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Artist's unbelievable life-like drawings

THEY SAY a picture tells a thousand words but apparently they can tell a few pork pies as well.

Because while these portraits might trick the eye into believing they are photographs, they are actually pencil drawings from artist Kelvin Okafor.

The 27-year-old Middlesex University fine art graduate has stunned critics with his incredible life-like drawings and has been showered with awards in tribute to his talents including The Catherine Petitgas Visitors Choice Prize, part of the National Open Art Competition.

WONDERMAN: Tinie Tempah (picture: Kelvin Okafor)

He was also selected as one of the top two pieces of work in the Cork Street Gallery Open Exhibition Winter Show.

Each piece of photo-realism, as the genre is known, takes between 80 to 100 hours to create using pictures or life models as inspiration.

ARTIST (picture: Kelvin Okafor)

The Tottenham-based artist said: “I’ve always been creative, but fell in love with using pencils in particular. It was only when my images started to create a buzz with other Middlesex University students that I realised their impact.”

Before starting a piece, Okafor spends a few days carefully studying a photo with particular attention paid to his subject’s eyes as he claims this is key to shaping the finished article.

The works of art cost up to £10,000 depending on the scale but is in huge demand with more than 50 exhibitions.

Okafor said: “The attention I’m receiving is surreal and hasn’t really sunk in yet. I’m usually sheltered from it in my studio as I continue to build my portfolio, but I’m really humbled and honoured that so many people appreciate my work. I hope to have my own gallery in the future.”

Kelvin Okafor's work is being exhibited at the Works on Paper/Watercolour Fair at the London Science Museum this week until February 3

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