18 phenomenally realistic pencil drawings

11. Jay Varma – Inner Courtyard

Jay Varma captures every tiny detail in his coloured pencil drawings

Give self-taught artist Jay Varma a set of coloured pencils and a piece of paper, and you will undoubtedly get a gorgeous illustration, like this architectural study. 

Art runs throughout Varma's family, his grandfather is master oil painter Raja Ravi Varma – one of the most highly regarded artists in India. 

Varma's skills have been recognised by many, with his work featuring in various prominent publications. In his pencil drawings, Varma pays particular attention to mood and lighting.

12. Linda Huber – Light bulb

Even the most commonn objects can make stunning illustrations

Linda Huber has been practising the art of drawing with a pencil for several decades. Inspired by her surroundings, Huber draws everything from portraiture to inanimate objects, with each piece taking anywhere from 20 to 80 hours. 

Huber comments on her site, "Drawing in the style of realism is what I love to do, to recreate life as we see and know it with just a simple pencil is exciting to say the least."

13. Ken Lee – Girl on Fire

It took a while for us to believe this was hand-drawn. You can see why...

UK-based artist Ken Lee is the man behind this stunning pencil drawing. He was inspired to draw this image, based on the Hunger Games blockbuster Mockingjay (Part 2), as a follow up to a Spider-Man 3 drawing that earned him plenty of fans.

The level of detail in this – from the mockingjay bird to the fire effects – proved to be a particular challenge. "I must say I did have reservations about drawing this," he says on his Deviant Art page. "I knew I was in for the long road once I started it... I need a long break now!"

14. Martijn Versteeg – Audrey Hepburn

We love this realistic illustration of icon Audrey Hepburn

Martijn Versteeg is an artist from The Netherlands, who appears to have a small obsession with Audrey Hepburn, judging by the number of portraits he has drawn of the film star.

But, more importantly, he also has massive amounts of talent in the art of pencil drawing. For the past few years, he has also been experimenting with oil painting.

If you're having trouble believing that this is a drawing rather than a photograph, you can watch a making-of time-lapse video above.

15. Keith Moore – Big Ben

Practice makes perfect, as Keith Moore's hyperrealistic work shows

"I love the challenge of creating small scale hyperrealistic graphite pencil art without compromise," says artist Keith Moore

Practising his personal techniques and refining his toolset, Moore has been embracing the liberation of high definition digital photographic referencing. And we think his work is all the better for it.

16. Justin Meyers – A Door in Homer, Nebraska

This illustration makes it easy to see why Justin Meyers specialises in graphite drawings

US-based artist Justin Meyers specialises primarily in graphite and charcoal drawings on paper. And with this textured old doorway as an example of his work, we can see why.

Talking about his work on his site, Meyers says: "My works in graphite and charcoal strive to explore the use of simple material to portray simple subject matter and composition with a borderline eccentric approach to detail."

17. Dirk Dzimirsky – Magnetic Field

This Dirk Dzimirsky pencil drawing is startlingly realistic

German artist Dirk Dzimirsky draws and paints the most stunning up-close-and-personal portraits. A master of his craft, the artist captures every bit of fine detail perfectly, from the moisture in his subject's eyes to lines and fine hair.

Although, like most hyperrealist artists, he works from photos, Dzimirsky emphasises that this is only an intermediary step.

"Before I take photos for a new project, I already have a precise idea of how the future work should look as a drawing or painting. I set up the photographs that I then use as templates," he explains.

18. David Kao – Audi R8

David Kao's R8 looks so realistic you can imagine it cutting you up on a motorway

David Kao first started drawing cars when he was just three years old. But it was only at the age of 19, after his father took him to his car garage, that Kao began to take his art and realism seriously. 

Now the artist has a stunning portfolio of ultra-realistic car drawings. Included is this gorgeous Audi R8, which Kao created using a graphite pencil, tissue, eraser and brush in approximately 10 hours.

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