These Oil Paintings Are So Realistic You’ll Think They’re Pictures


Hyperrealistic drawings are pretty much everywhere these days, but one thing we haven’t seen too often are hyperrealistic paintings – especially oil paintings. But all that is about to change. Japanese painter Kei Mieno decided to go the extra mile and creates oil paintings so realistic you could honestly swap them out with high quality pictures.

While talent is probably a huge factor in this, there’s no doubt in my mind that it probably takes an equal amount of patience and time. These paintings look mind-boggling and even the lighting is just perfectly done. Naturally, Kei Mieno has loads of followers on his Instagram who want to keep up with his art.

Mieno got his arts degree back in 2007 and – obviously – has been painting ever since. It’s clear he’s mastered his craft to extreme levels, and he even posts “making of” videos just in case you wouldn’t believe that these are actually paintings (it’s okay, I didn’t believe it either). 

The thing that’s most unique about his work is that he uses a wide range of models and he is insanely good at making facial expressions look realistic. He even manages to paint fabric so good that you can visually tell which fabric it’s supposed to be. Even modern video games don’t always get that right.

Mieno doesn’t consider himself to be part of the photorealistic or hyperrealistic art movements though. He finds that painting is more than just trying to make things look like a photograph, but actually painting reality the way it appears in your mind. No matter how you try to explain it, most of his paintings look better and more realistic than half the photographs I take, so maybe he does kind of have a point here.

Since Mieno is only 36 years old right now, he still has a long way to go before he is no longer able to make paintings like this. I wonder what else he’ll show us in the coming years and decades, and how he’ll evolve his art beyond this point. Because I find it hard to believe he’d stop here, there’s so much time and room left for him to grow. But for now, let’s just enjoy this man’s amazing paintings and hope he’ll be around for a long time still!