Photo realistic drawing of a chrome sphere with reflections

For some odd reason, I had a fascination for photo realistic drawings or thereabouts in the past few weeks. As a result, I kept practicing on a subject that I was familiar with, which was the human eye. You are probably surprised by this, I know, because I was dissing ‘photo-realism’ in my previous article as not being an art form and does not flare with creativity. I will offer an explanation for this sudden switch and it is not because I have changed my stance but more from a different angle on the subject of realistic drawings.


Now, if you choose to spend 40 hours on a piece of drawing that will match like for like of another picture (ie. pixel to pixel) such as a black and white photograph, then I would say that it is not being creative. Basically, you are imitating what a printer can do which is simply trying to duplicate the original as close as possible with the materials you have. Granted that it takes enormous skills in the ability to shade and of course a bucket full of patience, it still is not a true art form. It’s just my opinion. Okay, so why am I attempting to do photo realistic drawings myself? In my opinion, it does become an art-form when you do it with exceptional speed and creative use of tools and techniques. You may differ on this but again that is my personal opinion. When someone finds a solution to something that has been perplexing man-kind for years, then it can be called creative genius. Such is the case for photo-realistic drawings and I list some good examples below.


1. If you can manipulate the paints, colors in a fluid way rather than a ‘micro-detailed’ way and accomplish a sense of photo-realism, then I consider that to be art. If you do it with speed and the end ‘effects’ have a semblence of photo-realism as well as impressionism, then it is definitely art.


2. If you do the above with great dexterity and speed that seems to baffle other people in it’s wake, then it is art. I will give you the example of Usain Bolt who is loved for his style, charisma and his stature in the 100 metres. It’s the way he does it that leaves us all baffled which is a creative form that lifts all of us when we watch him.


3. Hopefully, this last example will have you agreeing with me. Pablo Picasso, one of the most renowned artist within the last century was an exceptional painter and produced art that fetched tens of millions of dollars. Did you know that in his early days as a painter, he could replicate great works of art with exceptional accuracy and techniques and you could not even tell the difference from the original. I am talking about great works of art that includes people, landscapes etc that had fantastic perspective and realism! We all know that Picasso was simply brilliant as an exceptional impressionistic painter ie. cubism and all his works reflected that. He had no intention of replicating realism into his paintings which he could do better than anyone else but chose to follow his own intuitive art form recognized throughout the world.


I hope the third point drives home the point that I am trying to make here, which is great works of art has a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ in it’s depiction of the painting and that is what matters. On the same token, if you were to draw something with speed, you are relinquishing a part of yourself into the drawing process and the result is symbolic and unique to you only, and that is art.


Ok, so we can go on for a while on this subject, but I would really like any feedback and insights that other readers may have.


Back to my post about photo-realistic drawings. I end here with one that I did and was fairly pleased with (20 mins to draw), but let me know what you think.


ferdouse - photo realistic drawing

Photo realistic drawing of a chrome ball with reflections



Tools used:

Strathmore Gray toned paper

Pencil, Charcoal, acrylic, felt-pen, colored pencils (talk about mixed media!)




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