This 16-year-old artist creates drawings that look like photographs


Madison Young, a 16-year-old artist from Amherstburg, Ont., Draws and paints images that could easily be mistaken for photographs. And often they are. At art fairs, dozens of people told her how beautiful her photograph was, and on Instagram people accused her of stealing photos from the web and claiming that she took them her own way. -same. Over the years, her brightly colored pieces have earned her over 74,000 Instagram followers.

Young started drawing Disney characters. In 2010, at the age of eight, she turned to hyperrealism, which she says isn’t much different from recreating a CGI cartoon. Previously, she used a grid to carefully measure the proportions of each drawing, but now she works mostly freehand. On average, she spends 12 to 20 hours on each drawing, with her more detailed pieces taking up to 40 hours to complete.

Here she discusses some of her favorite pieces.

Cupcakes were Young’s first hyperrealism adventure in 2010. She often searches Pinterest and Instagram for ideas, and when she saw another artist drawing cupcakes, she wanted to try and recreate the textures. She begins each piece by making a sketch, which she transfers to white bristol paper using a light box. From there, it’s mostly about adding layers of color.

Young is the most proud of her eye designs. “These are the ones I spend the most time on because they are so detailed,” she says. She takes her brother as a model and works from photos to recreate the swirls of color. For texture, she uses white acrylic paint pens to give her art a 3D look. To date, she has made over 15 eye designs. Each takes between 20 and 30 hours to complete.

For her lip designs, Young experiments with different shapes and textures, occasionally adding glitter, sequins or jewelry. She uses her own mouth as a reference.

Young enjoys drawing animals because of the rich colors and details of their fur. For her, art is both her part-time job and a hobby. She receives one or two orders per month from people who find her at art fairs or online.

For this drawing, Young added texture to the colored pencil layers using an X-Acto knife to sculpt details into the fur. She donates half of the proceeds from the lion designs to the Windsor-Essex Humanitarian Society. So far, she has raised $ 500 and sold over 30 pieces (her originals sell for around $ 300 and she charges between $ 15 and $ 50 for prints).

This sunflower is Young’s first oil painting. Although she uses colored pencils as her main tool, she says she doesn’t want to limit herself to drawing. The only medium from which she moves away is watercolor. “I tried, but it wasn’t for me,” she says.

Amherstburg photographers Janet and Alan Arseneault of Chalet Studio Photography asked Young to create a drawing based on one of their photographs from their trip to Africa. “I wanted to draw this one because of all the colors,” she says.


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