These are stunning hyper-realistic pencil drawings that can take up to 100 hours to complete – but the artist insists anyone can master the skill if they put in the practice.
Emma Towers-Evans, 29, first picked up a pencil when she was just two years old and said her love for drawing began after watching the film ‘Free Willy’ when she was inspired to draw killer whales.
Now she creates incredible pencil portraits of people and animals – some of which can take her up to 100 hours to complete – and that are so realistic they look like photos.
Emma often completes the drawings on a large A1 or A0 paper and estimates each piece of artwork can have upwards of 500,000 individual pencil strokes.
She shares her incredible creations on TikTok and has racked up over 264,000 followers and an impressive 4.5 million likes on her videos (https://www.instagram.com/eteportraits/; https://www.tiktok.com/@eteportraits).
In some of her popular videos, she can be seen drawing portraits of well-known celebrities like Rhianna and Taylor Swift.
The self-taught artist insists ‘anyone’ can master the craft if they put in the hours after she saw her skills improve after years of practice.
Emma, who is an artist from Stourbridge, a market town in the West Midlands, in the United Kingdom, said: “I don’t believe people are ‘naturally talented’ when it comes to drawing.
“It’s taken me years of practice, patience, and dedication to get to where I am today.
“I think anyone can get to that level – you just need to have that same determination and self-belief.”
Emma loved drawing as a hobby during her childhood and teens, but never thought it would be her future career.
While at the University of Surrey, studying music and sound recording, she began doing commissions and would often draw portraits of people’s pets.
As her success continued, Emma decided to focus on drawing full-time and set up her website.
Now the pencil artist sells her original work and her subjects are often portraits of people.
She also created a series of big cat drawings called the ‘Felidae series’ and 25 percent of the proceeds when to cat conservation charities like the Born Free Foundation and Lion Aid.
One of these portraits was based on Christian the Lion – a famous pet lion who was bought from Harrods in the 1970s – and Emma had permission from the photographer to sketch his photo.
She said: “My style is hyper-realistic – I try to create something that looks as real as possible.
“I like to draw things from the natural world like people and animals.
“It’s really exciting to see something come alive on the paper.”
Emma set up her TikTok – @eteportraits – March 2020 and couldn’t believe the response she received.
Her videos capture each stage of her drawings and her partner, Nick Harding, 28, edits them.
In one video, she shows the process of creating her self-portrait which took 97 hours to complete.
Now she posts to her 264.9k followers and has racked up an incredible 4.5million likes.
She also has an Instagram page where she posts her stunning drawings to her 61.4k followers.
Emma said: “I started the page during lockdown as a bit of fun.
“The first one I posted was a timelapse video of a portrait and I can’t believe how popular it’s become.
“The comments and support I get are amazing.
“My boyfriend edits them and does an amazing job – I try to release a couple a week.”
The self-taught artist tries to encourage other people to pick up a pencil and give it a go.
She doesn’t believe in ‘talent’ and believes artistic skill comes from hours of hard work.
Emma said: “I think having that ability can be attenable for anyone.
“It’s just a case of knowing how to do it, which comes with lots of practice.
“I think anyone can become an artist if they’ve got the time and patience.”
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