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Looking at the expertly-drawn charcoal and graphite portraits of Dylan Eakin, you’d think he has a lifetime of experience and many years of art school under his belt, but the truth is he’s a self-taught artist and he’s only been at it for three years.
Staring at most of Eakin’s black-and-white portraits, I often found myself looking for any clues that I was looking at a drawing and not a high-definition photograph. That’s what hyperrealism is all about, I know, but the talented artist really takes it to the extreme, nailing even the finest of details, like loose strands of hair on his subjects’ faces, droplets of sweat or the smallest wrinkles. To the untrained eye, his works seem perfect, but he is the first to point out that there are some things he simply can’t replicate.
“Highlights are impossible. Not difficult, impossible,” the talented artist said in an interview. “Because there’s no way to make a 2-dimensional charcoal drawing emit light. It took me a couple of years to come to terms with that.”
Completion time varies from project to project, Eakin said, adding that even though he always looks for ways to make the process more efficient, he constantly finds new elements to add, and that can really slow things down. He can finish an 18 x 24” portrait in about eight days of intensive work, though.