We’ve featured talented artists like Leng Jun before. Now, we’re here to present yet another brilliant artist for his realistic portraits. Only this time, he uses a pencil as his medium. What’s even more impressive is that it only takes him about an hour to finish one portrait. Meet Nikolay Yarakhtin, the talented street artist of Saint Petersburg in Russia.
Originally from Cheboksary, this gifted artist has been creating portraits for 28 years now. Yarakhtin revealed that he discovered his talent when he was only six or seven years old. Back then, he drew with anything and anywhere possible. He even used books, notebooks, albums even wallpaper or walls.
This Russian street artist creates stunning lifelike portraits
With over two decades of experience, Yarakhtin is close to perfecting his craft. So, it’s not surprising to know that he only spends about an hour to finish his masterpiece. The artist shared that he’s particularly fond of drawing live portraits since he’s able to observe his subject better. As a result, he’s also able to intricately recreate every facial feature and expression onto his blank canvas.
“When you draw a live portrait, you can see the model better. Unlike drawing from a flat photograph, you can see an actual shape of the face.”
What’s even worth commending is that it only takes him about an hour to finish his masterpiece
Yarakhtin also explained that the secret behind such realistic portraits “lies in the way an artist sees a figure.”
“Back in art school, I was taught to look at the figure as a whole, not as a set of details. The principle is to work from the more general to the more specific—from big shapes to smaller shapes. It takes years of practice and knowledge of anatomy.”
As a street artist, Yarakhtin’s works often attracts attention, which also makes them subject to scrutiny. Even so, he revealed that he would always look forward to hearing those comments. In fact, it’s also among the reasons why working on the streets excites him more.
Since he’s working outdoors, one would easily assume that bad weather is Yarakhtin’s ultimate nemesis. Although a rainy day would certainly result in low foot traffic within the area, the artist doesn’t consider this as his biggest challenge.
“The most challenging in portraiture drawing is when a model moves a lot. It becomes difficult to capture the likeness.”
Despite all these hurdles, seeing the excitement of his clients is what ultimately brings him joy. Knowing that people appreciate his works also motivates him to do better in his craft. As a matter of fact, his works’ popularity has reached a global scale.
He has currently over 45k followers on Instagram. Plus, he’s also getting commissioned work from clients all over the world. Hopefully, the dream of holding a personal exhibit could come true someday.
Scroll down to see more of Nikolay Yarakhtin’s amazing portraits. You can see their uncanny resemblances to his subjects yourself