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Illustrative Artist Uses iPad To Create Realistic Portraits

By Lauren Kermelis on December 15th 2013

With the influx of mobile technology comes a whole new realm of software, programs, and avenues that one can take for all of their digital solutions. Not even half a decade ago, no one would have ever imagined a device so advanced as a tablet or even a smart phone for that matter. But now it is common knowledge, even infants know how to operate them.



Twenty-six-year-old Kyle Lambert has pushed technology to the limits. His most recent project, a portrait of Morgan Freeman, looks so realistic that one must watch the video to believe that it was all done by hand…more suprisingly, on an iPad. He starts with a blank canvas and lays down the broad strokes, then reduces his brush size to paint in the more fine detail.

Lambert, a painter with a degree in illustration and animation, discovered that it was possible to create high-resolution paintings using only his iPad and his finger. With the help of an app called “Procreate“, Kyle spent over 200 hours, and over 280K brush strokes to complete his newest project. A feature within the app allowed him to create a time-lapse video of the countless hours of his work, which we see demonstrated in a little under four minutes.

Procreate is an advanced illustration app designed for mobile devices that gives its users the ability to transform their iPad into a mini art-studio. Included within its features are a variety of tools, brushes, oils, and even the ability to customize your own tools, all the while delivering an image up to 4K in quality.






Morgan Freeman was not the only celebrity Lambert has chosen to Illustrate. Kyle was also known for the popular photo of Beyonce he create a while back as well. More of his work can be viewed here.

[via “IceFlow Studios“]

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Lauren Kermelis is a freelance photographer wedding, portrait, and event photographer based out of Southern California.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Bertamus

    Sorry, this is a blatant fake, for multiple reasons. 1. It’s pixel for pixel the exact same as the original photograph taken by Scott Gries. 2. You don’t go from sub-par artist to Photo-real extraordinaire from one painting to another. What he did was reveal the photograph and it’s obvious in the video. One brush stroke on the lips and he gets all of the specular highlights in the exact place as the original? No way on earth EXCEPT if the brush stroke was really an eraser/Layer mask that reveals the photograph underneath. I’ve seen this done before but for some reason people want to believe this is real. If he could get a portrait to look photo real why couldn’t he draw a hand better than a 1st grader??? (last image). Just download the image from Scott Gries and overlay it in Photoshop, it’s a copy… don’t fall for this scam.

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  2. rmenke

    A clip in french explaining it’s a fake shows up after watching this.
    I’m not saying which of the two clips I believe, but either is possible.
    With a fine enough brush and enough time you could recreate it pixel by pixel.

    The one detail that looks fake to me are the lips.
    The are a bit too good to be true.

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  3. Josh

    That’s cool. But I’d just call Morgan Freeman up and take a picture of him. Bam.

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  4. cherbedjian

    i am like St Thomas, i need to see it to believe !!

    the details on the skin or the leaps are from photography !!!

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  5. Sean Gold

    I’ve seen a lot of controversy over this, and I find it hard to believe this is real. I don’t know how you can paint in hairs, veins, and other fine details that fine with your finger. He may have made a great portrait but I feel towards the end he switched it for an actual photo. I have a hard enough time creating pleasing skin texture in Photoshop with tools designed for it, let alone smudging an iPad screen with my fingers. But that’s just my 2 cents.

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    • Monica

      That was my thought as well.

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    • passingby

      You guys obviously don’t know much about the program “procreate” in the right hands and these kind of life like images are doable.

      From what i’ve seen and read he took over 200 hours to paint this with over 285,000 brush.. errr finger strokes.

      Anyhow go have a google look of what people have done with the program.

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