My photorealist art is a collection of paintings and drawings derived directly from photographic sources. 

Click the thumbnails below to enlarge the artwork

About Thaneeya's Photorealist Art

The allure of photorealism for me is its innate paradox. A photorealistic painting begins with a blank surface, a photograph, and pigment, which the artist manipulates to create an illusion of reality. The creation of these paintings is a highly abstract process. Essentially, little blobs of color, carefully applied and blended, come to represent and imitate recognizable forms. As much as I admire the final product, I enjoy the process of creating them much more - savoring the surprise moments when the little blobs of color become "real". 

Photorealist Art by Thaneeya McArdle

My photorealistic paintings represent moments in time and therefore inherently reference their inverse - the passage of time. The hours spent applying pigment to a surface provides a third time-based layer - a performative aspect which leaves behind a record, or imprint of the artist's hand and consciousness. Finally, the viewer adds another layer, with each gaze bringing the painting into the present moment.

My interest in photorealism is as philosophical as it is aesthetic. By laboring over such detailed works, I increase my capacity for awareness of the tiny details that comprise the fabric of existence, an experience which I believe is mirrored in the viewer's mind. The clarity presented in photorealistic paintings encourages clarity in the real world, in observing one's surroundings - which leads to a heightened appreciation of the myriad nuances of life.

To create my photorealist art, I usually use either acrylics, watercolors or colored pencils - but most often, acrylics. 

Photorealist Still Life by Thaneeya McArdle

My photorealist art usually takes the form of still lifes, featuring everyday objects like cupcakes or toys. I also enjoy the challenge of painting detailed objects such as money and the reflections in glass.

I learned how to draw and paint in a photorealist style entirely through trial and error. Over the years I've received many emails from folks asking for tips on painting photorealistically with acrylics, which can be tough because acrylics dry quickly, making it hard to blend colors together seamlessly. In response, I created a free 15-page online tutorial on How to Paint Photorealism Using Acrylics to share my knowledge and help others on the path to painting photorealistically. I also put togeher a detailed step-by-step tutorial showing How to Draw a Photorealistic Marble in Colored Pencils.

If you looked through the slideshow above, you'll have noticed that colorful cupcakes are one of my favorite subjects! Several of my photorealist cupcake paintings can be purchased on products: