Nigerian Artist’s Hyperrealistic Charcoal Portraits Perfectly Mirror His Real-life Subjects

Hyperrealistic Charcoal Drawings by Eli Wuduba Yusuf

From afar, it may seem like the artworks of Eli Wudufa Yusuf are black and white photographs, but in fact, each one is a hyperrealistic charcoal drawing. The Nigeria-based artist became an internet sensation in 2019 when he shared a portrait of comedian Kevin Hart on Twitter, hoping that his idol would see it. Unsurprisingly, the American was floored when he came across the piece and offered to purchase the drawing and commission portraits for other celebrities. Since then, Yusuf has continued making captivating charcoal art that looks just like his subjects.

“Through art, I am able to create a world that competes with the camera and amazes people,” the artist says on his website. “I identify as a hyperrealism charcoal artist, although I occasionally implement the use of other mediums such as graphite, pen, and colored pencils.” His large-scale drawings capture every detail of his subjects, from the textures of different fabrics to the luminous quality of the skin. Yusuf expertly blends charcoal on the paper to render these various hues.

While his process can take numerous hours, the results are worth it. Each hyperrealistic piece is impressive on its own, but when the model poses beside it and the viewer is able to see the resemblance between the two-dimensional drawing and the real thing, it puts Yusuf's masterful skills in perspective. The same can be said for his portraits of other famous celebrities, such as Steve Harvey and Tiffany Haddish.

You can purchase prints via Yusuf's website, and keep up to date with the artist's latest projects by following him on Instagram and Twitter.

Nigeria-based artist Eli Wuduba Yusuf creates hyperrealistic drawings of people.

Hyperrealistic Charcoal Drawings by Eli Wuduba Yusuf

He primarily renders these portraits with charcoal, occasionally incorporating other media like graphite and pen.

Hyperrealistic Charcoal Drawings by Eli Wuduba Yusuf

The finished art bears a remarkable likeness to their subject.

Hyperrealistic Charcoal Drawings by Eli Wuduba YusufHyperrealistic Charcoal Drawings by Eli Wuduba YusufHyperrealistic Charcoal Drawings by Eli Wuduba YusufHyperrealistic Charcoal Drawings by Eli Wuduba YusufHyperrealistic Charcoal Drawings by Eli Wuduba YusufHyperrealistic Charcoal Drawings by Eli Wuduba Yusuf

Yusuf first rose to fame with his portrait of American comedian Kevin Hart, which he made in 2019.

Hyperrealistic Charcoal Drawings by Eli Wuduba Yusuf

Yusuf tagged Hart on Twitter and was surprised when the American responded.

Since then, Yusuf has continued making hyperrealistic charcoal drawings of celebrities and people who commission his services.

Hyperrealistic Charcoal Drawings by Eli Wuduba YusufHyperrealistic Charcoal Drawings by Eli Wuduba YusufEli Wuduba Yusuf: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

All images via Eli Wuduba Yusuf.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. When she’s not writing, Margherita continues to develop her creative practice in sequential art.
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