Photorealism: 27 astounding examples

(Image credit: Chuck Close)

Photorealism is artwork so realistic that the boundaries between reality and imagination blur: the results will make a viewer do a double-take, leading them to believe that an artist has created a photo using raw materials. 

We've found the very best, and most mind-boggling examples of photorealism to inspire you. These pictures have all been created with a pen, pencil or brush and contain astounding attention to detail. They are so realistic, you'll wonder if the artist has cheated and used a camera. If you'd like to create your own piece, you'll need our pick of the best pencils. Or why not try a different new art technique, such as those listed in our guide?

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Beren Neale
Ecom Editor

Beren has worked on creative titles at Future Publishing for over 13 years. Cutting his teeth as Staff Writer on the digital art magazine ImagineFX, he moved on to edit several creative titles, and is currently the Ecommerce Editor on the most effective creative website in the world. When he's not testing and reviewing the best ergonomic office chairs, phones, laptops, TVs, monitors and various types of storage, he can be found finding and comparing the best deals on the tech that creatives value the most.