These Incredible Pencil Portraits Will Blow Your Mind

Kelvin Okafor’s drawings are meticulous — so richly detailed that it’s almost impossible to believe that the image that you’re looking at was created by a graphite pencil and some charcoal, and not a camera’s lens. But these drawings were all done by hand, and he’s got the step-by-step process photos to prove it.

“I draw in sections,” he explains. “I’m right-handed so I work from left to right. After I’ve finished the left eye, I work the nostrils, then the left side of the cheek, then the lips. I always work in that order.” Such precision is time consuming, but worthwhile; it takes Okafor an average of 80 to 100 hours to complete each of his portraits. Click through to see a selection of his work (a mixture of celebrity pieces and intimate drawings of friends), and we think you’ll see why this 27-year-old British artist is currently taking the Internet by storm!

Adele. Image credit: Kelvin Okafor