Hero makes his point

What does web developer Miguel Endara do to unwind? He creates images of the people he loves using millions of hand-drawn dots

The Twitter-sphere has been all abuzz for the last couple of days about a video called Hero on Vimeo. It documents the creation of an incredibly detailed image by Miami-based web developer Miguel Endara. For the last year he's been working on a picture of his father made out of millions of tiny dots.

Nose and skin detail from Hero

His reason for making the image is quite touching: "I've looked up to my dad all my life, and I thought of nothing greater than to create a piece of art for someone I respect dearly. I called the piece 'Hero' because that's what I used to call him when I was growing up. When I stopped calling him Hero, he was sad. This is my way of saying it again," he says.

Eye and eyebrow detail from Hereo

First, Miguel took several scans of his father's profile. Using these, he sketched a composite in pencil upon which to base his stippling. This was shaded in meticulously by hand using a Sakura Pigma Micron 005 pen. There are approximately 3.2 million dots in the image - and the pen didn't even run out of ink. Endara reckons he draws at a rate of 4.25 dots per second, and in total he logged 210 hours working on it.

Mouth detail from Hero

"The toughest part is where the contrast between light and shade is stronger. I have a tendency to blend when I'm not supposed to," he says.

While his video is getting thousands of hits, million-dot images are nothing new to Endara. He's created them in the past and you can see examples of this on his website. For him there's nothing tedious, painful or headache-inducing about working with stippling. "I like being at peace," he says. "Stippling calms me, and allows me to think freely. I think a lot about philosophy and science. I'm a bit of a wonderer. I like the attention to detail the most," he says.

Previous image by Miguel Endara