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Of all the art styles, there is one genre that often gets the double-take. “Realism” has been prominent since the 1970s, and the talent we have curated represents some of the best Portrait Artists in India today.

Since time immemorial, artists have strived to depict the world around them. While many take the route of abstractions or symbolism, fine art is also represented by the intricate details of realism. Hyper-realism, an advancement of photorealism, is a visual art genre of sketching, painting or sculpture that resembles a high-resolution photograph made popular in the early 1970s.

Considering that these pieces make you look twice and marvel at the fact that they are handmade, there’s no doubt that realism artists are well on their way to their 10,000 hours. We’ve collected 15 amazing portrait artists from India who adopts realism in some capacity in their stunning artwork.

Considering that these pieces make you look twice and marvel at the fact that they are handmade, there’s no doubt that realism artists are well on their way to their 10,000 hours. We’ve collected 15 amazing portrait artists from India who adopts realism in some capacity in their stunning artwork.

01. Aakash Ramesh

In his words, Aakash Ramesh’s sketches are expressions of himself and an extension of what he feels at a particular time. Aakash primarily uses a pencil to create realistic portraits of celebrities and fictional characters. His work has a soft and traditional feel that makes you think of vintage posters. In fact, he’s given us a step-by-step guide on how to draw a realistic portrait, so go ahead, channel your inner hyperrealist.

02. Abhishek Ghaste

Abhishek Ghaste is a self-taught artist that hails from Nashik. His graphite renderings of celebrity portraits are remarkable (and they seem to agree as well)! His profile features many stars, some commissioned work and his enthusiasm for fitness. Clearly, he’s no stranger to the discipline required to excel at both.

03. Ankit Jasmatiya

Ankit Jasmatiya is an artist staking his own in the digital sphere. His YouTube channel has an audience of over 300k, and he teaches a class on Skillshare on portraits and realism. He primarily uses charcoal and pencil but has dabbled with ballpoint pens and soft pastels for his work. Ankit’s pieces depict celebrities, cultural icons, and animal life certifying his dedication to capturing portraits of all kinds.

04. Ayush Mishra

At only 19, Ayush Mishra already has the skill set of a seasoned portrait artist. He loves sketching celebrity portraits with graphite and charcoal and presents them like headshots. If you look closer, you will see how dedicated he is to the finer details of a person’s features which provides the secret sauce to his portraiture recipe.

05. Meher Art Studio

It’s time to get hyper-surreal with the man behind Meher Art Studio based in Delhi. The work has a strong base in ethnic portraits and composites (multiple subjects), sometimes breaking the realism barrier to depict subjects of mythological importance or surrealist musings. The ability to do so comes from a strong foundation in fine art whose processes are proudly displayed and inspires many to join the available classes and workshops.

Pratima Unde is a freelance illustrator and a graphic designer who experiments with various styles for her realistic portraits. She sometimes uses a technique called “giggling”, which uses neverending lines in circular motions to develop detail with an eye-catching texture. A quote from her highlights her motivation for creating these unique pieces – “I try to bring out the emotions people go through; ones they subconsciously engage in, and which do not easily or readily show on their faces and in their expressions. The subjects I approach are very shy and prefer to keep everything to themselves, much like a secret or personal indulgence. I speak for them through my illustrations, bringing out what lays unsaid or unexpressed.” For a deep-dive into the mind of Pratima Unde, check out our interview with her here.

07. Sadashiv Sawant

A realism veteran, Sadashiv Sawant is a master at the craft. With over 30 years of experience in architectural visualization, his ability to understand light and shape is phenomenal. His work spans portraits and still life, both possessing incredible detail and presence. Sadashiv now gives back to the community by training up and coming artists at “Pencil Perceptions”, where the value of his experience truly shows.

When we spoke to Shital Verma about his personal art style, he mentioned that lines and strokes, in particular, are his priority to help decide the creative direction of a portrait. He has a unique way of using texture to add or take away from the piece’s sub-narrative. A digital and ballpoint pen artist, Shital has had an illustrious career in advertising and marketing after studying fine art in Benaras.

Freelance illustrator, art instructor, TedX speaker. Sri Priyatham is an artist playing to win in the art world, and his broad expanse of work shows it. A fine arts graduate from JNAFAU Hyderabad, Priyatham dabbles in several styles, albeit digitally showcasing portraits of characters from pop culture, celebrities, and a tremendous amount of concept character studies. He attributes his personal growth to choosing the path of a freelancer and talks about the lifestyle here.

10. Ujwal

Hailing from Kerala, Ujwal is a talented portrait artist whose collection of work feels very slice-of-life. While he also showcases celebrity portraits and the like, his commissioned work instils familiarity for the viewer attesting to his skill in realism. He is self-taught and often uses charcoal, pencil and acrylic paints.

