For the past four years, 16-year-old artist Shania McDonagh has participated in the Texaco Children’s Art Competition, an art contest for children in Ireland held every year since 1955. Just looking at the astounding portrait above, it may come as no surprise that McDonagh has won the top prize for her age category every year since she was 12, and today snagged the top prize for the 2014 competition with this hyperrealistic drawing of a man titled Coleman.
The judging panel chairman, Declan McGonagle, director of the National College of Art & Design, remarked that the girl’s work could position her “as one of the most talented artists of her generation, and one whose skill could see her become one of Ireland’s foremost portrait artists of the future.” We would be inclined to agree.
For her talent McDonagh snagged a $2,075 (€1,500) award which she will receive next month. You can read more and catch a video over at The Irish Times. (via PICDIT)
Update: The original photo was taken by James Fennell, depicting fisherman and seaweed harvester Coleman Coyne.
For this spectacularly detailed series of architecturally influenced drawings, Toronto-based artist Mathew Borrett labored with 005 Pigma Micron pens to create networks of compartmentalized dwellings that appear to be carved into the face of a cliff or dug into the ground with isometric perfection. Titled Room Series, the drawings were created in 2003, and Borrett continues to explore imaginary landscapes that appear gently influenced by science fiction and fantasy. You can see more of his work in his website and he has prints available on Fine Art America. Borrett also has a self-published book spanning the last decade. (via Artist a Day)
After 7 long months of obsessively scribbling away on a large wall, artist Sean Sullivan “threw in the towel,” in part because he had exceeded his allotted time period by 4 months! The resulting mural was “Grand Pale Maw,” an expansive wall drawing that encompassed the entire rear corridor space of LACE in LA. Grand Pale Maw—Sullivan’s first large scale mural—was on display only through January 2012 but thanks to these photos documenting the process we can still ogle over them. (via Lost at E Minor)
Texas-based graffiti artist Redosking draws fantastically detailed eyes using colored pencils. It seems like eyes are a common muse for illustrators working in the realm of hyperrealism but these particular pieces seem above and beyond the average attempt. You can also follow him on Instagram. (via Illusion 360)
Splayed across a giant paper canvas with pieces of charcoal firmly grasped in each hand, Heather Hansen begins a grueling physical routine atop a sizeable paper canvas. Her body contorts into carefully choreographed gestures as her writing implements grate across the floor, the long trails resulting in a permanent recording of her physical movements. Part dance and part performance art, the kinetic drawings are a way for Hansen to merge her love for visual art and dance into a unified artform. The final symmetrical patterns that emerge in each pieces are reminiscent of a Rorschach test, or perhaps cycles found in nature.
Calculation (Sequence) #2. Acrylic, china ink/canvas.
In the midst of our daily binge of emailing, Tweeting, Facebooking, app downloading and photoshopping it’s almost hard to imagine how anything was done without the help of a computer. For Venezuelan artist Rafael Araujo, it’s a time he relishes. At a technology-free drafting table he deftly renders the motion and subtle mathematical brilliance of nature with a pencil, ruler and protractor. Araujo creates complex fields of three dimensional space where butterflies take flight and the logarithmic spirals of shells swirl into existence. He calls the series of work Calculation, and many of his drawings seem to channel the look and feel of illustrations found in Da Vinci’s sketchbooks. In an age when 3D programs can render a digital version of something like this in just minutes, it makes you appreciate Araujo’s remarkable skill. You can see much more here. (via ArchitectureAtlas)
Milan-based artist Thomas Cian is extraordinarily talented with a pencil, and lucky for us he has chosen to open the pages of his sketchook to share a wide variety of drawings and experiments online. Of particular note is his Moleskine sketchbook reserved solely for drawings of friends, where the 24-year-old renders faithful interpretations of individuals closest to him using nothing but graphite. You can see much more of his work on Behance and over on Facebook.
Peak District, 2013. Pencil on a contoured map of the Peak District. 47 x 35in (120 x 90cm)
Colorado Geological, 2013. Pencil on a geological map of Colorado, the first of a series of works exclusive to the Mike Wright Gallery in Denver, Colorado.
Bristol Envelope, 2013. A small portrait, produced in ink on an original street map of Bristol (UK) – this was later cut and folded to form an envelope, combining the current map works produced by Fairburn and a previous project—postal art.
Yr Ods EP Cover, 2013. Pencil on contoured maps showing parts of Wales, produced for Welsh Band Yr Ods.
Shrewsbury, 2013. Progress shot, ink on a street map of Shrewsbury.
Innsbruck, 2013. Ink on a contoured map of Innsbruck/surrounding area, 20 x 20in (52 x 52cm) approx. Lines of elevation have been followed with a pen, the width of each line has been altered accordingly to build the different tones.
Pontypridd, 2013. Pencil on a contoured map of Pontypridd, South Wales (UK).
Solihull, 2013. Progress shot of a past experiment in inks.
Using a wide variety of canvases including railroad blueprints, star charts, geological and street maps, Welsh artist Ed Fairburn (previously here and here) uses additive and subtractive techniques to create portraits that seem pefectly integrated with the topography of streets, mountains and rivers. It’s been almost a year since we last checked in with Fairburn whose process and approach to creating these stunning portraits continues to evolve. One of his most striking methods is to carefully follow map contours with a pen creating rows of lines that vary by width to create individual forms and shadows. The final portraits are so entwined with the map, it becomes hard to imagine one existing without the other.
You can see Fairburn’s work for yourself at Mike Wright Gallery in Denver, Colorado and he also has prints available here.