When you first look at a hyperrealistic drawing by Nigerian artist Chiamonwu Joy, you’ll find it hard to believe that it’s a work of fine art and not just a photo. Her ongoing series of portraits have such a convincing three-dimensional quality that they appear to be captured with a camera—as if at any moment, her subjects could seemingly come to life and walk off the paper.
So, how does Joy create her hyperrealism drawing? She opts not for graphite, but rather a charcoal pencil instead. This utensil offers her the control of a conventional pencil with the ability to achieve rich black tones that give her work roundness and depth. With super dark shadows and bright highlights, the range of tones mimics a camera’s flash to produce the illusion of reality.
Once you see Joy’s work in progress, you’ll have no doubt about her amazing artistic skills. The internet is blown away by her abilities, too. One of her latest tweets sharing her work has gone viral; it’s earned over 83,000 retweets and more than 180,000 likes from people around the world praising her drawings.
Nigerian artist Chiamonwu Joy creates hyperrealistic drawings that look so real, you might think these people are going to walk off the page.
Joy uses charcoal pencils to produce her portraits. Here’s a look at her process:
The artist recently gained a great deal of attention on Twitter for her incredible charcoal pencil drawings.
My name is Chiamonwu Joy, A Nigerian Female Hyper-realistic Charcoal Artist. I draw with charcoal pencils on paper. These are all drawings. pic.twitter.com/f0nfuVIgHt
— Chiamonwu_Joy_Art (@ChiamonwuJoyArt) January 17, 2018
People on Twitter couldn't believe the talent this young woman possessed and needed her to know how in awe they were.
This is the best art I've seen all my life…
— PandaSupermarket (@lamar_ralph) January 18, 2018
Brilliant! Your gift will take you before kings..🙏🏽
— BOG (@BOBOBOG) January 18, 2018
Wait what those are not photos??!! Wow sis you are soooooo incredibly talented and skilled !!! pic.twitter.com/XprBtHzWk3
— Hodan Yusuf (@hyfreelance) January 18, 2018
It's refreshing to meet an excellent, brilliant lady artist. Keep up the good work sis! 💪
— Jovita Akahome (@HijoLuz) January 18, 2018
Joy then took the time out to thank the thousands of people who helped make her work go viral.
To Everyone Who Liked, Retweeted, Followed & Commented On My Artworks, I say Thank You. I am grateful for that. It Means A Lot To Me.
— Chiamonwu_Joy_Art (@ChiamonwuJoyArt) January 20, 2018