Your Eyes Will Tell You These Pencil Portraits Are Photographs

Age and experience don’t always have everything to do with artistic skill. Take the case of Diego Fazio – a 25 year-old Italian artist. With only eight years of experience under his belt, Diego produces hyperrealistic pencil portraits of real people, capturing the details of their faces in a manner that seems not quite human. Despite the seeming impossibility, Fazio has made a career of producing such images.

As you can see below, the work done by Diego is nothing short of breathtaking, reproducing images in a manner that makes them virtually identical to a photograph. His process is intricately detailed, usually beginning with a simple line drawing and spending over two hundred hours to turn it into a completed portrait! The end product, though, is worth the wait – each image is incredibly realistic, highlighting the lack of detail that is typically present in portraiture. Even a typically realistic portrait can look subpar when compared to one of his pieces, creating a high-water mark for the human hand’s ability to replicate what the eye can see.

When it comes to art that’s this detailed, is there really a difference between the pencil piece and photography? Is there a reason to draw by hand if you can produce an identical image mechanically? If you believe in the importance of the artistic process, the answer should be a resounding “yes”, but it certainly gives those with an eye towards the world of art a moment to stop and think about hyperrealism.

As you progress with your own artistic endeavors, make sure that you embrace whatever it is that makes you and your artwork unique – and like Diego, find a way to stand out!

All images used with permission. See more at


  1. WOW!!!! over 200 hours per portrait??! that’s really amazing. he has a gift from God <3

  2. What does he use,is there a book to show you how to do that

    • There aren’t any books that I know of that are specifically on hyperrealistic pencil portraits, but I will keep looking. From what I can tell, you would use the same principles that apply to “non-hyperrealistic” (if that’s a word) – but still realistic – pencil portraits. The only difference is the level of detail and time commitment would be magnified tremendously.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *