Drawn to perfection

From The Independent:

Mother-TeresaDo not adjust your screen: the above portraits are not the products of a camera but the steady hand and sharp pencil of a London artist with an astonishing eye for detail. Kelvin Okafor is one of the leading proponents of a niche but flourishing school of photo-realists. The Middlesex fine art graduate is winning plaudits and prizes for his pencil drawings, each of which can take 100 hours over a three-week period to produce. From his home in Tottenham, North London, Okafor, 27, has created portraits of celebrities as diverse as Amy Winehouse, Tinie Tempah and Mother Teresa, shown here, commanding as much as £10,000 for each work. He has more than 50 commissions to his name and awards including the Catherine Petitgas Visitors’ Choice Prize, part of the National Open Art Competition. Okafor’s portraits have also been exhibited at The Mall Galleries in central London as part of the Threadneedle Prize Exhibition. Before the artist puts the pencil to paper, he spends days analysing his source photographs, concentrating first on the eyes before using thousands of pencil strokes to build detail showing every pore and hair.

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