At first glance, these portraits of Japanese women look like a series of stunning photographs. However, it might surprise you to find out that they weren’t captured through a camera lens—instead, they have been rendered in oil paint by the incredibly talented Japanese artist Yasutomo Oka. Each photorealistic painting is incredibly lifelike, capturing every conceivable detail of the artist’s female subjects.
Taking around one month to complete each oil painting portrait, Oka uses real life models as the starting point for each piece, but often “idealizes” them as he paints. Some women are depicted wearing traditional kimonos and floral hair ornaments, against ornately-patterned wallpaper. Others wear casual clothing, and are often posed within a home setting, peering out of a window. In other works, girls can be seen standing within an enchanting forest or garden—in one piece, a woman poses in an autumnal, misty forest, while a white owl perches on a tree behind her.
In all cases, Oka manages to perfectly paint every facial feature, lock of hair, patch of skin, and piece of fabric with expert brush strokes. The artist claims he feels most tense when drawing eyes, because they’re the most important feature when painting in a photorealistic style. However, in each portrait the eyes feature lifelike glints and reflections, making them appear convincingly real.