An artist has shared examples of his breathtaking hyper-realistic paintings that take up to 400 hours to complete.
Sergey Piskunov, 31, from Ukraine, started painting 11 years ago and has taught himself how to produce photorealistic paintings.
He specialises in paintings of the female form, close-ups of facial features and still lifes that look good enough to eat.
Amazingly, Sergey sometimes works with the canvas turned upside down to give him a fresh perspective. He also keeps a photo reference handy which he uses to pick up details to finish the piece.
Photorealistic: Sergey Piskunov, 31, from Ukraine, started painting 11 years ago and now produces hyper-realistic paintings
Catching the light: This stunning painting of a woman’s face flecked with gold foil is typical of Sergey’s work
Specialised: Sergey enjoys producing paintings of the female form, like the two shown above, as well as facial features
Good enough to eat: An example of Sergey’s still lifes. These blueberries covered in water droplets look simply succulent
Extraordinary detail: Sergey reveals how each of his paintings takes between 200 and 400 hours of painstaking work
Just like real life: Sergey’s still life of partially peeled oranges (left) and a pile of rubbish bags that look just like the real thing
Up, up and away! The shadows make it look like this helium balloon is escaping from the canvas behind
He said: ‘I started painting 11 years ago when I was just 20 years old. This was after I received my first canvas and a couple of brushes as a gift. Since then, I devoted all my free time to painting.
‘My process begins by coming up with an idea before I start painting, after which I do a photo session to receive the reference image.
‘I spend between 200 to 400 hours of work directly at the canvas. While painting, I often rotate the canvas to make it easier to work with the details.
‘For me, the position of the canvas isn’t important since usually I still look at it from different angles during the process. My paintings can be divided into portraits and still life shots.
True blue: A woman is depicted floating in a tranquil blue pool in another of Sergey’s extraordinary paintings
Building up the effect: Sergey, who works with oil paint on canvas, gives a glimpse at what goes into creating a piece
Unusual approach: Sergey sometimes works with the canvas turned upside down to give him a fresh perspective
All that glitters: A series of paintings shows women with their faces, hands and necks covered in gold flecks
Passion: This striking piece shows screaming women going head-to-head while paint is poured over their heads
Mesmerising: Sergey pays careful attention to capturing everything from individual eyebrow hairs to finger creases
Behind the masks: Face masks also feature heavily in Sergey’s work, including this playful example
At work: This photo of Sergey in his studio shows the artist adding detail to the creases of the closed left eye
Standout: Sergey said that his maskked series, which includes the painting above, are among his favourite pieces of work
Time for a close up: A tiny paintbrush is used to add the slight colour and shading differentiation to the pupil
‘I made a ‘mask series’ where I paint masks over portraits of people and it is one of my favourite pieces of work. My advice to others who want to paint is to believe in yourself and have fun with what you do.’
In one of his masterpieces, Sergey has created a portrait of a woman with a cracked mask over her face – and his unique painting skills have brought the artwork to life with his astonishing 3D effects.
Another piece shows blueberries with water dripping over them – which look so realistic that you almost want to wipe the liquid off before it hits the floor.
Other creations include a woman peering out from behind what appears to be green cellophane wrapping the frame, and a piece with two women screaming at each other while paint seemingly drips from their heads.
Making an impact: To add to the drama of the work, Sergey chooses to work on large canvases like the one above
Step-by-step: Sergey begins by lightly sketching the overall shape he wants to achieve before going over in paint
Gold! Each of these tiny sequins was added by Sergey to this photorealistic painting of a woman’s lipsticked pout