10 Incredible Pencil Hyperrealist Artists

pencil drawing hyperrealist art portrait black and white

The goal of the hyperrealist artist is to achieve a photographic level of realism in their subjects, one that makes viewers gasp at the fact that they are looking at a drawing, not in fact a photograph.

Artists working with this medium will use different materials, some go in for coloured pencils, others for graphite or charcoal. The ones that we are looking at here all use the trusty pencil and paper to get their desired results.

Top: A beautiful black and white artwork courtesy of Franco Clun.
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A lovely hyperrealist drawing by Dirk Dzimirsky.

Dirk Dzimirsky

German artist Dirk Dzimirsky is a master at capturing dark moods and human emotions in the smallest detail. The skill of his pencil is outstanding, whether he is rendering the wrinkles of an elderly man or the tears of a young woman, he achieves transcendence.

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Directing his talents to the animal world is artist Paul Lung.

Paul Lung

Paul Lung is a highly skilled pencil artist, one specialising in graphite realism drawing. His favourite subjects are very often animals, as opposed to humans. The way he manages to sketch the fur of a lion or the pose of a domestic cat, is truly commendable.

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Three heads are better than one by Franco Clun.

Franco Clun

Self-taught artist Franco Clun, from Italy, uses solely pencil and paper to get his desired effect. When you gaze fully at his fabulous creations, it is hard to comprehend that the only art instruction that he received was from a drawing instruction manual.

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The metal reflections of cars and automobiles by David Kao.

David Kao

Another phenomenal self-taught artist, David Kao focuses his attention on pencil vehicular portraits. He started to draw cars at the age of 3, and by the time he reached his teenage years he was already drawing his own mechanical inventions. He is particularly good at illustrating the reflections that come off his metal subjects.

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Delicate and humanist drawings by the talented Cath Riley.

Cath Riley

The work of English artist Cath Riley is centred on drawing studies and portrait illustration, with an emphasis on a photorealist style. Focusing on a three-dimensional approach her pieces are full of intimacy and longing, exploring the often tentative relationships humans have with each other.

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Unconventional and abstract pencil drawing by Jonny Shaw.

Jonny Shaw

GSA graduate and all-round great artist, Jonny Shaw wields his pencil with a deathly precision that allows him to lock-in a staggering likeness in his subjects. His approach is a lot more abstract than a lot of his contemporaries, favouring unconventional angles and shading techniques.

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Ol’ squid face from those terrible Pirates of the Caribbean sequels.

Stan Bossard

Frenchman Stan Bossard takes as his favourite subject celebrities, both classical and contemporary Hollywood actors. He has sketched with staggering resemblance the iconic features of James Dean, Marilyn Monroe as well as Cate Blanchett. He achieves a high level of contrast and beautiful levels of shading in his work.

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The eyes have it, by Hector Gonzalez.

Hector Gonzalez

If the eyes are indeed the window into your soul, then Hector Gonzalez is definitely the go-to artist to see that theory come to life. With photorealist detail he uses his pencil to draw the human eyes from all different angles and positions, often straying into surrealist territory with fingers coming out of the sockets.

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Street life captured in stunning detail by Paul Cadden.

Paul Cadden

Scottish contemporary artist Paul Cadden can do many wonderful things in his chosen hyperrealism medium. He focuses his gaze on everyday people of the streets and the world around him, shunning the celebrities that many working in this medium favour.

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A specialist in self-portraits, artist Jeanette Sirois.

Jeannette Sirois

Canadian artist Jeannette Sirois specialises in portraiture. She is wonderfully talented at teasing the intricate details that you find in the face, from wrinkles to subtle face movements.

Images © respective artists.
Christopher Smail

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Christopher is based in the UK, the former assistant editor of Illusion magazine.

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