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.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Gun instructor accidentally shot dead by nine-year-old girl with Uzi gun
- 2 Miley Cyrus' homeless MTV VMAs date, Jesse Helt, is wanted by the police
- 3 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 4 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 5 Homer Simpson has taken the ALS ice bucket challenge because of course he has
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Jeremy Clarkson is a cultural tumour and needs to be removed, says comedian Frankie Boyle
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
- < Previous
- Next >