Using the fascinating medium of pencil, contemporary artists have produced stunning black and white as well as extremely detailed pencil sketches which have dominated the conversation during the art fairs and auctions held at almost every prominent pencil sketch art gallery. Undoubtedly, it’s the intimacy and immediacy of this medium that has allured artists to pull out some expert techniques to create incredible pencil drawings that have blurred the lines between reality and art.

To help you find the perfect pencil art for your home from the kaleidoscopic world of art, we have compiled the top ten in-demand artists who have created realistic pencil drawings and outpacing demand for other artworks at several prominent pencil sketch galleries.

  • Cath Riley

Pencil drawings of Cath Riley are undoubtedly amazing to look at, but what is more interesting is the way she describes her hyper-realistic pencil creations based around the human figure. Deeming them as mere representations of a particular stage of her artistic abilities and understanding, she regards her current works as a part of her ongoing evolutionary process of exploration and development.

Of late, she has moved to do more experimental very large-scale drawings some of which are abstract in character and serve different emphasis, unlike her previous pencil portrait and 'flesh' figure drawings.

To date, many of her incredible pencil drawings are included in collections of every eminent pencil sketch gallery in the world, some commissioned, and some used in magazine features and advertising for companies like Nike, GQ, M&C Saatchi, The Economist, and The New York Times.

  • Veri Apriyatno

Jakarta-based Indonesian artist Veri Apriyatno attempts to explore the human form and emotion through his pencil drawings. His series, entitled Witnesses, comprise hyper-realistic drawings made using pencil, acrylic, and charcoal on canvas. Presenting an entire world within the sharp gaze of a gleaming eye, the drawings reveal far more about a person’s surroundings through the stunning detailed reflection in their eyes. The perfect contrast of the glistening pupil and reflected image with the matte finish of the eyeball results in a mix of textures, that makes the drawing so real that it simply jump off the page. Further, the multi-textured details– sometimes glossy, veiny, the wispy eyelashes and wrinkles of the eyelid make these drawings all the more hyper-realistic.

  • Paul Cadden

Using just graphite and chalk, Scottish artist Paul Cadden creates such stunning images that seeing for the first time, you would need a while to realize if they were photographs or meticulously detailed drawings creating the illusion of a new reality unseen in the original photo. Demand for the works of this hyperrealist artist is quickly outpacing the blue-chip stalwarts, and adorn the collections of only prominent pencil sketch gallery.

His drawings and paintings are usually based upon a series of photographs and video stills, wherein he employs softer and more complex focuses on the main subject so that the resulting art portrays it as a living, tangible being. This is what makes his drawings frighteningly realistic.

  • David Kao

David Kao started drawing cars at the age of three, but it was only after his father took him to his car garage at the age of 19 that he began to pursue his art and realism seriously and gradually mastered the technique of sketching realistic pencil artwork of cars rather than it’s plain silhouette.

Driven purely by his own initiative, Kao sketches the car design from his own imagination in a very realistic manner adding extremely detailed reflections on the vehicle’s metal exterior. In fact, he focuses on the backgrounds of his work to such an extent that creates a full-on experience when attempting to distinguish if his work is a photograph or a piece of art.

Today, his stunning portfolio of ultra-realistic car drawings effortlessly become the highlight of exhibitions at every pencil sketch gallery. The gorgeous drawing of Audi R8 (image below) was created by him using a graphite pencil, tissue, eraser, and brush in approximately 10 hours. Stunning, isn’t it?

  • Jono Dry

Highly detailed and large-scale drawings of self-taught South African artist Jono Dry has quickly made him the most coveted artist in the finest pencil sketch galleries and popular art fairs. Blending photorealism and surrealism on a massive scale, his meticulous pencil drawings done with photographic precision are usually infused with an unsettling or incongruous twist. In the majority of his works, he adds empty darkness surrounding his figures which makes them more enthralling.

He often takes up the subject of mental health and explores the complexities of identity, depression, and anxiety in his art.

Largely influenced by mythology, Dry frequently uses the images of archetypes in his compositions to evoke a momentary familiarity in the viewer so as to make them feel more involved. Animal horns, fabric, ikebana flower arrangements, hot air balloons are recurring motifs in his drawings.

  • Paul Lung

Hong-Kong based artist Paul Lung doesn't use any eraser while sketching his mind-blowing pencil drawings. No matter what subject he chooses, all he uses is a particular A2 pencil and about 60 hours (depending on his subject) to create incredibly realistic drawings. If the image of the cat below does not mesmerize you, explore his portfolio on Deviant Art featuring realistic photorealistic portraits of both humans and animals, it will certainly leave you awe-struck!

  • Diego Fazio

Exhibited in renowned pencil sketch galleries and art fairs internationally, Diego Fazio has quickly become an in-demand artist. Reproducing the ancient Chinese Carpakoi with a refined technique, he creates hyperrealistic pencil drawings. What is most exciting about his work is that he does not follow any specific theme rather takes inspiration from everyday life, from magazines, movies, or music, or simply anything and everything that can excite him.

The richness of the details in his drawings along with the excellent application of the hundreds of shades of chiaroscuro creates such contrast in his works that simply touch the soul of the viewer.

Fazio’s pencil drawing series titled Sensazioni (sensations, in English) comprises intricate artwork which he drew over a period of roughly 200 hours are hard to be believed drawings.

  • Dirk Dzimirsky

The most stunning up-close-and-personal portraits of German artist Dirk Dzimirsky have earned him fame across the globe with his works being a part of numerous international private collections. A master of his craft, he captures every bit of fine detail flawlessly, from the moisture in the eyes to wrinkle lines, water droplets on the body, and fine hair, which makes his works look more realistic.

However, unlike other hyperrealist artists, he works from photos and not life. After he has his new project in mind, he set up its photographs only to use them as templates for his drawings employed with extreme attention to detail and an exaggeration of reality.

  • Giacomo Burattini

Dabbling in hyperrealism art recently, Italian artist Giacomo Burattini attempts to display the beauty of the imperfections perfectly in his pencil drawings. Believing in the beauty of reality, he never finds ways to hide the imperfections of human nature rather captures the imperfections of life with its minute details.

Well-known for his unusual portraits, Burattini strives to recreate a new aspect within his subject that is not normally depicted in reality. Interestingly, he found an audience by sharing his pencil drawings on his social accounts including Tumblr, Facebook, and Instagram, where he regularly posts videos and images of his works in progress.

  • Linda Huber

The works of American artist, Linda Huber make it aptly clear how common objects can be recreated to stunning illustrations. Dedicated to perfection, she takes from 20 to 80 hours to complete each piece. She loves to recreate life with just a simple pencil in the style of realism.

Practicing the art of drawing with a pencil for several decades, she derives inspiration for her works from her surroundings and draws everything from portraiture to inanimate objects and even junks. Over the years, her work has been used in advertisements, books, magazines, T-shirts, and other merchandise. Also, her work has been featured on many internet sites, Ovation TV, popular Japanese show ‘Unbelievable’, local and international art galleries. Many of her non-commission work has been sold in pencil sketch galleries along with many prints.

Read More: A Guide to Get your Drawings into a Sketch Art Gallery

Wrap Up

Presenting images beyond reality, the works of each of these are stunning in their own unique style. The extreme attention to detail and excellent use of shading effects have made these pencil drawings become popular eclipsing the works of the masters of the past.

Hope our guide helps you find the perfect piece of art to display or invest in. Don’t forget to share your experiences and journey about finding your favorite pencil artist and their creations in the comments section below!