When admiring a finished work of art, it can be challenging to comprehend all of the effort that went into making it. Or, how you could even create something like it for yourself. That is why UK-based artist Emma Towers-Evans documents her creative process in step-by-step images that reveal how she draws hyperrealistic portraits using only graphite and charcoal.
As a self-taught artist, she has been honing her skills in pencil drawing since her teenage years. Now, she is well known for rendering celebrity and commission portraits in mind-boggling detail. The finished works resemble black-and-white photographs of the subjects, containing the fine texture of the skin, hair, and even makeup.”Each drawing takes place somewhere in the region of 60-110 hours to complete, and I estimate there can be anywhere between 200,000 to 500,000 individual pencil strokes making up each drawing,” Towers-Evans tells My Modern Met.
Her step-by-step photos demonstrate how the artist applies graphite in numerous layers to achieve the amazing level of depth that makes her portraits so mesmerizing to look at. “I consider myself a hyperrealist,” Towers-Evans continues. “Hyperrealism aims to go beyond a photograph in some way, perhaps adding more detail than the photo contained or adjusting elements of the image in some way. I personally tend to improvise many of the details in my portraits, using references as a guide and taking the textures in my own direction.”
By relying on graphite as her principal medium, she hopes that her drawings are more relatable to all kinds of viewers, artistically-inclined or not. “Everyone knows what a pencil is, has one, and knows how it works,” she adds. “My work explores a range of themes, but always with the aim of creating a thought-provoking connection between the observer of the art and the subject of the drawing.”
You can purchase prints via Towers-Evans’ online store, and keep up to date with her latest projects by following the artist on Instagram.
Artist Emma Towers-Evans creates hyperrealistic drawings entirely with graphite and charcoal.
She shows how she renders these amazing pencil portraits by documenting the process in step-by-step photos.
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Emma Towers-Evans: Website | Facebook | Instagram
My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Emma Towers-Evans.
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