Sometimes, we see artwork that looks so realistic it’s hard to believe our eyes. Such is the case in the dazzling portfolio of portrait artist Stefan Pabst. When he is not completing hyperrealistic renditions of celebrities and other famous figures, the Germany-based artist creates jarring 3D paintings that appear to leap off the page.
From Darth Vader to hairy tarantulas to a glass of water, Pabst’s masterful skill makes his subjects appear to be just a few inches away from his paintbrush. To do this, Pabst not only renders the figures in perfect detail but also adds purposeful shadows and highlights to forge a three-dimensional presence. Then, to complete the illusion, the artist photographs the artwork with his hand and brush in the frame. His “real” shadows mix with the painted ones, thereby adding to the deception of the realistic figures.
Additionally, what makes many of Pabst’s 3D subjects so eye-catching is that they appear to extend past the edge of his canvas. The artist does this through practiced skill and clever staging. Pabst will often place other objects in the frame of the photograph to confuse the viewer as to what is drawn and what is not. It’s a testament to the artist’s skill that the answer is often not so easy to say.
Scroll down to see more of Pabst’s 3D drawings and follow the artist on Instagram to keep up to date with his latest creations.