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Amazing Paintings that Look like Real Photographs



Have you ever looked at a piece of art and thought "wow, that’s a great photograph" only to be blown away when you learn that it’s actually a painting? While it’s usually pretty easy to tell a painting from a photo, there are some hyper realistic pieces of art that are almost indistinguishable from photographs. Artists put a huge amount of work into making their paintings look just like their subjects. These photorealistic painters don’t use anything other than paints and their oil talent. Here are a few of the world’s best hyper realistic paintings that you’d swear were photographs.

Diego Fazio is a young Italian artist who specialized in photorealistic images. He works mainly in pencil, and he often focuses on people and their faces. Fazio self-taught himself to draw these realistic images at a very young age. A former tattoo artist, many of Fazio’s works can be found online under his Internet name Diego Koi.

Another artist who produces photorealistic paintings is S. Ilayaraja. Born in Tamil Nadu in southern India, Ilayaraja prefers working with oils, acrylic, and water colors. Many have praised his use of shading and light, both of which help give his works that realistic quality. Ilayaraja’s works have been compared to those by Raja Ravi Varma, one of India’s most famous painters. He studied art at the Govt College of Fine Arts and has regularly displayed his works in galleries across India. He tends to focus on women performing every day duties such as preparing food or cleaning.

Samuel Silva may have a law degree, but the Portuguese artist is better known for his amazing artwork, much of which he creates using only a ballpoint pen. He also works with pencils, oils, pastels, and chalk, but it’s his ballpoint works that have captured art lovers around the world. His works range from landscapes to portraits to images of cats and other animals. He has even done some ballpoint fan art of characters like Captain America and the Na’vi characters from the movie Avatar.

Not all photorealistic paintings were done recently. John Salt, who was born in 1937, was one of the first photorealistic artists. He began painting very detailed, realistic paintings in the 1960s, and he continues to paint today. While other photorealistic painters have focused on people, Salt more often works with scenes and images of cars and rural locations. After looking at the work of photographers Lee Friedlander and Garry Winogrand, Salt began experimenting with documenting life through art. Some of his most famous paintings include White Chevy – Red Trailer, Catskill Cadillac, and La Isla Café.

Pedro Campos from Madrid, Spain, works primarily with oils to create his hyper realistic still life paintings. Like Silva, Campos originally worked in fields other than painting—he worked at an advertising agency, did interior decorating, and did some illustration work. He also restored paintings, wood picture frame, and that work is what led him to begin trying his own hand at painting. He mainly focuses on still life images of the simplistic or mundane: pencils in a glass, a bag of apples, and a collection of Coca-Cola cans made up some of his most famous works.

Roberto Bernardi is another hyper realistic artist who mainly focuses on everyday household items. Bernardi has been working with oils for years, but many of his earlier works were of more traditional landscapes and portraits. However, he began experimenting with photorealism and now works almost exclusively in the genre. His paintings are of things very few people would consider painting, such as a dishwasher full of dishes, the inside of his refrigerator, or a vending machine.

Steve Mills made his first art sale at age 11. Since then, he has continued to paint amazing landscapes. One of his major influences was Andrew Wyeth, a landscape painter, but once he saw the photorealistic art of Richard Estes, he began creating his own hyper realistic images. Some of his most famous paintings are of beaches, fields of flowers, and collections of common objects.

Artist Chris Woods finds inspiration in some of the oddest places, such as fast food restaurants. Some of his most popular hyper realistic paintings feature McDonald’s, Dairy Queen, KFC, and other fast food franchises. Most of his work is done with oils. He first began his hyper realistic experiments by painting his friends in different contemporary settings. His work has appeared in a number of different galleries and publications, and his most well-known piece, "McDonald’s Nation," has been used by a number of different anti-corporation publications and websites.

These are just a few of the hyper realistic paintings that look like real photographs. While it’s a fairly new style of art, it’s also very popular, and many up and coming artists are experimenting with it.

by Ruth Sharon
on 08/03/2013


Author Bio: Ruth Sharon is an art lover with a passion for collecting vintage photo frames. Her collection is largely art deco and includes everything from cheap wood frames to fine wooden frames, unfinished wood frames, poster frames & even shadow box frames.

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