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Hyper Realistic Paintings That Look Like Photos

We’ve already looked at some unbelievably realistic drawings and paintings before (see: 25 Photorealistic Pictures Drawn with a BIC Pen and Incredibly Realistic Pencil Drawings by Paul Lung) but it’s nothing compared to what you are about to see.

This time, let’s take a look at the works of some of the world’s greatest photorealism masters – Roberto Bernardi, Steve Mills and Erich Christensen. Forget about Photoshop, Maya or 3Ds Max – these guys have gone the old school way.

Roberto Bernardi was born in Todi on the 18th of May 1974. He started to paint at a very young age and his first works in oils date back to the first half of the eighties. After an initial foray with landscapes and portraits, Bernardi turned towards a more intense and spectacular type of painting; photorealism. In this style Bernardi is most comfortable expressing his creativity while satisfying his perfectionist technical goals. He applies layers of oil paint and varnish in the traditional manner to a totally modern image, creating a wholly contemporary, unique kind of image.

Roberto Bernardi

Steve Mills

Born in in 1959 in Boston, MA, photorealist oil painter Steve Mills sold his first drawing at the age of 11 and has been selling ever since. Every child drew when young, though Mills requested a pencil over crayons to get better detail. This fascination with detail became his calling card. Influenced by the works of Andrew Wyeth, his early paintings consisted mostly of landscapes. After seeing the work of Richard Estes at a show in Boston, MA, Photorealism became his passion. Today his interests are somewhat varied though his main focus is on the “extraordinarily-ordinary”.

Erich Christensen

Christensen began to develop his interest in painting, as well as botany, classical music, and gourmet cooking as a child in Salt Lake City, Utah. Eric Christensen began painting professionally in 1992. Since that time he has enjoyed amazing success and a growing reputation as a celebrated Wine Country Artist. Self-taught, he invented a watercolor technique that allows him to create images of vibrant color that go beyond the look and depth of a high quality photograph. Christensen now finds himself unique in his field. In fact he is the only known artist capable of hyperrealism through the use of standard watercolor.

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What do you think?

  • Kelly Hill-Geimer via Facebook


  • Isabel Cristina via Facebook


  • Isabel Cristina via Facebook


  • Giulio Maier via Facebook


  • Taylor Davis via Facebook


  • Kris Windom via Facebook

    ^see all comments above^

  • Russ McDermott via Facebook

    I agree with the comment below.

  • Nick Leggio

    I personally think that only a few of these MIGHT be paintings.

  • Raf Mol via Facebook

    Just incredible!!!

  • Lina’s Page via Facebook

    wow! really hard to believe:)

  • Justin Callard via Facebook


  • GooeyDough

    well… this is hard to believe!!!

  • Clubgross

    Completely unbelievable. I suspect these are photos (not even particularly good photos) if these are paintings, then the artist has just spent many, many hours labouring to produce these and ended up with a sub standard result

    • Jelena Kostina

      It is not a standard result, when you see it alive ;-)
      But yes, it doesn’t look very impressive on photo.

      (photo of painting of photo :)

      • Mooha


    • Neil

      “Substandard result”?  REALLY?  I’ve seen renders by some of the best computer artists in the world that can’t come close to these OIL PAINTINGS.  Remember, these are OIL PAINTINGS, with real brushes.  These works weren’t completed on a Waacom tablet.

  • Gary van der Steur via Facebook


  • Tamar Elmensdorp-Lijzenga via Facebook

    Unbelievable, but why indeed. Very good craftmanship.

  • Jelena Kostina

    That’s why you should look at works like this at very big resolution. Doing this kind of paintings myself, I see some places, which show, that these are not photos (not in all I see). But again – main pleasure is to see strokes at close look.

  •Šoštarić/100001874090119 Ema Franka Šoštarić via Facebook

    Pogledajte kako pisati statuse u boji:

  • Jingis

    I can also take pictures and say that they are paintings

  • Gilles Tetelbom via Facebook

    kick ass!

