From a distance, it may seem that the works of art of Eli Wudufa Yusuf are black and white photographs, but in fact each is a hyper-realistic charcoal drawing. The Nigerian entertainer became an internet sensation in 2019 when he shared a portrait of comedian Kevin Hart on Twitter, hoping his idol would see it. Unsurprisingly, the American was upset when he came across the piece and offered to buy the design and commission portraits for other celebrities. Since then, Yusuf has continued to create captivating charcoal works that resemble his subjects.
“Through art, I am able to create a world that rivals the camera and amazes people,” the artist says on his website. “I identify as a hyper-realist charcoal artist, although I occasionally implement the use of other mediums such as graphite, pen and colored pencils.” Her large-scale drawings capture every detail of her subjects, from the textures of the various fabrics to the luminous quality of the skin. Yusuf skillfully mixes the charcoal on the paper to render these different hues.
Although its process can take many hours, the results are worth it. Each hyper-realistic piece is impressive on its own, but when the model poses next to it and the viewer is able to see the resemblance between the two-dimensional drawing and reality, it puts Yusuf’s masterful skills into perspective. The same can be said for his portraits of other famous celebrities, such as Steve Harvey and Tiffany Haddish.
Nigerian artist Eli Wuduba Yusuf creates hyper-realistic drawings of people.
He primarily renders these portraits in charcoal, occasionally incorporating other mediums like graphite and pen.
The finished art bears a remarkable resemblance to their subject.
Yusuf first rose to fame with his portrayal of American comedian Kevin Hart, which he made in 2019.
Yusuf tagged Hart on Twitter and was surprised when the American responded.
My name is Eli Waduba Yusuf
Am a Nigerian, based in Kaduna. Am a hyperrealism PENCIL Artist, I hope to become like @Harinzeyart. Please retweet, leave @KevinHart4real see, thank you pic.twitter.com/oYYUQxbK5e
— Eli Waduba (@EliWaduba) February 25, 2019
I see it and I want to buy it… I also want to support you and your incredible talent by donating a fee to make a pencil drawing of 3 of my famous friends who I can donate it to. DM your info and let’s get to work! https://t.co/ImOYa0UNlL
— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) February 27, 2019
Since then, Yusuf has continued to produce hyper-realistic charcoal drawings of celebrities and people who commission his services.
All images via Eli Wuduba Yusuf.
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