Cape Town-based self-taught artist Jono Dry creates large-scale graphite drawings that generally convey confusion of the real and unreal. By using only a pencil and paper, he takes mental health and its metaphors as subject for his artworks. With highly detailed scenes illustrated in pencil with photographic precision, the talented artist was able to fuse hyperrealism and surrealism. And by doing so, each of his creations give the best of both worlds.
So, Jono takes inspiration from mythology and the complexities of identity and depression. Headless figures holding hot air balloons, naked people partially wrapped in fabric, women with animal horns and Ikebana flower arrangements sprouting from the subjects’ heads. These are some of his common motifs serving as obscure symbolism and with the empty darkness surrounding the figures, each drawing appears like a dark dream came to life.
South African artist Jono Dry creates pencil drawings that are both hyperreal and surreal
Furthermore, his photograph-like drawings often highlight mundane features such as the delicate folds of the skin, the mesmerizing pattern of the eye’s iris and the shimmer of a single water drop. Jono lets his subjects stand alone against the darkness to evoke a sense of fleeting uncertainty between fact and fiction.
“I enjoy the idea of having no limit with my work. When the only limit is your imagination, it becomes a wonderful challenge to see how far it can stretch.”, the artist says. “It feels like I’m constantly exploring and pushing the boundaries of my own imagination with the goal to find something worth spending time, bringing to life in the form of a drawing.”
So, lets take a look at some of his work
You can follow Jono on Instagram to see his entire portfolio of stunning pencil drawings. But, we’ve picked out some of his best works so far to challenge your sense of reality. Once you see how realistic his drawings are, it will be almost impossible to believe they are drawn in pencil.
We think the detail on this amazing because the water looks real.
Here is the artist at work!
Some of his pieces feature hands and this one also has a figure
But this one has a hand and a tree.
This drawing is called “To Be Tamed” and it is an intricate work of art.
A lot of this work features people
While his other work features amazing detail like this one
So, which drawing is your favorite? Let us know!