A Gallery of Randy Atwood’s Phenomenal Photorealistic Pencil Pieces

Usually when we talk about photorealism, we’re showcasing some particularly well rendered CGI or something of the like. I would have never thought the same sort of effect was achievable with a mere pencil.

But I’ve since been introduced to Randy Atwood, a talented artist who makes art that could very well be a photograph, despite being entirely created from the lead of a pencil. It’s so real, it’s almost eerie, and his collection of celebrity portraits is one of the best I’ve ever featured on the site here.

You’ll find the rest of them below, and I’m guessing you’ll be able to identify most of them, though a few may allude you. First person to name them all gets +50 internet points.

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  1. 1 Natalie Portman
    2 Adrianna Lima
    3 Hugh Laurie
    4 Arnold Schwarzenegger
    5 Victoria Beckham
    6 Matthew Bellamy
    7 Taylor Lautner and Robert Pattinson
    8 Adrianna Lima
    9 Matthew Bellamy
    10 Jack Nicholson
    11 Daniel Radcliffe
    12 Sean Connery
    13 Candice Swanepoel
    14 Audrey Hepburn
    15 Dennis Quaid
    16 Look it’s Jackie Chan!
    17 Hugh Jackman
    18 Mary Elizabeth Winstead
    19 James Purefoy?
    20 Jack Black

  2. The pieces are good forms of mimcry, and nothing else. These were 100% based off of photos – so why the duplication of effort? There’s no interpretation here, so I see no art. Just an exercise in precision – albeit very good precision.

  3. In the art world we have a term for these kinds of artists- ‘Xeroxes” or “Photocopiers.” XX is right, this is not considered to be of the greatest skill in art, but rather the simplest. These pieces are not too hard to make, just time-consuming, you already have the photo, and the tools, you just need to make sure everything is aligned and the values are right. If you put this kind of stuff in your portfolio, you will be laughed at.

    This falls under ‘photo-realism,’ or even ‘hyper-realism’ which is an art movement, but these pieces are a very poor example of that. I have seen it done much better and more creatively, look at Chuck Close or John Salt – they have stunning work.

    But this type of stuff is very inferior. It is done by those who have no creativity or inspiration, they just show off their skills to amuse others.

    The most impressive pieces of art require creativity, uniqueness, ingenuity, – the skill just allows it to come to existence.

  4. in the art world, one artist would never tell another artist what art is. a true artist would never even entertain the thought that one method of producing art is inferior or superior to another. art is what you feel. and we all feel something different in our relationship to the world. how we project what we feel is legitimate – no matter the method. since the beginning of time, mankind has sought to replicate the scenes he saw and used whatever tools he had at hand to do so. as early as the fifteenth century, artists began using the camera obscura to produce photorealistic paintings. the camera lucida was used as early as the 18th century for the same reason. humans have always been interested in portraiture and museums worldwide are filled with paintings and drawings of kings and commoners alike. and all of them done in infinite styles and media. photorealism is a skill, and not all artists are able to draw in this manner. as a teacher of the genre, i know this all too well. some students are able to discern nuances in a photograph that the average eye can not. randy atwood’s artwork is remarkable. his drawings’ range of values, depths and textures speak to this artist’s excellent drawing ability.

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