11. Vaibhav Tiwari

If “celebrity realism portraiture” was associated with a name, it would probably be Vaibhav Tiwari. This 21-year-old has created a plethora of Bollywood star portraits leading them to be featured by them and many media outlets. Wielding a pencil or a ballpoint pen for his work, Vaibhav sketches the tiniest detail seen by the naked eye prompting that double-take synonymous with hyperrealism.

12. Vishnu PR

Colourful and vibrant, Vishnu PR is a highly skilled digital portrait artist who believes that “art is all about materializing your expressions”. His sense of lighting and material texture is what makes his work uncanny to its subject. Vishnu’s skills extend to typography and branding, and he is the founder of a unique illustration service called Vectrez. We had a chance to dive into his process of bringing a digital portrait to life where you can learn to add your personal touch to make the piece truly unique.

While his daily fare is about creating eye-catching movie posters as a senior art director, Vivek Mandrekar is a skilled fine artist as well. When going over his construction of a digital painting of a Bollywood legend with us, Vivek reveals that even a simple expression can inspire the story behind a masterpiece.

14. Vrinda Parag Pai

Vrinda Pai is a pencil artist and an instructor at “Pencil Perceptions” (yes, the very same started by Sadashiv Sawant above). This Mumbai based artist explores still life and landscapes as much as portraits, and her work has been featured at art fairs and on book covers.

Who was your favourite portrait artist? Did we miss anyone? Let us know!

Creative Gaga - Issue 54


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Concept & visual artist from Mumbai, Medha Srivastava takes us through what really motivates her work and depictions. Likewise, she introduces us to the process by which she executes what she wants to convey onto the canvas, merging realism with animation.

Realism - Indian digital Artists

What makes you merge realism with animated effects across your works, and in what way does it contribute to your style?

Medha Srivastava: I express myself better through art and, so, when I feel deeply touched by a social issue, it begins to manifest thoughts into my head and gradually bring to life an artistic representation. Being a keen observer, I also tend to pay attention to details in my surrounding vicinity and that helps me pick up on textures, shapes, colours and the likes that I see every day.

What are the tools that you apply to bring about this merger, and how do they help to execute that effect?

Medha Srivastava: It usually begins with doodling variations of my thoughts onto paper, before going onto the final piece that is digitally created and developed using Adobe Photoshop integrated with a digital sketchpad (Wacom). Also, it proves to be quite useful to be able to edit, undo or backtrack on certain elements so that I can accommodate changes and adjust details according to what I would want to finished design to look like.


What fascinates you as subjects for your work?

Medha Srivastava: As I have always been fascinated with realism, conceptualisation and ideation. The whole idea of metaphors and thought-provoking depiction of art is something which I am naturally drifted to. Concepts and character building are of primary precedence as they align with my main intent in any artwork of mine.


Also, I have always followed the importance of light and shadow in my artworks too. Social issues, particularly, have always inspired me to create further.


How would you describe your style of work and the perspective behind it?

Medha Srivastava: My style of work is mostly realistic with a hint of stylisation and conceptualisation. The love of putting realism into my artwork eventually helps me to incorporate realistic elements in my paintings. Initially, I started with mere illustrations and slowly got inclined towards the world of concepts.


I think as an artist, I need to keep an open mind as I don’t know where technology, opportunities and my work will take me.


Many things have changed in design, during the past few years, and the trends are shifting very rapidly. So, in the new year, what are your predictions for your genre of design?

Medha Srivastava: In my opinion, digital art will pick up the brisk pace in the year 2018. A decade ago, digital art wasn’t as recognised as traditional art but it is pleasing to see so many artists developing an interest in it. Additionally, having prior experience as a game artist, I believe that the gaming industry in India is set to blossom in the coming years and there will be extensive opportunities for upcoming artists in our country.

Likewise, what are the changes that you, personally, would like to see in 2018?

Medha Srivastava: I would like to see, in 2018, artists showing emphasis on various other subjects such as fantasy, sci-fi or even self-developed new concepts and ideas.


Another significant trend I would like to witness is that of artists showing dedicated importance to the stages of pre-production which include concept development, character creation, and environment designs.

Published in Issue 41

Every year brings many opportunities and hopes along with celebrations. For this issue, we reached many visual artists and designers to know their expectations from the year 2018. This issue’s cover designer, Shreya Gulati is exceptionally impressed by the advancement of technology in design, especially how VR & AR has impacted new ways of creating.

Honing and sharpening one’s skills is always a quest for every creative. So, whether you have many or none expectations for the year, this issue is a must-read.


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Creative Gaga - Issue 54