In pictures: Drawn to perfection - the pencil portraits
Do not adjust your screen: the above portraits are not the products of a camera but the steady hand and sharp pencil of a London artist with an astonishing eye for detail.
Kelvin Okafor is one of the leading proponents of a niche but flourishing school of photo-realists.
The Middlesex fine art graduate is winning plaudits and prizes for his pencil drawings, each of which can take 100 hours over a three-week period to produce.
From his home in Tottenham, North London, Okafor, 27, has created portraits of celebrities as diverse as Amy Winehouse, Tinie Tempah and Mother Teresa, shown here, commanding as much as £10,000 for each work.
He has more than 50 commissions to his name and awards including the Catherine Petitgas Visitors’ Choice Prize, part of the National Open Art Competition.
Okafor’s portraits have also been exhibited at The Mall Galleries in central London as part of the Threadneedle Prize Exhibition.
Before the artist puts the pencil to paper, he spends days analysing his source photographs, concentrating first on the eyes before using thousands of pencil strokes to build detail showing every pore and hair.
“The attention I’m receiving is surreal and hasn’t really sunk in yet,” he told his local Tottenham and Wood Green Journal. “I’m usually sheltered from it in my studio as I continue to build my portfolio, but I’m really humbled and honoured that so many people appreciate my work. I hope to have my own gallery in the future.”
Okafor’s works will be on display from Friday until 3 February at the Works on Paper/Watercolour Fair at the Science Museum in London.
Film Leonardo DiCaprio hunts Tom Hardy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Sabrina Corgatelli: US hunting tourist posts picture of herself with dead giraffe after Cecil the lion outrage
- 2 Katie Hopkins reveals fear she will die during brain surgery to cure epilepsy
- 3 Edward Heath 'child sex abuse' allegation: Investigation to be held into Wiltshire police handling of alleged claim in the 1990s
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 Tom Cruise: Reporters banned from asking actor about Scientology
Artist Jamie McCartney: How The Great Wall of Vagina is a stand against 'body fascism'
Cilla Black: Her 12 best songs, from 'Anyone Who Had a Heart' to 'You're My World'
Zoolander 2 trailer leaks online and it's really, really, ridiculously good looking
Michael B Jordan and Kate Mara handle excruciatingly awkward and offensive interview questions like pros
Sherlock season 4: Benedict Cumberbatch will be 'a lot less brattish' in Victorian special
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Chris Leslie: Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Landlords renting properties to illegal immigrants to face up to five years in prison
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality