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Keeping it photoreal: Check out these very lifelike portraits

Irish artist Barry ‘Jazz’ Finnegan specialises in charcoal drawings that seem to come alive as he creates them.
Apr 28th 2013, 9:15 AM 12,111 15

IT DOESN’T MATTER where we are in the room – the eyes in these portraits seem to follow us.

We’ve become aware of the giant works created by Irish photorealistic artist Barry ‘Jazz’ Finnegan – they are larger-than-life but also very lifelike.

Here is his latest – Quint the shark hunter from the movie Jaws (did you know that Quint actor Robert Shaw died in Tourmakeady, Co Mayo?). This timelapse video shows how Finnegan paints his impressive works:

And here’s his take on Liam Neeson in Taken 2. He definitely will find you.

You can see lots of other videos of Barry going about his work on his Youtube channel including this highly complex drawing of Bane vs Batman from The Dark Knight Rises, this eerie Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter portrait and this astonishingly real one of a young Natalie Portman in Leon with Jean Reno.

Watch how he creates a chilling Walter White (Bryan Cranston) from Breaking Bad:

More images on Finnegan’s Facebook page here.

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Finnegan told this week that he began experimenting with large-scale charcoal work in June 2011 and Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry was his first attempt. He sets up a tripod and camera behind him as he works to record the process – and not just for his own record:

At the start, a few people thought they were photographs; that’s another reason why I do the videos. Kind of a compliment, in a roundabout way!

And it looks like he’s good under pressure – his friend Stephen O’Neill shot this video of Finnegan drawing Phil Lynott outside Bruxelles, as Lynott’s mother looked on with a watchful eye:

All videos via Barry Jazz Finnegan/

Look: Is this the coolest photography in Ireland?>

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Susan Daly


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