Realistic Drawing of a Catfish Looks Like It’s Swimming Off the Page

It’s easy to mistake the drawings of 25-year-old Aria for reality. The self-taught Japanese artist is famous on social media for creating head-turning illustrations of animals and objects that look like they’re about to pop off the page. Her latest piece captures the whiskery form of a catfish whose tail magically escapes the boundary of the paper.

Despite its three-dimensional appearance, Aria’s artwork is, in fact, two dimensional. It’s just masterfully drawn to look as much like the subject as possible. She does this by carefully sketching the object, and then filling it with layers of colored pencils. This technique lets her recreate light and shadow, which in turn makes it seem as though each drawing is solid and three-dimensional.

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