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Inspirational Hyperreal Vector Artists and Images

Hyperrealism is an art movement which requires the same level of technical ability as photorealistic illustration. To get an idea what is actually meant by that, you can take a look at some excellent examples in the post The World’s Most Photorealistic Vector Art1. While Hyperrealism brings a similar level of skill to images, this style allows the artist to creatively interpret an image. In Hyperrealism artists utilize ethereal lighting effects, depth of field techniques, and camera style perspective to depict the images. They create images that are imaginatively realistic.

Often artists that work in Hyperrealism have other interests as well. These vary by subject matter and style. Some of the artists listed below are interested in Vexel styles, Digitalization, Classic Airbrush Painting, and have been influenced by a myriad of other styles. We’ve included work that ranges from strong Hyperrealism to work that is more a stylization of reality.

This kind of artwork is often created using Illustrator’s Gradient Mesh Tool, though not always. You’ll see that some of the artists create artwork with a fantastic level of detail, using many flat shapes. Illustrator is the most popular program for creating Hyperreal Vector art. Artists also use Flash and other vector programs as well.

Hyperreal Vector Artists Link

Cristiano Siqueira2
Chistiano is an accomplished illustrator from Brazil. He has multiple vector stylistic influences. He has some works in vexel styles, cartoon styles, realistic styles, hyperrealistic styles, and various mixtures of these. The work depicted below has a great deal of realism, but also brings in a feeling of fantasy. Here is a link to an Interview with Cristiano Siqueira3, in case you want to learn more about the artist.

Chris Vector4

Giulia Balladore5
This illustrator is from Italy. Here is a link to an Interview with Giulia Balladore6, in case you want to learn more about the artist. In this interview the artist’s style is described, “my work has a huge hyper-realistic and fashion influence; chiefly I like to focus the human nature in each of my illustrations.”

Giulia Balladore7

Oleg Rogoznev8
This is a Russian artist with a really impressive craft when it comes to design of realistic vector images. His work takes on hyperreal qualities by focusing on extreme detail (see “The Flower” below, at the left hand side). In the “Still life” (below right) he uses subjective lighting. In the “Large eye” he captures realistic detail, while allowing some of hair and skin elements to show through as simplified vectors. You can visit his portfolio9 for further works.

Oleg10

Nuria Herrero11
This artist currently resides in Spain. She has a portfolio filled mostly with cartoon style realism. Though she also works in Hyperreal style on occasion, as can be seen from the selection of her work below.

image12

Catherine Preston13
This artist is from the United Kingdom. She has a small selection of high quality vector portraiture. The top illustration is exemplary for her work. In the bottom illustration notice the choice of details in the image. Leaving out some of the texture in the iris of the eye gives a little bit of flatness to such a realistic image. Apparently, such kinds of artistic choices lead to stylistic effects.

Catherine Preston14

Chris Nielsen15
Chris is an illustrator from California, USA. He doesn’t use the Gradient Mesh tool. He prefers to create all that exquisite detail with a multitude of flat abstract vector shapes. He defines his style as “Stylized Realism.” In the motorcycle portraits below, he allows some unfilled vector lines to show through the design. They coexist with the shiny chrome details.

Nielsen16

Joseph Ryan Nasipak17
Joseph is from Ohio, USA. He has used the Gradient Mesh Tool in some illustrations, but also uses blurs to good effect. The artist has the following to say about the top image, “This image was done with solid color fills, gradient fills, gausian blurs and opacity tints. No mesh.”

image18

Eric Gushee19
Gushee is from West Virginia, USA. Most of his vector work is done in a flat shape gradient style. The pieces below show that he also works in a Hyperreal style. The top image and the image at the bottom left look as if they were made with gradient meshes. The image at the bottom right is more in line with his flatter style.

Gushee20

Patrick Kerby21
This artist is from Ontario, Canada. He has a large photography collection. Vector illustration is more of a hobby for him. He recreated Spiderman from a poster in the large image below using Gradient Meshes in Illustrator.

