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London-Based Igbo Artist Does Incredible Sketches Of Celebrities Which Look Just Like Digital Photographs

Kelvin Okafor

Kelvin Okafor is a 27 year old  Fine Art graduate from  Middlesex University, UK who is rapidly gaining fame and recognition like the celebrities he sketches.

His subjects include popular music artists such as Tinie Tempah, James Morrison , Adele, Beyonce and Rihanna. He has also drawn emotive sketches of late Singer Amy Winehouse, Mother Teresa, Heath Ledger and Princess Diana.

The Nigerian-born artist fron Tottenham, North London has now scooped national awards and is exhibiting across the UK.

At first glance, his sketches look like beautifully shot, soft focus digital photographs. In fact, each one is an incredibly detailed pencil drawing , which Okafor says takes him up to 100 hours to complete.

Mr Okafor begins with the eyes of the subject when he creating his realistic sketches  which transforms into an astonishing realism. He uses a simple pencil because according to him “it is ‘humble’ and allows a subject to shine.” He tries to inspire emotion in the viewer with vivid portraits.

He creates each piece only in black and white – using graphite pencils, charcoal, black coloured pencil and sometimes grey pastels. Yet he believes that the range of tone, shade and texture is almost endless. He draws on a combination of life and photographs, working on his art for up to 15 hours a day.

The artist writes on his blog:


“I want my drawings to prompt an emotional response, making viewers feel as though they are looking at a real live subject. ‘The attention I’m receiving is surreal and hasn’t really sunk in yet. I’m usually sheltered from it in my studio as I continue to build my portfolio, but I’m really humbled and honoured that so many people appreciate my work. I hope to have my own gallery in the future.”

His pieces are now selling for on average £8,000-£10,000, depending on the scale.

He has now had more than 50 commissions, and the dedicated artist cites his role models as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo – because they not only mastered the arts but branched out into other fields including engineering, poetry, science and maths.

Kelvin Okafor should have been the one commissioned to sketch the Duchess of Cambridge…instead of  that shabby painting that was made of her. Just saying!

Congratulations, Kelvin! You have made your country and people proud.

Back to Black: Singer Amy Winehouse is shown staring wide-eyed into the distance in this emotive sketch

Amy Winehouse
Mother Theresa
Mother Teresa
Invincible: The Middlesex University Fine Art graduate is gaining increasing recognition with images including this one of pop star Tinie Tempah
Tinie Tempah
Heath Ledger
 Princess Diana
Beauty of life: Mr Okafor favours using a simple pencil because he it is 'humble' and allows a subject - such as James Morrison - to shine
James Morrison
Rated R: The London-based artist has now scooped national awards and is exhibiting across the country. Pictured, Rhianna


Corinne Bailey Rae
 Corinne Bailey Rae
Source: DailyMail UK



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One comment

  1. Woah!!! The guy is good, its amazing, his paintings really do look like digital photographs.

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