Hyper-realistic Drawings

Hyper-Realistic sketches or drawings that are also called "Photo-realistic" are images that are meant to be so precise that they appear to be a photograph. They are definitely more difficult to draw since they have to follow the laws of perspective and light and shade and how they are represented in real life. 

"Drawing is based upon perspective, which is nothing else than a thorough knowledge of the function of the eye. And this function simply consists in receiving in a pyramid the forms and colours of all the objects placed before it. I say in a pyramid, because there is no object so small that it will not be larger than the spot where these pyramids are received into the eye. Therefore, if you extend the lines from the edges of each body as they converge you will bring them to a single point, and necessarily the said lines must form a pyramid." - Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo was one of the first people to not only understand these underlying rules to properly represent reality but to use them to produce the most accurate and "photo-realistic" images ever made. His studies in anatomy are particularly perfect and went unrivaled until the MRI-machine. 

The following two images/ sketches by da Vinci show the difference between a realistic sketch and an abstracted one. The main difference isn't what the sketch is actually of but the quality of the representation of light and shade. 

Most of the more modern hyper realistic sketches are traced or copied from a photograph since they can take hours to create. The difficulty in creating something life-like from your imagination instead of it being taken from what is right in front of you requires a very deep understanding of your own perceptions and memory:

"Why does the eye see a thing much more clearly in dreams than when in wakefulness it tries to visualize it?"

Being able to sketch something as accurately/realistically as possible from your memory/ imagination is a LOT more difficult than having a photograph to work with. The camera that took the photo has already done the work of translating the real life image onto a 2d plane all the while using the aforementioned rules of perspective. 

To put that into perspective imagine trying to draw the dollar bill above without having a dollar bill, or a picture of a dollar bill to work with. You could probably sketch something that resembles a dollar but to get it to the level where it's difficult to tell if it's a photograph or a sketch are worlds apart and takes a much more thorough comprehension of visual abilities. Not even to mention the skill set and dexterity required to sketch something, anything, in the first place. 

This guy - Made these:

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