As children, we have all experienced the joy of drawing in pencil. And it's no wonder, since pencil and paper are readily available virtually everywhere. And many continue to spend hours practicing their drawing skills even into adulthood. But the pencil drawings pictured below display an elevated, and astonishing, level of skill. They display such intricate detail and nuance of shading that it's hard to believe they're not photographs.
She has been called "one of the most talented artists of her generation". Shania McDonagh is a young artist from County Mayo in Ireland. Her incredibly detailed, hyper-realistic graphite pencil drawings are drawing considerable attention (no pun intended) in art circles around the globe. This one was done when Shania was only 16 years old!
For Nigerian artist, Arinze Stanley, art came naturally, as his family owned a paper conversion business. His art, he says, coming from his search for perfection, is aimed at social and political activism. As is the case with all of these artists, the astonishing degree of realism they are able to achieve can be quite emotional, and even breath-taking.
It seems that, by taking color out of the equation, these artists are able to highlight and intensify the emotionally expressive aspects of their work. And while pencil art is, more often than not, about the emotional impact of a portrait, that's not always the case. Paul Cadden's street scenes can be incredibly revealing. Cadden says, "Through an accurate representation of 'reality' I aspire to give the viewer a new emotional perspective". His drawing are meant to reveal more than what is on the page, for, as he says, "...in reality people are more than what we see".
Although German artist, Armin Mersmann certainly does portraits, the amazing detail and complexity of his 'woodland scenes' is a perfect illustration of how pencil art can be 'more than meets the eye'. Best known for his naturalistic graphite drawings, he has won several awards, and been featured in scores of exhibitions.
Self-taught, Diego Fazio began his professional career as a tattoo artist, but soon realized he enjoyed drawing bodies, rather than drawing on bodies. His work is so astonishingly realistic that he photographs himself creating his works in progress, to prove that his drawings are not created with a camera.
There are so many incredibly talented and inspired artists around the globe. Seeing artwork like this makes me want to keep getting better with each painting I do.