Hyper realistic art is stunning for a variety of reasons: it pushes the limits of skill, it’s incredibly detailed, etc, but what really elevates the style is creating something in high definition that is even brighter and more detailed than possible in life. For the casual observer, however, it’s the dissonance between looking at something that must be a photograph, and realizing it was actually created by hand that makes it jaw-dropping.
Diego Fazio is an Italian artist whose careful portraiture is notable because his subjects are active. There are few things as tough to capture withe a pen or pencil as splashing water across a human subject, but Diego does it with excellent effect in Sensazioni, the piece on the left of these examples. The top right piece is Il Silenzio Del Dolore (English: The Silence of Pain), and the bottom right image is titled Come Il Vento (English: Like the Wind). According to Diego’s DeviantArt page, he began as a tattoo artist and then decided he preferred to draw bodies rather than draw on them. If there weren’t photos of Diego working on his pieces, it would be difficult to believe they were drawn by hand. Still can’t believe it? Check out the progression here, here, and here.
Dirk Dzimirsky is not playing around. When he wants to capture a moment, he captures every miniscule detail. One can look at Dirk’s collection here (warning, some images are NSFW). In Dirk’s artist statement, he discusses why he chooses drawing over painting. He notes that drawing allows him “to create many layers over layers of lines and dots which react to each other in order to create a vibrant texture with directions and movement” and argues that this layering makes his portraits more warm and alive than a photograph would. Picture above are four of his works. Clockwise from top left: Drawn Face VI 2009, Black Sun 2011, Frozen 2010, and Breath 2010.
Paul Cadden is a Scottish born hyper realist artist whose incredibly popular art is prized for its detail and subject matter. Cadden doesn’t shy away from the gritty, and uses subjects with an incredible amount of character. In describing hyper realism on his site, and how he draws based on photographs, he hits on a point that seems to be a lesson in hyper realism, that “the virtual image becomes the living image, an intensification of the normal.” All of Paul’s work can be found on his main site paulcadden.com (some of the portraits are nude, and possibly NSFW).