Art of Deception: Pencil Drawings Look Like Colorful 3D Splashes of Paint

Seeming to rise up off the canvass, a viewer would be impressed to discover these swaths of paint to be two-dimensional in nature, but then further shocked to realize the material isn’t paint at all but pencil.

Australian artist Cj Hendry has an eye for hyper-realism, but in this series: instead of using it to draft convincing landscapes or portraits has turned to emulating oil paint.

Layers of carefully applied pencil slowly add depth and dimension to the flat surface, capturing the lush appearance of semi-liquid paints. The effect is so convincing the artist often includes a hand and pencil in photographs of the work to highlight the fact that what is being seen is both two-dimensional and drawn with pencils.

It is a dramatic shift from previous work by Hendry done in black and white. And going to color didn’t mean just picking one per piece, either — each of these colorful works employs a number of different colors, which is not at all obvious at a glance.