50 to 250 hours – this is how long Alessandro Paglia takes to complete one handmade one-of-a-kind drawing. And we totally understand why. Each piece is so incredibly hyperrealistic and intricate that it looks like a black and white photograph rather than a pen sketch on a large cotton paper canvas. With his meticulous and unique technique, the Italian artist brings iconic pieces of design history and pop culture objects to life with an original twist on the story they entail. Each remarkable drawing is presented in fine detail and exceptional attention to composition, depth, and shadows created solely with an intensely pigmented ink pen. Well, many pens actually.
From classic cars to iconic clothing pieces to hand gestures or sculptures, each original artwork is up to your personal interpretation – see for yourself!
The Milan-based artist told Bored Panda that he was always inspired by true-to-life works but disappointed by the limited variety of subjects and techniques used. “I always have been fascinated by the power and elegance of black and white, both in fine arts and in photography. I had an education and I worked as a product designer for ten years. Objects attract me, in particular, their aesthetics, textures, materials, volumes. I feel inspired by the stories they tell, their personalities, the ingenuity of their creators, their hidden world. At some point in my life, I simply felt that I had to combine these two passions into some exciting artworks,”– Alessandro admitted.
Even though the artist relies on portraying familiar objects that people can relate to, he gives them a new context and meaning with small interventions which is more complex than just replicating what is seen in life. “I select and study my subject carefully. Taking it into the studio, I distort it, enhance it, submerge it, imbue a solid surface with a liquid finish, I break it or rebuild it by combining it with other objects,” – Alessandro said while explaining his method of work – “I then shoot dozens of photos attempting to find that perfect image in terms of composition and contrast of light and shadow. I then draw it with intense pigment colored pencils or black ink pens (…) by superimposing layers of chaotic lines on top of one another until I achieve the right nuances even in the smallest details.”
The precise drawings are achieved with felt-tipped pens with intense water-proof and fade-resistant black pigment with tips ranging from 0.1 to 0.8mm on extra white cold pressed 100% cotton paper at 640gsm. “The use of pen, unlike pencil, allows to get a rich, vivid texture with a vibrant touch,” – said the artist.