It is absolutely incredible what artists can do with paint and a brush, and Yasutomo Oka is an exceptional example of this.
When you look at his paintings, you’d almost think that this 34 year-old resident of Aichi Prefecture is an amazing photographer. Look a little closer, though, you can see that these are not photographs at all.
These breathtaking images are all painted. Surrealist painter Yasutomo Oka has captured the attention of the world with his skill.
Are Yasutomo Oka’s Paintings CG?
After getting over the fact that these portraits are not photographs, it’s tempting to start speculating that they are computer-generated. After all, technology in that way has been advancing so fast lately, and has become very convincing.
They are not computer generated either! All of these portraits are actually oil paintings. Very detailed, very skilled applications of oil painting.
How Does Yasutomo Oka Make These Paintings?
Oka says that there are real-life models for the women he paints. Their appearance, however, is just a starting point from which he can create. He does the alterations that he wants, and eventually after many hours arrives at the image he wants to create.
Such intricacies take a lot of time. Some of them take as much as a month (sometimes longer) to complete, depending on the client and the size of the piece.
Part of the magic comes from blending smooth body parts like skin with the stiff hair and eyelashes. This contrast lends the hyper-real visuals that have made Yasutomo Oka so famous and revered.
In addition to the details and contrast, Oka’s use of colour is also what makes his paintings stand out so much. Even the eyes, if you look closely, reflect the light from within the painting.
Yasutoma Oka was born in the Aichi prefecture, in Japan. He graduated from Tama Art University in 2006. He’s known internationally in the art world because his paintings are so real-looking they cannot be distinguished from photographs.
He generally takes around a month to complete one of his detailed works. He starts with real life models, and often ‘idealizes’ them as he paints. Some women are shown wearing traditional kimonos, and others are shown with beautiful hair ornaments in a forest or against a floral wallpaper.
Oka is so talented at painting every facial feature to perfection. Each lock of hair, patch of skin, and piece of fabric is captured with impeccable detail. Oka says that he feels most pressure when drawing eyes because of their significance to the face. When painting photo-realist, the eyes tend to make or break the image.
Each of his portraits feature lifelike reflections and glints of light which make them very convincing and real-looking.
Where to View Yasutomo Oka’s Work
You can get an update of Oka’s recent gallery exhibitions on his website, which can be found here.
You can view images of Oka’s incredible work on his Instagram