PatrickKErby22

Mark Westberg23
This artist is from Minnesota, USA. He has an interest in motorcycles, airplanes, and nudes. They are all created in vector, but have an airbrushed painted quality applied to them. Especially the airplane images below. They have a hyperreal detail, while using depth of field, and blur techniques to simulate motion. Look at the blur on the propeller at the bottom right. The artist also creates atmospheric lighting with the sunset backgrounds. The motorcycle is made from flat shapes. If you look at the left rim you can see where some noticeable shapes were left.

Westberg24

Jussta25
This artist is from Poland. Her portfolio displays a range of work including Vexel stylization, Vector Cartoon, and Hyperreal. She mixes these styles in her work. Each image has areas of different stylization. In the large image, you can see how the flat vector jacket contrasts the realism of the woman depicted in the image.

image26

Todd Mac27
This artist resides in Norway. He has a mixed style, which combines realism and flat vector graphics. The top image is titled Copertone Girl. The lighting and detail in this image have Hyperreal qualities. The face in the image is done with the Gradient Mesh Tool in Illustrator. Of course, the artist also mixes some flat vector graphics as well, like in the strands of hair and background.

image28

Footnotes Link

  1. 1 http://basangpanaginip.blogspot.com/2006/07/worlds-most-photorealistic-vector-art.html
  2. 2 http://www.crisvector.com/
  3. 3 http://www.illustrophile.com/?page_id=115
  4. 4 http://www.crisvector.com/
  5. 5 http://www.juniatwork.com/
  6. 6 http://www.creativebehavior.com/index.php?PID=132
  7. 7 http://www.juniatwork.com/
  8. 8 http://alegas1360.illustratorworld.com/
  9. 9 http://www.artlib.ru/index.php?id=11&fp=2&uid=2194
  10. 10 http://alegas1360.illustratorworld.com/
  11. 11 http://nuria.deviantart.com
  12. 12 http://nuria.deviantart.com
  13. 13 http://www.flickr.com/photos/designgeek/
  14. 14 http://www.flickr.com/photos/designgeek/
  15. 15 http://www.pentoolart.com
  16. 16 http://www.pentoolart.com
  17. 17 http://JosephRyan.illustratorworld.com/
  18. 18 http://JosephRyan.illustratorworld.com/
  19. 19 http://www.gushee.com/
  20. 20 http://www.gushee.com/
  21. 21 http://www.flickr.com/photos/kerbydesign/sets/72057594062072055/
  22. 22 http://www.flickr.com/photos/kerbydesign/sets/72057594062072055/
  23. 23 http://eagle1.illustratorworld.com/
  24. 24 http://eagle1.illustratorworld.com/
  25. 25 http://jussta.deviantart.com/gallery/
  26. 26 http://jussta.deviantart.com/gallery/
  27. 27 http://adriantodd.deviantart.com/
  28. 28 http://adriantodd.deviantart.com/
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Sean Hodge is the creative mind behind AiBURN, a weblog about design, creativity, inspiration and graphics.

  1. 1

    An expert 3D artist could do any of that, and in about 1/100th the time. I’m really getting into 3D with Blender, and even from my novice standpoint I can say that you just can’t beat the practicality of using 3D when trying to achieve such results, even for ultra-high resolution images. I’d sooner work 20 hours to model, texture, and rig a scene, and wait 100 hours for the ultra-high resolution render to finish, then having to spend many hundreds of hours (i.e. several weeks) trying to achieve the same result in vector. And don’t give me that “scale to any size” crap – 3D will render as high a resolution as you tell it to, provided your textures are big enough so they don’t stretch. So no matter how you look at it, trying to get such results with vector is just plain impractical. Vector artists should stick to illustration and avoid “trying to make a photo,” and 3D artists should stick to rendering art and avoid “trying to make a logo.”

    But none-the-less, those are some incredible pieces.

    -4
  2. 2

    @Heri:

    Meh, I’m going to have to respectfully disagree. Although I do understand that it’s more practical to get realistic results utilizing 3-Dimensional techniques and software, one shouldn’t disregard other works or mediums because they are completed in a longer span of time. For example, I could say that painting is a useless art form now, because rather than painting a realistic picture (which could take a very long time), I could just render it any sort of faster medium. Practicality does not triumph over artistic merit, although you do agree that these are incredible pieces.

    Plus, working with the Gradient Mesh tool is a major bee-yatch.

    3
  3. 3

    This is one awesome piece of artwork! Thanks Smashing Magazine for another great post.
    I hope you’ll be able to post some tutorials on how to accomplish these kind of vector artworks. Also, for the avid readers of Smashing Magazine, is there anyone here who knows of a good tutorial on perspectives, shadow, highlights, lighting? If ever you have please post it here. Thanks!!!!

    0
  4. 4

    nice :-)

    0
  5. 5

    Andrew Lavelle

    April 27, 2008 6:09 am

    Amazing!! What beautiful work, these guys got talent, thanks for a great post as always Smashing Magazine.

    0
  6. 6

    This work is amazing!

    0
  7. 7

    Kitsch.

    0
  8. 8

    Fred | HeavyChef

    April 27, 2008 8:21 am

    Kitch, beautiful, retro… call it what you want, no one can deny that these guys are seriously talented.

    Great post. It makes me think that we need more art direction in mainstream websites.

    0
  9. 9

    are u stupid people?

    0
  10. 10

    I just cannot imagine how to obtain that O__O Amazing

    0
  11. 11

    How about Yukio Miyamoto (http://yukio.illustratorworld.com/)? Not all portraits, but definitely amazing with the meshes. Chris Vector’s stuff just blows me away anytime I look at it.

    0
  12. 12

    well i’m really impressed. nice work.

    0
  13. 13

    That’s a very cool post! Thanks for the inspiration!

    0
  14. 14

    Aside from Cristiano Siqueira this list is a gathering of semipro airbrushy vector craftsmen.
    I’m sorry this is dead boring and very uninspiring.

    0
  15. 15

    Excellent! I have to disagree with any comment bagging these artists

    0
  16. 16

    Fun With War Crimes

    April 27, 2008 6:14 pm

    WOW! Those are amazing!!!
    My stuff isn’t as good but entertainimng. Wow really cool.
    -Fun With War Crimes

    0
  17. 17

    @ pizzabox, I think we can agree to respectfully disagree. If you want to throw painting into the equation, fine. I’m a novice digital painter too (Intuos 6×11), and like vector and 3D, it has it’s own weaknesses, and strengths. I paint all of my textures, and I always do post-work painting on my renders. They each have their place in the [digital] art world. Vector is a great thing, but it’s not practical for “hyperrealism.” When I look at those wonderful pieces of work, I can’t help but ask myself “why?” – it just doesn’t make sense to do that kind of thing in Illustrator or Flash, mesh tool or not. I also know how a few million polygons in Blender can be, but I’d hate to see what working with those vectors would be like.

    @ atype, I’m not bagging the artists. Like I said, those are some incredible pieces of work. I just don’t see the point in trying that kind of thing with vector.

    0
  18. 18

    this is really awesome..
    i though the Angelina jolly was real :P

    http://www.behance.net/disa4ever

    0
  19. 19

    Yup! this is reallly great and m very much inspired from this. :)

    0
  20. 20

    These artists are amazing! So detailed! But, with the greatest respect, I wonder what drives them to create such detailed gradient meshes, when they could have easily used a photograph to achieve the same effect, or better. In fact I’m certain that most have these have used a direct photo reference. I mean I can admire the huge amount of skill it takes to create these pieces, but what is the real point? Why strive for hyper-realism when the camera does a much better job?

    0

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