  • Shola Blue via Facebook

    Total Kick Ass!!

  • Popesantaxiv

    Only the last guy seems believable.

  • uday nachhiring

    hard to believe…!

  • Phillie-doc

    Wow, i believe in real life these paintings are impressive. If you look close enough you’ll see they’re all painted. Wonder how big a Picture is…

  • Olga Erlich via Facebook

    no way!!!!

    • Arek Kurzawa

       NO WAI !

  • paul

    they are certainly all paintings I mean technically they’re awesome obviously copied from a photo

    • Fabrizio Knight

      They are a copy from a photo because the direct view doesn’t stay still for a long time the same 

  • Jimba

    Any proof? I can easily take a photo shoot and say it’s a painting….

    • Basma

      Umm there is this thing called an art mueseum and they have this thing called authenticity.

  • Anonymous

    this makes me feel so hungry.

  • Melle Katerberg

    The ones by Mills remind me of the 50′s lol.

  • Melle Katerberg

    The ones by Mills remind me of the 50′s lol.

  • Saurabh Pal

    This is impossible!

  • Saurabh Pal

    Those who say these aren’t impressive or aren’t exquisite should just stick to their miserable lives and refrain from commenting. 

  • Bob

    I know this is real because if you look in the corners you’ll see the signature of the painter.

  • Anonymous

    what’s the point? take a picture and save hours of your life

    • Kristin

      It’s called art.

  • Elizabeth Berry Wagner

    Unbelievable.  The talent here is overwhelming.  What a gift!

  • Jason Hicking

    Simply stunning. I’d be happy to catch some of these images as photographs, never mind being able to actually draw and paint with such skill. Thanks for sharing.

  • Soujnaya

    naah no way

  • Lutu Nicolae

    Those are unbelievable! Awesome work! Wish i could see them exposed to see the strokes.

  • Ajvado

    So true, must be hard not having that level of ability and still trying to bring it down. Typical lazy artist just being envious that some can push their work that far. Anyone can abstract and create mood but only true talent and training can render to this degree ski suggest stop complaint and start practicing.

  • Lola McDovvin

    What amazing poverty!

  • KingJamesOnly

    These are REAL art – a representation of true life. Those “paintings” that look like a kindergartener spilled the paint and walked through it or that a seven year old attempted to draw a scene are a farce. And just because a paintings old, doesn’t make it a masterpiece. Who decided that Picasso was a great artist? These artists are following in the steps of Norman Rockwell – wonderful!

  • Hoang Nguyen

    its a photooooooo! omygosh

  • Kristin

    I also do photo realism & these are definitely paintings! 

  • Kristin

    Why do you feel it’s a waste of talent?

  • Makeup Diva

    There is no such thing as an artist wasting their time on a piece, even if its a piece of shit. I have a suspicion that the ones complaining are just haters because they don’t have this extraordinary talent. These works are not only amazing but they’re difficult to do. There are a couple of sayings that should be followed that most of your mothers probably told you when you were little, ” Don’t knock it till you try it” and “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say nothing at all” There’s a difference between constructive criticism and flat out disregarding an others amazing skill. If you don’t like this type of art, don’t look it up. 

    I’m in awe of these paintings, especially the beach scenes. They are really beautiful.

  • Han

    why not, with that talent, paint something that actually makes some sort of statement, or is actually interesting to look at, beyond – wow that looks like a photograph….so much potential for greatness not utilised

  • R.K.Sarma, Hyderabad, India.

    These are super fantastic. I got goose bumps. Is it possible that the painter used special techniques to do these things? Such as projecting a photograph and overpainting on it? Even then they are fantastic. Any way painting is a natural talent. A God given gift. How lucky the recipient is!

  • edperez

    Superb technique and wounderfull talent, but the different is creativity, copy a photo is just that. They could do more with the subject and transform it in a diferent statement using their superb technique. Is more than a simple illustration, we need fresh things to enjoy.