page becomes a blank canvas for Ohmori’s artCould these drawings easily be mistaken for photos? Tell us below!
It may not shock you that incredible things can be done with just pencils and paper, but the breathtakingly lifelike drawings of 22-year-old Japanese artist Kohei Ohmori are bound to leave you amazed.
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“The best portrait drawings aren’t just pictures of faces, but records of a long moment shared between artist and sitter,” he explains. “Whether you are able to ask friends or family to sit for a portrait, or can attend a drawing class with a model, it is always an engaging and exciting experience to draw another person from life.”
Dave Brasgalla layered up his pencil marks to create this delicate iris
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“I love botanical and floral subjects, and the patterns that are present in the petals of the Siberian iris quickly caught my eye,” he says. “I couldn’t resist buying a bunch of them, with the aim of working on a drawing at home.”
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Her top tip for creating realistic pencil drawings? “Don’t forget you build up your layers slowly. Starting with a 4B for instance, add each layer gradually instead of using a hard pencil pressure from the outset,” she says. “You’ll find that your drawings have much more depth to them.”
In this wonderfully atmospheric drawing, artist Ian Murphy uses graphite pencil to explore how light disperses around Venice’s confined waterways. Murphy works mostly in pencil and oil paint, and focuses particularly on architecture, emphasising the layers and textures of the buildings he recreates. To see more of his sketches and his paintings, visit his website.
This sketch of a commuter on a train uses watercolour pencil, which we think conveys the artist/commuter relationship brilliantly. It provides enough detail to give the subject an individual face, but detail is deliberately missing. Artist Josu Maroto works in a variety of mediums, and you can explore more of his work here.
Sketching in graphite is a great way to kick off or restart your creative drive. Here we’ve sourced a selection of inspiring pencil drawings that demonstrate the wonderful (and sometimes wacky) art you can produce with a pencil. These pencil drawings span from photorealism to completely abstract. If you’re so inspired you want to immediately get some new materials, then don’t miss our post on the best pencils.
This mesmerising pencil drawing is the work of veteran illustrator and fine artist James Martin. Martin currently teaches illustration at Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida, and in the past has worked as a background artist for Walt Disney Studios and texture and matte painter for DreamWorks Animation.
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James Martin played around with lost and found edges in this life drawing
This mouthwatering still life was created by Steven E Hughes
Is it a bird? Is it an eye? Or could it even be a pencil? This weirdly wonderful sketch was created by Danish illustrator Fotini Tikkou, whose Instagram is full of bright and bold illustrations, favouring coloured pencils and gouache. We love the contrast between the foreground image, drawn in solid lines, and the wavy lines of the now-empty cage.
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This striking portrait was drawn by artist Jake Spicer, a passionate advocate of drawing as a tool for communication and inquiry. This particular portrait was created over two hours, using a combination of photographs of the model, Gigi, and sketches done during an hour-long portrait sitting.
This delicate pencil drawing is the work of Dave Brasgalla, an illustrator, graphic designer and concept artist based in Sweden. Brasgalla enjoys using traditional media for his personal projects, and finds coloured pencils a particularly versatile and satisfying medium. For this drawing Brasgalla layered up his pencil marks, leaving only a few areas of paper uncoloured.
This pencil drawing was a commissioned portrait of a dog called Poppy. “It’s my job to not only create a drawing that’s pleasing to the eye, but one that captures Poppy and not just any dog,” explains Phillips.
Tags 700-page, Japanese artist, kohei ohmori, kohei ohmori pencil drawings, pencil drawings, realistic pencil drawings
We just couldn’t pick a favourite from Mike Lee’s superb pencil drawing collection Repose, so we chose two. Lee uses only simple lines and shapes, reducing his subjects to their most basic forms. He has an extensive portfolio of pencil artwork, and you can discover more here.
Click the icon in the top-right of each image to enlarge it.
The Okayama-based prodigy spends more than 200 hours on each project, and his attention to detail is strikingly evident. Thanks to carefully-placed shading, ultra-thin lines, and a remarkably steady hand, Ohmori’s designs look as if they’re going to jump right off the page. They’re so immaculate, in fact, that his Twitter audience is calling him a ‘mad genius’ and ‘insane’ over the amount of dedication he puts into his penciled portraits. His most recent effort, which has yet to be completed, depicts a shiny nut and bolt, while his ‘signature piece’ is considered to be a stunning headshot of British model Sophia Blackbrough.
Scroll down to see Ohmori’s portfolio for yourself, and if you still need more proof of what can be accomplished with a sharp pencil, check out these drawings by Nigerian artist Arinze Stanley, or these paint blobs by CJ Hendry.
How to draw a faceHow to hold a pencil properlyUse negative space to create water effects in pencil
The research process for this mouthwatering still life piece began with a visit to one of the best doughnut shops in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan: Huron Bakery. “Looking at the contrasts between props guides the still life setup for me. If something is dark, put it against something light, and vice versa. Play pattern against solid areas and look for repetitions to move the eye across the composition.”
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Steven E Hughes is an associate professor of illustration at Northern Michigan University. His paintings and illustrations have been featured in many exhibitions and publications, including The New York Times.